Australians tend to use the outdoors a lot, for sport, fun and
entertaining. So it is important for us to know how to be safe in the outdoors,
whatever time of year and whatever activity we are doing.
Here are safety ideas based around various common Aussie
The Aussie Barbie
Check gas bottles for leaks and
problems at least once a year
Try to place the BBQ to the side
so it is less likely to be bumped against or in the path of playing children
Never use petrol, kerosene or anything else to get a BBQ or
fire started. Not only can these be dangerous to light, the gases they produce
are heavy and will collect under the BBQ where they could explode.
Fire BBQs can be started by an electric starter if you buy
pre-treated briquettes - this saves you getting too close with a match.
Alternatively, buy some of the long matches that are now available.
Wait until the cooking has
stopped before drinking a lot of alcohol.
Have an esky
with ice or ice blocks to keep meat colds until cooking. Use it for salads and
cold meats, too, to avoid any food poisoning.
and raw meat separate. Uncooked meats should be kept in an esky or fridge, but
certainly not on the plate cooked meat is added to.
Keep sun exposure during the
middle of the day to a minimum
Make use of sunscreens, hats,
sunglasses and clothes to avoid sunburn. Applying sunscreen does not mean you
can play in the sun all day - it needs to be regularly reapplied and other
protection used as well.
Note that combined sunscreen
repellents have a reduced UV blocking level so opt for a higher UV rating in
Remember that reflections off
surfaces such as water and concrete can also cause sunburn
If you do get
burnt, treat it like any other burn and cool it down. The best solution is a
cold shower or swim as soon as possible as this will take any heat out of the
Always have children supervised near
water - spas, ponds, creeks and birdbaths are just as dangerous as pools
If you have a swimming
pool, never allow the
gate to be propped open.
It is so easy to leave
it that way and for a
child to slip past you
into the pool area. It
is also illegal in many
parts of Australia
Nobody with long hair
should ever have their
head under the water in
a spa as it can get
caught and trap the
Never leave a
toddler or young child in the supervision of another child, no matter how good a
swimmer they are. Children are too easily distracted and don't fully understand
need to be safe as well. SO you must either have them in an enclosed area (like
a full sized pool is enclosed) or empty it as soon as you have finished
Bike riding and skating
Always insist that everyone wears
a helmet when bike riding, skating and other fast sports. Knee and elbow pads
and gloves are also a wise choice
exception of young children, bikes are not permitted to be ridden on footpaths.
You must ride on roads or bike tracks. Supervise children when out riding as
they don't have a proper perception of car speeds and distances until they are
at least 8 years old
pedestrians are knocked over by bikes and skateboards than by cars, so watch out
for people and animals around you as you ride/skate
hand signals and use them when out riding. Just think how annoying it is when a
car turns unexpectedly - and remember that bikes are much more vulnerable.
Some sort of
warm up before sport is always a good idea. Warmed up muscles work better and
are much less likely to be injured
back into your sport after taking a break, such as during the off season or
Christmas holidays. Especially if you didn't exercise much over that break, your
muscles and fitness need time to regain lost ground.
Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner
of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any
business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see
her site and services at www.wordconstructions.com.au