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Outdoor Safety

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 activities.

The Aussie Barbie

Spring flowers icon Check gas bottles for leaks and problems at least once a year
Spring flowers icon Try to place the BBQ to the side so it is less likely to be bumped against or in the path of playing children

Spring flowers iconNever 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.

Spring flowers iconFire 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.

Spring flowers iconWait until the cooking has stopped before drinking a lot of alcohol.

Spring flowers iconHave 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.

Spring flowers icon Keep cooked 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.

Be Sunsmart

Spring flowers icon Keep sun exposure during the middle of the day to a minimum

Spring flowers icon 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.

Spring flowers icon Note that combined sunscreen repellents have a reduced UV blocking level so opt for a higher UV rating in these products

Spring flowers icon Remember that reflections off surfaces such as water and concrete can also cause sunburn

Spring flowers icon 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 burn.

Water Play

Spring flowers icon Always have children supervised near water - spas, ponds, creeks and birdbaths are just as dangerous as pools

Spring flowers icon 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

Spring flowers icon Nobody with long hair should ever have their head under the water in a spa as it can get caught and trap the person

Spring flowers icon 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 the dangers

Spring flowers icon Wading pools 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 supervising it.

Bike riding and skating

Spring flowers icon 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

Spring flowers icon With the 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

Spring flowers icon More pedestrians are knocked over by bikes and skateboards than by cars, so watch out for people and animals around you as you ride/skate

Spring flowers icon Learn appropriate 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.


Spring flowers icon 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

Spring flowers icon Ease yourself 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




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