Stay Safe in the Sun this Weekend

With soaring temperatures set to continue across much of the state throughout the weekend, beachgoers are being urged to be both sun-safe and water-safe as they make the most of the hot conditions.

The start of summer is still 10 days away, but lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers around the state are gearing up for a busy weekend as thousands are expected to try and beat the heat by descending on waterways across NSW.

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Andy Kent, says that with the bigger crowds it is important that beachgoers heed any instructions from lifeguards or lifesavers. Swimming only between the red and yellow flags is extremely important as lifesavers will be under the pump to keep an eye on the large numbers of beachgoers expected to flock to the coast.

“Lifesavers are there to keep everyone safe and have been well trained to deal with any type of emergency.

“All lifesavers and lifeguards have extensive first aid training, and we strongly encourage anyone who is experiencing any form of distress from the heat to seek help before it becomes serious.

“Heat stress and heat stroke are very real conditions and the symptoms should never be ignored,” Andy Kent said.

Some of the earliest signs of heat stress include nausea, headaches and cramps, and an increase in body temperature. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk, and should be watched for any signs of heat exhaustion.

In severe cases if it not treated initially, heatstroke can follow, which is a serious medical emergency.

The best way for beachgoers to reduce their risk of suffering from the heat is to engage in safe-sun practices.

Reapplying sunscreen every two hours should become an important part of your ritual at the beach as well as wearing a hat, sunglasses, and drinking plenty of fluids.

If suffering from heat, the best thing to do is to move into the shade, and if symptoms worsen, seek medical assistance.

Top tips to stay cool and safe at the beach during a heatwave

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Regularly reapply sunscreen throughout the day
  • Protect your eyes, wear a hat and sunglasses
  • If feeling dizzy, immediately move into the shade, and seek medical assistance
  • Read and observe the safety signs
  • Ask a lifesaver/lifeguard for safety advice
  • If you need help, stay calm and attract attention
  • If you witness an in-water emergency, call Triple-Zero Police

Fri 21 Nov 2014