Summer Health Hazards

24th January 2023

Summer Health   Hazards

Summer is a time for outdoor activities, BBQs, and soaking up the sunshine. However, The Australian Digital Health Agency is encouraging people to be aware of the potential health hazards that can come with the warmer weather. Below are some things to watch out for and tips on how to stay safe and healthy this summer:

Heat stroke: When the body is unable to regulate its temperature, it can lead to heat stroke. Symptoms include dizziness, headache, rapid heartbeat, and loss of consciousness. To prevent heat stroke, stay hydrated, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and take frequent breaks in a cool place. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. The information in your My Health Record can help inform and support medical care in emergencies and your regular GP can be updated online for follow up treatment.

Sunburn: Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause sunburn, which can increase the risk of skin cancer. To protect yourself from sunburn, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wear protective clothing, and avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm. If you do get severe sunburn, your doctor can prescribe a corticosteroid cream and upload a summary of the event to your My Health Record so skin damage can be monitored and inform further skin cancer screenings.

Insect bites: Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can carry diseases and cause allergic reactions. To avoid insect bites, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoid areas with standing water. If you are bitten by an insect and experience symptoms such as swelling, redness, or difficulty breathing, immediately seek medical attention and the details in your My Health Record, like allergies, medicines and history can assist healthcare providers to best deliver care.

Food poisoning: Eating contaminated food can cause food poisoning, which can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. To prevent food poisoning, make sure to properly store and handle food, keep raw and cooked food separate, and cook food to the recommended temperature. If you do experience symptoms of food poisoning, seek medical attention, and having the incident recorded in your My Health Record can provide context to your greater wellbeing journey.

Taking appropriate precautions can help ensure your safety, however, if things go sideways your My Health Record can be a valuable tool to manage your health this Summer.