With the summer months just around the corner, alfresco activities such as swimming, camping and barbeques are beginning to enter our thoughts. Although health and safety is likely to be at the back of our minds when it comes to summertime pursuits, it’s important to prepare for the unexpected. There’s no denying that most recreational activities come with some degree of risk, and whether you encounter a minor accident or a more serious injury, having the confidence to deal with an emergency situation can prove to be critical, and in some cases, help save lives.
First aid courses
Attending a first aid course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to respond to a medical situation in a calm and efficient manner. Reputable first aid providers will teach you how to deal with a variety of emergency scenarios, including choking, burns, foreign objects, bites and stings, CPR and more.
When pre-planning for summer activities, paediatric first aid courses are particularly useful for adults who work with children, such as teachers and childcare providers, or for parents who have young infants. If you want to ask questions about how to prepare for potential hazards during the summer, a healthcare professional will be able to advise you on what types of first aid techniques and equipment will benefit you the most.
Attending a first aid course will also provide you with the right skills and knowledge to properly utilise the contents of your medical kit. Especially if you are planning on going away on holiday, keeping a well-stocked first aid kit handy in your car or in your luggage will mean that you have all the necessary components to treat minor accidents and injuries. Portable travel first aid kits are available from a variety of reputable providers of health and safety provisions, such as St John Supplies.
Common summer accidents
Although it is unlikely that you will encounter any major danger when engaging in summer recreation, there are certain incidents that pose more of a risk than others.
Swimming – Especially in lakes and rivers with strong, unpredictable currents, swimming can be dangerous. It’s important to always be alert to signs that someone is struggling to keep their head above the water so that you can respond as quickly as possible. If the casualty is unconscious after being rescued, knowing how to successfully perform CPR can be the difference between life and death.
Barbecues and campfires – Accidental contact with a naked flame can result in painful burns and scalds, especially with children, who have thinner skin and are therefore more susceptible to burns. For minor burns, you will need to know how reduce any pain and discomfort, as well as how to properly cover and dress the affected area.
Bites and stings – Bees, wasps and various other insects are copious during the summer months, and although most of the time stings and bites will only result in a small amount of pain, it is important that you are able to reduce any swelling and spot signs of an allergic reaction.
Sunburn – Excessive exposure to the sun is common during the warmer months and can cause red, inflamed skin, blisters and in severe cases, can result in heatstroke. When dealing with someone with superficial sunburn, you will need to move them out of the sun to alleviate any discomfort and reduce the pain with cooling techniques.