Every Aussie Summer includes time spent by the water. Park Street General Practice provides some tips to play it safe by the water this Summer.
There are different safety rules for beaches, rivers, lakes and public or private swimming pools. Obey all water safety signs, don’t drink alcohol while recreating around water, or when supervising children around water, and make sure there’s someone looking out for you.
Here are some handy resources if you’re going to be near water this Summer holidays:
The Bureau of Meteorology provides a forecast service, flood warnings and marine services for local waters, coastal waters and open ocean activities.
You can check the UV index and find out what times sun protection is required during the day on the Sun Smart website.
Coastalwatch provides surfcams and a daily analysis of upcoming surfing conditions for all popular surfing regions around Australia.
In summer, EPA Victoria provides water quality forecasts for Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River. There are three forecast ratings:
- Good – Forecast water quality is suitable for swimming.
- Fair – Forecast water quality may not be suitable for swimming.
- Poor – Forecast water quality is not suitable for swimming.
At the Beach
Fifty-seven of Victoria’s most popular beaches are patrolled by lifesavers during the summer months, until the season ends at Easter. Information about patrolled beach locations, and times, is available on the Beachsafe website.
Remember, always swim between the red and yellow flags, and never swim alone.
Inland waterways, including rivers, creeks, lakes and dams are great for water recreation, but it is important to remember they have many hidden dangers, such as submerged objects, debris and strong currents.
Royal Life Saving recommends the following four safety tips for rivers:
- Wear a lifejacket.
- Avoid alcohol around water.
- Never swim alone.
- Learn how to save a life.
Water Safety at Home
Water is fun and enjoyable for children. However, it can also be a safety hazard to young children.
- Never leave your child alone in the bath, or in the care of an older child.
- If you have to leave the bathroom, take your child with you.
- Always empty the bathtub, buckets and sinks immediately after use.
Home pools and spas
Home pools and spas are a real danger for young children and are required by law to have suitable safety barriers. Never take your eyes off children around water.
Public Swimming Pools
Parents supervise, lifeguards save lives.
Your local public pool is a great place for the whole family to swim and participate in water programs.
- Lifeguards provide professional supervision for all pool users – parents/ carers still need to watch their own children around the water.
- Children under five should be within arm’s reach at all times; children under 10 should always be in your sight.
- Ensure your children learn to swim – enrol them in a swimming and water safety program at your local pool.
Source: Watersafety Vic
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a GP. Links to other (“third party”) websites are provided solely as a convenience and not as a guarantee or recommendation by Park Street General Practice for the services, information, opinion or any other content on such third party websites or as an indication of any affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of such third party websites.