Summer is on it's way! How to prepare for a day in the Australian sun...

Sun and water safety in Australia

Australia's beaches are beautiful, but there can be dangers too - read this handy guide for making the most of the beach this summer, so you can make the most of it!

1. Keep Hydrated

When it's hot, it is very easy to become dehydrated - always bring a water bottle with you in hot weather! At many beaches and touristy areas there are free water fountains that you can use to refill your bottle. 

2. Protect Your Skin

The Australian sun can be very hot and the amount of UV (harmful Ultraviolet Rays) may be stronger than what you are used to in your home country. 

  • Wear sunscreen protection (we recommend SPF50+, and water resistant) and apply before you go outside.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before swimming and ensure you re-apply sunscreen after swimming.
  • Wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses.
  • Avoid spending long periods of time in the sun between 10am and 3pm, as this is when the sun is strongest.
  • Make sure you follow these tips even when it isn’t sunny – you can still get burnt on cloudy or overcast days.

3. Swim Safe

Australia has many beautiful beaches and waterways, but it is important to take care when swimming. Here are some tips for staying safe in the water:

  • If you know you are not a good swimmer, don't swim at the beach.
  • Never dive into water if you are not sure how deep it is.
  • Only swim at patrolled beaches (a beach where there are lifeguards on duty - look for the signs) and always swim between the red and yellow flags where lifeguards can see you.
  • Many Australian beaches have ‘rips’. These are strong underwater currents that can be very difficult to see, but can draw you away from the shore quickly. If you swim between the flags you should not have any problem with rips. If you do find yourself in a rip, try not to panic or swim against it. Stay with your surfboard or other floating device if you have one. Swim gently parallel to the beach out of the rip zone, or wave and call for assistance from lifeguards or other swimmers and surfers.

How to escape a Rip Current.

For more information on water safety, visit the Surf Life Saving website.

4. Be aware of Sea Life

Australia isn't as dangerous as it's made out to be, but you should still be aware of what else is sharing the water with you..

  • Firstly - don't worry about sharks! Their appearances are actually quite rare, and the surf life guards will usually spot them from a long distance. If you hear an alarm or siren while swimming don't panic, calmly leave the water and wait for the life guards to announce when the shark has left the area.
  • There are several types of stinging jellyfish that can be found around Australia, especially in the north & north-eastern coasts. Jellyfish can be difficult to spot in the water. If you suspect you are stung by a jellyfish, call the lifeguard for help - some stings may require you to be checked by a doctor, and you may need to call an ambulance.
  • Bluebottle jellyfish can commonly be found washed up on the sand. They won't kill you, but if you touch one of their tentacles you will get a nasty sting! They travel in groups, so if you hear of anyone getting stung near you it's best to stay out of the water. Always look where you step in the sand, because they can sting even when dead.

This is what a bluebottle looks like... don't touch!

If you get stung by a bluebottle don't panic! It will be quite painful. It is best to call a life guard for help, as they can help to soothe the pain, and if the sting is close to the heart, neck or face they may want to call an ambulance to make sure you are checked out by a doctor.  If you know it is a bluebottle do not put ice on the sting - this will increase the pain. Warm water is a much better remedy!

5. Have fun!

Published on by AI.