The Ultimate First Aid Guide For Summer

people jumping into ocean in summer

The Australian summer is a joyous bundle of warm weather, gorgeous beaches, endless swimming, and other exciting outdoor activities. 

But this period presents its fair share of challenges for the first-aider.

Brush up on your first aid skills with this ultimate summer first aid guide, so you’re prepared for any situation this summer.

Explore Our Summer First Aid Guide:

First Aid Treatment For Common Summer Emergencies

Summer First Aid Kit Essentials

Summer First Aid Courses

First Aid Treatment For Common Summer Emergencies

First Aid Treatment For Heat Stress

With seemingly record high temperatures each year, it’s no wonder why heat exhaustion and heat stroke are such prevalent issues in Australia. In fact, heat waves are Australia’s deadliest natural hazard. Over 500 Australians die of heat stress each year. People of all ages are at risk too, in particular the elderly and workers who are subjected to the heat on a daily basis.

How To Treat

It’s important to understand the differences between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as heat stroke is a much more severe condition.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  • Dizziness
  • Paleness
  • Weak pulse
  • Cool to touch
  • Sweating
  • Cramping

To treat heat exhaustion, follow these steps:

  1. Find shade
  2. Rest
  3. Drink water

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • Flushed skin
  • Altered mental state or behaviour
  • High body temperature (over 40 C)
  • Racing pulse
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

To treat heat stroke, follow these steps:

  1. Find shade
  2. Call 000
  3. Remove excess clothing
  4. Cool down
  5. Monitor for change

First Aid Treatment For A Jellyfish Sting

Australians love to spend their summer holidays enjoying their time at the beach. Unfortunately, so do jellyfish. We’ve all seen our fair share of Bluebottles, and have likely been stung by one, but it’s important to know what first aid steps to take for a jellyfish sting, especially if you suspect it’s a deadlier sting.

How To Treat

To treat a jellyfish sting, follow these steps:

  1. Call 000 (if you know it’s a highly venomous sting such as that from a box jellyfish, or if there are signs of respiratory distress)
  2. Carefully remove tentacles with tweezers
  3. Soak the affected skin in hot water

Avoid the following unhelpful actions:

  • Scraping out stingers
  • Rinsing with seawater or urine
  • Applying alcohol
  • Applying pressure bandages

First Aid Treatment For Drowning

As temperatures hike in the Australian summer, unfortunately so does the rate of drownings. And the most susceptible are young children in pool areas. Poor poolside safety combined with a lack of basic CPR knowledge has the potential to turn a beautiful summer’s day into an absolute tragedy. The saddest part of this is that most drownings are preventable.

How To Treat

Safety-proof your pool this summer by taking the following action:

  • Check pool gates automatically close
  • Check all surrounding fences are secure
  • Ensure all outdoor furniture is a minimum of 1 metre away from the pool fence
  • Proactively scan to see if any item could be used by a child to climb over the fence

For more detail on safety-proofing your pool, check out our blog on pool safety.

If someone has drowned, immediately follow these steps:

  1. DRSABCD
  2. Call 000 and seek ambulance assistance 
  3. If casualty regains consciousness, roll onto their side to ease breathing and ensure they don’t choke on any water regurgitation
  4. Ensure casualty receives medical assistance and examination

First Aid Treatment For A Snake Bite

There are over 3,000 reported snake bites in Australia every year (Royal Flying Doctor Service), with 2-4 fatalities nationwide on average annually. These incidents naturally occur during the summer as the weather grows warmer, as many Australian snakes cease brumating.

How To Treat

Signs and symptoms of a snake bite are:

  • Visible puncture wound
  • Pain, swelling and redness around the wound
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Numbness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting

To treat a snake bite, follow these steps:

  1. Limit blood flow and increased stress circulating the venom
  2. Firmly secure the wound with a pressure immobilisation bandage and immobilise the limb with a splint
  3. Call 000
  4. If the patient loses consciousness and stops breathing, start CPR immediately

For more detail on dealing with a snake bite, view our blog on treating Australian snake bites.

How To Build A Summer-Ready First Aid Kit

It’s all well and good knowing how to correctly administer first aid for any summer situation, but if you don’t have the right gear you’ll be extremely limited in your ability to give treatment.

So here’s our summer first aid essentials:

Pre-Made First Aid Kit

If you don’t already have one, make sure you have a pre-made first aid kit on hand this summer. A good ready-made first aid kit will come with most of the essentials for surviving the summer, including bandages, adhesive dressings, a first aid booklet, a CPR card, cleaning wipes, gloves, tweezers, and many more useful items.

If you’re in need of a first aid kit, head over to our online shop, as we supply a wide range of high-quality first aid kits on the market.

Water

Water is an essential for the summer. If you’re partaking in any outdoor activity this summer, you should always have a bottle of water on you. 

Not only can it be used to prevent dehydration, but it can be used to clean out wounds if needed as well.

Sunscreen

We all want to get a glorious summer tan, but excessive exposure to the sun can lead to serious long term conditions, most notably skin cancer. In fact, your risk of developing potentially deadly melanoma doubles with a history of 5 or more sunburns (Skin Cancer Foundation). 

So be sensible this summer. Ensure you always have sunscreen (at least SPF 30) on you and ensure you actually slip, slop, slap.

Bug Repellent

If you’re going on a camping trip this summer, then a good bug spray is essential. Not only are mosquito bites and other bug bites irritating, but if scratched they can get seriously infected.

So if you want to be a happy camper, don’t forget to pack the bug spray.

Prepare Yourself This Summer With A First Aid Course

Perhaps the most vital action you can take to be best prepared for any situation this summer, is to complete a first aid course.

At Vital First Aid, we have first aid courses and CPR courses running over the summer that are quickly filling up. 

To enrol in a course, head to our locations page, select your desired location and view the available courses. Or simply give us a call, and we’ll help get you enrolled in one of our upcoming courses.

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Vital First Aid is a dynamic Registered Training Organisation specialising in providing accredited practical training in all facets of first aid and pre-hospital care.

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