Stay Safe This Summer Festival Season

by VR Sreeraman on  January 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM Environmental Health
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 Stay Safe This Summer Festival Season
The AMA is urging young Australians to remember their health this summer and to take some easy precautions to make sure they have a fun and safe party season.

Summer is a time when many teenagers and young people head to music festivals and summer events around the country to relax and enjoy a break after a year of work or study.

AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said the summer party season was a tempting time to experiment, push personal limits and ease into the festival lifestyle.

"In this environment young people can put themselves at risk of injury or harm. Unsafe sex, alcohol poisoning, hearing damage from loud music, sun burn, accidents - these are all some of the risks but there are easy tips to follow so that you can have a good time and stay safe through the summer".

"Follow sun safe rules - cover up when you're in the sun and use sunscreen, a hat, and sunnies to reduce the risk of sunburn or sunstroke.

"Drink lots of water, especially if you're drinking alcohol, and only ever drink alcohol at safe levels.

"Know that unprotected sex is risky for all sorts of reasons. Think about what is happening and use a condom. STIs don't go on holiday just because you do.

"Don't give in to the temptation of being a 'social smoker'. Your body can't tell the difference between a 'social' smoke and any other kind, and if you're smoking then you're putting your health at risk.

"Most importantly, if you're worried about your health, or the health of one of your friends, get medical help straight away - don't wait.

"Many summer festival locations have a first aid tent where they can help you with any minor injuries, and if it's something more serious, get you to a doctor."

The AMA is recommending young people put together a 'survival pack' to keep with them this summer including:

bottle of water,
30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen,
hat with a wide-brim,
collared T-shirt or shirt to cover up,
think about ear plugs to wear at loud music events, and
mobile phone with emergency numbers.

"Young people often feel they are invincible but that is not the reality," Dr Capolingua said.

One in two Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their life-time and melanoma is the most common cancer in people aged 15-39 years.
Chlamydia notification rates have tripled over the decade from 1996-2006 and young people accounted for 55 per cent of all STI notifications in 2006.
Four Australians under 25 die due to alcohol related injuries in an average week and on average, one in four hospitalisations of people aged 15-24 happen because of alcohol.

"We want our young people to be safe. They need to think seriously about where their risk-taking behaviour will lead them this summer season, and to take some easy precautions to make sure they don't end up as a statistic," she said.

"As adults and parents it is good to talk to your kids about looking after themselves."

Source: AMA

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