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Summer safety tips to see you through the silly season

Summer is finally here! Long days by the pool, flipping chops on the braai and endless festive season shenanigans. Hallelulah! Without a doubt, there is no period more joyful than the summertime in South Africa. Whether you’re inland or vacationing by the sea, you’re sure to be spending your holiday soaking up the warm African rays. After all, it’s impossible to stay indoors when a bright, sunny day beckons your name. But, as the silly season gets underway, staying safe and healthy should be one of your chief concerns. We’ve put together a few helpful summer safety tips to make your holiday season the most spectacular one yet.

Our top four summer safety tips:

 

1) Beat the heat

We all live for those glorious summer days when the skies are blue and the waters crystal clear. You want to spend every minute out in the open, absorbing as much vitamin D as you can. But, did you know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are stronger in the summer months? While you should be sun-smart all year round, it’s crucial to pay extra attention to skin care during the hot season. That’s why keeping your skin out of harm’s way is one of our biggest summer safety tips.

If you’re spending the day outdoors, try stick to shaded areas as much as possible, especially in the middle of the day when the sun’s strength is at its peak. And, do everything you can to avoid getting sunburnt. Sunburn increases your risk of developing cancerous melanomas. Always consult your Elixi network doctor if you get sunburnt and start to feel ill. As well as unlimited network GP visits, our Purple, Gold and Black plans include telephonic advice from a medical professional via our 24 hour GP helpline.

Along with chilling in the shade, there are other ways you can maximise your skin’s protection from the sun:

Apply (and reapply) sunscreen

Don’t skimp on the sunscreen! Always slather on copious amounts of sunscreen before going out into the sun. And keep reapplying throughout the day, particularly after a swim, to make sure you remain protected.

Wear a hat

Take the shade wherever you go. It’s always a good idea to keep a wide-brimmed hat handy to keep your face and neck out of sight from the sun. But, don’t forgo the sunscreen because you’re wearing a hat, reflected light can also burn your skin.

Rock those Ray Bans

The harsh UV rays don’t only damage your skin, but they can cause harm to your eyes as well. A good pair of UV protection sunglasses is the best summer accessory you can have!

 

2) Be water-wise

The water’s edge is the prime place to be during the festive season. Our summer safety tips wouldn’t be complete without recommending caution to families planning on visiting the beach or local pool. It always pays to be water-wise, especially if you aren’t a strong swimmer, or have young children. Even good swimmers can get into difficulties in the water, so you should avoid swimming alone. And, always make sure there is a lifeguard on duty before you jump in. Water accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. If you are taking the kids to the beach or pool during the holidays, never leave them unattended. All the adults in the group should be responsible for keeping an eye on the kids by the water at all times. Families who have pools at home should consider fencing them off and establishing a set of pool rules.

3)Don’t let the bugs bite

We’re not the only ones who enjoy the warm weather. The creepy crawlies also like coming out to play. While most insects are harmless, some can cause a nasty bite or sting. Applying a non-toxic insect repellent should help keep the bugs away, but if you do get bitten, try not to scratch. It only makes the itching worse. Remember, our Elixi Medical Insurance plans offer unlimited visits to a network doctor. Always make an appointment if you’re concerned by any unusual bites or bumps.

4) Know your road safety

We all like to let our hair down during the holiday period. Christmas parties, family get-togethers, work functions – the silly season is one long party. Unfortunately, this means the roads tend to be a lot busier this time of the year. Always be alert and responsible when driving. Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Not only are you putting yourself at risk, but other drivers too. Rather, organise a designated driver if you’re heading out to a party. If you’re travelling this holiday, break up long trips to minimise the risk of falling asleep on the road. And, always be aware of your surroundings. The festive season often sees a rise in hijackings and robberies. Keep your eyes open when approaching your car in parking lots.

No matter what you have planned this festive period, these summer safety tips will always come in handy. For more healthy tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook!