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Silly Season Safety

Is there anything better than summer in the motherland? In our humble opinion, Kiwi’s do summer the best - road trips, long days at the beach, endless BBQs, and relaxing in the sun. It can be easy to forget to keep our families and our friends safe while we’re having all this fun, so we’ve put together some quick tips to help keep your summer be the best one yet!

Beach safety

With almost 15,000 kilometres of coastline, a New Zealand summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of our many gorgeous beaches – but let’s make sure it’s a safe day out.

  • Be SunSmart. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in New Zealand but can be prevented by being SunSmart – especially between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s UV radiation levels are very high. Remember to Slip on a tee shirt, slop on some SPF30 sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on some sunglasses. Visit auckland-northland.cancernz.org.nz for more information on sun protection.
  • Swim between the flags. Surf Life Saving New Zealand patrols over 80 of our busiest beaches each summer – the area between the red and yellow flags is the safest area to swim when an active lifesaving patrol is on the beach. If you’re swimming at an unpatrolled beach, make sure you know how to identify a Rip current – visit watersafety.org.nz for information about Rip currents.
  • Protect your belongings. You might be tempted to leave your stuff unsupervised at your beach spot while you enjoy a swim, but this leaves your gear vulnerable to theft. If you’re with a group of people, it’s a good idea to take turns supervising your stuff – or take this as an opportunity to go offline for a bit – leave your phone, wallet and expensive shades at home and take a pair of cheap sunnies. If you’re leaving stuff in the car, make sure it’s out of sight of potential thieves.

Food safety

Hot summer weather is perfect for enjoying a BBQ with friends and family – but warm temperatures can put food at risk of developing harmful bacteria. No one wants to have their holiday ruined by food poisoning, but there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk.

  • Keep food cold. If you’re going on a long journey, make sure you put food in a chiller back with an ice pack. If you haven’t got an ice pack, freeze water in a soft drink bottle – you’ll also have a nice cold drink once it’s defrosted!
  • Don’t overfill the fridge. This time of year means that fridge real estate is at a premium, but an overfull fridge can stop cold air circulating and keep all the food cold. Make food a priority in the fridge, not drinks – fill a container with ice to store bottles when you’re entertaining. Freeze any food you’re not going to eat for a couple of days.
  • Don’t let food sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Pack away food as soon as possible once people have eaten – wrap cheese and dips and get them in the fridge before people start on the main menu.
  • Reheat food only once. If you’re enjoying last night’s saussies in the morning, eat them cold from the fridge or reheat until piping hot.

Visit lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz for more tips on keeping your summer food safe.

Alcohol safety

The silly season is typically the time when we sometimes tend to indulge on a few cold ones a bit more often – so we need to make sure we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe at the same time.

  • Plan before you party. We all know drink driving is dangerous so make sure you’ve got a safe way to get home. If you haven’t got a designated sober driver, make sure you save enough cash for your taxi or Uber fare!
  • Alternate your drinks. Drink a non-alcoholic drink between alcoholic drinks – not only will you last longer, the aftermath the next day will be much less severe!
  • Eat before or during drinking. The ‘eating is cheating’ saying is true - food helps your body to absorb alcohol at a slower rate so you won’t become intoxicated as quickly.
  • Look after your mates. Don’t let your friends get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking – offer to share a cab or give them your sofa or spare bed for the night. Drinking and driving is never okay!

Note: This blog provides a general guide only to things which may help you stay safer over the summer. AMI is not affiliated with any of the sources linked in this article.