Summer Safety

Summer is great fun and if the weather is good, then it is even better!  So far, the weather has been very disappointing but hopefully this will pick up and we will enjoy many weeks of good weather before the summer is ended.

While we all love to have fun in the summer and enjoy being outdoors, we would also like to encourage you to be conscious of safety during summertime particularly in relation to food, water and skin.  Here are some of our top tips on water, skin and food safety!

Water Safety                                     

Tragically, many people die each year in Ireland through drowning. Water safety is an important part of enjoying your day out and you should ensure you and your family stick to these basic rules:

  • Do not swim alone
  • Do not swim just after eating
  • Do not swim when you are hot or tired
  • Do not swim in strange places
  • Do not swim out after anything that is drifting
  • Do not swim out to sea
  • Do not stay in the water too long
  • Swim parallel and close to the shore
  • Do what the lifeguard tells you
  • Never use inflatable toys
  • Pay attention to signs on the beach
  • Do not be a bully in the water
  • Learn to use equipment before trying it out

For more information and for tips on holidaying abroad safely, visit

Skin Safety  

Running on beach

During the summer months, weather permitting, we expose our skin and our children’s skin to the sun. While it is lovely to spend a day out in glorious sunshine, it is important that you make yourself aware of the dangers to you and your family’s skin and take proper precautions against skin damage.
Skin cancer is by far the most common cancer in Ireland and is commonly caused by sun damage. The goods news is that you can greatly reduce your risk by simply being Sun Smart. Additional good news is that skin cancer, if caught early enough, is very curable.

Cover Up

Wear a wide-brimmed hat or a hat with a neck flap to protect your neck
Wear a t-shirt or other shirt with close-weave material 

Use Sunscreen 

Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 / Medium or higher and UVA protection
Put sunscreen on 20 minutes before you go out into the sun.
Put on more sunscreen every two hours. Put it on more often if you have been swimming or sweating.

Seek Shade 

Staying in the shade is one of the most effective ways of reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Any shade will do. It can be from a building or a portable umbrella.
Plan your outdoor activities to avoid exposure to ultraviolet radiation when it is at its highest, from 11am and 3pm.

Protect Your Eyes 

Wear sunglasses that give a high protection against UV rays. Look at the label and check the standard: BS Standard (BS 27 24 19 87) or European Standard (EN 1836) 

Avoid sun beds and sunlamps 

Sun beds and sunlamps increase your risk of skin cancer. If you want to protect your skin, don’t use them!

And now for some facts….

90% of all skin cancers are preventable. Virtually, all the risk comes from the sun & sun beds/sunlamps.
About 80 – 85% of the suns rays can pass through clouds so you need to take care on cloudy days too.
Damage to the skin by the sun is permanent. It also builds up – that means damage to the skin in one year is added to damage done in previous years. In later life this can lead to skin cancer.
Skin cancer can take 20 to 30 years to develop, so the rates of skin cancer today reflect the trends of the 70’s and 80’s.
For the majority of the population, 10 – 15 minutes daily exposure of the face and hands to the sun and adequate diet provides a sufficient level of vitamin D.
Skin damage is caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays, which are strongest from 11am to 3pm. This is not related to the hottest part of the day, which is usually later in the afternoon.
Ultraviolet Radiation from sunlight and sun beds/sunlamps is the main risk factor for skin cancer. 

For more information, visit

Food Safety 


Whatever you’re cooking up this summer, keep food safe and fresh for all to enjoy.
Most of us like to eat outdoors when the sun is shining and it is a great way to keep the family occupied while barbequing or picnics or simple eating outside.  Gertrude Lawler Kinesiologist and Food Technologist gives the following advice.
It is most important to prevent food poisoning from bugs such as E.coli O157, salmonella and campylobacter. They can cause serious illness ranging from vomiting, diarrhea, fever, nausea. The body becomes infected with the nasty bacteria. Recovery can take some time and will need medical treatments along with replenishing with good bacteria such as probiotics too.

When you’re barbequing, the biggest risk of food poisoning is from raw and undercooked meat. Raw meat can contain food poisoning bacteria. Ensure while reheating or cooking chicken, burgers, sausages and kebabs that they are cooked until they’re piping hot all the way through. The center of the food product takes the longest to fully cook, so ensure none of the meat is pink and juices run clear. The heat is intense at a barbeque which leads the food on the outside to burn and blacken very quickly, while remaining undercooked. The key is to keep turning the food and moving it around to ensure it is evenly cooked.
Use fresh meats wherever possible. If using frozen produce ensure it is properly thawed before you cook it. Ensure your barbeque is ready with charcoal glowing red before you start to cook. Check with your butcher or meat supplier as some frozen foods can be cooked from frozen. Always double check first and cook according to instructions.


Bacteria can also transfer onto food from your hands and utensils by cross-contamination. You can prevent it by washing your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat. Use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat.
Warm summer weather is perfect for bacteria to grow, so it’s especially important to keep ‘hot foods hot’ and ‘cold foods cold’ until you’re ready to eat them.

Ensure foods containing cream, soft cheeses, meat and poultry, raw eggs are kept chilled until immediately before use. Use a food cooler where possible if travelling for example to a picnic. Always try to wash your hands before eating but, if you can’t, you could use antiseptic hand wipes instead. These are great to have in the car or to hand especially for young children.
Remember to protect your food from insects, birds and pets, which can carry bugs and germs by keeping it fully covered until ready to eat. Always Wash fruit, vegetables and salads thoroughly with fresh water or lightly salted water.
Warm summer weather is perfect for bacteria to grow, so it’s especially important to keep ‘hot foods hot’ and ‘cold foods cold’ until you’re ready to eat them.