Summer brings a risk of injury and illness

Summer is a time for fun, friends and family – but it’s also a high-risk time for injury and illness.

After a year of unprecedented demand on emergency services across Australia, Portland District Health’s Urgent Care Centre (UCC) is dealing with the annual influx of extra holiday-related problems.

The UCC is traditionally at its busiest over summer and this season is continuing that trend with more than 1000 presentations during December.

Nurse unit manager Deb Tozer said all hospital services were dealing with additional workloads and she urged people to take special care this holiday season.

“PDH is continuing to provide quality and safe emergency care for those who need it most but we’d like the community to play its part by avoiding unnecessary risks and reducing the pressure,” Ms Tozer said.

“We need to take extra care when we’re out and about, and keep in mind there are a range of other services you can access before presenting at the Urgent Care Centre if your situation is not life threatening.”

The heat brings its own special challenges and Ms Tozer says everyone should make sure they drink plenty of water, stay in cool environments and avoid excessive alcohol consumption, especially if you’re in or around water.

After a couple of relatively mild summers, it’s worth remembering that extreme heat can affect everyone, however those most at risk are older people, young children and people with a medical condition.

The south-west Victorian coastline draws visitors to the region but it’s a potentially dangerous destination. There have been several drownings around Australia this summer and PDH urges everyone to stay safe by swimming on patrolled beaches as much as possible and respecting your limitations.

Many people will be acting on their new year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight, and while these are commendable goals, it’s worth being mindful of your body if you’re resuming exercise after a break.