Top 3 Summer First Aid emergencies and how to treat them

Summer is right around the corner! Knowledge and being prepared is key for ensuring good outcomes in first aid treatment. We’re going to cover the top 3 first aid emergencies that you can be prepared for this Summer!

1. Heat-induced conditions: heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Australian Summers are known to be brutal when it comes to temperature – reaching over 40 degrees Celsius in some parts! Heat exhaustion happens when the body has been exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time causing water and salt depletion from the body. This is exacerbated with physical activity in high heat. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea and headaches, and can be treated quickly by drinking fluids and staying in a cool shady area.

If heat exhaustion is left untreated and the body continues to stay in prolonged high temperatures, this can develop into heat stroke – a serious and potentially life threatening condition. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises to at least 40° C and neurological complications begin. Symptoms include seizures, disorientation, nausea, and sometimes loss of consciousness.

To treat Heat Exhaustion;

  • Rest in a cool and shady place.
  • Loosen tight clothing and sponge down with cool water.
  • Give fluids to drink and seek medical aid if symptoms are worsening.

To treat Heat Stroke;

  • Follow DRSABCD
  • Apply cold packs to the neck, groin and armpits.
  • Cover with a wet sheet.
  • Ensure an ambulance has been called (000).
  • Give fluids to drink if conscious and wait for medical help.

2. Sunburn

Sunburn can happen all year round. In fact, it happens equally in Winter as it does Summer. Sunburn is a sign that the skin has been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays for too long, but skin damage isn’t always evident. Sunburn typically presents as a reddening of the skin and blistering, along side dizziness and nausea for more severe cases. If you’ve forgotten to slip slop and slap before heading outdoors, then read on to learn how to treat sunburn.

To treat Sunburn;

  • Rest in a cool and shady place.
  • Cool shower, cool bath, or sponge with cool water for 10 minutes. Repeat if it eases discomfort.
  • Apply wet gauze padding to the sunburnt area.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Seek medical assistance for infants and casualties with blisters.

3. Snake, spider and insect bites

As we head outdoors into nature when the weather warms up, so does our wildlife! Snake, spider and insect bites are most common in the warmer months, and should always be treated as potentially life threatening.

We’ve developed a helpful Snake and Spider Bite treatment guide for you to view and download for when your on the go.

To treat Snake bites;

All known or suspected snake bites must be treated as potentially life-threatening, and medical aid should be sought urgently.

  1. Follow DRSABCD.
  2. Call 000 for an ambulance.
  3. Lie the patient down and ask them to keep still.
  4. If the bite is on a limb, apply an elasticised roller bandage over the bite site as soon as possible.
  5. Apply a further elasticised roller bandage, starting just above the fingers or toes and moving upwards on the bitten limb as far as can be reached. (Use clothing if an elasticised roller bandage is not available.) Apply the bandage firmly. You should be unable to easily slide a finger between the bandage and the skin.
  6. Immobilise the bandaged limb using splints, and make sure the patient stays still until help arrives.

To treat Spider bites;

Spider bites can be tricky – depending on the type of spider that has bitten you! We go through a few different bites and what you need to do:

🕷 Funnel Web / Mouse Spiders:

These are the most dangerous spiders and treatment from medical emergency is urgent. Call for an ambulance immediately.

  1. Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage – starting from the tips of the hands or toes.
  2. Keep calm, still and keep the wound level with the body.
  3. Immobilise the limb with a splint if possible.
  4. Wait for emergency services.

🕷 Red Back Spiders:

Not as life-threatening, however, a bite can cause significant pain.

  1. Apply a pressure bandage and cold compress.
  2. Raise the affected limb.
  3. Seek medical assistance if required.

🕷Other Spiders:

Most other spiders are harmless in terms of danger from their bites:

  1. Wash the bite site with water and mild soap.
  2. Apply a cold compress if necessary to help with swelling / pain.

To treat Insect bites;

  1. Follow DRSABCD
  2. Apply a cold compress if necessary to help with swelling / pain.
  3. Seek medical help if symptoms worsen.

Looking for a first aid kit for Summer?

Head over to our blog here for our guide on getting your first aid kit ready for Summer.

Need help with choosing a First Aid Kit or restocking your own? contact our team on 1300 188 332

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