Have great days out this summer and stay happy and healthy

This story was published 9 July 2019

With long days and warm weather here and the school holidays coming soon, it’s the time to be out and about – and it’s a good idea to follow some simple tips to stay healthy and safe.

poster for physical activities

“Summer is a great time of year as the sunshine encourages us to get outdoors and enjoy the wide variety of lovely things North Yorkshire and our surrounding counties have to offer,” said County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health.

“To help people make the most of the summer season, our Public Health team has put together some quick tips to stay safe around water and avoid picking up infections from farm visits and has highlighted some of the ways people can stay healthy by being more physically active.

“Please take a few minutes to read the information – it could help you have a great summer.”

Stay safe around water

In the hot weather, people are often tempted to cool down by taking a swim, but cold water can be a killer as it can lead to breathing problems and heart attacks. Usually, when someone gets into difficulties in cold water, they automatically try to swim hard, but the best thing to do is to fight that urge and float until the temperature shock passes – they will be able to control their breathing and have a far better chance of staying safe.

Children under eight should be supervised when they’re in and around water – they might understand instructions but are likely to forget if they are having fun or are excited. Teach older children to choose safe places to swim, such as public pools and beaches patrolled by lifeguards, rather than canals, gravel pits and rivers.

There is a lot of useful information about water safety on the RNLI website and the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.

Farm visits

Visiting a farm can be a great day out for both children and adults alike, but it's important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infections because of the germs they carry naturally. Hands should be thoroughly washed with liquid soap and warm water and dried with paper towels after you have touched animals, fences or other surfaces in animal areas and also before eating or drinking.

Public Health England has produced a free leaflet that gives more information about avoiding infection on farm visits.

Physical activity

Summer is a great time of year to get more physically active, especially outdoors. To help children have fun and get their recommended amount of daily activity in bite-size chunks, try Public Health England’s Change4Life 10-Minute Shake-Ups programme, which is run in partnership with Disney and is aimed at families with children aged five to 11.

The programme helps parents and carers to get children moving with simple, fun, 10-minute activities that feature favourite Disney shows and characters as inspiration.