River safety

Whether you’re swimming, boating, or even just relaxing on the riverbank, there are many hidden dangers that you may not be aware of.

  • Check the water conditions including the flow and depth before entering the water.
  • Watch the water levels in rivers and dams as they can rise suddenly to water releases from reservoirs or after heavy rainfall.
  • Look out for any submerged objects before diving into the river.
  • Beware of slippery or uneven surfaces that lead to waterways.
  • In some parks, high levels of blue-green algae or surface scum can occur, so avoid swimming in these areas.
  • Learn more on river safety.

young people jumping from a boat

1. Wear sunscreen

Remember to apply sunscreen to protect your skin 20 minutes before sun exposure and throughout the day. Re-apply every two hours or more often if you are swimming or perspiring.


2. Wear a hat

Wear a broad-brimmed hat that covers your face, neck and ears.


3. Wear sunglasses

Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun and from reflection from water and sand.


4. Find shade

Whenever possible, move to the shade or bring an umbrella or portable shade structure.

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5. Cover up

Choose clothing that provides a good level of skin coverage. Any exposed skin you can protect by applying sunscreen or by wearing a hat and using shaded outdoor areas.

Heat exhaustion and treatment

During extreme hot weather, you may develop heat exhaustion or even heatstroke which can be a life threatening condition. This happens when someone becomes dehydrated due to loss of water.

Follow the steps below to help prevent this:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol which can dehydrate you
  • Protect yourself by following the five steps above
  • Limit physical activity and time outdoors during hot weather.

For more tips on treating heat exhaustion, click here.

Only visit the hospital if you have a medical emergency. If it is a medical emergency, you need to call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. Some of the conditions that are considered medical emergencies include chest pain or tightness, sudden weakness or numbness to the face, arm or leg, breathing difficulties and sudden collapse or unconsciousness.

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