Health & First Aid

Sun Safety
Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world because we have a predominately pale-skinned population living in a sunny climate. Naturally, the most effective way to avoid sun damage is to protect your skin.

Every Saturday morning it is stressed to all athletes and parents the importance of hats, sunscreen and hydration. Here are some easy tips to follow.

When possible, avoid being out in the sun during the middle of the day in summer, from about 10am to 4pm. (We realize that this is a little difficult on a Saturday morning during athletics season!!) Stay under shade tents where possible while waiting at events such as high jump which may take some time to complete.

Wear appropriate clothing, ie made of material which casts a shadow and is therefore impervious to the sun. A thick t-shirt under your athletics singlet is ideal during a normal running day.

Wear a hat with a broad brim. Some people may prefer to wear a cap which shadows the face, but common sites for skin cancer include the tops of ears and the back of the neck which are better protected by a full hat. WHLAC bucket hats are ideal!

Modern sunscreens, if correctly used can provide considerable protection against sun damage.

When using a sunscreen observe these simple rules:

Buy a recommended sunscreen that is economically priced so that you do not skimp on its use. For best results, the sunscreen should be rubbed into the skin for a few seconds, so as to ensure even coverage, 15-20 minutes before going into the sun.

Remember that some sunscreens are easily removed by clothing, towelling, sweating or water. Reapply frequently in the most vulnerable areas like the backs of the hands, nose, upper lip, forehead and tops of shoulders. For maximum sun protection you should use a sunscreen labelled “30+ broad spectrum”. Alternatively, Zinc cream gives virtually 100% protection and is often used by sports men and women on the most exposed body part, eg Shane Warne.

Sunscreens should be applied every 2 hours while out in the sun and more often if playing sport or swimming. Use a waterproof product if swimming or engaging in activities which produce a lot of perspiration.

Routine morning application of a sunscreen is recommended as it will afford you some protection from the sun exposure in your normal, daily activities.

Follow these simple rules and you should have a sunburn free season!

Fluid intake strategies
Dehydration can cause poor performance, heat cramp, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Every Saturday it is stressed to athletes to keep up their fluid intake.

The following information is written by Clare Wood, who is an accredited practicing dietician and is a sports dietician at the Australian Institute of Sport. I thought that this article would benefit all athletes and their parents.

“Each day we need to replace about 2 litres of fluid to balance sweat losses – even before sweat loss during training (or competition) are taken in to account. When the body heats up, production of sweat helps to reduce body temperature. Sweat rates vary between individuals, and increase with harder works loads and hotter environments.

Think of the body as a car with a radiator, if you don’t keep the radiator full your car overheats and will break down or run poorly. Same goes for your body, if you don’t stay well hydrated.

There is a gradual reduction in performance, physical and mental, as the degree of dehydration increases.

Fluid needs are important to your competition strategies, so start developing good drinking habits in advance. Look forward to better training (competition) when you are better hydrated. Good luck – or even thirst – are not the basis of a good hydration plan, be organised with drinking fluid over the day.

Strategies to replace fluids over the day

1. Make sure that you drink at each meal. Don’t overlook water as a great choice.

2. Take extra care in hot, humid weather – you will need to increase your drinking opportunities.

3. Keep a supply of fluids on hand during the day. Carry your own water bottle so you can drink wherever you are.

4. Rehydrate quickly after a session. Remember that you will continue to lose fluid during recovery through urine and continue sweating. You need to drink 1.5 times the amount lost over the next 1-2 hours to achieve good hydration. For example, if you are 1kg lighter after a session, you will need to drink 1500mls to rehydrate.

Get a feel for sweat losses during your activity, and how well you replace these. If you weigh yourself before a session and after a session, you are measuring fluid losses only. Every 1kg = 1 litre of fluid. Try to keep fluid loss to a minimum over a session by drinking as often as possible.

During competition

Most important during the event is fluid intake. Hopefully you have stayed well hydrated during the day with plenty of fluid intake, to take some pressure off drinking huge volumes during the competition. There is a reduction in performance as the degree of dehydration increases.

Tips to remember

1. Try to consume water at every opportunity possible and practical, ie, when there are breaks.

2. Have your own water bottle and monitor how much you drink.

3. Drink at your own comfort level, you can experience stomach upsets if you consume too much.

4. In events longs than 1 hour there may be benefits to consuming some carbohydrates with your drink, such as a sports drink.

Keeping fluids cool may encourage greater consumption.”

Risk Management
This year, LAANSW has implemented a Risk Management Policy. The primary goal of this is to provide a safe & enjoyable environment for everyone when we gather at any of the Athletic events.

The Association has asked all Centres to diligently implement this policy. Winston Hills meets almost all of the guidelines, & probably always has, due mainly to the common sense approach with which the Centre has always been run.

We have had a couple of visits from Association Officials already this season & during discussions, two areas of concern have been raised.

Firstly, it was noted that the Long Jump area & the second Tiny Tots activity area could benefit from significantly more shade. The committee has put a formal request to the Winston Hills Sports Club for funding of large shade canopies for both these areas.

Secondly, the Associations insurers have concerns over Centres who allow parents to accompany their children’s age groups around the competition arena. A bad accident happened last season at another Centre that highlighted this area of concern. After consulting with Mrs Kerry O’Keefe, the CEO of LAANSW, an acceptable system was agreed upon where the parents at Winston Hills can continue to enjoy the involvement in our children’s events whilst also satisfying our risk management & insurance requirements. All Age Managers have been provided with a parent sign on book. It is absolutely imperative that ALL parents sign this book, at the first event of the day, each & every Saturday. Signing on as a parent helper assures you & the centre of the insurance cover provided by the Association. If the Age Managers forget to pass the book around, please take it upon yourselves to make sure everyone in your group signs it.

Happily, there is also a bonus in all of this. The Association’s insurers are very happy with the policy & the implementation at Centre level & have maintained premiums at last years rates, keeping down the costs that ultimately we all pay!