Be Safe in the Sun – Sun Safety

Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership Summer Safety Campaign

At this time of year, it is a time for friends and family to get together.  The Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership wants to help everyone stay safe, have a good time and be free from harm so here are a few important tips to ensure you do!

When the sun is out remember to cover up with sunscreen if you are spending time in the sun and avoid sitting out when the sun is at its hottest. Protect children and young people from sun damage by applying at least factor 30 suncream.  If you plan to spend longer periods of time outdoors, it is important that you keep taking fluids, to prevent your body overheating or becoming dehydrated.  Avoid drinking alcohol if you are planning on undertaking any water activities as this can increase risk taking behaviour and can become dangerous.   

Eating al fresco and planning a BBQ?  Be sure to reduce the risk of food poisoning by avoiding cross contamination of raw and cooked foods and use different utensils for each and use hand wipes if water is not available to wash hands.  Keep chilled foods in fridge until needed, try to avoid burning food and use a meat thermometer to ensure food is cooked through.  

July is a busy time for festivals in the Outer Hebrides. Look out for the Safe Space tent at Heb Celt Festival (HCF) and Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF).  The tent offers a private area for anyone that may be at risk due to effects of alcohol, drugs or other substances or is available if someone just wants to take some time out from the hustle and bustle of the crowd.   The tent is staffed by volunteers from various agencies which ensures everyone has a safe space to go during the festival. 

If you notice that one of your friends or for that matter anyone who may be on their own and has become unwell through possibly having taken any alcohol or drugs, and you are concerned for them, it is important that you seek help right away.   If someone falls unconscious it is vital that they are put in the recovery position.  

Do take sensible precautions if you meet up with someone, and be sure to look after your sexual health, avoid STIs or unwanted pregnancy.  Free condoms and pregnancy testing kits are available from the Health Promotion Department, Laxdale Court, Stornoway, telephone 01851 762017.  Emergency contraception is also freely available from all pharmacists & GP practices.   

If you are planning on driving, remember that the current drink drive limit is  22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.  Being caught the night before or the morning after can result in a criminal record and even a sentence and can have wider implications in your life. 

Alcohol and drug misuse is a major public health issue and can cause high levels of harm to individuals, their families and relationships and the wider community.  If you are worried about your own, a friend or family member’s alcohol or drug use there are several online sites as well as local services that can provide information and support, help lines and forums:  

For advice on how to treat sunburn check out the NHS Inform website – Sunburn | NHS inform

Check out the Food Standards Scotland website for more information and advice on cooking food safely Barbecue food safety | Food Standards Scotland

‘Safer Outer Hebrides’ website contains a host of information on services such as domestic abuse and gender based violence; adult support and protection, children and young people and advisory service details.

Further information can be found on the Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership website or telephone the Alcohol & Drugs Partnership Office on 01851 762022.

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