Posts tagged environment

WELLBEING: Extreme heat conditions: Preparing our kids

This heat is affecting both children and adults. My 10-year-old daughter came home from school last week and told me during and after practising for the school cross country she had a throbbing headache and felt quite ill. She continued to tell me this was the most intense headache she had ever experienced. It sounded like a migraine. For the rest of the afternoon, I made sure she had kept hydrated and went to sleep with a bottle of water next to her bed. She also had a cool shower to cool down which seemed to work a treat!

She was fine the next day, however, I gave her a few things to be aware of.

  • Drink water throughout the day, because in this weather we can lose a lot through sweat. Drinking water before outdoor physical activity is especially important.
  • Wear a hat at all time when outdoors, it may not look cool, or it may be annoying but it will definitely help especially if you’re in direct sunlight.
  • Try and play in shaded areas if possible. Kids at my daughter’s school can go into the library or the computer area and sometimes teachers allow kids to stay in the classroom and play.
  • Eat all the lunch, especially fruit in the lunchbox. An empty stomach can make things worse.
  • Early bedtime to allow the body to rest and recover from a hot day.

As easy as these reminders may seem, children can get busy playing at school, they forget to eat their food or consistently drink water, so a reminder every day or two may benefit your child greatly.

Originally published 19 February 2019 on Kids on the Coast magazine

HOME: Protect your family and home during snake season

The weather is warming up and the experts are warning people to look out for snakes around their home and property.

Snake season is in full swing!

A few years ago I was at home with my three young children, putting the laundry away in my bedroom with my baby on my bed, happily playing. I looked up briefly and saw a snake slithering near my doorway. It wasn’t a big snake, but it was a snake nonetheless! My instant reaction was to scream and jump onto my bed, scaring my baby as well as my two toddlers out in the lounge room. My husband was working interstate at the time and in a state of panic I called him. First he asked me to take a picture so he could see what type of snake it was and then he reminded me we know a wildlife ranger from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. It turned out to be a baby green tree snake, so it wasn’t dangerous but it was still terrifying!

I called my wildlife ranger friend who came over with her three children and then she called the resident snake catcher and he came around and gently caught him, showing him off to the children while giving them a lesson about snakes. The good news was the snake was not venomous but the bad news was the snake was a newborn baby so the mother and the rest of the babies, possibly about six to eight, weren’t too far away.

We were told to keep the doors closed for the next few days giving the snakes a chance to move on. As scary as it was, my children were able to learn about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to snakes from a professional snake catcher.

Mick Tate from the Australian Reptile Park explains there are two main reasons snakes come out around this time of year. Once the temperatures rise above 18 degrees, snakes start digest their food so they make their way out to search for more food. Spring time is also mating season so you will see male snakes wondering around in search for a female mate.

With very little rain during winter the snakes are also looking for water and as a result are attracted to people’s homes and properties.

Use the following tips to protect your family and homes from snakes:

  • Destroy the environment around your home that may be comfortable for snakes
  • Keep grass maintained
  • Clear piles of wood
  • Remove items inside and outside the home that pile up
  • Seal crevices around the home
  • Install screens over vents

What to do if you come across a snake:

  • Do not approach the snake
  • Do not make rapid movements
  • Stay calm
  • Do not try to catch or kill
  • Contact the snake catcher

Follow the tips below for snake bites:

  • Keep bite victim calm and immobile
  • Apply pressure to the bite
  • Use immobilisation bandage on entire limb
  • Seek urgent medical attention


LOCAL LIFE: Nine-year-old student receives 2018 Sportsmanship Award

NOTICEBOARD: Nine-year-old local student receives 2018 Sportsmanship Award

 29 August 2018

Nine-year-old Callum Paget has received the 2018 Sportsmanship award for the Southport Yacht Club Dinghy Division.

After trying many different sports, nine year old Callum Paget joined the Funsail mornings at the Southport Yacht Club’s main club house, Main Beach in December 2017.

Right from the beginning, Callum knew he had found his ‘thing’. It came as no surprise to his parents Yvette and Logan that he loved it so much, sailing is in his genes!

He went on to complete Tackers 1, 2 and 3 at the Southport Yacht Club Hollywell arm. Tackers is a structured Learn­To­Sail programme overseen by multiple Olympic champion, Mathew Belcher. Each week Callum gained knowledge and confidence. He learned how to maneuver his single Opti (his little dinghy with a sail all by himself) out on the Broadwater. Lessons were given on tacking, jibing, wind speeds, currents, tides, markers and more. All under his incredible and passionate coach, Danah Clements.

The lessons don’t end on the beach. Callum is expected to take full responsibility of his Opti. He loads it onto a trailer, rigs it, checks it and wheels it down to the water. He then loads it back onto the trailer, wheels it back to the boat shed, washes it down and packs all the equipment away. Such a sense of ownership for such a young kid.

Callum completed the 3 races on his first regatta after capsizing numerous times. Cool as a cucumber, he rolled his Opti back over and continued the race, all unassisted and all while his peers were retiring from the race. Another regatta was a marathon, two and a half hours out on the water, last in, however stayed the course despite being the youngest and most inexperienced sailor of the fleet.

Skills learned in sport are transferrable to general life, winning, losing, dedication, persistence, determination, grit and so much more.

Callum will compete in the 2019 winter ‘Polar Bear Series’. We look forward to hearing about Callum growing in his chosen sport.

LIFESTYLE: Simple alternatives to plastic bags

In the space of a few weeks, both Coles and Woolworths have banned single use of plastic bags from their stores. Many other stores are heading in the same direction. How are people coping?

Customer ‘bag rage’ is happening more than often than it should as people try and get used to take their own bags. People who shop at Aldi have been taking their own bags since the stores opened in Australia in 2001 – no complaints there because it is what it is.

With a little bit of time and practise, BYO will become routine, so to help you with some alternatives to plastics here are a few ideas:

Fabric Bags

Most households have a few of these lying around. Whether they’re made of cloth, mesh, hessian, canvas, jute or hemp they can carry up to four times the weight of a single use plastic bag and can fold up easily for next time.

Cardboard Boxes

Remember the days when supermarkets had cardboard boxes near the registers? It was easy to grab the size you needed and use it for all of your groceries. Once home you had the choice of flattening the boxes and popping them into recycling. If you do like the idea of cardboard boxes you can either take your own and not even have to use a trolley or you can ask supermarket staff if they have any spares that you can use.

Wheelie Market Trolleys

These bad boys are so hip right now with all the age groups. Usually seen at the farmers markets on weekends, we’ve seen these slowly becoming a staple at supermarkets and shopping centres. The wheelie trolleys make carrying your groceries so easy and light. Just wheel it all the way to the car!

alternatives to plastic bags trolley


If you’re doing a smaller shop, then a good old backpack can come in handy. Load it up, throw it on your back and off you go! As a bonus, backpacks distribute the weight evenly on your back, taking the pressure off your arms.

alternatives to plastic bags backpack

Laundry Baskets

Yes, you read right! A laundry basket can carry a lot of weight and fit easily into the boot of your car. Laundry baskets are cheap to buy and you can use them over and over again.

Reusable Plastic Bags

If you are doing a spur of the moment shop and haven’t prepared, you can invest 10 – 15 cents and buy a thick reusable plastic bag. Being quite sturdy, you can use them for quite a long time.

Car Boot

For those who have forgotten to bring any of the above suggestions and don’t want to buy a reusable bag there is always the car boot. Load your groceries back into the trolley and then load them into the boot of your car. It is time consuming but just think of it as exercise for your arms!

We are naturally creatures of habit and don’t respond to change very well but this single use plastic bag ban is such a positive step forward for the environment.