ARPHS Media Release
With summer holidays around the corner, Auckland Regional Public
Health Service (ARPHS) is urging Auckland residents to take steps
to reduce the risks that come with the warmer months.
"We all look forward to taking some time out over summer," says
ARPHS Clinical Director Dr Julia Peters, "but summer holidays bring
with them their own unique stressors.
"By following the guidelines below, and by looking out for each
other, Aucklanders can look forward to a safe, healthy, and
Safe consumption of alcohol
- It's important that alcohol is consumed in safe environments
and not to excess. No one should be pressured to consume
alcohol. Safe drinking guidelines, including recommended alcohol
limits, can be found on the
Health Promotion Agency (HPA) website.
- As of today it's illegal to supply alcohol to anyone under 18
without their parent's or guardian's consent. See the HPA website for more
- When serving alcohol to family or friends a plentiful range of
food options, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and water, need to be
- Do not drink and drive - ensure you have a designated driver or
an alternate method of getting home.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with many
adverse social outcomes: take care with alcohol consumption this
- We are seeing an increase in nasty tummy bugs - specifically
salmonella and cryptosporidium. Campylobacter is the number one
food poisoning disease in New Zealand, with about 50 cases notified
in Auckland each week.
- People catch these diseases by swallowing the germs that may
have come from contaminated water and food, or from being in
contact with infected animals or other people. As summer may
involve more visits to the farm or zoo, ensure you wash and dry
your hands thoroughly after touching animals. Check out our
tips on hand hygiene.
- The four Cs of food safety are: Clean, Cook, Cover, Chill. This
includes washing and drying hands thoroughly, ensuring meats are
thoroughly cooked during barbequing, not using the same plates to
prepare or carry raw and cooked food, and making sure prepared food
or leftovers are kept in cool storage.
Safe drinking water
- For those on roof water, ensuring your drinking water supply is
clean is critical for avoiding campylobacter and cryptosporidium,
among other illnesses.
- There are a number of things you can do to reduce the
risk. For more information read HealthEd's advice on
safe drinking water and
household water supplies.
Jellyfish and Sea Bather's Eruption
- During summer - particularly hot ones - ARPHS sometimes
receives reports of swimmers suffering rashes caused by stings from
microscopic jellyfish at Auckland's beaches.
- Known as 'Sea Bather's Eruption', those affected generally have
an itchy red rash on the swimwear-covered areas. The rash can vary
from being mild (slight discomfort) to severe. Children are most at
- To reduce the risk, try not to wear large baggy clothes in the
water. After swimming, remove your swimwear as soon as possible and
shower if you can. Don't towel off straight after swimming - this
will just set off the stinging.
- Bluebottle jellyfish are also common around New Zealand. If you
get stung, wash the affected area with fresh or saltwater. Remove
any tentacles or stings attached to the skin, but not with your
bare hands, and place the affected area in warm water.
- For further information see our
Jellyfish Fact Sheet.
- Check the Auckland Council's
Safeswim monitoring programme, which provides regular
assessments of water quality at beaches in the region. If you do
not have access to a computer, you can phone Auckland Council on 09
301 0101, and ask for Safeswim advice.
- Wait at least 48 hours after heavy rainfall before swimming.
Avoid swimming near storm drains or sewage outfall pipes.
- Swim between the flags, and keep small children in arm's
- Learn to swim and make sure children, friends and whanau learn
Water Safety NZ for more advice.
- Take care when fishing, especially on surf beaches, and don't
turn your back on the sea. Always wear a life jacketon boats, and
ensure children are wearing age-appropriate life jackets.
ARPHS wishes all Aucklanders a safe, and happy, summer
For further information:
Health Promotion Agency's alcohol website http://www.alcohol.org.nz
Food safety tips
Hand hygiene tips
Water collection tanks and safe household water
Household water supplies
Fact sheet on jellyfish and Sea Bather's Eruption