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A canal and towpath lined with trees and bushes pictured against a clear blue sky on a sunny day. Text: Make Monday Matter.

Summer Smart

Our “Make Monday Matter” series is all about setting an intention at the start of every week to make a small change for the benefit of your health and wellbeing. Small changes can add up and make a big impact over time.

This July we are focusing on how to be summer smart.

Summer can be hit and miss in Greater Manchester which is why we like to make the most of any good weather!

So make sure your summer isn’t ruined by sunburn, drinking too much, a dodgy tummy or worse. Check out our tips to help you and your family be #SummerSmart.

Get involved with our #MakeMondayMatter movement by following our socials and let us know how you are getting on to be #SummerSmart. You’ll find us on FacebookX and Instagram.


Be sun smart

Sunburn doesn’t just happen on holiday. Even in Greater Manchester you can get burnt between March and October and remember that UV rays can still get through clouds.

Sunburn increases your risk of cancer so it’s important to protect yourself and your family.

You need to take care extra care to protect babies and children as their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin.

You also need to take extra care in the sun if you:

  • have pale, white or light brown skin
  • have freckles or red or fair hair
  • tend to burn rather than tan
  • have many moles
  • have skin problems relating to a medical condition
  • are only exposed to intense sun occasionally (for example, while on holiday)
  • are in a hot country where the sun is particularly intense
  • have a family history of skin cancer

Head and shoulder shot of a young person standing on a beech with their eyes closed as someone applies suncream to their face.Remember

  • Make sure you never burn.
  • People of all skin tones can get skin cancer
  • Use sunscreen often and make sure it’s at least factor 30 with a high UVA rating
  • Don’t rely on sunscreen alone for protection. Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest and cover up with suitable clothes and sunglasses
  • Don’t think sunbeds and sun lamps are a safe alternative. They give out ultraviolet (UV) rays that increase your risk of developing skin cancer and can cause your skin to age prematurely
Get sun safety advice on the NHS website Get sun safety advice on the NHS website

Be alcohol smart

Many people look forward to a cooling summer drink. But if it’s an alcoholic one, know your limits so you don’t spoil the fun for yourself and others.

Cutting back on the booze can also be a great way to improve your health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money.

It’s recommended that you drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spread across 3 days or more. That’s around 6 medium (175ml) glasses of wine or 6 pints of 4 per cent beer.

If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol, help is available. Find local support.

Close up as hand clinking together glasses containing different coloured drinks.Remember

  • Eating’s not cheating – make sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach
  • Swerve the salty snacks
  • Mix it up. Not every drink has to be alcoholic
The Better Health website has tips to help you cut down on the alcohol The Better Health website has tips to help you cut down on the alcohol

Be BBQ smart

Summer is a great time to enjoy a BBQ with family and friends but no one wants unwanted guests.

BBQs create the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and spread which can case food poisoning.

Food poisoning is more than just a passing tummy bug and it can be very serious. That’s why it’s important to take some simple steps to make sure you don’t cook up anything nasty.

Close up of someone using tongs to cook meet on a metal barbecue. Smoke rises form the meat against a backdrop or grass and green bushes.Remember

  • Clean and dry your grill before cooking
  • Make sure your charcoal is hot enough
  • Defrost meat thoroughly
  • Cook meat thoroughly
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before preparing food and after cooking and eating
  • Never wash raw chicken or other meat
  • Store raw meat separately from ready-to-eat foods
  • Use different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food
  • Wash your hands after touching raw meat and before handling ready-to-eat food
Check out the The Food Standards Agency for BBQ advice Check out the The Food Standards Agency for BBQ advice

Be health smart

Unfortunately, accidents happen when you’re out and about making the most of summer. Things like hay fever and insect bites can also spoil the summer vibes.

A well-stocked first aid kit can help you deal with common illnesses and things like minor bumps and cuts, upset tummies, insect bites, hay fever and sunburn.

The NHS has advice on what to include in your first aid kit.

RememberClose up on a young with scraped knees. They are wearing shorts and a T-short and sitting next to a scooter on wooden decking.

  • Pharmacists (or chemists) are healthcare professionals. They can give you expert advice on treating minor illnesses and injuries.
  • If you’re not sure what to do or where to go for medical help, 111.nhs.uk is available 24/7.
  • A range of mental health support is available in Greater Manchester
  • Using Greater Manchester’s Urgent Eyecare Service could save you a trip to your GP or A&E
  • Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service cold help with pain in your teeth and gums if your dentist is closed or you don’t have one.
Find out more on our get To Know Where To Go page Find out more on our get To Know Where To Go page

Be water smart

Jumping into open water might be temping on a hot day but cold water shock and under water currents can kill. You also don’t know what’s lurking beneath the surface.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue (GMFRS) has worked with families who have lost loved ones through accidental drownings, to raise awareness of the dangers of open water.

It’s keen to get message to young people, particularly teenage boys who are historically more likely to take unnecessary risks by jumping into open water and swimming.

GMFRS is also urging parents and carers to speak young people about the dangers.

RememberA lush, green riverbank on a sunny day. The clear blue sky and wispy clouds are reflected in the water.

  • Cold water shock kills even the strongest swimmers
  • Make sure you know where your kids are going and what they are getting up to
  • If you encourage your mates to go in the water it could be the last time you see them
  • If you see someone in difficulty in the water think ‘call, tell, throw’. Call 999 and ask for fire if inland or the coastguard if by the sea; tell the struggling person to try to float on their back; throw them something that floats
  • If you get into difficulty in the water float. It could save your life.
Visit the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service water safety page Visit the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service water safety page
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