We all love the beach, but do you know the first aid procedure for heat stroke or resuscitation?

Australia’s stunning beaches, lakes, rivers and even pools are an annual drawcard for millions of Australian holiday makers but knowing some basic first aid can help us assist in the event of drowning or heatstroke.

When it comes to safe beach practices, Red Cross national first aid advisor, Dan Coad advises we should:

  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags
  • Never swim at unpatrolled beaches or swim alone.
  • Be aware of our limitations and test our skills and fitness in a safe environment such as a public pool prior to swimming at the beach, just to make sure we’re physically capable of swimming in the surf.
  • Rrefrain from drinking alcohol before swimming and never swim at night.
  • Let your children know that they are not to enter the water without a parent present.
  • If possible speak to a local before entering the water to see if there is anything you should know about rips, deep holes or sandbars.

If someone appears to be drowning:

  • Do not enter the water unless you are specifically trained to perform water rescues.
  • If you are on your own always call 000 first to ensure help can be sent as soon as possible.
  • If the person is breathing, tilt their head back and place them on their side in the recovery position. It is important to tilt the head back as it moves the tongue out of the way.
  • If the person is not breathing, immediately commence rescue breaths and chest compressions with 30 pushes on their chest followed by two steady breaths into their mouth or nose, ensuring you have a suitable seal and have closed the other opening.
  • For children under 12 months old, seal your mouth around both their nose and mouth.
  • Continue this cycle of 30 chest compressions and two steady breaths until help arrives.
  • If you do not want to give mouth to mouth, hands only chest compressions should still be administered until help arrives as this is the most important way to get blood pumping and oxygen flowing to the brain.
  • A common mistake is to not administer compressions or breaths for fear of using the incorrect method, when in fact any effort is better than no effort at all.

To find out more basic life support. download a Red Cross first aid mobile app today through Google Play or the App Store. Always take a Red Cross first aid kit in the car or caravan and better still book into a Red Cross first aid training course for 2014.

Purchase a Red Cross first aid kit online, or to book your first aid training course for 2014 go online to  or call 1300 367 428. If you are going camping this holiday season, check out the Red Cross first aid camping tips for heading into the bush!