Outdoor Safety

The weather in England is usually mild, but you need to take extra care in rain, sun, and freezing temperatures.
A silhouette of a cyclist against a sunset


Some parts of Oxfordshire flood in wet weather. This causes inconvenience and damage, but can also be dangerous:

  • Unexpected floods or currents can knock you off your feet or bicycle.
  • Floods hide the edges of waterways, so you can accidentally enter deep water or stray off paths.
  • Flood water is dirty and murky, covering obstacles and dangers like storm drains

Take Action: Learn about river and waterway safety.

Freezing weather

When ice forms on canals, rivers and lakes it can be tempting, but it’s rarely thick enough to walk across. Don’t risk falling in, stay away from the edge of the ice. If someone falls in: don’t follow them onto the ice, call emergency services (999), and only help from land. If you walk a dog, make sure to keep it on a lead so they don’t stray onto the ice.

Snow and ice can bring hazards of slides and slips. Take extra care when you’re walking and wear grippy shoes.  If you bike or drive, move slowly and allow extra time for braking.

When you go sledging, choose a safe location with no hazards and enough coasting distance at the bottom.

Crucial: Cold and wet? You may feel fine, but still need to get warm and dry as soon as possible, especially if you are ill, hungry, thirsty, tired, or have been drinking or taking drugs. Hypothermia is extremely dangerous.

Be Sun Smart

Sunburn damages your skin and can lead to cancer, even when you’re young. Take care now to protect yourself from the sun.

  • Know your skin type. Dark, pale or somewhere in the middle –find about skin type and the UV index.
  • Use sunscreen, and use it properly! Choose the SPF you need and reapply often.
  • Wear sunglasses. They look cool, and they protect your eyes.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Try to avoid the sun from 11am-3pm. Seek shade to protect yourself.

Crucial: If you’re travelling abroad the UV index could be higher. Take extra care to avoid too much sun exposure.

The Teenage Cancer Trust has produced this video about skin cancer and sun safety.

What should I do if I get sunburn?

Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation caused by sunburn. Sponge sore skin with cool water, then apply soothing after-sun or calamine lotion. Seek medical help if you feel unwell or the skin swells badly or blisters. Stay out of the sun until all signs of redness have gone.

Find out more

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