Leading article

We need to be careful in glorious weather

MOST of us have been enjoying the warm sunshine over the past few weeks and the good weather looks set to continue for some time to come.
We are not used to such weather on such a consistent basis and we are perhaps not always as tuned in to the dangers it can bring.
While it is not possible to definitely say that two deaths in rivers, one in Co Antrim last week and the other in Co Tyrone on Saturday, are related to the good weather there must be a chance that the victims would not have been on the rivers otherwise.
We should all be aware of the dangers related to enjoying pastimes in water, whether that be in the sea or in rivers or lakes, and we should all take every available safety precaution available.
There are other risks associated with such good weather and which we can all take precautions against.
For instance, there are two huge gorse fires affecting large parts of the English countryside. These infernos are taking the attention of many members of the emergency services, destroying vegetation over wide areas and endangering homes and the health of people living near them.
We are no strangers to such fires and it is essential that we are careful when enjoying the countryside in this glorious weather.
The use of barbecues can be particularly dangerous, so they should be disposed of properly and not left to burn themselves out, posing a danger of fire and injury to anyone who may walk on the remains.
As well as showing consideration for the countryside and for other members of the public using it, we should make sure that we take care of ourselves and any children we are responsible for.
At the most basic level this means making sure that we have adequate sunblock and all members of our party should we wearing some sort of headgear. Sunburn is a painful condition and can have even more serious consequences in the years to come.
It is also essential that to remember that it is not just when at the beach that we need to cover up from the sun. 
Everyday outdoor activities in these conditions put us at risk of sunburn. Walking or cycling to work and exercising pets are things which are done every single day. 
If the temperature is in the mid to high twenties then it makes little difference if we are at the beach or just yards from our front door.

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