Mike's Australia HTML version
12 Travel Hazards
You get used to where you live and know how to cope with its
problems. You become "street wise". When you move to another
environment, you meet different hazards. It's best not to learn by
experience. I'll confine my remarks to hazards that are peculiar to
Australia and similar countries.
Heat Exhaustion: The technical term is hyperthermia, which is often
confused with hypothermia. The first refers to the body having too much
heat. The other is the exact opposite. Here, I'm talking about too much
heat. The problem comes on quickly and can have serious consequences.
The symptoms are extreme weakness and lack of coordination. Avoid
hyperthermia by drinking plenty of water and staying cool. Treat it by cooling
the patient and giving drinks. Recovery is usually rapid. If it is not, seek
medical advice. Children have died of hyperthermia when left in cars. It is a
serious offence in Australia to leave a small child in a parked car.
Land animals (big): Local authorities don't put up warning signs for fun.
Signs cost money and are there for a purpose . I had a guest who thought a
sign showing a swimmer being chased by a crocodile was a tourism gimmick.
It wasn't. A few weeks earlier a family lost their dog to a croc while picnicking
at that very spot.
Land animals (medium): Australia is home to some of the world's most
venomous snakes yet most Australians rarely encounter one. I've never
seen a snake in my garden. I see them occasionally when bushwalking and I
see a lot when I go trout fishing . The Australian bush is full of snakes. Trout