Be Safe This Summer, Not Sorry
With temperatures soaring, kids out of school and outdoor activities increasing, being safe during the summer can be the last thing on your mind. However, enjoying the warm weather, and having fun outdoors can sometimes lead to accidents, injuries, and even death, if safety is not a priority. Let’s look at several outdoor activities and preventative measures to avoid the dangers associated with them.
Grilling and cooking outdoors:
- Check propane tanks for gas leaks, broken pipes, etc. and keep all harmful liquids such as lighter fluids out of reach.
- Heat can cause food products to spoil rapidly. To avoid food poisoning, bring coolers and extra ice to keep food chilled until ready to eat.
- Keep children away from hot grills and cooking areas. When having a picnic outdoors, cook at a grill further away from your picnic table (not next to it) so children cannot wander close to it. Set up a barrier around the grill to prevent children from getting close.
- At an outdoor picnic, drink beverages from a plastic cup that you can see into, rather than drinking directly from the can. Insects (such as bees and spiders) can enter soda cans and surprise you with a sting.
- Keep bug spray handy if you are in a wooded area.
- For outdoor events, hats, hydration and sunscreen are a must.
- Use sunscreen at least 30 minutes before the activity and remember to reapply.
- Wear loose, protective clothing and sunglasses at all times. SPF clothing (including hats) available at sporting goods stores is an ideal choice.
- Keep well hydrated, but not with sports drinks. Unless you are involved in an endurance event lasting two or more hours, sports drinks are not necessary for hydration. Sports drinks that are high in sugar are also not recommended for children. Water is the best choice.
- To avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal, stay out of the sun, especially during peak midday hours.
- The elderly and those with certain medical conditions are most at risk.
Swimming can be relaxing and enjoyable on a warm summer day, but it can sometimes become deadly. Several thousand deaths occur each year in pool related accidents—clearly something that can be prevented.
- If you have a home pool and small children, consider installing a fence with an alarm system around the pool.
- Supervise children at all times near the pool. Even adolescent children require supervision and instruction.
- Don’t allow running near the pool as this can lead to a fall.
- Jumping in the pool or diving should be closely monitored, as diving accidents can cause paralysis and can be fatal.
- Children should not ‘dunk’ each other in the pool or play ‘drowning’ games.
- Pool parties are popular with children. It’s always a good idea to hire a life guard for the duration of the party to supervise them closely.
- At public places, always swim where a life guard is watching.
- Special caution should be exercised at water parks with water slides.
- Unknown waters should be avoided as they can present hidden dangers.
- Pay attention to ‘no diving’ or ‘no swimming’ signs.
- Finally, do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol around the pool or at the lake.
- Remember, knowing how to swim will not necessarily prevent an accident.
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