As summer heats up, you are likely spending more time outdoors, by the water and on the road, so what better time to recognize National Safety Month? Read on for tips on preventing the most common injuries and accidents so you and your family can stay safe this summer and all year round.
No matter where you live, you are bound to experience some rising temperatures this summer. Heat stroke and dehydration are common during hot summer months, so follow these tips to prevent common heat-related illnesses:
- Stay hydrated. Doctors typically recommend drinking at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water each day. If you’re outside for an extended period of time or are exercising, you need to drink even more water. If you plan vigorous physical activity in the heat – like a pickup soccer game – you may even want to pack a sports drink that contains electrolytes and necessary nutrients to replenish your body after an intense workout. Avoid alcohol or caffeine.
- Seek shade. Avoid direct sunlight for extended periods of time when it’s hot out. If possible, take breaks in the shade to cool off and avoid excessive sun exposure.
- Wear sunscreen. Choose at least SPF 30, broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours or after swimming and sweating excessively.
The 4th of July is almost upon us and with barbeques and vacation time comes fireworks. While fireworks are a fun way to celebrate summer, they can also pose some major safety risks.
- Do not allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children may be allowed to assist with fireworks, but only under close supervision.
- Only use fireworks well away from your home, trees, flammable items and people.
- Do not attempt to reuse or relight fireworks that have malfunctioned. Pour water on them if this occurs.
- Keep a bucket of water on hand for any malfunctioning fireworks or to extinguish fireworks.
- Only ignite one firework at a time and never light fireworks while they are inside of a container.
Headed to the pool, lake or beach? Don’t let a fun day be ruined by a water-related accident.
- Know how to swim. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, consider taking a few swimming lessons to brush up on technique. If you are ever in a situation where your life depends on it, you’ll be glad you took the time to learn.
- Avoid horseplay around water. While we all want to have a good time this summer, avoid running, pushing or wrestling around the pool, lake or ocean.
- Don’t overdo it. If you are at the ocean and see that there are warnings for strong currents and riptides, do not go in the water that day. Stay close to the shore when swimming in the ocean. If you are at a lake, do not swim too far from shore or from your boat in case you get tired or cramp and cannot swim back to safety.
- Never drink excessive alcohol when you are near water or swimming. Alcohol significantly decreases your motor skills, reaction time and coordination, which is especially dangerous when you are near bodies of water. Drinking too much alcohol can dehydrate you as well.
- Never leave a child alone near the water, whether it’s the ocean or in a bathtub. Always be sure they are supervised. Never swim alone, even if you are a good swimmer.
- Do not jump into water if you aren’t familiar with it. It could be much shallower than you realize. If you are jumping into the water, jump feet-first.
- Use approved flotation devices (like a lifejacket) when riding in a boat or swimming (if needed).
Traveling this summer? Brush up on these safe driving tips!
- Avoid road rage. Whether you’re on a road trip with your family or on your daily commute, nothing is worth your safety. If someone upsets you while driving, avoid reacting. Keep your focus on the road and safe driving.
- Stick to the speed limit. While you may want to reach your destination in a timely fashion, it is most important that you arrive, period. Avoid speeding to reduce your chances of a traffic violation, as well as to keep yourself and fellow drivers safe.
- Do not text and drive. Cell phone use is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents, so put the phone away! If you absolutely must make a call, use speaker phone or a hands-free device. Never text and drive. Wait until you are pulled over in a safe location or have someone else in the car do it for you.
- Keep your car well-maintained. Regular oil changes and tire balance/rotations will keep your car in tip-top shape and help prevent more serious car problems.
Finally, no matter what your activity this summer, keep a first aid kit nearby (in your car, boat, beach bag, home, etc.) and if possible, take time to get CPR-certified.