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Summer is typically synonymous with fun in the sun, backyard grilling and travel. But the warmer months are also prime time for hurricanes, thunderstorms, wildfires and other deadly natural disasters. Combine that with potentially dangerous outdoor activities, increased road traffic and drunk drivers, and you have many more opportunities for accidents. Luckily, our summer guide to safety is here to help you have a happy, healthy season for the whole family.
- Bicycle Safety
- Boat Safety
- Fireworks Safety
- Heat Exhaustion & Stroke
- Playground Safety
- Swimming Safety
- Be Prepared For Adverse Weather
You should wear a helmet at all times while riding a bike. This is true whether you’re going around the block or your kid is practicing in the driveway. Brain damage, or worse, death, is not worth the risk for a little unprotected fun on two wheels.
Tip: In addition to wearing a helmet, you should ensure it’s fitted properly. Tighten the chin strap, eliminating any wiggle room when you shake your head.
Obey all bike laws in your area, including utilizing bike lanes, heeding traffic signals and sharing the road responsibly.
When taking your bike to public spaces or keeping it stored outside, make sure to lock it up. A u-shaped lock inserted through the frame and front tire and a cable lock or chain wrapped around the u-lock and the back tire ensures all parts won’t walk (or ride) off. We recommend this lock from Kryptonite. Its steel is strong enough to hold up to bolt cutters and, if you lose your key, they’ll send you a new one. Plus, it comes with an anti-theft protection guarantee, reimbursing you for losses up to $1,750. That’s a steal for the small investment (no pun intended).
Boats, just like cars or any heavy machinery, should never be operated while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. So always designate a captain who is of age and can be in charge of steering the ship safely.
It’s not just a motorboat that presents a risk. A sailboat or rowboat could injure or kill someone if it were to crash into a swimmer or tip over due to the sheer weight of the boat.
Always wear life jackets on board, and if you take your boat out at night, make sure the lights are working. You can get a ticket or be arrested for not following the laws of the water.
Sunscreen is a must anytime you are outdoors to keep your skin protected from harmful ultraviolet rays.
July is Fireworks Safety Month and for a good reason. There were over 9,100 fireworks-related injuries in the United States in 2018, resulting in five deaths. More than half of the injuries are to Americans less than 20 years old, and 64% of those injured are males. Burns account for 44% of all accidents, mostly to the hands.1
Here are some tips for how to safely celebrate America’s independence:
- Only use fireworks if they are legal in your area and be mindful of dates and times when they are allowed.
- Never let children play with or handle fireworks of any kind and supervise teenagers closely.
- Do not set off fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, when indoors or close to people or structures.
- Wear protective eye gear and only light fireworks on a non-combustible surface (not in your hand). Stay clear of the explosion and ensure it points away from anything it could harm.
- Sparklers are hot enough to melt metal and can cause burns. Consider using safer alternatives, including confetti, glow sticks or streamers.
Heat Exhaustion And Stroke
Extreme heat and prolonged exposure to the sun can be deadly. Stay hydrated to mitigate the risk of overheating, especially when your system is working extra hard to sweat and cool down from exercise.
If you feel light-headed, sit down and use a cold towel on your neck or forehead. If you experience intense dizziness, it could be a sign of something more serious, so seek medical attention immediately. Never leave pets or infants in a hot car and be sure to help older people into shaded outdoor areas.
Swings and playsets offer a family-friendly activity. Our sister site, Exploring Life’s Mysteries, features our recommended swing sets and other backyard activities to bring outdoor amusement to your home.
Be sure to install the play equipment on a level grass, gravel or dirt surface. Falls or tumbles won’t hurt as much, and you reduce the chance of a tip over. On that note, use stakes or weighted reinforcements to secure the set to the ground, especially if heavier children use it.
Drowning can happen in a matter of seconds. One moment you are having a great time splashing around, and you turn your eye away for a blink, and it’s too late. Don’t let children swim unsupervised for any reason and pay close attention while they’re playing in the pool. If no lifeguard is on duty, find an adult who can physically assist in an emergency and have a rescue device (e.g., life ring or buoy) within arms reach. Even if kids are strong enough to stay afloat, water wings, arm floats or life vests may be a good safety measure.
While many of the above hazard precautions are within our control (for the most part), natural disasters are not. Thunderstorms, wildfires and more can come out of nowhere and wreak havoc in their path.
It’s incredibly important to educate yourself on the possible weather conditions in your area. You should also have the necessary tools on hand and know what actions to take. Lucky for you, we’ve put together in-depth guides on how to prepare for hurricanes, lightning safety tips and ways to stay safe before and during a tornado.
Above all, have fun, but be careful, so your summer lovin’ doesn’t have a tragic ending.
What’s your top summer safety tip?
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