It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, right? As the weather gets warm and the days stay light longer, it’s a fact that mishaps will happen more. Be SAFE out there this summertime!
- Car accidents: More teenagers are killed in motor-vehicle accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day than at any other time of year. If your teen is licensed, don’t let that carefree summer attitude spill into his or her driving habits. Review safe driving rules, don’t allow your teen to drive with too many passengers, and limit trips to only the essentials.
- Heat stroke: Being active or just spending too much time under the hot summer sun can cause your body to overheat, leading to a serious condition called heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke include confusion, headache, nausea, and vomiting. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to stay hydrated, take breaks, and wear loose fitting clothing to allow your body to cool properly.
- Water accidents: It’s not surprising that the rate of drowning and boating accidents spike in the summer. Don’t let kids play in the water unattended, and make sure young children and adults wear life jackets while boating or swimming in the lake or ocean.
- Bike crashes: Whether you’re riding a motor or manual, bike accidents can be dangerous and sometimes deadly. Always wear a helmet when riding bikes or motorcycles, and be sure that your kids wear them, too.
- Sunburns: A long day in the sun can cause burn injuries severe enough to warrant medical treatment, and also increases your risk of skin cancer. Stay safe by wearing adequate sunscreen and protective clothing, and hang out in the shade whenever possible.
- Food poisoning: Warmer weather combined with more opportunities for outside dining is a recipe for foodborne illness. Store meat, fish, and poultry separately from fresh and non-perishable foods. Keep all perishables at appropriate temperatures, and always use a meat thermometer when cooking outdoors. If there is any indication your food may be contaminated, don’t think twice: toss it.
- Playground mishaps: Playgrounds get more use in the summer months, and they also send many kids to the emergency room. Most playground injuries occur on public playground equipment, so make sure the playgrounds your children use are safe, and never let them use equipment unsupervised.
- Bug bites: Mosquitoes, bees, ticks and other insects are out in full force during the summer, increasing the chance of bites, stings, and allergic reactions. Always wear protective clothing when recreating outdoors, apply insect repellent and, if you’re allergic, keep antidote medicine close at hand.
- Fireworks: Fireworks injure thousands of people each year, and approximately one quarter of those are under the age of 15. In addition, the misuse of fireworks causes over 15,000 fires every year. Use fireworks carefully and responsibly, and always have a safety plan.
- Pet hazards: Don’t forget our furry friends. In summer, dogs and cats are at an increased risk for many of the same dangers as humans: ticks and bug bites, heat stroke, getting hit by a car, or being poisoned as the result of eating dangerous foods. Never leave your pet unattended or off leash, and make sure she is getting adequate food, water and care.