Summer is the time of year when children and grown-ups alike enjoy being outside, soaking up the sun at a pool or the beach, playing outside until dark, and taking vacations. But some outdoor activities can be harmful and even deadly if you are not properly prepared.
- Never leave a child alone in the car. Never – even if the windows are cracked. Never – even if you’re running into a store for 10 seconds. Go the extra step and bring the child with you. If asked most everyone would say they know this tip, but every year when summer temperatures climb, there are tragic stories about a mother, father, or grandparent who accidentally left a child in the car and that child expired. The same goes for pets. In the first 10 minutes inside a car the temperature can rise 20 degrees and neither human nor pet can survive in extreme heat.
- Wearing a protective helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 80 percent. That’s a big reduction! Of course you need to wear it correctly for the proper protection. Ensure the helmet is buckled and once on the head is running parallel to the ground. Children and adults should wear helmets when riding a bike, roller-skating, skateboarding, and more.
- Never leave children unattended in or around water. All it takes is a second or two. Children can drown in an inch of water and drowning victims are not noisy. You may not hear anything. Which is why responsible adults should be watching at all times.
- When in or around water always wear a Coast Guard certified life jacket. Statistics show that 80+ percent of boating accident victims who died were not wearing a life jacket.
- High temperatures mean you need to stay hydrated. Not only to prevent you from getting heat stroke but also when you’re dehydrated your risk of injury increases dramatically because you make poor decisions.
- When the lawn mower is being used, keep children inside. That way objects flying out from under the mower won’t hit them. Some of these objects can reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour and that’s faster than a speeding bullet – seriously.
- Teach children not to dive head first into the water at the beach, a lake or pond. They should go feet first. Objects can hide just below the surface – rocks and other things that cannot be seen with the eye, but could injure the neck or spine when diving in.
- Don’t use electronic devices when you should be paying attention to your surroundings, whether crossing the street, walking along a busy roadway, or walking alone. Use a cross walk and ensure any oncoming drivers see you before you cross the street. Never assume that a driver sees you or is going to stop for you. Best to let them go first.
Summer is the time of year for fun in the sun and lots of outdoor activities. Enjoy your time outside. Be smart and stay safe.