For many of us the Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer activities, which means more time outside enjoying all sorts of activities. Here are some safety tips that we put together to help you stay safe this summer.
Beat the Heat
Did you know your body is constantly struggling to disperse the heat it produces? Most of the time, you’re hardly aware of it – unless your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Whether you’re working or playing outside this summer, anybody not accustomed to the heat is at risk for a heat-related illness.
Take steps to protect yourself:
- Wear appropriate clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat
- Take frequent water breaks
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
- Never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle
When we think of water safety, we often think of the potential for young children to drown. But drowning also is a concern for teens and young adults. While drowning is more common for children 5 and younger, it’s the second leading cause of death for people age 5-24. According to National Safety Council data, 737 people age 5 to 24 drowned in 2014.
Swimmers should keep a few safety precautions in mind:
- Don’t go in the water unless you know how to swim; swim lessons are available for all ages
- Never swim alone
- Learn CPR and rescue techniques
- Make sure the body of water matches your skill level; swimming in a pool is much different than swimming in a lake or river, where more strength is needed to handle currents
- If you do get caught in a current, don’t try to fight it; stay calm and float with it, or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free
- Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
- Don’t push or jump on others
- Don’t dive in unfamiliar areas
- Never drink alcohol when swimming; alcohol is involved in about half of all male teen drownings, according to www.KidsHealth.org
Bicycling is one of the best ways to stay in shape, see the sights, save money on gas and reduce pollution. The benefits are well-known to cycling enthusiasts and local leaders nationwide who have created bike-friendly communities, complete with paths, special bicycle parking areas and other conveniences.
Use Your Head, Protect Your Noggin
Cyclists who wear a helmet reduce their risk of head injury by an estimated 60% and brain injury by 58%. That statistic makes sense when you consider the first body part to fly forward in a collision is usually the head, and with nothing but skin and bone to protect the brain, the results can be fatal. Your helmets must meet federal safety standards and should fit securely.
Follow These Rules to Keep Safe
- Get acquainted with traffic laws; cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists
- Ride single-file in the direction of traffic, and watch for opening car doors and other hazards
- Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
- Never hitch onto cars
- Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder
- Wear bright clothing and ride during the day
- If night riding can’t be avoided, wear reflective clothing
- Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
- A horn or bell and a rear-view mirror, as well as a bright headlight, also is recommend
For more summer safety tips, visit the National Safety Council website where we gathered this information for you.