Let’s celebrate National Safety Month and stay safe this summer with our safety tips
Summer’s the perfect time to head outside, be more active and enjoy the warm weather. But all those poolside barbecues, days spent by the pool or beach, family bike rides and other activities bring potential health hazards, too. Rosemarie Ennis, EMT, North Shore-LIJ’s Director of Community Health, shares important information about some of the biggest summer safety concerns:
Be Smart Around Water. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury in both children and adults so it’s crucial to know basic water safety rules.
- Always be on watch. With children, the key to preventing accidents is supervising them without distraction 100% of the time. Swim vests, floats and other products are no substitute for constant attention.
- Safeguard your pool. If you have a pool in your backyard, it needs to be properly fenced with a self-latching gate. Also consider installing a pool or gate alarm.
- Always use personal floatation devices when boating or doing other water sports.
- Never swim alone. This is a case where there’s safety in numbers: Even if you consider yourself an expert swimmer, don’t swim solo just in case something unexpected happens.
- Look before you leap. Check the water depth before diving into unknown water.
TIP: If you find yourself in deep water and are having trouble swimming, don’t panic. Instead tread water, raise a closed fist and yell for help.
Be Cool. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke don’t just happen on the football field. Studies show that even doing everyday activities like yard work can increase your risk for heat-related illnesses.
- Stay hydrated. Always drink plenty of water when you’re doing physical activities in hot temperatures. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty—that means you’re starting to become dehydrated.
- Take breaks. Seek out shade or air conditioning as much as possible.
- Never leave a child in a locked or unattended car for any amount of time. Children’s body temperatures rise three to five times faster than adults do, and the temperature inside a car can quickly reach dangerously high levels in a matter of minutes.
Ride Safely. Bicycle-related injuries are at a peak during the summer months.
- Always wear a helmet and make sure it fits you properly. It should fit snugly but not too tight.
- Follow the traffic rules. When riding on roads with cars, keep in mind that cyclists must obey the same traffic rules that cars do.
- Be visible. If you’ll be riding after dark, make sure you and your bike have reflective materials so cars can see you clearly.
- Warm up. If it’s your first time on a bike in many years—or even months—take a little time to practice before you head out on a busy street.