10 Tips for Summer Safety in Texas June 17th, 2014
Who doesn’t love summer? With its longer days, flip-flop weather, and no need to help with your kids’ math homework after a long day at work, there seems to be a lot more opportunity to get outdoors and have fun.
Unfortunately, being more active does have its risks. But rather than sit inside on the couch, just follow these ten summer safety tips to help you prepare for warm weather fun. With the right precautions, you can have a great time and keep yourself and your family safe.
1. Swim Safely
Drowning is one of the main dangers of summer, for both children and adults. If you are going swimming, make sure everyone uses the buddy system. With a big group, a pool full of people is hard to monitor. The buddy system assigns everyone only one other person to keep an eye on, making it easier to notice if someone has gone under. If anyone in your family doesn’t know how to swim, sign them up for lessons.
2. Use Sun Protection
Repeated sunburn can cause cancer after long-term exposure, but even in small doses, it’s dangerous. Aside from extreme pain, sun poisoning can cause headaches, fever, nausea, and dizziness. Make sure you and your family use sunscreen every day. Try leaving a bottle near the door you exit from most often; maybe a bathroom near the kitchen or a laundry room. You’ll feel more comfortable at the end of the day, and you’ll maintain healthy, smooth skin as you age.
3. Prep for Injury Prevention
Everyone falls down once in awhile, but you can limit serious injuries by preparing early in the season. As soon as you’re ready to ride, make sure your family’s bicycle helmets all fit properly. If you’re cutting the grass, wear goggles to prevent debris from striking you in the eye. (If you aren’t going to wear goggles, at least wear full-coverage sunglasses. They aren’t perfect, but they’re something!) Also check your yard for any wear and tear that occurred over the winter. Confirm the safety and sturdiness of play equipment like swing sets, and check your fence for sharp points or nails sticking out.
4. Don’t Play With Fire
Summer is grilling season, so be sure to clean your barbecue pit properly and review the operating instructions for your grill. Set up your barbeque station with some distance from the house or any flammable materials. On the Fourth of July, keep fireworks safety and regulations in mind. Read up on the state-wide rules, but also check to see if your particular county has additional restrictions. And as always, be sure your home has fully-functioning smoke detection equipment and monitoring in place.
5. Avoid Insects
If you plan on spending time outdoors, it never hurts to spritz a little bug spray on yourself and your kids beforehand. Choose an insect repellant with DEET to keep away the most dangerous bugs. This will not only keep you itch-free, but you’ll protect yourself against illnesses that spread through mosquito or tick bites, like the West Nile virus and Lyme disease. If your home is due, call a pest control company to treat your house to avoid Texas pests like scorpions and spiders.
6. Update Shots
A little scratch you get from climbing out of a fishing boat or stepping barefoot on a rusty screw in the backyard can quickly turn from a small sharp pain into a serious infection. Check with your family pediatrician to find out if your kids are up-to-date with their DTaP vaccine series. Adults should get tetanus boosters every ten years, so check with your doctor to see if the grown-ups in your family are due.
7. Protect Your Pets
Even when the weather is just a little warm, never leave your dog inside a closed car. Just because it feels comfortable to you doesn’t mean a dog can tolerate the temperature, as they’re unable to sweat and moderate their body heat as easily as humans. If you let your dog run around outside during the day, be sure the water dish is full at all times. And don’t limit your dogs’ space to hard surfaces only. Concrete and asphalt can heat up and burn an animal’s paws. So make sure they have access to some cool grass. It’s best to leave your dog indoors while you’re not home, and you can keep an eye on them from anywhere with streaming video.
8. Monitor Vegetation
Periodically throughout the summer, check your yard for poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac. About 120 Americans have an allergy to these plants, and 15 percent of those people have extremely adverse reactions. If you find these plants in your yard, you can kill them with glyphosate, which can be found in the herbicide section of most home and garden stores.
9. Plan Safe Rides
When the kids are out of school, it can be hard to keep up with playdates and who is going where and when. Try to keep a schedule of rides for planned activities in plain sight in your home, and set reminders on your phone if necessary. Also have your kids memorize your phone number in case they ever end up stranded and need a ride. Adults should also keep safe rides in mind. Pick a designated driver for parties and barbecues, or download a ride-calling app to your phone like Uber so you can always get home safely.
10. Stay Cool & Hydrated
The summer heat itself can be a risk, too. Hundreds of people die every year from exposure to extreme heat. If you’re going to be outside, make sure you have access to shade and bring along plenty of water. Take extra precautions for family or friends with cardiovascular disease, and have an immediately available way to get these folks to a cool place if they begin showing signs of distress.
Having fun this summer shouldn’t be interrupted by medical emergencies or injury recovery. With the right precautions, you and your family can actively enjoy the outdoors together. For more information on making your home safe inside and out contact Fortress Security.