Warmer weather in New York and New Jersey means more time outside and an increased risk of certain kinds of accidents. Though drowning, fireworks accidents and grilling burns are far more common in the summertime than at other times of the year, following a few simple tips can help you to stay injury-free throughout the coming months.
In the Water
Though most childhood drowning accidents happen in the bathtub, the risk of a swimming pool accident is understandably higher in summer time. The National Safety Council reports that 3,858 people drowned in one recent year and that more than one in five drowning victims are ages 14 and younger.
Reduce your risks of drowning accidents by:
- Enrolling your child in swimming lessons
- Never leaving children unattended in the water
- Wearing life jackets whenever on a boat or when in a pool if you don’t know how to swim
- Always taking care to balance pool chemicals correctly and store them out of view and reach when not in use
- Setting rules for your pool: No diving, running or horseplay.
By the Grill
Food and fire safety are both concerns when you cook on the grill. Always be cautious of using accelerants like lighter fluid and keep children away from the hot grill at all times to avoid serious burn injuries.
Most meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees, even though chicken needs to be cooked to 165 to kill all pathogens.
Also, avoid putting cooked meat back onto a platter where raw meat was sitting before. Wash hands and surfaces frequently with soapy water to avoid cross-contamination.
In the Heat
Heat-related illnesses can result in discomfort or even death. Avoid getting sick while in the sun by:
- Drinking plenty of water and eating throughout the day
- Finding shade whenever possible
- Taking breaks from sports and games to cool down
- Wearing cool, loose-fitting clothing
- Wearing sunscreen to avoid burns and prevent skin cancer.
In the Yard
Whether you are cutting the grass, gardening or watching the kids play, keeping your yard safe and everyone accident-free is simple with these tips:
- Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants when using lawn mowers and trimmers.
- Do not allow children younger than age 12 to use push-mowers or children younger than 16 to use riding mowers.
- Keep children out of the yard while the mower is running.
- Always check safety guards and shields to ensure the blade is protected.
- Cover sandboxes when not in use.
- Ensure swingsets and treehouses are safe and sturdy before the season begins.
- Remove leaf litter and brush to reduce insect, rodent and snake populations.
- If you suffer from allergies, wear a mask while doing yard work to minimize your reaction.
- Keep people off the grass after treating it with chemicals.
Fireworks can cause serious burns and injuries and are a common cause of summertime emergency room visits. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that some can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees or more.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a professionally run display. But if you insist on using fireworks at home, keep a bucket of water nearby and leave it to the adults.
On Bicycles, Skateboards and Skates
Children love riding around while on summer vacation. Whether they are on their bike or their skateboard, revisit the need for safety with your kids to keep them accident-free.
Provide them with a properly fitting helmet and other safety pads where appropriate.
Warn them of riding in the street and discuss what areas are off-limits for their riding. Depending on their age, you should also give your child a certain distance from home they are allowed to travel.
Summer is a time for fun and recreation. Keep it safe for the entire family.