Staying summer-safe requires awareness, planning

| July 9, 2015 | 0 Comments


Summer is a great time for children to enjoy different outdoor activities and explore, but experts say parents should be vigilant about ensuring kids’ safety from pests, bugs and poisonous vegetation.

Summer is a great time for children to enjoy different outdoor activities and explore, but experts say parents should be vigilant about ensuring kids’ safety from pests, bugs and poisonous vegetation.



Story and photos by
Jo Anita Miley
Army News Service
The Army’s “101 Days of Critical Summer” campaign is well-underway, and everyone needs to think about safety while enjoying all summer activities, such as taking a road trip, grilling out in the backyard, enjoying a day at the beach or visiting a local park.

With warmer weather here and travel and outdoor activities expected to increase over the summer, it’s important to place a heavier emphasis on summer safety and risk management, said Victor Taylor, chief of safety at the Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama.

“It’s that time of year again. School is out, and everyone wants to take advantage of the great weather and fun summer activities,” Taylor said. “For instance, Fourth of July is one of the biggest events of the summer, but celebrating it can bring an increase in injuries. In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires.”

B3_ARNEWS_Critical_Days_of_Summer_001“Summer is officially here,” said Will Eggleston, a safety engineer in the Safety Office. “We all love the hot summer months, because they provide the perfect opportunity to spend lots of time outside. Whether it’s swimming in the pool, hiking through the woods, enjoying fireworks displays or going for a bike ride, there is something for everyone, no matter how young or old. We hope everyone enjoys this time of year, but we want to also remind our workforce there are potential dangers during the summer months.

“It’s important to be aware of what they are,” Eggleston added. “The more information an individual learns about how to prevent illnesses and injuries, the less likely they will occur.”
Taylor and Eggleston said, although there are many areas to cover when it comes to summer safety, their team wants to review just a few to help employees avoid common off-duty hazards.

B3_ARNEWS_Critical_Days_of_Summer_003Driving safety
•Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol is the leading cause of fatal Army personal vehicle accidents. Also, impaired judgment leads to poor vision and delayed reaction time.
•Buckle it; it’s the law. Make sure all parties in your vehicle wear seat belts. Use age-appropriate child safety seats.
•Beware of distracted driving. Don’t text and drive and don’t multitask when you’re behind the wheel.

Chain saw safety
•Wear proper personal protection equipment (gloves, helmet, safety glasses, boots and long-sleeved tops and long pants).
•Follow manufacturer’s safety requirements for maintenance and operation of equipment. •Know your surroundings (slips, trips, falls and directional landing area).

Lawn mower safety  
•Store fuel containers and lawn equipment separately in appropriate containers.
•Wear proper personal protection equipment (safety glasses, ear protection and closed-toe shoes).
•Follow proper manufacturer’s safety requirements for maintenance and operation of equipment.

Bicycle safety  
•Wear protective clothing (helmet, reflectors, knee/ elbow pads, closed-toe shoes).
•Know the proper signal requirements for operating bicycles on public roadways.
•Make sure children from toddler to age 12 are being supervised at all times.

Swimming/boating safety
•Ensure everyone in your party uses life jackets when around water.
•Know your limits when it comes to water. Never swim alone; use the buddy system.
•Don’t drink and boat drive.

Fireworks safety  
•Never allow children to use fireworks without adult supervision.
•Have necessary safety equipment (fire extinguisher, water and solvents) on hand when using fireworks.
•Follow state and manufacturer’s instructions when using fireworks.

Motorcycle safety
•Don’t drink and drive.
•Wear proper personal protective equipment (helmet, gloves, jacket, long shirt and pants, and helmet with shield).
•Know the proper signal requirements for operating a motorcycle on public roadways.

Heat-related injuries  
•Wear appropriate clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and apply sunscreen with an SPC of at least 15.
•Take frequent water breaks.
•Never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle.

Taylor said his team can’t stress enough the importance of being able to recognize heat-related illnesses during the summer.
Whether an individual is working or playing outside in the summer, anyone not accustomed to the heat is at risk for heat-related illness. This is especially true for young children and the elderly.

Eggleston said he also recommends accident prevention and risk management be discussed when planning leisure activities, whether at work, school or on vacation.

“Always be conscious of your surroundings and protect yourself. If you have to think about whether an act is safe or not, it probably isn’t,” Eggleston said. “We want to make sure the 100 Critical Days of Summer are calm and uneventful in regard to having any safety issues.”
“We want everyone to use this important safety advice to help them have an incident-free summer,” Taylor said. “We want everyone to share this with family and friends, too. Our main priority is to keep everyone safe.”

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Category: Community, Health, Safety

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