The late summer is a time to get all your fun summer activities in, such as vacationing, swimming, barbeques, or going to amusement parks. It is important to take into account possible safety hazards that might cause accidents, turning a fun summer day into a tragic one. The extreme heat present in August can prove dangerous, as can unprotected swimming pools, food borne illness in poorly prepared meats, and unsafe amusement park practices. There are a few safety tips everyone should know to ensure a fun and safe summer day.
Did you know that between 1996 and 2000, more than 120 children aged 3 or younger died from heatstroke in a locked car? In fact, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children, and on average every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle.
Always remove potential risk of heatstroke by using these tips:
- Never leave your child in an unattended car, even if the windows are down. A child’s core body temperature can increase 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s.
- Make sure all children leave the car at your destination; check for sleeping infants.
- Make sure the seat belt and seat surfaces are not too hot before buckling in your child to prevent burns.
- Use a windshield shade in front and back to cut down on heat.
- Keep the rear fold-down seats closed to prevent kids from getting into the trunk.
- If you child gets locked in a car, or you see another child locked in a hot locked car, remove them from the car and spray them with cold water. If you cannot get them out, call 911 immediately.
Going to an amusement park is another fun way to spend a summer day. When thinking about safety at an amusement park, it is important to know that most injuries occur because guests did not obey posted ride safety rules, or rode with a pre-existing medical condition.
Luckily, amusement park injuries can be easily avoided with these tips:
- Obey posted age, height, weight, and health restrictions.
- Observe and obey all posted ride safety rules.
- Keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times.
- Remain seated in the ride until it comes to a complete stop, and until you are instructed to exit.
- Follow all verbal instructions given by ride operators or provided by recorded announcements.
- Always use safety equipment provided and never attempt to wriggle free or loosen restraints.
- Parents with young children should make sure that their children can understand safe and appropriate ride behavior.
- Never force anyone, especially children, to ride attractions they don’t want to ride.
- If you see any unsafe behavior or condition on a ride, report it to a supervisor or manager immediately.
If you go swimming on a hot summer day, be sure to read up on current safety instructions. Drowning is a preventable form of injury, so educating yourself and being alert is the first defense.
Prevent safety hazards and drownings for children by employing these CSPC recommended tips:
- Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa
- Educate children about basic water safety tips
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
- Have a portable telephone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
- Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
Barbecuing is another popular summer activity. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the basics of handling meat and poultry and preventing foodborne illness. The FDA always recommends the following tips for handling and preparing meat:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep raw food separate from cooked food.
- Keep utensils and surfaces clean.
- Cook food thoroughly to avoid food borne illness; hamburgers should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, and chicken should reach 165 degrees.
- Food should not be kept off the grill or out of the cooler for more than 2 hours. Never leave food out for more than one hour when it is above 90 degrees outside.
- Hot food should be kept at above 140 degrees to prevent food borne illness. Cold food should be kept below 40 degrees.