For many New Hampshire residents, summer is a highly anticipated time to enjoy fun in the sun with friends and family. However, the summer season poses a unique set of risks, from heat exhaustion and heat stroke to pool-related accidents and injuries. Keep the following safety tips in mind throughout the summer to ensure that in addition to fun, this season remains as safe and healthy as possible.
Pool Safety Tips
Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children under age 14, and that the majority of drownings involving 1 to 4-year-olds occur in home swimming pools? Although it’s an unsettling thought, it’s important to realize how quickly accidents can happen in and around a pool. Young children can drown in less than two inches of water, and these accidents can occur in just a matter of minutes. Review the following pool safety tips to help keep you, your loved ones, and your guests safe in your pool this summer:
- Install a fence around all sides of your pool that measures at least 4-feet tall.
- Your pool gates should also be high enough so that they are out of the reach of children. It’s best to have self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Never leave children unsupervised in or around your pool, even for a moment.
- Do not use “floaties” or other types of inflatable swimming aids as a substitute for certified life vests.
- Be sure to keep rescue equipment, namely a life preserver and a shepherd’s hook, along with a telephone, nearby your pool.
- Ideally, anyone who is supervising children poolside should be able to administer CPR.
- After everyone is out of the pool, remove all toys from the water to prevent children from being tempted to reach in to grab them. Be sure you’ve secured your pool so they cannot get back in.
How to Remain Safe in Extreme Heat
Sometimes there’s nothing like a day at the beach, but it’s important to prepare yourself for prolonged exposure to extreme heat to avoid heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To prevent these types of illnesses when you are exposed to high temperatures, prevention is your best defense. Use the following tips to stay cool and hydrated in extreme heat:
- Drink plenty of fluids, and don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink them. Regardless of your activity level, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Avoid liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine, and high amounts of sugar, as these types of beverages are dehydrating and can cause you to lose more body fluids.
- Plan your activities in the early morning or late afternoon/evening as opposed to the middle of the day during the sun’s peak hours.
- Dress appropriately for the heat. Wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Don’t push yourself. If you aren’t used to being outdoors in the heat, take breaks to cool off inside whenever necessary.
- Check regularly on infants, young children, elderly people, and those with mental or physical illnesses, especially those with high blood pressure or heart disease. Although everyone is vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, these types of people are at a greater risk than others.
Road Trip Safety Tips
For many people, summer isn’t complete without a family vacation, and if you plan on driving to your destination, review the following tips to help you plan a safe road trip:
- Before leaving, conduct a quick vehicle inspection – make sure your tires are properly inflated, the fluids are topped off, and everything under the hood is as it should be. Checking for any problems ahead of time can help you avoid issues from arising during your trip that could delay or ruin your vacation.
- Get plenty of rest. Drowsy driving can be nearly as dangerous as drunk driving, so it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep before you depart.
- If, despite being well rested, you feel yourself getting tired, pull over as soon as possible to take a break. Get out of the car to stretch and switch drivers if possible.
- Buckle up. In the event of an accident, the chances of surviving the crash and reducing injuries increases significantly if you and your passengers are wearing your seat belts.
- Never drink and drive.
From backyard barbecues and pool parties to beach days and annual vacations, summer can be one of the most fun times of the year, but it’s important to make sure you don’t allow safety precautions to get overlooked. Planning ahead and putting safety first will help you and your loved ones enjoy this season to its fullest.