Each June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month as a time to bring attention to key safety issues. Thousands of organizations across the country are taking part in the campaign to reduce the risk of the safety issues. Safety is a high priority for those of us at the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services. In fact, our motto, Be Safe, highlights the priority we put on safety.
Last week, our blog covered several safety issues, including ending prescription drug abuse; preventing slips, trips and falls; being aware of surroundings; and ending distracted driving. This week, we will continue our two-part series by focusing on summer safety. After all; it’s only fitting that we cover the all-important topic before the official start of summer on June 21 and while 4th of July plans are still in the making. I love Independence Day because I can pig out on barbecue without raising eyebrows.
BE SAFE in the Water
Unfortunately, water-related deaths (including swimming and water-transport) are all too common in the U.S.:
- More than one in five drowning victims are children 14-years-old and younger.
- For every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion-related injuries.
- Most drowning and near-drowning incidents happen when a child falls into a pool or is left alone in the bathtub.
- According to the CDC, 80 percent of the people who drown are males.
- Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
- Dogs don’t usually drown. We have a natural instinct to swim.
To prevent water-related injury or death, prepare:
- If you or anyone in your family does not know how to swim, enroll them in lessons immediately.
- If you own a hot tub or pool, install a fence with a locked gate or a pad-locked cover.
- Supervise children and puppies at all times.
BE SAFE in the Sun
The drawback about many fun summer activities is that they come at a price– UV exposure.
And that is detrimental because one in five Americans develops skin cancer during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, over time, excess UV radiation can cause skin cancer, eye damage, immune system suppression, and premature aging. Here are some steps to take to keep you sun safe:
- Wear sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher. Sunscreen gets stuck in my hair and makes a mess.
- If you have fair skin or light hair, you are more susceptible to the sun’s rays and should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.
- Choose sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum,” meaning that it protects against two types of harmful rays: UVA and UVB.
- Use waterproof sunscreen to make sure it stays on longer, even if you perspire or get wet.
- Reapply sunscreen often – usually every two hours, but sooner if you’ve been swimming or are perspiring heavily.
- Cover your whole body. Remember those areas that can be easy to forget, such as your ears, eyelids, lips, nose, hands, feet, and the top of your head.
- Seek shade or avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10am – 4pm. The sun is strongest during those hours, even on cloudy days.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to help shade your eyes, ears and head.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection to safeguard your eyes.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that protects a larger area of your skin such as long-sleeve shirts or long pants. Tightly woven fabrics in dark or bright colors are best.
BE SAFE in Hot Weather
Heat illness includes a range of disorders that result when your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. Anybody not accustomed to hot weather is at risk of suffering from heatstroke (the most serious and life-threatening heat-related illness) as well as heat exhaustion and heat cramps.
Heatstroke in vehicles has become an increasing issue for young children, causing 43 fatalities in 2013, according to Safe Kids. Children overheat three to five times faster than adults, making hot cars lethal in just minutes. Take a second to read more on this growing issue and protect your children.
BE SAFE around Fireworks
In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 8,600 people treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, 39 percent of whom were under 15 years of age
- Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. Even if the use of fireworks is legal in your community, fireworks are far too dangerous for amateurs. Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.
- After the firework display, don’ let children pick up fireworks that may be left over. They could still be active.
- Closely supervise children and teens if they are using fireworks.
- Do not ever allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
- If you absolutely must use fireworks, use them outdoors only and only if they are legal in your city.
- Keep water at the ready whenever you are shooting fireworks.
- Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
- Never mix alcohol and fireworks.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes, and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
- Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you! And that’s a bad thing!
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department
Over the next few months, while you are enjoying summer activities, whether they take you to the water or in the sun, #BeSummerSafe. When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.