Summer is here! So now is a good time to take a moment and consider summer safety in order to decrease injuries and increase fun!
Recreational Water Safety
Water offers the most common way to beat the heat, and swimming is one of the most popular ways to do so. From backyard pools to local lakes and beaches, there are many places to swim, play or relax; however, water can pose safety issues for families.
In addition to taking swimming lessons, learning CPR and maintaining a close watch on those in or around the water, particularly children and the elderly, keep these safety tips in mind.
- Swim in supervised areas. Do not go in the water unless you know how to swim. If you, your children or your elderly parents cannot swim, take swimming lessons beforehand or enter the water only where there is trained supervision.
- Stay calm in a rip current. Swimmers who get caught in a rip current are urged not to try to fight it. Stay calm and float with it or try to swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current and can swim freely.
- Keep rescue equipment nearby. Make sure there are life jackets, ring buoys, and other rescue equipment near the body of water. A first aid kit should be available, too.
- Swim in safe areas. Dive only in areas that are known to be safe, such as the deep end of a supervised pool or lake. Avoid jumping headfirst.
- Do not push, shove, dunk of indulge in horseplay around the swimming pool, because this can lead to falls, accidental injuries or even death.
- Avoid alcohol. Never drink alcohol before going into or being in the water. It can impair reflexes, vision and judgement.
Summer Pest Safety
Along with summer fun comes pesky mosquitoes. These warm weather pests also carry dangers such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and other mosquito-borne illnesses. To reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home, follow these basic tips:
- Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas. Remove or fill tree holes and stumps.
- Eliminate seepage. Seepage may accumulate near cisterns, cesspools and septic tanks.
- Eliminate standing water around the home. Check for trapped water in tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc.
- Check home improvement sites. Ensure proper backfilling and grading allows for drainage at construction and areas of home improvement.
- Use insect repellent. To prevent mosquito bites, use Environmental Protection Agency – register insect repellent with DEET and wear lightweight, long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
- Turn up the AC. Turn on air conditioning to deter mosquitos, which prefer warm, damp and dark spaces.
Tick bites are often harmless, in which case they don’t cause any noticeable symptoms. However, ticks can cause allergic reactions, and certain ticks can pass diseases onto humans and pets when they bite. These can be dangerous or even deadly. Be aware of potential symptoms of tick-borne diseases such as:
- A red spot or rash near the bite site
- Full body rash
- Neck stiffness
- Muscle or joint pain or aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you are bitten by a tick, you should seek medical attention in order to be evaluated for the potential need for treatment.