Summer Safety Tips
08/09/2002

Summer is a time for vacations, barbecues and outdoor fun, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns summer is also the time of year that people are most likely to be injured. More than 3.7 million consumers went to hospital emergency rooms with product-related injuries in June, July and August of last year.

Follow these safety tips for a fun and safe summer:

Bicycle Safety: Know the rules of the road and do not allow children to ride their bicycles without adult supervision. Wear properly fitting helmets and riding gear.

Boating: Avoid drinking alcohol while operating or riding on a boat. Wear a life jacket and give swimmers, skiers and divers plenty of distance. Check the weather forecast before beginning any boating activities.

Grilling: Make sure the grill is clear of all siding and eaves and always supervise the grill when in use. Keep children and pets away from the grill. If you use a gas grill, make sure the hose connection is tight, carefully check hoses for leaks and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Heat Illnesses: Help avoid heat illnesses by drinking plenty of fluids, taking breaks to cool off and scheduling outdoor activities for the coolest part of the day.

Insect Bites/Stings: Clean the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress to the area for a few hours. Most insect bites do not require a trip to the doctor, but if you experience symptoms in an area other than the site of the sting, such as a high heart rate, wheezing or vomiting, see a doctor immediately.

Lightning: Take cover in an enclosed building and stay away from trees and water. Avoid leaning against cars and metal such as golf clubs and fishing rods. If you are with someone who is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1, move the victim to a safe area and cover him or her with a blanket until paramedics arrive.

Poison Ivy: Cleanse the skin with generous amounts of rubbing alcohol and wash the skin with water. Take a regular shower with soap and warm water. Wipe off any clothing, shoes or tools that may have been exposed to the poison ivy with rubbing alcohol and water. If you plan to go hiking, or will be working near poison ivy, protect yourself by wearing pants and long sleeves if possible.

Skin Cancer: Protect yourself by avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and use a sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. Wear sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat and sun protective clothing, and avoid tanning salons.

Swimming: Never swim beyond a lifeguard’s field of vision; do not participate in water activities alone and never allow children to swim unsupervised. Always keep safety equipment such as a pole, rope and personal floatation device near the pool.