summer safety tips
Everyone is at risk any time the heat rises above 90 degrees, but the elderly and very young are most susceptible to heat-related illness.
Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury or even death if not treated. Signs include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headache.
Move the injured person into a cool place, give cool water to drink and place ice packs or cool moist towels to the skin. If water cannot be tolerated, vomiting or unconsciousness occurs, call 911 immediately.
Safety tips include:
- Dress for the heat - Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Drink plenty of water - Carry water or juice with you and drink continually even when you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity - If needed, plan these events in the morning or evenings and avoid the hottest part of the day.
- Check on elderly family and neighbors - Make sure the elderly and those without air conditioning have a proper area to cool down.
- Never leave children or pets unattended in a motor vehicle - The temperature inside a car can get dangerously hot, even in moderate weather with the windows slightly down. Children and animals can quickly become overcome by the heat.
Watch for Burn Hazards
Summer usually marks an increase in EMS calls and emergency room visits for burns. These usually occur because of carelessness around barbeque grills, campfires and from playing with fireworks.
- Never let children play around the source of heat - Many grills can easily be tipped over.
Beware of Storms and Lightening
Many people are injured each summer because of quickly forming thunderstorms.
- Seek shelter immediately - Inside is the safest place during a storm.
- Crouch low if trapped outside - Avoid huddling together in a group.
Taking the time to properly prepare for outdoor activities can greatly reduce the chance of accident or injuries this summer.
Gutzius, Pete. "Have a Safe Summer by Following These Tips." The Times 29 May 2011
(For more about thunderstorm safety, visit the Lowell PD's weather safety page by clicking here.)
Use Precautions Around Water
Drowning continues to be a leading cause of death in children. Most of these tragedies are avoidable with simple precautions.
- Never leave children unattended around water.
- Always have adult supervision of young swimmers - Do not rely on other children to have the knowledge or composure for a rescue situation.
- Check gates, fences and locks around the pool - Fix or replace any defective gates that don't secure.
- Teach children to swim at an early age - There are many great swim classes given by local park districts.
- Make sure the entire family has been properly taught to swim through a certified water-safety program.
- Only swim in areas designated specifically for swimming with designated lifeguards.
- Swim during day light hours when the weather is nice.
- Always have a swimming buddy.
- Read the rules at swimming locations and follow them.
- Know how to swim because personal floatation devices aren't foolproof. Keep one handy but make sure it is approved by the US Coast Guard.
- Check water conditions before you get in the water. If it isn't safe to swim, don't go in.
- Always know the depth of the water you're swimming in; especially if you're diving.
- Go down water slides on your back, feet first, instead of your stomach.
- Know your own personal limits and stay within in.
- Watch for children and adults who have had too much sun, are tired, are cold, had too much strenuous activity, or are far from safety.