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6 Hidden Summer Safety Hazards and How to Beat Them!

May 27, 2016

We’re kicking off the summer season by highlighting six summer safety hazards that can easily be overlooked in the warmest and busiest time of the year. Ensure a memorable and safe summer season by applying these safety practices to your everyday activities.


 SUMMER

Playgrounds

Playgrounds offer kids fresh air, friends and exercise. You can make them a fun and safe for your kids by checking equipment for these potential hazards the next time you visit the neighborhood playground.

Hot Surfaces

Plastic and metal playground surfaces warm up rapidly in the afternoon sun, sometimes reaching temperatures as high as 120-150 degrees. Before allowing your children to run free, cautiously touch the surface of the equipment to ensure the temperature is not too hot for your child. Canopied/shaded playgrounds are another good option for avoiding deceptively hot playground surfaces.

Bacteria

All parents know that children can pick up more than their fair share of viruses and bacteria at public playgrounds. To prevent infections, seek playgrounds that have surface disinfecting wipe stations. If your neighborhood playground does not have this option, make certain that your children clean their hands with hand sanitizer immediately after playing. 

Insects

There’s nothing more exciting than spotting the summer’s very first lightning bug. It signals that summer has arrived, and it’s time to get out the bug-catching kits. However, there are some dangerous summer insects you should avoid. Although mosquitoes are a common summer sight, they can cause more harm than itchy bumps. Mosquitoes can spread different types of diseases and even transmit heartworms to dogs and cats. Always apply mosquito repellant before a day at the playground.

Be sure to steer clear of wasp nests as you and your children are out and about. Unlike honeybees, wasps do not lose their stinger after stinging you, allowing them to sting repeatedly. Some wasp species burrow into sandy areas, making a playground a prime location.

Sunburn

Have you ever suffered a sunburn even though you wore sunscreen? Unfortunately, sunscreen application mistakes are easy to commit and tough to spot. Check out these common culprits of sunburn slip-ups so you can make the most of your SPF and enjoy some fun in the sun the next time you’re enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Late to the Party

Sunscreen needs about 30 minutes to blend into your skin, so if you haven’t pre-applied upon your arrival at the beach, your skin will be absorbing rays for up to 30 minutes. The next time you have a day at the beach planned, apply your sunscreen before you leave the house.

Not Watching the Clock

At least one ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a shot glass) should be reapplied to your skin every two hours. If you are in the water or sweating heavily, you should reapply every time you wipe yourself down or dry yourself off. A sport or water-resistant sunscreen would be best suited to those that are physically active while in the sun.

Outdated Product

Did you know sunscreens have an expiration date? Over time, they lose their strength. When packing for the beach, look for the expiration date on your sunscreen bottle. If it has expired, you can pick up a new bottle before you get to the beach.

Mowing

The vision of a flawless, manicured lawn is one that many strive for during the summertime. Just don’t let curbside perfection get in the way of safety when it comes to mowing and trimming your lawn. Keep your eye out for these hazards.

Lawn Debris

Both the lawnmower operator and bystanders can become targets of flying rocks and sticks when the spinning mower blades hit them. To prevent mowing injuries, always be sure to wear closed-toe shoes (preferably steel-toe boots), sunglasses or safety goggles, ear plugs and long pants that cinch at the ankle.

Rider Risk

Although giving a quick ride while you bump along the lawn can seem like fun, remember that riding lawn mowers are one-person machines. Operate from the driver’s seat only, keeping both feet on the tractor at all times, and never carry any passengers—especially children. It is important to stress that lawnmowers are tools, not toys.

Bunny Holes

Rabbit mating season typically runs from March to September, and you may start to notice bunny holes popping up across your lawn. Many rabbits dig holes as a safe haven for their little ones.  However, nests often look like piles of messy grass, so they can be hard to spot until you’ve already run into one. Don’t risk walking into a bunny hole, and take a few minutes to examine your yard during the summer months.

Grilling

The sizzle of the grill is a sure sign of summertime, but you could be cooking up danger for your friends and family with outdoor grilling. Let’s take a look at a few hidden grilling hazards you’ll want to avoid.

Brush Bristles

Metal bristles from grill brushes can fall off and find their way into your meat. If ingested, the bristles can cause major health risks. To avoid this hidden hazard, use a sponge or a cloth to clean your grill.

Marinate Your Meat

By marinating your meat, fish, and poultry prior to cooking at high temperatures on the grill, you can reduce the amount of grill chemicals/pollutants that stick to your meat by up to 99 percent. In addition to keeping you safe from by-products, you will also benefit from a well-seasoned and tasty supper!

Propane and Gas Explosions

According to the National Fire Protection Association, gas grills were involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires in 2007-2011. Whether you’re grilling with propane or natural gas, it’s important to always follow the safety recommendations. Place the grill away from the home, deck railings and low-hanging branches. Before you start up the grill for the first time, make sure the connections to and from the propane tank hose are tight.  If you smell gas as you are cooking, turn off the gas tank and burners immediately and have the grill inspected.

Boating

Over 88 million Americans go boating every year in search of relaxing open waters, vitamin D exposure, and opportunities to swim with friends and engage in watersports. Before shoving off this summer, remind your passengers how to stay safe in the water.

Propellers

When entering or exiting the water, be mindful of the propeller. Its blades are sharp and spin fast! Passengers should never board or disembark the boat from the water when the engine is on or idling. If you are the driver, always walk to the stern of the boat before firing the engine to ensure no one is near your propeller. People near propellers may not be visible from the helm.

Inexperienced Swimmers

You don’t have to be a good swimmer to enjoy an afternoon on the boat. All boats are required to have enough U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets on board for every passenger. For maximum safety, each life jacket should be properly fitted to the intended wearer, in good and serviceable condition and properly stowed/readily accessible. Additionally, when a vessel is underway with children under age 13 aboard, those children must be wearing a life jacket at all times unless they are below the deck or in an enclosed cabin.

Being Stranded

Getting stranded in the open water is something you never think will happen to you, until it does. Always be prepared from the start. If you’re using a motor boat, keep a pair of paddles with you at all times. If you’re boating alone, tell someone where you are going and have a way to communicate with the mainland should you become stranded.

Think you’re the safest boater around? Take our quiz and test your boating safety IQ!

Fireworks

Are you one of the many who look forward to an elaborate and flashy fireworks show to top off your 4th of July holiday? We are, too! It’s important to remember that although the clearest danger associated with fireworks lies in the hands of the user, danger can also lie in the chest-rattling “boom.”

Self-launched Displays

A few fun blasts can be a great way to cap off your backyard barbeque, but do-it-yourself displays are not without risk. If you’re planning to set off your own fireworks display, ensure that you are doing it the right way. Read the instructions carefully, supervise children and pets closely so that neither are anywhere near the fireworks, keep a bucket of water close by for emergencies and never set off fireworks while intoxicated.

Deafening Booms

The closer you are to the fireworks display, the higher your risk of damaging your hearing. Decrease your risk of suffering adverse effects as a result of fireworks this 4th of July by distancing yourself from the display launch and wearing ear plugs during the fireworks show.

Hot debris left on the ground

The debris from fireworks is often hot, and at times, it could actually still be live and explode. Stay away until you’ve given the debris time to cool off. Since most fireworks injuries happen to the arms, hands and fingers, it can be easy to overlook the danger to your feet. Always wear the appropriate closed-toe shoes to protect your feet should you step on any hot debris.

Summer brings with it the promise of fun, family, friends (and fireworks). Keeping these simple tips in mind will help you keep everyone safe and happy. 

If you will be traveling this summer, be sure to keep your home safe by completing these 8 things before you leave!

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-berks/Local/a-hidden-danger-in-outdoor-grilling/26175764
http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Health-Benefits-Marinating-Meat-How-Do-Safely-3181456
https://www.uahealth.com/article/beware-burn-dangers-playground-equipment
https://americanboating.org/safety.asp
http://www.uscgboating.org/images/howtochoosetherightlifejacket_brochure.pdf
http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/sunscreen-common-mistakes/
https://newgenerationhearing.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/hearing-loss-the-hidden-danger-of-fireworks/
http://hvparent.com/playground-germs
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http://svhealthcare.org/newsreleases/2012/06/cutting_the_lawn_dont_become_an_injury_statistic/