Summer Safety TipsLast updated: Jun 30, 2016
Summit Medical Group wishes you a happy and healthy Fourth of July, and an enjoyable summer. But don’t forget that summer months come with special considerations for your health and safety. Our simple summer guide can help you avoid unnecessary injuries and risks.
- If you want to enjoy fireworks, attend a professional public fireworks display. Do not use fireworks on your own. Not only will you see a better show. Possession and/or use of all fireworks in NJ is against the law.
- Never pick up or touch fireworks that have fallen on the ground after the display. They contain toxic chemicals, and could even potentially be active.
- Closely supervise anyone using sparklers. Water boils at 212°F, cakes bake at 350°F, glass melts at 900°F. Sparklers burn at over 1200°F!
- Never use sparklers or other fireworks indoors.
- Always observe posted safety warnings, and only swim at beaches and lakes where lifeguards are present and on duty.
- Never dive into unfamiliar waters. Always enter feet first to determine water depth to avoid injuries to your head, neck, and spine. Such injuries can be severe, or even result in paralysis or death.
- Understand the three R’s of rip currents.
- Recognize: Rip currents often appear as a visible channel of churning, choppy water. You may also see line of sea foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward, different colored water beyond the surf zone, or a break in the incoming wave pattern as waves roll into the shore.
- Remember: Rip currents do not pull people underwater. Instead, they pull people away from the shore.
- Relax: If a rip current is pulling you away from shore, DON'T PANIC, and don't fight the current. You can exhaust yourself trying to swim against such a powerful force. Instead, float in the current and allow it to take you away from the beach. Calmly swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, and then swim towards shore.
- Avoid pools and spas with broken, missing, and out-of-date drain covers t: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater, especially a child. Never use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers. Be sure that your pool has updated anti-entrapment drain covers that are compliant with the Pool & Spa Safety Act.
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids (floaties), which can give you a false sense of security.
Fire and Barbecue Safety:
- Do not use a propane tank that is rusted, dented, or damaged.
- Check your grill for gas leaks and blockages that old food, grease, and insects can cause. Put soap suds on the gas connections to see if bubbles appear, highlighting a leak. If you have a leak, turn of the gas immediately.
- Use only a small amount of lighter fluid on coal grills.
- Soak coals in water before putting them in the trash to ensure they are no longer smoldering.
- Light gas grills with the lid open to prevent gas build up and an unexpected flash explosion that can cause serious injuries.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Follow food safety tips to avoid food-borne illnesses. The US FDA recommends never leaving food out more than 2 hours. If it is 90F or hotter outside, do not leave food out for more than 1 hour. Learn more about food safety here.
Travel Safety and Security:
- Never leave valuables unattended at the beach, in parks, or at major events, including leaving car keys hidden on the car. Offenders watch the movements of people in public places to pick their targets. Be obvious that you are alert and not alone.
- Do not post your holiday and vacation plans on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. Burglars sometimes use social networking sites to find victims.
- Do not leave ladders and tools outside your home. Doing so can trigger a burglar's impulse to break in.
- Do not leave your garage door open where burglars can see your belongings.
- Light the exterior (especially the sides and back) of your home to deter burglars.
- Alert your neighbors to watch your house when you are away. Ask them to collect your mail and newspapers every day.
- Lock all windows, including second-floor windows. Burglars often target homes where second floor windows are open.
- Be above road rage. Don’t instigate, don’t engage, and don’t escalate. Remember, whether you are the target of, or aggressor in, road rage, let it go. You never know who you may be dealing with. It’s just not worth it!