Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys know that summertime is a fun and exciting season for children, teenagers, and families. The weather is warmer, school’s out, and there are lots of activities that lie ahead for both kids and adults.
Unfortunately, some of these activities can become dangerous when negligence is a factor. Here are twenty ways to avoid summer’s most common accidents.
Anticipate Water-Related Accidents
In the summer, drownings are more common as more people participate in water-related activities. Accidents on water — including in swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans — can result in accidental drownings when proper precautions are not taken.
To avoid these tragic incidents, be sure children are wearing life jackets and are always supervised. Adults should never drink or do drugs and swim, as intoxication can reduce their ability to get to safety.
Beware of Heat-Related Illnesses
The summer months see an increase in heat exhaustion and heatstroke— particularly in areas with high temperatures and humidity. To combat the potential for heat-related illnesses, avoid prolonged exposure to extreme heat without proper hydration and cooling measures.
Protect Yourself from Sunburn and Heat Rash
No matter how much time you plan to spend in or out of the sun, everyone should apply sunscreen each time they plan to be outside — even when they are sitting in the shade, or on a cloudy day. The sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays can both directly and indirectly cause significant sunburn. In addition, wear loose, light-colored clothing to reduce sweating that can lead to clogged pores and ducts that can cause a painful heat rash.
Know Your Risk for Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
In the summer months, it seems that everyone is outside, walking, jogging, or riding their bikes. Look for protected paths to walk or ride along to help avoid collisions with vehicles that can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
Protect Yourself from Sports-Related Injuries
Summertime invites everyone to participate in recreational activities they may not enjoy the rest of the year, including hiking, skating, baseball, and soccer. Moving your body in unfamiliar ways can lead to sprains, strains, fractures, and other injuries. Be sure to stretch before you get started and listen to your body if it is telling you to take it easy or stop.
Anticipate Potential Grilling Accidents
There is one thing all barbecues have in common: The grill is hot. Be sure to wear gloves when adding or removing food, pans, or other cooking utensils from the heat to avoid severe burns. Always keep children away from grills, smokers, fires, and stoves, to avoid hot liquids, foods, or direct heat from causing life-changing burn injuries.
Hot temperatures and cooking can also lead to unexpected fires, so be sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. Be sure to grill in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, so everyone can safely enjoy the party.
Water Accidents Increase in the Summertime
Whether you are boating, kayaking, water skiing, or just enjoying the water from a raft, keep a safe distance from other vessels, be sure you can be seen by others on the water, and always wear a life jacket to avoid collisions, capsizing, or falls overboard that can cause significant injuries or drowning.
Maintain Medications to Counter Allergic Reactions
If you are allergic to stinging insects, like bees or wasps, or have an adverse reaction to certain plants, insects, or foods, be sure you have your EpiPen or another device handy everywhere you go.
Even if you are not allergic to anything that you know of, keep a topical treatment on hand to counter any potentially uncomfortable reactions to insect bites or plant encounters. Keep in mind, insect repellent can proactively keep you safe from unwanted bites or stings.
Keep a Sharp Eye on the Weather
Dangerous weather conditions can pop up out of nowhere, leaving boaters, road trippers, and other outdoor enthusiasts caught in the middle of storms, tornadoes, or even extreme heat that can be hazardous to their health. Check the forecast throughout the day to remain prepared.
Keep Your Home Secure
Open windows — even those with screens — can invite small children to see what’s outside, which can lead to falls from dangerous heights. Be sure to install window guards for any potentially dangerous opening and add gates to rooms where unsupervised kids could otherwise get hurt.
Practice Fire Safety
If you are grilling, enjoying a campfire, or using fireworks, always keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby. Never allow unsupervised children to handle fireworks or get close to a fire or grill.
Protect Your Electronics and Stay Connected
Be sure your cellphone is always charged by carrying a charger with you, even if you are only going to be gone for the day. Emergencies occur, and when they do, you will want to be prepared. Add any emergency phone numbers to your contacts and consider a waterproof case for outdoor activities where it could get wet.
Avoid Interacting with Wildlife
If you are hiking, camping, or simply enjoying the outdoors, stay away from wild animals and teach your kids that although they are fun to see and look at, they can be incredibly dangerous.
Keep a First Aid Kit at the Ready
No one expects to get hurt in their backyard or on a road trip. Unfortunately, it happens. Be prepared by maintaining a first aid kit and taking it along on trips. Make sure the first aid kit is readily available and includes important things like bandages, antiseptic solution, tweezers, and adhesive tape.
Remember: Hot Weather Makes Everything Hot
When the sun is beating down on your driveway, patio, car, or other surfaces you encounter, remember that they may be dangerously hot before you sit down, walk barefoot, or pick up an item. Remember that anything can become potentially dangerous from being exposed to the heat and sun, like playground equipment, lounge chairs, and even the seats of your car. Protect pets from the heat as well. Do not leave them unattended in hot vehicles.
Food Safety is Important
Whether you are at a barbecue, picnic, or cooking out at home, hot temperatures mean hot foods. Be sure to keep perishable foods out of the sun and in a cooler when not in use. Be sure all foods are handled properly by washing your hands and avoiding cross-contamination to prevent food poisoning.
Keep an Eye Out for Kids Everywhere You Go
Even if you do not have children of your own, summertime means more kids in driveways, sidewalks, and potentially in the road. They are also in shopping malls, restaurants, and at swimming pools and resorts. The smaller they are, the more unpredictable their movements, and the harder they are to see. Help keep them safe, especially if they wander away from their parents, by keeping an eye out for not just them, but potential hazards in their paths.
Never Operate a Vehicle or Vessel While Intoxicated
Summertime is synonymous with cookouts and parties, especially around the holidays, that can lead to alcohol consumption. Be sure to avoid circumstances where there is not a designated driver who oversees getting you home or taking you out on the water safely.
Watch Kids Where Alcohol is Available
When parties are in full swing, drinks, coolers, and makeshift bars are often unsupervised, which can mean kids — especially teenagers and young adults — can help themselves without being noticed by the adults. Impaired kids can make terrible decisions while their judgment is compromised, like taking long walks, riding their bikes, getting behind the wheel, or swimming unsupervised, which can cause serious injuries, or even cost someone their life.
Communicate Emergency Plans
Whether you are at home, on the road, or vacationing with friends or family, discuss and establish emergency plans, including meeting points, evacuation procedures, and emergency contact information, in case you get separated.
Contact Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys for Help Today
Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys always want safety to be your priority. However, you have no control over how other people or families spend their summers. If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of another person or party’s negligence in Texas, call our skilled personal injury attorneys in Austin at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.