SUMMER SAFETY TIPS: HEAT, WATER, GRILLING, & DRIVING

by Eric James Ratinoff on Aug. 10, 2018

 General Practice 

Summary: It’s hot outside, the grill is heating up, and kids are out of school, which means summer is in full swing! Whether you plan on traveling or staying home, here are some tips to keep you safe.

It’s hot outside, the grill is heating up, and kids are out of school, which means summer is in full swing!

Whether you plan on traveling or staying home, here are some tips to keep you safe.

HEAT SAFETY

In the U.S. there are over 400 fatalities that occur every year as a result of heat stroke or high temperatures, according to the Fire Department page provided by the City of Sacramento. Be aware of the symptoms and seek medical care for signs of heat-related illness.

Look out for:

  • Heat cramps- muscle spasms/cramps, sweating heavily
  • Heat exhaustion- nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness, irritability, clammy skin and excessive sweating
  • Heat stroke- high body temperature, loss of consciousness, no sweating, shallow breathing and a pulse that is strong and fast.

Also, consider the Fire Department’s safety tips:

  • Apply sunscreen and wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
  • Use an umbrella or a hat to stay in the shade.
  • Save strenuous activities for the cooler parts of the day.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
  • When temperatures are high, avoid carbonated beverages, drinks with caffeine, and alcohol, as these can lead to dehydration.
  • Cars overheat quickly, never leave children or animals alone inside them.
  • Don’t have A/C? Cool down at a local library, indoor mall, or movie theater.
  • Use a tabletop grill or crockpot instead of the stove or oven.

WATER SAFETY

  • Every adult and child should wear a life vest. Some local fire stations will even let you borrow them for free! Here’s the link to which stations provide them, found on the City of Sacramento’s website.
  • Designate someone to watch children who are in or near the water.
  • Empty ice chests and inflatable pools when finished with them.
  • Always have another person with you.
  • Keep out of the water after consuming alcohol.

GRILLING SAFETY

Cooking meals outdoors are definitely more appealing than heating up the house, but before you go dusting off the BBQ, check out these pointers from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Put the grill in a safe area outdoors with enough distance between it and the home.
  • Always stay near the grill while it’s on.
  • Children and pets should steer clear.
  • Check a propane grill for leaks.
  • If using a charcoal grill and starter fluid to light it, the starter fluid should be specifically for charcoal.
  • Wait for the temperature of the coals to drop before disposing of.

DRIVING SAFETY

Accident related deaths increase in the summer months. August was the second highest deadliest month in 2016 with September, June, and July right behind it, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Be extra cautious and consider these factors :

  • More drivers are on the road including teens that are out of school which increases the risk of an accident, so stay alert.
  • Tire blowouts occur more often due to the heat, check the pressure in your tires as well as their condition
  • More pedestrians are out and about as well as bicyclists on the road. Look out for them and share the road.
  • In a study completed by AAA, it was discovered that 9.5% of all crashes and 10.8% of higher-severity crashes involved drowsiness. If you’re feeling tired, pull over so you can catch some sleep or change drivers.

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