Summer Safety Checklist

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June is National Safety Month, and that means making a list and checking it twice for unsafe areas in and around your home. Here are the greatest dangers of the warmer months, so you and your loved ones can stay as safe as possible.

Poisoning

Heading the list of summer safety issues is unintentional poisoning. Inadequate storage of dangerous chemicals can result in someone handling them who shouldn't, especially a young someone. Not following the safety procedures outlined by the manufacturer on the product label can also cause hazards, especially to kids and pets. And, of course, accidental medication overdose is an increasing issue as populations age.

Keep the number for a poison control hotline in a prominent spot in your address book, follow company guidelines when using poison products, and always keep regular medication in a weekly or monthly organizing container.

Vehicle Crashes

In most places in the world, the leading cause of death for young people is car crashes. Accidents are usually caused (in descending order) by operating under the influence, speeding, distracted driving, and bad weather. If you have family members in your home who drive, consider putting together a vehicle safety driving checklist and have a family meeting to go over what is and isn't allowed whenever someone is behind the wheel.

Two white cars in a crash

Falls

Falling is usually not expected, but it happens often. Unfortunately, for those over the age of 65, it's a significant risk, due to challenges with vision, strength, and balance. Falls can occur when someone is walking or running too fast, carrying too much, or not paying close attention to objects or liquids on the ground. Take special care when wearing longer, flowing garments.

Health research appears to agree that strength training is a good way to improve balance—helping both to prevent falls, and to increase bone density, making falls less dangerous when they happen. Especially if you're heading into your golden years, prioritize some kind of routine involving weights. Don't strain your system too hard, but don't ignore this practice. Even a little exercise with weights could make a life-saving difference.

Suffocation and Choking

Choking on a piece of food is high on the list of unintentional injuries, and can result in death. Always pay attention to how much food you put in your mouth, chew thoroughly before swallowing, and refrain from talking and chewing at the same time.

Prepare your family for danger by talking over the steps to take when someone is choking.

Drowning

If you spend time swimming in any kind of water, safety is critical, especially whenever children, differently abled, or older folks are nearby. Bathtubs can also be a danger for those groups. Practice good pool and beach protocol by taking things slow around edges and waves, and make sure your tubs have hand rails, surface traction, or both.

When boating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, or engaging in any other water sport, everyone must wear a life jacket. No exceptions. Even seemingly non-threatening situations can turn deadly if a freak accident causes someone to lose consciousness around a body of water.

Fires

Install a smoke alarm in your home if you don't already have one. If you do have one, keep the batteries fresh by changing them often.

Basic fire safety includes never leaving food unattended while it's being fried, broiled, grilled, or boiled. If you have food cooking out of sight, use a timer and check on it regularly. Keep flammable items away from the stovetop or grill, and avoid cooking with flames if you're tired or tipsy.

Kebabs burning on a grill

Natural Disasters

Mother nature can cause many different safety issues, depending on the region where you live. Whether you're most likely to face hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, floods, earthquakes, rockslides, or fire, it's important to have an emergency preparedness plan in place.

This means you and your family should know where to go in case of an evacuation of your area, and that you should have an emergency first aid kit in your home(s) and vehicle(s).

Depending on the emergency, and whether you are able to remain in your home, you may also need to have food, water, gas, cash, and supplies of any prescription medications on hand. Learn about emergency preparedness and make sure your family and friends are informed, too.

Prepare for safety issues before they happen. Small, simple steps can turn out to be incredibly important when emergencies strike.