Summer is officially here! As the 4th of July approaches, people are gearing up for the holiday weekend. Preparations have already started for outdoor BBQs and pool parties. But before you dust off your grill and grab your swimsuit, there are certain things to keep in mind. When everyone is in “vacation mode”, some important issues can tend to be overlooked, which might prove detrimental in the long run. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, here are some safety tips that will come handy this weekend and all summer long!
Heat Safety Tips
The summer heat can be a dangerous, even deadly, if proper precautions are not taken. Southern Arizona faces some of the highest temperatures in the country, with average temperatures in July being 106 degrees, and we all know there are days exceeding 115 even. When people tend to spend too much time in the heat, overexerting themselves, they can be susceptible to a heat-related illness.
To help combat the effects of the outdoor temperatures…
- Spend the warmest part of the day inside with air conditioning!
- Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or after dusk when the temps are lower.
- Drinking plenty of water is essential, even if you are not feeling thirsty, and even more so when consuming alcohol.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes to deflect the sun’s rays and allow the skin to breathe.
- Never, ever leave children or pets alone inside a closed vehicle… not even for a minute.
Pool Safety Tips
A dip in the pool is one of the most pleasant ways to cool off. But splashing around comes with some safety concerns, especially for kids. According to Injury Facts 2017, the annual statistics report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council, about nine people drown every day in the United States on an average. In 2016, 24 children lost their lives in Arizona’s pools and spas, compared to 20 in 2015, per media reports examined by the USA Swimming Foundation on behalf of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Here are some precautions to keep in mind before you jump in:
- If a child goes missing, always check the pool first. Because, seconds count.
- NEVER leave a child unattended near water, be it in a pool, spa or tub.
- Never allow children to play near drains and suction fittings.
- Do not use flotation devices as a replacement for supervision. Remember, adult supervision has no substitution!
- When you are throwing a party, it is advisable to keep a designated “Water Watcher” who will maintain constant watch over children during pool gatherings.
- Make sure that a responsible adult is present who has adequate knowledge regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and rescue breathing.
- Always keep a life-saving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions mounted at poolside.
- Remove all toys from the pool area when not in use.
- Don’t use floating chlorine dispensers resembling toys.
- It’s always handy to keep a phone poolside, since you never know when an emergency may arise.
Firework Safety Tips
The fireworks law in Arizona changed effectively on December 1, 2010, through House Bill 2246 (laws 2010, Chapter 286) amending the state’s previous fireworks statute. This leniency has allowed AZ residents to indulge in the excitement of celebrating holiday weekends with fireworks at home.
Some points must be kept in mind to ensure the safety and security of those handling fireworks and others nearby as well…
- Make sure you are familiar with all local laws and regulations regarding usage of fireworks.
- Before you light, carefully read the precautionary label and performance descriptions.
- Always light fireworks away from buildings and vehicles and dry grasses/brush; pick a suitable outdoor location in a clear area.
- Never light a dud firework hurriedly, wait for a bit and ensure it is safe enough. In case of spent fireworks, dispose them only after moistening them.
- Make sure there is enough adult supervision if children are nearby. Ensure that only adults handle the lit fireworks; only let children play with the non-flammable fireworks (like poppers) so they don’t accidentally get burned.
- Never hold any lit firework item in your hand; it can be extremely dangerous.
- Always keep a bucket of water, a hose and fire extinguishers nearby as preventive measures.
- Always keep a fully stocked first-aid kit on hand in the event of any small burns. If a burn is anything more than minor, have it checked immediately at an urgent care center.
The current heat wave in Arizona makes children and seniors the most vulnerable, so it is crucial to keep adequate surveillance to ensure their health and well-being. Firework-related injuries generally occur because of improper use, rather than a manufacturing defect. Firework safety is essential for enjoying the celebrations without any life-altering burns or injuries. Don’t spend your July 4th weekend in the emergency room. If you are looking to throw a pool party, always keep in mind the Do’s and Don’ts before wading into the water. Keep yourself, your family and friend’s safe.
As we all know, prevention is better than a cure. You never know when accidents might occur, so it’s always advisable to have adequate property and health insurance in place. Enjoy the upcoming holidays with an added sense of responsibility. Wish you a very Happy Independence Day in advance!