Director and Chief of Emergency Medicine on Summer Safety

Posted on: July 10, 2014

Summer Safety Tips

By Dr. Jim Dwyer

Young Family Parents and Boy Son CyclingNow that summer’s here, you and your family are hopefully spending a lot more time outdoors, enjoying a variety of activities. That’s great for your health and state of mind, but you’ll want to take a few precautions to make sure you all stay safe.

1.    Wear your seat belt. Everyone is on the road more, traveling to beaches, parks, or going on vacations. Avoid serious injury by strapping in every time you’re in the car, even if you’re only going around the corner to the store.
2.    Wear a helmet. At the emergency room, we see a lot of head injuries this time a year that could be easily avoided if people—and especially children—wore helmets while biking, skateboarding, inline skating, and obviously while motorcycling or using an ATV.
3.    Never swim alone. This is true even for adults. To truly be safe, you should always have someone around when you’re swimming. Children should wear life preservers until they are proficient swimmers. When there are several children in the pool, an able adult should be out of the water keeping an eye on everyone. And if you have a pool or plan to spend a lot of time on the water this summer, consider getting certified in resuscitation techniques.
4.    Don’t drink and drive. Everyone knows not to drink and drive a car or motorcycle, but alcohol and boating do not mix either.
5.    Cover up when you’re in nature. Unfortunately, we live in an area with a lot of ticks and a lot of tick-borne illnesses. The best way to avoid these diseases is to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts when you’re hiking in nature. Consider using insect repellent as well. There’s a bonus to covering up: It will help prevent rashes from poison ivy and sunburn!

Taking these measures will help prevent a trip to the emergency room this summer.

Editor’s Note: The American Red Cross offers CPR and First Aid courses, swimming lessons and  a variety of training and certification classes.