National Safety Month: 5 Summer Safety Tips for Students and Families
As we celebrate the arrival of the summer solstice and start planning our outdoor activities and summer vacations, being prepared for emergency situations can help your plans go off without a hitch.
“As we transition into the summer season, it’s important to follow safety tips—whether [you are] mowing your lawn or taking a dip in the pool,” said Rick Gilbert, MHS Senior Director of Campus Safety and Security. “And with summer vacations, there also will be more traffic on the roadways, so be sure to avoid distracted driving.”
In honor of National Safety Month, we asked our Safety and Security team for their top five summer safety tips. To keep both adults and children protected this summer, take a look at some of their advice.
1. Prevent Distracted Driving
Especially in the summer when cars may be traveling long distances for vacation, it’s important to avoid cognitive and visual distractions while driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers spend more than half their time focusing on things other than driving. Texting is a top contributor of distracted driving, and because it takes a driver’s attention away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, a crash is 23 times more likely to occur.
Aside from texting and talking on the phone, anything that occupies a driver’s mind or vision can also cause distraction—including eating and drinking, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio, and more. This summer, make sure your eyes and brain are always focused on the road.
It’s also important to set a good example for children and teens by avoiding distracted behavior and talking to them about the risks.
2. Be Safe with Yard Maintenance and Entertainment
Whether you’re entertaining or mowing the lawn to prepare for your next gathering, improper use of certain household items can lead to severe injuries. When it comes to fire pits—a common summer staple in many families—be sure to set portable pits in a safe location away from your home or other flammable objects. Never leave your fire unattended, and if children are enjoying the blaze, make sure there is constant adult supervision.
Lawnmowers can also cause serious injuries, including deep cuts, broken bones, burns and eye injuries. If you’re looking for simple ways to avoid injury, start by wearing the right clothes. Avoid loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in moving parts, and wear close-toed, non-slip shoes. You also should read your mower’s manual, clean up objects from the yard before mowing, and don’t allow children to ride as passengers.
3. Handle Fireworks with Care
Due to Independence Day celebrations, the U.S. Product Consumer Safety Commission reports that 60 percent of fireworks-related injuries occur in July. Luckily, many hand, finger and eye injuries can be avoided with close adult supervision and a common sense approach. The best piece of advice is to attend public fireworks displays that are managed by professionals instead of launching them at home.
If you choose to light legal fireworks at home, always ignite them outdoors away from houses and flammable materials. Make sure you have water ready before lighting them, and also soak them in water before you throw them away. More than anything, use close adult supervision with young children holding sparklers and make sure they are never aimed at another person.
4. Wear Protective Eyewear at Home and in the Workplace
Whether you’re on a work construction site or completing lawn maintenance at home, protective eyewear is crucial during every season of the year—especially summer. Chemicals, sawdust, gravel, lawn clippings and hot objects can all damage the eye during traditional summer activities and seasonal jobs.
Invest in a reliable pair of safety goggles to protect yourself from the elements. Sun also can damage the eyes of adults and children alike. While many kids may not like to wear sunglasses, they may be more likely to wear them regularly if you create a consistent routine and explain the benefits of eye protection.
5. Manage Your Grill Correctly
What would summer be without warm weather and barbecues? There are many different types of grills, but they each attract their own set of safety hazards. Not only can grill incidents cause physical injuries, but they can also lead to property damages and financial loss. To protect you and your family this summer, you can:
- Check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line before using your grill.
- Avoid overfilling the propane tank.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children.
- Douse hot coals with plenty of water.
- Avoid grilling in enclosed areas where carbon monoxide could be produced.
Whether you’re on campus this summer or traveling with your family, follow some of these safety tips to make your summer as enjoyable and carefree as possible!