Summer Safety Tips
For when you’re having fun, In the sun, or on the run
Fact: Those most at risk for heat illness are young children and the elderly.
To protect yourself from dehydration, sunburn, and heatstroke:
Be alert for symptoms of heat illness—fainting, dizziness, headache, nausea, rapid pulse, flushed skin, and body temperature of 104 degrees.
- If suffering from a heat illness, rest in a cool area and sip cool, non-alcoholic drinks.
- To avoid losing salt and water when sitting or sunbathing, replenish with fluids often and avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine. Keep the skin moist and cool.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, a hat, and a waterproof sunscreen.
- If you take prescription drugs, check with your doctor before sunbathing.
Fact: Lightning strikes are fatal less than a third of time.
- Don’t go near the water.
- Don’t lie down on wet ground.
- Don’t go near tall or metal objects, such as flagpoles, fences, and trees.
- If you’re inside, stay away from electrical appliances and don’t use the telephone, as they are good conductors of electricity.
- Don’t watch storms from an open window or door, and avoid the fireplace as it is often a lightning target.
- The safest place to be is in a steel-framed building or an enclosed automobile.
Fact: More than 300 children under age 5 drown in residential swimming pools each year in the U.S.
- Avoid swimming past your ability or in rough water.
- Never swim alone or leave young children unattended.
- Wear life jackets during recreational boating or at dockside by small children.
- Make sure the pool or lake is deep enough before diving into the water.
- Do not consume beer, wine, or liquor when swimming or boating.
- Be cautious of strong currents when swimming in the ocean.
- Fence all home pools.
- Learn CPR.
Fact: In the United States, approximately 10,000 people die each year from food poisoning.
- Refill any prescription medications and carry them with you in the original marked container.
- Carry important medical information with you—the names and phone numbers of your doctor and pharmacist, insurance cards, etc.
- Pack a first aid kit—for minor problems like sunburn, insect bites, cuts and scrapes, etc.
- Be cautious when exploring, chopping wood, or building fires.
- Dress appropriately for the weather.
- Before hiking, check for potential hazards of terrain, sanitation, climate, or infectious diseases. When traveling abroad, consult with your doctor regarding immunization requirements and ask about the safety of the water supply.
- Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables except those with a peel that can be removed.
Fact: Over half of fireworks injuries occur during the 4th of July week.
- Never light an explosive indoors or near any objects.
- Never place an explosive in a container, as it could explode and spray harmful fragments into the eyes and face.
- Never use fireworks near dry grass or leaves.
- Always check for spilled gasoline before lighting a match.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Always wear safety goggles while shooting fireworks and stand in a safe place.
- Make sure nothing is left burning before leaving the scene.
Fact: In more than 50% of collisions with cars, the car driver claimed that he/she could not see the cyclist.
- Make sure your child’s bike is the right size.
- Young children should use bikes with coaster brakes.
- A properly fitted bike helmet is essential equipment.
- If the bike must be used at night, install lights, reflectors, day-glo safety flags, and warning bells.
- Drive on the right with traffic and stop at intersections.
- Use proper hand signals for turning or stopping.
- Watch out for opening car doors.
- If you are skating, always skate with a friend.
- Don’t skate down steep hills or in drainage ditches.
- When rollerblading, wear safety equipment at all times, especially a helmet and pads.
- Don’t try tricks beyond your ability.
BITES, BURNS, AND BREATHING EASY
- Human or animal bites often become infected or transmit illnesses such as rabies. Medical evaluation is necessary for thorough cleansing and treatment, and a tetanus shot may be required if you have not had one within five years.
- Insect bites or stings that cause severe swelling at the site of the bite, a generalized rash or any swelling of the face or difficulty breathing, require immediate medical evaluation. Remove stingers from bee or wasp stings by scraping (the edge of a credit card works well). Don’t use tweezers or fingernails.
- Minor swelling and itching can be treated with cool compresses, over the counter oral antihistamines or hydrocortisone creams. (Use only as directed.)
- If there is significant blistering or charring or if the burn involves the palms, soles, face or groin area or a large area of skin, seek immediate physician evaluation.
- Minor burns are treated with cool (not cold or ice) compresses. After cleansing, a mild antibiotic ointment and bandage may be applied. Take care not to break any blisters.
- Sunburns with extensive blistering or general symptoms of nausea, vomiting, weakness or chills, are more serious and need physician evaluation.
- Try to avoid the outdoors on windy days or when you begin to notice allergy symptoms, as the wind stirs up pollen and carries it through the air.
- Do not cut grass or be near someone mowing his or her lawn, and avoid high pollen exposure times at dawn and dusk.
- Use air conditioners at home; close windows when you drive; and don’t hang laundry out to dry as pollen and molds collect on sheets and clothes.
Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be caused by tick bites, and must be treated by a physician. To prevent tick-related diseases, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and shoes; use insect repellent; check for ticks and chiggers every day; and if you spot an insect, gently remove with tweezers and swab the bite with alcohol.
Summit First Aid Squad Programs
The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad sponsors several communty health and safety programs. These programs are offered free of charge. To learn more about these programs please contact us or call the squad at 908-277-9479.
W.H.A.L.E. (We Have a Little Emergency)
This program helps parents make their young child’s important medical information readily available in the event of an accident where the parent is unable or unavailable to provide it. The idea for the program originated after an auto accident call where a 1-year old child and mother were injured. The mother was unconscious and unable to provide any medical history, such as allergies to medical staff. The kit consists of a self adhesive label to be affixed to the child’s car seat. as well as 2 decals to be applied to the car to alert emergency responders to it’s presence.
That’s Using Your Head
This program is similar to W.H.A.L.E. but is designed for older children who ride bicycles, rollerblades or skateboards. The kit consists of a self adhesive label to be placed on the inside of a bicycle helmet. as well as a smaller label for the outside of the helmet. The large label should include emergency contact and medical information.
Vial of Life
The Vial of Life is a program for senior citizens designed to make medical history & information readily available to squad members or other emergency personnel who may respond to the patient’s home. The vial is a small plastic container that holds a sheet with easy to read medical information, such as a your name, medical history, any known allergies, present medications, blood type, and an emergency contact person. In addition, the form has a place for alerting medical personnel about DNR orders or living wills and where those documents are located. The kit includes a magnet to be placed on the refrigerator where the vial is kept. When emergency responders see the magnet, they will know where to find your life-saving medical information.
In October 2002, the Summit First Aid Squad launched the Ian Thompson Memorial Vial of Life Project which distributed a Vial of Life kit to every home in Summit. The project is dedicated to the memory of Ian Thompson, a Summit First Aid Squad member who was killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
To pick up a Vial of Life kit, please stop by the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad or contact us.
You may get additional information on the vial of life program by going to www.vialoflife.com.
To download a vial of life form that you can leave for first responders click here.
Health and Safety Site Links
We have compiled some links to other sites below for health and safety information that may be useful.
Please feel free to update us with other sites you find helpful! Enter your suggestions in our contact page.