Hot safety topics for hot summer temperatures!

dwa

Staff report

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 22, 2011) – It’s that time of year again!  The kids are out of school and family vacations are on the horizon.  Even the hot humidity is a welcome change from the cold and rain of winter and spring.  All may seem right with the world, though countless hazards accompany the sun filled days of summer.  Being aware and prepared can be the difference between unnecessary injuries or death.  The G1 State Safety Office reminds Kentucky Guardsmen and their families that safety at home starts with making wise decisions and advocating prudent behaviors.

Two year old Lincoln Witt, son of 2nd Lt. Joshua Witt, enjoys an afternoon swim with constant adult supervision and a child life jacket. (Photo by Julie Witt)

“In the last nine months, five Soldiers have died in drowning related accidents,” said 2nd Lt. Joshua Witt, State Safety and Occupational Health Manager.  “This number compares with three deaths in the same time period last year.”

According to Witt, trends suggest that other non-duty accidents are increasing.

“A proactive approach is required to prevent accidents from recreational activities,” he said.  “The beautiful long days of summer allow plenty of time for Guardsmen and their family to choose safety.  Make the right choice and avoid unnecessary risks!”

  Water Safety

* Keep an eye on children at all times!  Encourage the use of approved life jackets and swim aids for inexperienced swimmers.

*Watch for fatigued swimmers.  Require regular rest breaks.  Remember to ensure adequate hydration.

*Don’t mix alcohol and swimming.  Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination.  It affects your swimming and diving skills.

Stay hydrated! Summer safety rules should apply to all of your family members, even the four-legged ones. (Kentucky National Guard file photo)

* Swim in supervised areas only.

* Obey all rules and posted signs.

* Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.

*Know the signs of drowning.  Especially keep watch for young or inexperienced swimmers.

On the Road

* Buckle up and use proper child restraints.

* Pay attention… more vehicles will be on the road.

* Be aware of motorcyclists and allow extra space.

* Drive at safe speeds and follow posted speed limits.  Allow enough travel time to avoid the urge to speed.

Whether you're hitting the road on your motorcycle or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, your safety gear should be your number one concern. (Kentucky National Guard file photo)

* Use a designated driver if you plan on drinking – plan for a safe and sober ride.

* Drive well-rested.  Be patient.  The roads may be congested with fellow travelers or construction.

 Sun Safety

* Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours of the day.

* Apply sunscreen with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30.  Give special attention to the face, nose, ears and shoulders where burning can be severe.

* Wear a hat and sunglasses with UV (ultraviolet) protection.

* Drink plenty of water and non-carbonated drinks… even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Grilling Safety

* Always read the use and care manual before operating your grill.

* Never leave the grill unattended when in use.

* Preheat grill to no higher than medium-high. Grill temperature should be 400 to 450°F – high heat can cause dangerous flare-ups.

* To avoid flare-ups you should drain off excess marinade or oil before putting food on the grill.

* If flare-ups do occur, move food to a cooler spot on the grill or temporarily.  Cut off the air supply and close the lid or shut the air vents.

Fireworks Safety

* Never allow young children to light fireworks or get too close.

* Remember to properly dispose of spent fireworks – allow them to cool first.

* Always maintain a safe distance from structures or flammable sources.

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