Safety
Summer Safety Hodgepodge
Protect yourself—from the sun, from insects and around fireworks

IMAGE: phive2015 | iStock.com

We all enjoy taking part in fun activities and outings over the relaxed days of summer. Bear in mind these tips to do so safely.

Shelter From the Sun

Long sunny days spent outdoors leave us susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, especially when the mercury surges into triple digits. To prevent these serious conditions, limit sun exposure on hot days.

If it’s unavoidable, observe the following practices:

  • Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol.
  • Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing. A hat helps shield you from the sun’s rays, too.
  • Replace electrolytes lost through perspiration by drinking fruit juices or sports drinks.
  • Try to avoid spending time outside during the hottest part of the day, usually 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Wear sunscreen. A sunburn can negatively affect the body’s ability to cool itself.
  • If running or doing any other strenuous activity, pace yourself. 

Fend Off Itchy—and Hazardous—Bites

Justifiably considered the bane of summer by many, mosquito bites are more than just a slightly painful nuisance. They also can transmit serious illnesses, including West Nile and Zika viruses. Reduce your risk by taking the following preventive measures:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent with DEET, being sure to apply as directed.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in bug-ridden areas.
  • Do not leave unscreened doors or windows open.
  • Make a weekly habit of scrubbing or emptying planters, birdbaths, vases, flowerpot saucers and any other outdoor items that collect water, which is required for mosquito eggs to hatch. 

Appreciate Fireworks’ Beauty and Risk

Just as electricity must be treated and handled with respect, it’s important to approach fireworks with care. It can be easy to focus on their dazzling displays at the expense of remembering that fireworks present significant risks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016, at least four people died and 11,100 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. And on a typical Fourth of July, fireworks cause 40 percent of all reported fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Consider avoiding consumer fireworks and instead enjoy a spectacular public display conducted by professionals. We want your Independence Day celebrations to be fun, memorable and safe.

If fireworks are legal in your area and you choose to use them, please be mindful of the following tips for safe handling:

  • Never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never light fireworks indoors.
  • Only use fireworks away from people, homes and flammable materials, and only light one at a time, maintaining a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite devices in a container.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak unused fireworks in water before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.

Your electric cooperative wishes you a summer filled with fun and the makings of many happy memories. Wherever this season’s adventures take you, keep these practices in mind to stay safe.

TAGS: Safety, Outdoors


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