June is National Safety Month. APD wants you to have a happy and safe summer vacation, and we will give you safety tips throughout the entire month. As your family heads to the beach, (Billy Joe Rish Park we hope!) keep in mind the following summer safety issues:
- Sun safety
- Water safety
- Surviving the hot weather
- Impaired driving
- Fireworks safety
Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can not only cause painful sunburns, but can also have long-lasting, damaging health effects including skin cancer, eye damage, and premature aging. The best ways to prevent excessive sun exposure are wear a shirt, use broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and wear a hat and sunglasses.
No matter where you are in Florida you are never too far from a beach, and with several months of warm weather boating, swimming, and other water activities are very popular. Water safety is extremely important especially for young children and individuals with disabilities that may have mobility issues. The following tips will help you and your loved ones stay safe while swimming or boating this summer:
- Supervise young children when in or around water
- Use the buddy system
- One-on-one supervision or use life jackets for people who have seizures
- Learn to swim
- Learn CPR
- Avoid alcohol while near water
- Know local weather conditions before swimming or boating
- Use life jackets when boating
- Know the meaning and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags
- Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents
- If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore
Surviving the hot weather
Heat related illness, such as heatstroke, can happen to anyone who is not accustomed to being in intense heat. Heatstroke occurs when the core body temperature reaches 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs of heatstroke may include:
- Throbbing headache
- Lack of sweating despite the heat
- Red, hot, dry skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
- Fainting or unconsciousness
The best method of fighting heatstroke is prevention. Get in the shade and keep cool. Remember to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Refrain from engaging in rigorous outdoor activities if you are not used to the heat.
Drinking and driving is never a good combination. Driving impaired or riding in the car with an impaired driver can result in serious injury to yourself or others, and potentially even death. If you go to a social gathering that will involve alcohol, make plans in advance. You can make the decision to be the designated driver, arrange for transportation by cab, or arrange for a friend to be your designated driver. Having a plan before you go to a party is one step in ensuring you and your fellow drivers’ safety.
Summer brings picnics, barbecues, parades and fireworks displays, especially around the 4th of July. Summer also brings an increase in injuries from backyard grills, bonfires, and fireworks. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers several common sense tips for staying safe during the holiday season.
- Always purchase fireworks from a reliable source.
- Do no alter fireworks; use as directed on packaging.
- Observe local laws.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Never relight a dud firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trashcan.