Summer is traditionally a time for old-fashioned fun in the sun. The temperatures rise, children are out of school, and the longer days provide more leisure opportunities. Unfortunately, warmer weather also presents several distinct safety hazards that are easy to overlook. However, if you keep a few safety measures in mind, you can ensure your fun stays fun instead of turning tragic.
Be Aware of Children
During the summer, children are out of school and often play outside. While driving, working or enjoying some well-deserved leisure time, pay attention to children. Children can be impulsive and run in front of vehicles without looking both ways, especially if a ball or other toy has rolled out into the street. There’s also the potential for them to wander onto work sites, either by accident or while purposefully exploring.
Stay Safe Around Water
Enjoying time in or around the water is a great way to cool off during the summer heat. However, it can also be hazardous in certain situations. As many as 4,000 people drown in the United States annually, and many (if not most) of these tragedies could be prevented with proper water safety measures.
When you’re in or around water, use the following precautions to keep yourself and others safe:
- Avoid swimming after eating large meals or drinking alcohol
- Never allow children to swim unsupervised (even if they have strong swimming skills)
- Don’t run around pools or hot tubs where surfaces are likely to be slippery
- Use the buddy system and never go swimming alone (even if you’re an adult)
- Don’t swim on beaches or in public pools without a lifeguard present
- Don’t rough house in or around water
- Never swim when there’s lightning nearby
- Use life vests, flotation devices, and other safety measures for people who don’t know how to swim
- Always wear life vests when on a boat
- Don’t operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other substances (including certain prescription medications)
Practice Heat Illness Safety
Missouri summers average 80 F to 90 F. Still, it isn’t uncommon to have several days where the temperature rises above 100 F. These hot temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses, which can be fatal in certain circumstances. Some people are more at risk for heat-related illnesses, like older adults, young children, people on certain medications, and anyone with serious preexisting health conditions.
When the temperatures rise, take the following precautions to stay safe:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sports drinks
- Avoid dehydrating liquids like coffee, alcohol, and energy drinks
- Stay inside when possible
- If it’s not possible to stay inside, take frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning
- Use the buddy system, so nobody is left in a heat wave alone
- Avoid strenuous work or activities during the hottest part of the day
- Wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from sunburn
- Wear light-colored, lightweight fabrics
It’s also important to know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. These include a red face (without sweating), dizziness, digestion problems, and increased internal temperature. Heat-related illnesses can cause fainting, increased heart rate, and confusion in severe cases.
Stay Updated on Weather Conditions
The warm months aren’t all about the sunshine. It’s also when severe weather like tornadoes, thunderstorms, and flooding is common. Therefore, it’s essential to stay updated on current and upcoming weather conditions so you can best prepare for these situations.
Missouri may not get hurricanes like coastal states, but it is prone to tornadoes. Sometimes you’ll have advanced warning of a tornado, but they can also happen suddenly and unexpectedly when weather conditions are right. If an active tornado is nearby, you should take shelter immediately. If you’re inside, shelter in a basement or (if you don’t have one) an interior room of your house away from windows. If you’re caught outside and can’t reach a building, shelter in a ditch or ravine until the storm is well past.
Lightning or Thunderstorms
During a lightning or thunderstorm, you should seek shelter inside your home or another building. During these weather events, it’s not safe to be in the water or work outside (like in construction or landscaping). If someone is struck by lightning or hurt by hail, you should call 9-1-1 right away and follow the directions of emergency personnel.
If your home or office is in a safe, high area, you should stay put during flooding. If flood waters breach your home’s threshold, you should call 9-1-1 to alert emergency personnel of your location and move to your home’s highest level. Never drive through flood waters because it’s impossible to know how deep they are or how strong the current is. Avoid swimming or walking in flood waters because they could contain electric lines, harmful debris, and dangerous chemicals.
Branco Enterprises Is Committed to Safety
Branco Enterprises always puts safety first, both on the job and off. Our contractors and employees stay up to date on industry safety procedures and are encouraged to be as safe as possible in their personal lives. We believe that by putting safety first, Branco Enterprises can help make the world a better place — one day or project at a time.