All year round we wish for summer, and when it finally arrives, I know that I have heard more than one person complain about the heat. Now don’t get me wrong, I can easily say I have complained about the heat while completing those dreaded house chores.
Regardless, if you love or hate the heat associated with summer in these necks of the woods, there are several safety precautions you can take to protect yourself.
Stay cool in the heat: Keep cool and hydrated and minimize your time in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Drink plenty of water, find shade, visit cool buildings, slow down, bathe in cool water and wear light-coloured clothing.
Wear the right helmet: Everyone is encouraged to wear a helmet when cycling, inline skating and skateboarding. The additional cushioning in a helmet could save your life. In bicycle mishaps, the forehead usually makes first contact with the ground. With skateboarding, falls are more common, and helmets are specifically designed to protect more of the back of the head. Unlike bicycle helmets, skateboard headgear is also designed to protect against multiple falls, whereas bicycle helmets should be replaced after one crash.
Stay safe while camping: If strong winds, hail or a tornado is developing while you are camping in a tent or tent-trailer, move to the closest building or a hard-topped vehicle. Make every effort to get to a suitable shelter. If no shelter is available, seek refuge deep in a thick stand of trees in the lowest-lying area.
Avoid the bugs – and their bite: Avoid being outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Keep in mind that ticks are often found along trail edges, mostly in wooded areas or tall grass. Light-coloured clothing is less attractive to mosquitoes and allows you to see ticks more easily. Registered insect repellents containing DEET can be used safely when applied as directed. Health Canada’s last review of DEET products was supported by the Canadian Paediatric Society.
Pack an emergency kit: You may have some kit items already, such as a flashlight, a wind-up radio, food, water and a manual can opener. Make sure they are organized and easy to find in case you need to evacuate your home. Make a kit to go in a backpack. Whatever you do, don’t wait until a disaster is happening to make a kit.
Keep food fresh: Chilling food properly is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Leftovers should be chilled promptly but remember to throw them away if they have been out at room temperature for more than two (2) hours. Keep the fridge at 4◦C (40◦F) or below and use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature.
Make a (safe) splash: Never leave a child unattended in water, not even for a second. Pick the best time of the day to swim and avoid swimming at night and in stormy weather.
Stay safe on the roads: Canada has nearly 900,000 kilometres of road — enough to circle the globe 22 times! Transport Canada is our resource on road safety, especially when travelling with children. Every year in Canada, about 10,000 children (from infants to 12-year old’s) are hurt or killed on the roads. Make sure your children are always buckled-up properly while in the car, even for short trips. And remember, the back seat is always the safest place for your children.
Connect with care: Don’t mention going away on vacation in your social networking status updates. You may also want to delete messages from friends who mention these things to avoid the possibility of someone robbing your home while you’re away. Avoid geotagging photos. Most smartphones and many digital cameras automatically attach the exact location where a photo was taken – and when you share it online, the geotag can give away your address or let criminals know that you’re on vacation, which could make your home a target for break-in.
Now these are just a couple of tips that will help keep you safe during the summer months. However, it never hurts to do a little more digging. Google “Summer Safety Tips” to find more.