Summer is well under way in North America, and with the sun and fun comes a number of safety concerns to keep in mind. Many safety-related agencies and organizations have issued safety warnings and tips for a variety of summer celebration hazards and activities. We’ve collected them here for you, organized under the categories of heat/fire safety, bug-related safety, water safety, and safety on amusement park rides.
Heat and Fire Safety
Sun Exposure (via CDC NIOSH)
- Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15.
- Follow the application directions on the sunscreen bottle.
- Apply sunscreen liberally (a minimum of 1 oz.) at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.
- Make sure to cover the ears, lips, neck, tops of feet, and backs of hands.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and each time you get out of the water or sweat heavily.
- Throw away old sunscreen, as sunscreens lose their potency after 1-2 years.
- Some sunscreens may not work as well when used with insect repellent, requiring more frequent reapplication when the two are used together.
- Wearing protective clothing can also help prevent sunscreen, particularly high-SPF clothing.
- Workers should wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and side panels are recommended.
Hot Cars (via Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs)
- Always check the vehicle for passengers and pets after parking.
- Remember that the inside of a parked car can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit within minutes on a 78-degree day, and 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes on a 90-degree day.
- If you see a person or animal trapped in a hot car, have the driver paged in the nearby store and/or call 911 immediately.
- According to NFPA statistics, July is the peak month for grilling fires. In addition to the fire hazards posed by grills, they can also release carbon monoxide, a deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Follow these tips from Michigan LARA to help prevent accidents.
- Check for leaks or breaks with gas grills.
- Clean the grill before use to eliminate fire hazards posed by heavy grease buildup.
- Always grill outdoors. Never grill indoors, on a balcony, or in the garage.
- Grill on a level surface at least 10 feet away from the house, garage, deck, or any flammable material.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Don’t overload the grill with food. Excessive fat and grease dripping on flames can ignite large flare ups.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by and know how to use it. Keep a spray bottle or bucket of water handy for minor flare ups.
Ticks (via CDC NIOSH)
- Wear a hat and light-colored clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into boots or socks.
- Use insect repellents that provide protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors:
- Use repellents such as Permethrin for greater protection.
- Check your skin and clothes for ticks every day. The immature forms of these ticks are very small and may be hard to see.
- Wash and dry work clothes in a hot dryer to kill any ticks present.
- Learn the symptoms of tick-borne diseases.
- If you develop symptoms of a tick-borne disease seek medical attention promptly. Be sure to tell your health care provider that you work outdoors in an area where ticks may be present.