National Safety Month: Outdoor Safety, Week Two

National Safety Month continues! This week we will review outdoor safety tips.

As the weather heats up around the country, people are spending more time doing outdoor activities. The last thing you need during your outdoor adventure is an injury. Check out the helpful hints below to help you and your loved ones stay safe while outdoors this summer.

Kayak or canoe?
No matter the choice it’s imperative you take necessary precautions when you’re out on any body of water.

• Always wear a life jacket, even if you know how to swim.
• Never go out alone but if you must, let a friend or family member know what you’re doing and where you’re going.
• Never stand up in a kayak or canoe, always remain seated.
• Check weather conditions before departing.
• Keep a first aid kit and whistle with you at all times in case of emergency.

Bike riding: Bike riding is a great way to cut down on pollution, save money on gas and explore unpaved trails. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, over 900 bicyclists were killed in the United States and there was an estimated 494,000 emergency room visits related to bicycle injuries.

• Always wear a helmet, no matter the age and no matter the distance. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of injury by about 60% and brain injury by 58%. Ensure you have a proper fitting one as well as that can make all the difference.
• Cyclists have to follow the rules of the road, same as cars. Use hand signals when turning and obey traffic stops.
• Try to avoid riding at night but if you do, always wear bright clothing so you can easily be seen by drivers.
• Never assume a car has seen you, always look both ways before entering traffic.
• Make sure your bike is equipped with a horn and reflective gear. Ideally your clothing will have reflective gear as well.

Playground safety: According to the CDC, more than 20,000 children (14 and younger) have emergency room visits due to brain-traumatic playground injuries. Pay special attention to these playground hazards before letting your kids run free.

• Tripping hazards like stumps and large rocks
• Sharp edges on equipment or any protruding items like nails, hooks, bolts, etc.
• Equipment that is splintered or hasn’t been replaced in some time
• Lack of guardrails
• Overcrowding of equipment, there should be enough space for children to swing without hitting other children
• Always supervise children on playgrounds

These are just some of the many popular outdoor activities. Check out The National Safety Council for even more tips on staying safe this summer.