Safety officials share tips for outdoor fun

by DLA Safety and Occupational Health

Summer weather is here and with it comes the desire to spend hours outside. Many people enjoy the weather hanging out at the pool or beach, grilling food, playing summer sports, setting off fireworks, riding amusement park rides or enjoying road trips. For hundreds of people, though, summer festivities will end badly because they failed to take proper safety precautions. Following are a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay incident-free.

High temperatures pose a significant risk for heat injury. Exposure to the heat may result in heat injuries as mild as heat cramps and as deadly as heatstroke. Alcoholic drinks and soda are dehydrating so moderation is important. Use waterproof or sweat proof sunblock and drink water when engaging in outdoor events. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes. And wearing the right shoe for the activity can prevent foot injuries like sprained ankles.

Water-related activities come with certain risks. Open bodies of water like rivers, lakes and oceans have the potential for rapidly changing conditions. Follow posted warning signs of unsafe water conditions. Horseplay in swimming pools or natural bodies of water can result in injuries. Never consume alcohol or large meals before swimming or taking part in water sports.

Let’s face it – a Fourth of July celebration without bottle rockets, Roman candles and sparklers feels incomplete. Unsafe handling of fireworks often results in injuries to the hands and fingers, eyes and legs. Only use fireworks outdoors. Read and follow all warnings and instructions before igniting fireworks. Ensure spectators are out of range and only light fireworks outside on a smooth, flat surface away from homes and flammable materials. Don’t pick up leftover or previously lit fireworks because they might still be active.

Good food and great conversation are staples of a summer barbecue. Before firing up the grill, be aware of proper grilling techniques. Never use a grill indoors, and keep them away from flammables. Keep children and pets away from fires and grills.

Amusement and theme parks are also a fun and popular way to spend a summer day with friends and family. Always keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride. Use safety equipment properly and never fidget with or loosen the equipment. Despite the rare instance of an amusement or theme park accident, it is important to review and follow the posted safety guidelines before going on any ride or attractions to stay safe.

Outdoor activities are popular during warm weather, but physical injuries can put you and your family members on the sidelines during the fun. Don’t let an accident or injury spoil your fun this summer. Use risk management and enjoy activities safely. Know your limits, use sunscreen, drink water and pay attention to your surroundings to ensure your day in the sun and surf does not end in tragedy.

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