We have all heard the adage, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” Now that summer is officially in full-swing, our focus may be occupied by the exciting seasonal events and occasions popping up. With that, it is important to be mindful of potentially unforeseen dangers that surround us on a regular basis. June is National Safety Month, which makes this the perfect time to raise awareness of how to avoid or effectively manage accidents.
According to the National Safety Council, an average of 150,000 people die each year from “unintentional, injury-related” accidents. Even more eye-opening is the fact that these mishaps are totally preventable, which is why National Safety Month aims to bring awareness to the everyday things in our lives that we may not consider as dangerous. Below are facts about these common dangers and tips for avoiding or handling these accidents.
Poisoning recently surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in all age groups. We often consider poisonous items to be clearly labeled as “toxic” chemicals—obvious to the eye and stamped with warning labels. While some potentially harmful substances come with clear warning labels and guidelines for use, other products and their dangers are more subtle. The leading cause of death by poison is by unintentional prescription drug overdose or the mixing of prescription drugs. It is vital that parents seek advice about dosage and prescription combinations from doctors and pharmacists. Also, with the rise of new detergent packs for cleaning clothes and dishes, it is more important than ever to keep cleaning products out of reach of children. The detergent packs and dryer beads appear small and candy-like—exactly what a child might reach for. Again, taking just small precautions can make these dangers 100% avoidable.
Car crashes and traffic-related injuries are another cause for concern, especially in the summer when families are hitting the roads for vacation. Speeding, aggressive driving, texting and other distractions are obvious concerns. But other less frequently discussed accidents should be considered, as well. The warm weather brings pedestrians, skateboarders, and bicyclers out onto the roads in much higher numbers. It is important for drivers and others on or near the road to take extra precautions in high-volume areas. Pedestrians, runners, etc., should wear bright reflective clothing and LED lights at night to be visible to drivers. Another danger in the summer is the extreme heat that accumulates in parked cars. Children and pets should never be left in the car unattended, no matter how short you plan to leave them.
Falling is the leading cause of injury-related death among the elderly. But, it is also the third leading cause of accidental death for all age groups. Gates at steps are a must for little ones, as all parents know. However, slips and head injuries at the pool or waterpark are frequent in the summer months, as well. Remind your child, whether inside or outside, to always walk around the pool. Horseplay and shoving could also cause an unintentional accident.
Speaking of the pool, the National Safety Council reports that an average of 10 people drown every single day. CNN reports that children can drown in less than two inches of water. This means that pools are not the only dangers lurking in the yard. Buckets, kiddie pools, even puddles or drainage ditches could be cause for concern. The bottom line is, leaving children unsupervised around any amount of standing water is a risk not worth taking.
Keep your eyes on the prize this summer, and all will remain fun and games. With a few precautions and some ground rules in place, you and your children can avoid these pitfalls and score some summer fun.