As I turned on the news today it seemed like summer mayhem had already began, even though summer is still more than two weeks away. Every news story seemed to be about someone who had died doing something that would seem like innocent summer fun. But these accidents resulted in death. Not paid for, not something that your supplemental health insurance could even cover. But death.
Scary, yes? But most of these deaths could have been prevented. Here are some safe summer tips that will help you avoid injury (and whipping out your health insurance card) or worse, even death.
Only play in safe water. A few of the deaths were water related, and not in swimming pools. With an increase of snow from the hectic winter storms, the spring water run off has been significantly higher than in previous years. Doesn’t this just add up more water to play in? Think again. The increase of water is dangerous, especially in rivers, where two of the deaths happened. High water levels do more than just add to the water. The increased levels means the current will be stronger. So simple river wading quickly turns into a white water ride.
Watch your children like a hawk. One of the accidents resulted from a child wandering away and playing in a dam. While I have never had any kids, I know that they are slippery and can escape with in a blink of an eye. When near water, employ the buddy system. Assign each child to an adult so you can be sure that they will not wander off.
Learn and use bicycle safety. Another accident involved a cyclist. She did everything right to ensure her safety. She used a cross walk to pedal across, waited for a car to stop before crossing. But when a car drove around the stopped car, it hit her. To add insult to injury, the care drove away. While some accidents cannot be prevented, like in the case of this poor cyclist, you must do everything in your power to be safe. You cannot control other drivers, but you can control you. First and foremost, make sure you are wearing a helmet. Head injuries are the most dangerous. This can prevent many injuries that you would otherwise sustain. When riding, make sure to wear reflective colors so you can be easily spotted by other drivers. Add reflective mirrors on the back of your bike as well. Ride your bike in the appropriate areas. Bike lanes exist to keep riders safe, so use them accordingly. Only cross streets at crosswalks and make sure that all cars have stopped before you cross the road.
And one of the saddest deaths in the one that was the easiest to be prevented. A young girl was hit by a train. In driver’s ed I was taught to never outrun a train in a car. Which means you should never out run a train by foot. If the warning arms are down, never try and cross the tracks.
Preventing summertime injuries will save you money, give your health insurance a break and help you have more fun.