Summer brings the hottest days of the year. And while we often think of summertime as the season of vacation, swimming, and ice cream, millions of Americans will spend the summer months laboring outdoors in high temperatures. But it’s not just sunburns and dehydration we have to worry about this season: road trips and travel, water cleanliness, food safety and deadly heat all pose serious risks in the summertime. Read up on some of our summer safeguard tips to keep you and your family safe this summer:
Road Trips, Cars and Travel: Families spend more time in the car during the summer on road trips, and with teenage drivers off of school for the summer, their time behind the wheel is likely to go up. Make sure that seatbelts are worn, especially in rear seats — unrestrained rear seat passengers are nearly eight times as likely to sustain a serious injury in a crash as those wearing seat belts.
Additionally, without open windows or air conditioning, cars can reach deadly temperatures in the summer. Make sure children and pets are never left in the car alone for any period of time.
Water Cleanliness: Many waterways and lakes throughout the U.S. experience toxic algae blooms that can sicken people, prevent them from enjoying seasonal activities like fishing and swimming, threaten our drinking water and kill wildlife. Pay attention to signs around bodies of water that may alert you to high bacteria levels or algal blooms before swimming.
Food Safety: At many pork manufacturing plants, the number of FDA inspectors monitoring temperatures and workplace safety hazards has decreased this summer. This makes workers more vulnerable to injuries on the job, and could potentially make food less safe to eat.
If you work outdoors, make sure your food is stored in a cooler in the shade to keep food cool. At your family picnic or neighborhood barbeque, make sure you’re storing food at safe temperatures and use thermometers to make sure meat is cooked all the way through.
Beating the Heat: Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States. For those of us who work outdoors, it is absolutely critical to your health and well-being to make sure you have easy access to water and shade and to take rest periods throughout the day.
Sunblock is also critical in preventing sunburns and warding off skin cancer. But not all sunscreens are created equal — get a product with an appropriate level of SPF for your skin.
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