Baby boomers concerned about health
Baby boomers start the summer with thoughts of politics, health, and stuff

Think safety this summer

No Swimming SignAs summer begins, millions of Americans are enjoying more outdoor activities. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to keep safety in mind around pools and at the beach, on the playground, when cooking on the grill, when mowing the lawn, and while riding on bikes, scooters, and ATVs or ROVs.

Pool safety

Drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four and the second leading cause among children ages five to 14. Drownings can be prevented by following some simple safety steps:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa, and keep them away from drains.
  • Learn how to swim, and teach your child how to swim.
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. Children can get entrapped by the suction in older, non-compliant drain covers.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.

The grill

The National Fire Protection Association states that an average of 10,200 home fires per year involve grills, hibachis, or barbecues. Following a few safety measures can help reduce fire dangers while grilling:

  • Safety check – Before lighting the grill, do a safety check. Visually inspect the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.
  • Clean the grease trap – Ensure that the grease trap is clean to reduce the risk of flare-ups and grease fires.
  • Use grills outside only, in a well-ventilated area. Never use a grill indoors, or in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that will burn.
  • Never leave a grill unattended, and keep children away from the grill area.
  • Grill brushes – Prevent stray wire grill brush strands from ending up in your food. Clean your grill with a ball of aluminum foil or nylon brushes, instead of wire grill brushes.
  • Check USDA and FDA’s websites for tips on cooking food safely.

Riding

Each year, thousands of ATV, bicycle, e-scooter, and skateboard riders – young and old – die or experience life-altering injuries. CPSC recommends that all riders follow these safety guidelines every time they ride:

  • Gear-up before riding. This means putting on a helmet meant for your activity. When bicycling, properly wear a helmet that complies with CPSC’s federal safety standard for bicycle helmets. In addition to a helmet, wear elbow and knee pads while riding scooters and skateboards.
  • See and be seen. Ride bicycles in the direction of traffic, obey traffic signs and signals, and stay alert.
  • Wear additional safety gear when riding ATVs and ROVs, including a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear, such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Don’t drive ATVs or ROVs on paved surfaces. Ride on designated trails and at a safe speed.
  • Use age-appropriate vehicles. Riders younger than 16 should only drive age-appropriate, youth-model ATVs, never adult models or ROVs.

Other summer activities

  • Hot playground equipment – Check for hot playground equipment surfaces before letting your children play.
  • Mowing the lawn – When mowing the lawn, dress properly with substantial shoes, long pants and fitted clothes. Keep children away from the mowing area, and always be on the lookout for children who may have ventured into the mowing area.
  • Beach umbrellas – Spike your beach umbrella pole into the sand, and firmly rock it back and forth until it’s buried about 2 feet into the sand and is tilted into the wind to keep it from blowing away and injuring someone.
  • Recalled products – Check SaferProducts.gov to see if any of the products you own have been recalled.
Copyright 2019, Rita R. Robison, Personal Finance Writer

Comments

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Unfoldandbegin

Great safety instructions, especially around biking. I am amazed by how many people who don't follow the guidelines for biking on the right side of the road and who don't follow basic traffic guidelines. A couple of months ago, I was just two feet away from hitting someone who steered their bike across the traffic lanes in the dark in the middle of a three-lane road. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him. Just glad no one was behind me at the time.

Rita

Hi Jennifer,

Yes, I've been upset by some bicyclists who don't follow the safety rules. They are so vulnerable on the roadways.

Rita

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