Make a Splash with Good Water Safety

There’s nothing like a dip to beat summer’s heat. Good water safety practices ensure a good time for all at the water’s edge. Whether pool, beach or even a hot tub, a good offense is the best defense. Learning how to swim is the best way to keep you and your family safe. These tips from the American Red Cross will also help you make water safety a priority:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not let anyone swim alone, even when there’s a lifeguard.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets around water, but don’t rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules and enforce them. Set limits based on ability. Ban play around drains and suction fittings. Forbid breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you don’t plan on swimming, be careful around natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into the water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. It impairs judgment, balance and coordination and affects swimming and diving skills.

For other tips to enjoy the water while remaining safe, please talk to your Culbertson healthcare provider.

Heading Off Heat Stroke

When the weather heats up, things can get really fun outside, but it’s important to be aware there’s a very real risk, too. Heat stroke claims lives every year, and it’s preventable. When physical activity in hot weather and prolonged exposure to high temperatures cause the body temperature to reach 104°F, heat stroke occurs. Medications, health issues and age can all increase risk – the very young and old are especially vulnerable.

Cramps may be the first sign, but many symptoms can warn of heat stroke. Here’s what to watch for:

  • High body temperature
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • No sweating
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Flushing (red skin)
  • Racing heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Headache
  • Passing out (or even coma)

Lack of treatment can mean serious complications or even death. You can prevent heat stroke with a few precautions, especially in the hottest part of the day:

  • Wear lightweight, loose and light-colored clothes.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Know whether your medicine makes you more prone.
  • Avoid strenuous activity outside.
  • Take it easy if you have a health issue that puts you at risk.
  • Don’t leave children (or anyone) in parked cars.

For other tips on preventing heat stroke, speak to your Culbertson healthcare provider.

Bike Safety

Use your head; wear a helmet. Bike accidents account for most sports-related emergencies for kids ages 5 to 14. Many can be prevented with a helmet. Having one that fits properly is just as important as wearing it.

  • Look up – if you see the bottom rim, it fits.
  • Check your ears – if the straps form a “V” under your ears when buckled, it fits.
  • Open your mouth – if the helmet hugs your head when you open your mouth, it fits.

Simple Safety Tips

  • Wear bright-colored clothing.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Never ride with headphones.
  • Use a backpack to carry items.
  • Ride with a friend.
  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated.
  • Use lights at night.

Rules of the Road

  • Look both ways before crossing traffic.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals – just like other vehicles.
  • Follow lane markings – don’t turn left from the right lane or go straight in a “right turn only.”
  • Scan the road behind you – look over your shoulder without losing balance or swerving. Consider using rear-view mirrors.
  • Keep both hands ready for braking.
  • Use hand signals to advise others of your intentions.
  • Choose the best way to turn left – like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane, then turn left; like a pedestrian, ride straight to the far-side crosswalk, then walk your bike across.
  • Make eye contact with drivers.
  • Watch for road hazards – like sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.