Make Your Time off Safer
It’s high summer, and there’s no denying that many of our minds are on vacation time and having fun. Whether you’ll be driving, taking a plane, or staying home, we have some ideas for you so that your entire family can enjoy vacation time safely.
Hitting the Highway
AAA estimates that nearly 47 million of us will be on the road over the Fourth of July holiday alone. If you’ll be joining the many millions traveling by passenger vehicle this summer, make sure your car or SUV is in good repair well before you leave. If you’ll be bringing larger or heavier items or towing something, learn how to do so properly. Things to do before you leave include:
- Check your tire pressure and tread. Your tires are critical to safe driving.
- Make sure your wipers are ready to go. Replace them if they appear brittle or are several years old. Losing a wiper during a summer rainstorm is not fun!
- Check all fluid levels, filters, and your battery, along with your brakes.
- If air conditioning is important to you, ensure that your system is in good working order.
- Keep weight evenly distributed on and in your vehicle, and don’t over-pack your roof.
- Know your vehicle’s loaded weight limits.
- If you are towing anything, know how much you can safely tow.
And, as always when behind the wheel, obey the common sense road rules we all know:
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Don’t succumb to distractions like your phone.
- Don’t speed.
- Always watch out for the other person.
Staying Home This Year?
One of the positives about a staycation is that you don’t have to pack the car and you don’t have to deal with airport crowds and security. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers. If you’ll be spending time around the backyard pool and making local excursions, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t get bugged. Use insect repellent to protect your family against mosquitoes and ticks, which can carry serious diseases. Be aware that kids should not use DEET concentrations higher than 30 percent.
- If you plan to do any boating, make sure your life jackets and other safety gear are ready to go—and use them while on the water.
- Wear sunscreen and a cover up, especially during the hours when the sun is strongest, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids’ tender skins are especially vulnerable.
- Is your backyard play equipment in good repair? If not, get it ready for the kids. Also, if you use a park or play location that’s unfamiliar to you, take a look at the playground’s equipment before you allow your kids to enjoy it.
- Keep everyone hydrated when you’re outdoors. Children can overheat quickly; they need about 5 ounces of water every 20 minutes under the hot sun. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in children.
- If you’ll be cooking outdoors, keep children well away from grills and other red-hot objects. Also, make sure that hot foods stay hot and cold foods stay cold. A party that ends with a trip to the ER for food poisoning is no one’s idea of a good time.
- If you have a pool, don’t allow running or roughhousing, and never leave kids alone in any pool. Familiarize yourself with drowning’s warning signs. Approximately 163 kids younger than 15 drowned during the summer of 2017; 70 percent were younger than five.
- Avoid trampolines. They’re surprisingly dangerous.
Additional Safety Tips
Finally, if you’ll be travelling, remember these suggestions before you start having fun:
- Make sure you have secure arrangements for your pets if they are not going with you. If pets come along, never leave them in a vehicle, and make sure they stay cool and hydrated.
- Leave a copy of your trip itinerary with a close friend or relative.
- Does your health insurance cover you away from home? Double-check your policy’s rules for emergency care you might need when far from home so you won’t receive any unpleasant billing surprises.
We hope you enjoy your time off this summer!
When others breach their duty, we keep ours.
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