In Georgia, summer is fast approaching, and that means more people are enjoying time outside after a particularly challenging year. But summer fun is best paired with a dose of summer safety. As you begin to venture out and enjoy the sunshine (more on that below!), keeping a few safety basics in mind can help you and your family avoid preventable accidents.
In Atlanta, temperatures can climb into the 90s in May and stay there through October. That means if you’re venturing outside, you have to be heat smart. Plan your activities for the coolest part of the day—the morning and evening—and try to stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours.
If you’re planning a picnic or a beach or lake visit, make sure you have easy access to shade. If you’ll be exercising, take it easy, especially if you’re just getting back into physical activity after a time away. The CDC maintains a list of symptoms for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash so you can recognize them in yourself or others.
Aside from limiting your activity during the hottest times of day, be sure to stay hydrated—even if you’re just driving from one indoor location to another. It’s easy to quickly lose fluids in extreme temperatures.
Whether you missed a spot at the beach or skipped applying on an overcast day, a sunburn can be seriously uncomfortable. When you begin to get burned, your body also has a harder time cooling down, putting you more at risk for the heat-related illnesses above. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 daily, and reapply regularly, especially after you’ve been sweating or in the water. Also add sunglasses, a hat and a UPF shirt for extra protection. If you experience a blistering sunburn with a headache, nausea or chills, head to the doctor.
Water injuries or drowning
Drowning is the leading cause of death in kids ages 1 to 4. If you plan to have kids anywhere near the water this summer, try practicing Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life “Arm’s Reach Eye’s Reach” strategy for water safety. Even if there are lifeguards on duty or other adults around, keep kids younger than 6 within arms reach at all times. For kids who are older and are confident swimmers, keep them within eye’s reach.
Sprains, strains and breaks can happen as you jump back into team or recreational sports this summer. Whether you’re in an Ultimate Frisbee league, you’re playing an impromptu game of kickball or you’re pitching in your child’s baseball game, make sure you’re feeling strong and healthy before you take to the field. Make sure you’re wearing gear that’s appropriate to the game, take time to rest and stop playing if you’re uncomfortable. Ice down injuries afterward, but head to the doctor if the pain is severe or you can’t bear weight.
Summertime means grilling, campfires and maybe a toasted marshmallow or two. To prevent burns, maintain a 3-foot distance for kids around the grill. Only use starter fluid appropriate for charcoal, never gas or other flammable liquids. Completely extinguish campfire or fire pit embers with water. For fireworks, it’s safest to leave things to the pros.
Drinking and driving
With summer holidays, school out and the return of many summer festivities, impaired driving is likely to spike, as it does every summer. In particular, the Fourth of July weekend is typically one of the most deadly for drunk-driving crashes. If you intend to drink, arrange ahead of time for a sober ride home.
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers
This summer, we hope you enjoy being with friends and family again—staying safe while you’re at it. If you’re involved in an accident or injured by an impaired driver, contact the personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian for a free consultation.