It is hard to believe that another month of June has rolled around, meaning it is National Safety Month – time to focus on round-the-clock safety and health.  The National Safety Council emphasizes that June is the time to stress the urgent need to reduce unintentional deaths and injuries on the road, in the workplace and at home.  Week One’s focus is on “Summertime Safety” (June 1-4). “Preventing Overexertion” is the theme for Week Two (June 5 – 11).  A subject that is very important to parents and teens during Week Three – “Teen Driver Safety,” (June 12-18.) Week Four, (June 19 – 25), we will emphasize safety ideas for “Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls.”  Finally, “ON the Road – OFF the Phone,” is the topic of discussion for the end of the month, (June 26 – 30.)  These are all subjects that affect most all of us in one way or another.  

Accidents happen every day of the year, regardless of whether it is at work, traveling, or at home.  It seems that summertime does bring some unusual accidents, and one reason may be because there are so many more outdoor activities going on.  Summer is the time for boating, fishing, waterskiing, canoeing, bicycling, skateboarding, swimming, and many other fun actions that may cause injuries if we aren’t careful.  (For the past two weekends, we heard of two different boating incidents where young persons drowned.  None of them were wearing life jackets.)  Playgrounds are inviting to little ones, so there should always be adult supervision when they play on the different types of equipment.    

Heat is a threat to workers who must become acclimated to the change in temperatures; many times, it is a drastic change from what they are used to.  They must stay hydrated and get some rest breaks in the shade during long work shifts.  Teens new to working in the outdoors should be sure to drink plenty of water orpowdered drink mix, and everyone should wear sunscreen and light colored clothing.  Student athletes should also stay hydrated while working out for sports. 

Those who work in agriculture always face extreme weather conditions – dry, hot, windy, and sunny.  Farm children need to be supervised by adults, especially while they are around water, such as ponds or tanks, and animals.  There are lots of ATV riders in summer weather, as well as motorcyclists, who should know the safety rules regarding their vehicles, and wear the right gear for protection.  

We hope this summer brings everything you are planning for: vacation time, relaxation, fun in the sun (don’t forget the sunscreen and sunglasses), safe trips, and the other things that many families plan for during summer months when they have school-age children.  It seems there are always some types of accidents, associated with hot-weather activities, that we can’t encourage everyone enough to be extremely careful when planning vacations, trips, and yes, even work.  For most of us, work marches on, so we need to make the necessary accommodations to stay cool and safe during each workday, too. 

One way for young people to be safe is to have a “buddy” system.  It is always better to have a friend along just in case there is a problem.  One extra important reminder about summer: there will be more children playing in their front yards (and possibly the streets).  So keep a watch out for them when you are driving in neighborhoods. 

Have a fun and safe summer!