Safe Summer Tips
Summertime in Louisiana means a lot of things. It means no school, longer days, and lazy boat rides on the weekends. For the children, it is an opportunity to make the most out of their free time, shake off the winter cobwebs, and stretch their legs out after sitting behind a desk for most of the year. It’s a time for festivals and get-togethers and music and fun. And no one appreciates the Louisiana summer quite like someone who has lived there his entire life.
“There’s nothing else like it,” said Chris J. Roy Jr., a lifelong Louisiana resident and founder of Chris J. Roy, Jr., APLC in Alexandria. “I’m not a kid anymore – I founded my firm in 1989, and I’m just as busy and work just as hard in the summer as in the winter, but somehow it still feels more relaxed, like everyone is taking a deep breath.”
But as adults and children become more active and spend more time with outdoor activities in the summer, the risk of accidents and injuries increases, as well. There are a number of health threats in Louisiana in the summertime, and many can be life-threatening.
The first is the heat. With the high temperatures and blanketing humidity, it is easy to lose body fluids and succumb to heat stroke, which, when left untreated, can be fatal. Signs of heat stroke include high body temperature, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. The first step in fighting heat stroke is prevention. The Louisiana Department of Health (DOH) suggests staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, wearing suitable clothing and scheduling outdoor activities with the environment in mind.
Because of the local environment, mosquitos are often unavoidable in the Louisiana summer. But, like the heat, they can be extremely dangerous. Mosquitos have been proven to carry West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis and many other diseases. DOH suggests applying mosquito repellant, wearing long sleeves and pants in known infested areas and avoiding perfumes or colognes if outside for long periods of time. They also suggest removing any standing water near your home and making sure windows, doors and screens are secure.
Perhaps one of the most popular summer activities anywhere is swimming. But because of its popularity, without proper precautions, swimming, no matter if in a pool or a lake, can be one of the most dangerous summer activities. DOH has offered a series of tips to help make the water safe:
- Adult Supervision– Never leave children alone in or near water, even in shallow wading pools. And do not substitute parental supervision with that of an older sibling. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- Learn to Swim– Children and adults should learn to swim. Do not assume your child is “drown-proof” even though he/she may have taken lessons and learned to swim. Children still need constant supervision.
- Learn CPR– Adults and children over age 13 should learn infant and child CPR.
- Dive Carefully– Do not let children dive into water unless an adult is present and knows that the depth of the water is greater than nine feet.
- Avoid Bad Weather– Never allow children to swim during lightning storms or other bad weather.
- Maintain Fences and Gates– Fences and walls should be at least four feet high around the pool. Fence gate latches should be out of the reach of small children.
- Rescue Equipment– Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a phone is near the pool and that emergency numbers are posted.
- Check the Pool First– If a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Personal Flotation Devices– Make sure your child wears a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) when on a boat, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Air-filled “swimming aids” are not considered safety devices and are not substitutes for PFDs.
- Use Sunscreen– Watch out for sunburn. Swimming safely also means protecting a child’s sensitive skin from the sun. Make sure children are wearing plenty of waterproof sunscreen of at least SPF 15, and reapply it every few hours.
With proper precautions, the dangers in summer are drastically reduced. Simple common sense in most cases will suffice, but with additional tips and precautions from professionals, it’s possible to have a healthy and safe summer.
Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC has been providing personal injury representation to the people of Louisiana from its Alexandria office since 1989. We handle a variety of cases, and look forward to addressing your legal needs. For questions or to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at 318.487.9537.