Summer is almost here! It’s been another challenging year, and millions of Connecticut residents are eager to start the season of outdoor fun in the sun. But before you jump right in, don’t forget to prepare for safety to reduce injuries that can ruin a good time.
Between the extreme heat and general excitement of the season, summer-related accidents can happen quickly, and results can be severe– even fatal. Knowing the risks and taking precautions while working and playing this summer is essential to help you prepare and prevent dangers. Here are the most common summer hazards associated with your favorite activities and how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Regardless of whether you’re swimming in a pool, lake, or the ocean this summer, swimming can be dangerous without proper safety measures in place. Drowning is a concern for swimmers of all ages, especially children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) reports that unintentional drownings remain the second leading cause of death for children 0-17 and the leading cause of death for children 0-4.
Supervision is the most effective measure to take when it comes to preventing unintentional drownings. Always supervise children in the water and accompany children in the water if they cannot swim. Other steps you can take to stay safe while swimming include:
- Taking swim lessons and learning basic water safety skills.
- Ensuring you have fences and locked gates around pools or access to lake/oceanfront beaches.
- Wear a life jack in larger bodies of water.
- Research the body of water you plan to swim in for hidden hazards such as riptides, currents, waves, limited visibility, rocks, and vegetation.
- Supervise in groups and buddy up kids to make sure everyone is accounted for.
- Supervise and swim sober to prevent unnecessary alcohol-related accidents or a lack of judgment.
- Limit large inflatables to prevent children from being caught underneath.
Finally, it has been all over the news that lifeguards are in short supply. It is essential to be aware that there are limited lifeguards and to supervise your children and swimmers swimming alone. Paying attention is primary as we cannot count on lifeguards to be everywhere.
Boating and Personal Watercrafts
Boating and personal watercrafts are a staple in New England when it’s finally warm enough to stand the water. Both motorized and non-motorized vessels can pose risks to occupants. Understanding the dangers of your particular boat and your surroundings is the first step to staying safe.
Connecticut has seen a significant rise in boating accidents since the pandemic. Boaters and occupants reduce injuries and accidents using basic boating safety measures highlighted by the National Safety Council (N.S.C.), such as:
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Take safety courses on how to drive your vessel.
- Only drive vessels you are familiar with.
- Educate yourself on state boating laws.
- Research the carbon monoxide risks of your vessel and how to avoid exposure.
- Prepare for safety before going out on the water with life preservers, emergency gear, and first aid kits.
- Drive sober!
If you’re looking to take a ride on a boat, be sure to only accept invitations from people who are certified/licensed captains with credentials. During the pandemic, many people bought boats to escape their confines but had little to no experience on the water or driving a boat.
On the East Coast, summer is the season when water sports come alive. Surfing, water skiing, paddle boarding, and other endless excitement will fill every lake and ocean across the state. But as fun as these activities are, injuries resulting from water sports accidents can be catastrophic and fatal when things go wrong.
Common injuries related to water sports accidents include head injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and tissue damage. To stay safe, the Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin provides the following tips:
- Learn how to swim.
- Always have a buddy– never go out alone!
- Stay alert to your surroundings and the weather.
- Stay sober.
- Don’t take risks in unfamiliar bodies of water.
- Wear protective gear such as life jackets, flotation devices, and non-slip water shoes.
Summer is the official start of beach season! Before you and the family pack up the blanket to your favorite beach, remind everyone how to stay safe when hanging out near open water.
Unlike pools, lakes and oceans provide unique hazards and deep, deep water than can pose a severe risk for injuries. The Red Cross recommends taking the following steps every time you visit the beach to keep everyone safe:
- Only swim in areas marked and monitored by lifeguards.
- Place blankets close enough to the water to respond to a crisis and not too close for children to get swept away.
- Use sunscreen often to prevent sunburns.
- Never swim alone, no matter how good you can swim.
- Swim within your abilities and not too far out without a life jacket.
- Watch weather conditions before and during your visit.
- Stay clear of riptides and strong current areas.
Okay–maybe this isn’t the most fun of all summer activities but working a summer job can cause life-threatening injuries that can put you in the hospital.
Working in the summer often involves exposure to extreme heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. The three most common heat-related illnesses include heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. All these conditions result from the body overheating, but heatstroke is by far the deadliest.
Workers can protect themselves from heat-related illnesses by monitoring their body temperature throughout the workday and knowing how to identify the symptoms. Taking frequent cooldown breaks, drinking lots of water, wearing light-colored and breathable clothing, and never overworking in extreme heat can also help prevent the onset of heat-related injuries.
We wish all Connecticut residents and families a safe and healthy summer!
Jacobs & Wallace Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love is injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.