Is safety a fitness issue or a health issue? Is it an indoor issue or an outdoor issue? Actually – it’s all of those. June is National Safety Month, and we’ve got some basic information (or a refresher course) for being safe at home, at work and when on the go.
JUNE IS NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH
The National Safety Council states that safety is no accident.
It’s a choice we need to make throughout our entire lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. There are 31 million emergency department visits for unintentional injuries. Among children ages 1-15, accidents are the leading cause of death.
Those are sobering facts – so let’s all work to change them!
Here’s what is suggested by the National Safety Council for the month of June.
WEEK 1: STAND READY TO RESPOND
Training. Everyone can take a CPR course. You don’t have to rise to the level of a paramedic or EMT – you just need to be ready to save someone’s life with basic techniques. Even young children can take a lifesaving course. Many schools, YMCAs and other organizations offer safety courses (often called babysitting class) that teaches young children how to administer aid to an infant.
Awareness. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of children at all times – especially near water. Children can drown in just a few inches of water.
Respond. Be the good Samaritan. If someone has been accidentally injured, you should be prepared to:
Prepare. Each home should have a first aid kit. The Red Cross sells them, or you can make your own.
- Recognize the emergency (be aware of what is happening around you)
- Check the area for safety (If it’s not safe, don’t enter)
- Check the victim and ask for permission to provide assistance
- Call 9-1-1 when appropriate
- Care for the person until help arrives
WEEK 2: BE HEALTHY
Medication. Safeguard all prescription medicines and keep them out of the reach of children. Beware of drug interactions by reading the labels carefully or speaking with your doctor if you have concerns. Beware of opioids (pain killers) which have been over-prescribed in recent years and are highly addictive.
Monitor your health. If you have diabetes – check your blood sugar regularly. If you have high blood pressure – check it regularly and watch for spikes or changes. If you are a shift worker (working during overnight hours) – be aware that it carries an increased risk of health disorders, including diabetes, cancer and hypertension.
Weight. Many diseases and conditions are related to obesity. If you need to lose weight – keep trying to do so.
Smoking. Don’t smoke.
WEEK 3: WATCH OUT FOR DANGERS
Slip and fall accidents. These are so common that there are entire law firms dedicated this type of accident. Pay attention when you’re walking and keep your nose out of your phone. Elderly people need to take special care in bathrooms which could have slippery floors.
Childproofing. If you are a parent – make certain that heavy items (TVs etc.) are secured and can’t fall over on top of a toddler. Keep dangerous chemicals locked up or out of reach. Cover electrical sockets with child protectors. Guns should be unloaded and locked up (out of reach). According to the CDC, more than one-third of child injuries and deaths happen at home. They happen where there is…
Eliminate fire hazards. OSHA states that “Employees are responsible for keeping unnecessary combustible materials from accumulating in the work area.” This is good advice for parents in homes as well. Anything that could catch fire is a potential hazard. Do you have a fire extinguisher? Do you know how to use it?
- Water: in the bathroom, kitchen, swimming pools or hot tubs
- Heat or flame: in the kitchen, fireplace or at a barbeque grill
- Toxic substance: under the kitchen sink, in the medicine cabinet, in the garage or garden shed, in a purse or other place where medications are stored
- Potential for a fall: on stairs, slippery floors, from high windows or from tipping furniture
WEEK 4: SHARE ROADS SAFELY
Pay attention when driving. You should never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free. Before driving, pre-set your navigation system and music playlists. Don’t drink and drive, text and drive or drive drowsy.
Watch your speed. The CDC reported that speeding was a factor in 28% of all traffic fatalities in 2014. When speeding, you lessen your reaction time and increase your chances of having a crash.
Share the road. There are more bicyclists on the road today – keep an eye out for them. Motorcycles can get in your blind spot easily – be aware of their presence. If a motorist is on the side of the road (or a police officer has pulled someone over) move over a lane to give them space and prevent a crash.
These are the four topics on which you can focus in June, however safety is a yearlong endeavor. Let’s be careful out there.