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Summer is here and many people will be heading out on vacation or just spending more time outdoors enjoying the great weather. Unfortunately, the statistics show that certain types of accidents and injuries increase during the summer months. So what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe?

The best thing you can do is be aware of the risks. Get out there and have fun—but give some thought to possible issues and prepare ahead of time. Here are a few thoughts:

Safety At Home

The kids are out of school, it’s light outside later at night, and the water is inviting. One of the most important safety tips we can provide is the reminder that heat can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and how to treat it and always remember to consume plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to stay properly hydrated. Check out the American Red Cross website at to learn more.

Water safety is also important. Whether you are swimming in a pool, river or lake, swim with a buddy. Use life jackets for kids and adults who don’t know how to swim. Also consider signing up for swim lessons at your local community pool or YMCA. If you are going boating or out on a personal watercraft, know the rules and follow them. Remember that in North Carolina, it is against the law to operate a boat while impaired.

Auto accidents are another risk during the summer months. There are more motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians out during the summer months. Avoid distracted driving, watch for bad weather and be aware of those around you.

Safety On Vacation

As many of us head out on vacation, we relax and let our guard down. Unfortunately, many criminals know this and target people who are not paying attention and are not aware of their surroundings. From a personal safety perspective, don’t take valuables or carry large amounts of cash while on vacation. Know how to contact the police in the event of an emergency. And don’t take risks you wouldn’t normally take if you were at home. When going away on vacation, be sure to properly secure your home by locking all doors and windows. It is also a good idea to set a few lights and a television or radio on a timer and have someone collect your mail and newspapers while you are away. Remember to arrange for care for your pets as well.

Safety On the Job

Summer can be tough for those who work outdoors. Roofers, farm workers, electric company linemen, cell tower crews, construction workers, and road crews are among those workers who must take heat warnings seriously. Proper hydration is most important when working extended hours outdoors. Make sure you drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks. Also, dress for the heat in light colored, loose clothing. Severe thunderstorms and hurricanes are also common in our region. Employers should have specific procedures in place to ensure the safety of their workers in extreme weather conditions and to ensure employees are properly trained. Remember, if you are injured on the job you must notify your employer within 30 days of the injury.

We hope you have a wonderful summer. Don’t forget the sunscreen and stay safe out there.