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Summer Safety Tips 2017

Now that the temperatures are soaring and school is out for the summer more of us will be out and about enjoying activities with our family and friends. Let’s keep the summer happy and fun with a few safety tips for some of our favorite activities - biking, swimming, and boating. 

When school’s out for the summer more kids and families are using two-wheeled transportation for fun, freedom, and exercise. Here are a few tips so that you'll be safe while you do so. 

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet. It is the best way to reduce head injuries and death, If adults wear a helmet, the children around them will be much more likely to do the same.   

A well-fitted helmet should:

  • Sit LOW on your forehead, only one or two finger-widths above your eyebrows 
  • Look upward and you should see the front rim of your bicycle helmet on your own head 
  • Left and right side straps should form a “Y” and meet right below your ear 
  • Chinstrap should be snug, just able to fit a finger between the strap and your chin

While a helmet is critical, the very best way to prevent serious injury is to avoid an accident altogether. There are entire websites dedicated to this area of bike safety. Here are a few of their tips and suggestions:

  • Obey the rules of the road & posted signs – a bicycle is a vehicle
  • Ride with the flow of traffic
  • Use signals when changing lanes, making turns
  • Remember just because you see a car doesn’t mean the driver of that car sees you
  • Wear bright colors, use lights, and reflectors
  • Dusk is surprisingly one of the more difficult times to be seen & thus more dangerous for cyclists (& pedestrians)

Here in the sunshine state no only are we surrounded by numerous large waterways, but yards, neighborhoods and community centers are home to pools of assorted shapes and sizes. Like many accidents, drowning can happen in the blink of an eye, but unlike others types of accidents drowning is often quiet. A child slips under and the water muffles the struggle. Even kids that are considered proficient swimmers can drown. Babies and toddlers can drown in only a few inches of water. As a parent, these facts are scary to hear and the stories of loss are soul wrenching.

What is a parent or caregiver to do? These tips from Safe Kids Worldwide are a great starting point for families, whether at the pool, the beach or in the little plastic pool in the front yard.

  • Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted, put your phone down. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult
  • Have older children swim with a partner every time
  • Teach children how to swim - consider their age, development and how often they are around water
  • Make sure kids and loved ones learn how to swim and develop these five water survival skills:
    • Jump into water over their heads and return to the surface
    • Float or tread water for one minute
    • Turn around in a full circle and find an exit
    • Swim 25 yards to exit the water
    • Exit the water - In a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder
  • Remember swimming in open water is very different than swimming in a pool
    • Be aware of uneven surfaces, currents, undertow and changing weather
  • Know what to do in an emergency? CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a life

With water surrounding us, boats big and small are in use nearly year-round in Florida, but certainly even more often during the summer months. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said in 2016 there were over 900,000 registered boats and likely almost as many unregistered boats in FL. That same year there was over 700 reported accidents and likely many many more unreported incidents in addition to millions of dollars of property damage due to preventable recreational boating accidents on our waterways. As a boat owner, passenger, or concerned individual you can make a difference! Did you know you know the US Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a FREE Vessel Safety Check? From their website or app you can schedule an appointment for a Certified Examiner to meet you at your boat for a safety evaluation. There is no cost for the vessel safety check and no consequences if you don’t pass. They offer this service to make our waterways safer and more fun for everyone.

There’s an app for that! The US Coast Guard App includes lots of great technical and safety information including:

  • State boating information
  • Safety equipment checklist
  • Schedule Appointments for Free Safety Check
  • Navigation Rules
  • Report pollution/suspicious activity/hazard on the water
  • Emergency Assistance button

We wish you and yours a happy, safe, sunny summer, but should you or your loved one be seriously injured in an accident through no fault of your own - contact Rubenstein Law at 800-FL-LEGAL. We are here for you 24/7, 365 days of the year.