Hoffmann: Time for a summer safety check

Bridget Hoffmann is a health educator at the McHenry County Department of Health.
Bridget Hoffmann is a health educator at the McHenry County Department of Health.

Summer is (almost) officially here. Time for riding bikes, summer road trips and days at the beach.

There is no better time to enjoy all the great family adventures to come than with some nice long summer days.

But don’t forget to always keep safety in mind.

June is National Safety Month, and there’s no better time than the present to perform a family safety check.

Summer not only brings warm weather and lots of sunshine, it also can provide some pretty strong storms.

As a family, it always is important to know where your “safety shelter” is in your home in the event of severe weather or tornadoes.

Keep a first aid kit stocked and ready with a flashlight and extra batteries in your safety shelter or close by to grab it easily.

Having a battery-powered weather radio on hand also is a good item to have in the event of a loss of power.

Along with the warmer weather, be sure to wear lots of sunscreen and drink plenty of water to prevent any possible sunburn or dehydration. Don’t be afraid to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours, especially if you have been in and out of the water.

Days at the beach or the pool can be another great way to spend your summer.

Water safety is another skill we encourage you to practice this summer.

Always remember to never leave a child unattended near open water, and always make sure kids are sporting floaties or life preservers if needed.

The hardest trick with water safety is encouraging your child to not drink the pool or lake water. Too much ingested water could cause a child to become sick.

For kids and teachers, summer is the best time of year. No homework, tests or lesson plans to prepare means a wide-open schedule full of fun. It also is an important time of year for drivers to stay vigilant while on the road, as kids are riding their bikes more frequently.

As a driver, we encourage you to always wear your seat belt and to eliminate all distractions while driving.

Remember, talking on your phone while driving is illegal in Illinois. So we’re also helping save your wallet from a possible ticket, too.

June is a big month here in the county for bicyclists. As a county, we will be recognizing National Bike Week from June 21 to 29.

During this week, we encourage all county residents to jump on their two wheels and bike to work, the store or around the neighborhood.

Always remember to wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road.

Now that you’re safety experts, you are ready to conquer all the fun and excitement this summer is sure to bring you and your family.

Have fun, and stay safe.

• Bridget Hoffmann is a health educator at the McHenry County Department of Health.

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