June: National Safety Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has designated June as National Safety Month. This is an annual observance aimed at increasing public awareness of the dangers faced each day — on the highways, in homes and workplaces, and in the community.

Take to the Roadway ~~ Vacation time is just around the corner and that means increased travel on our nation’s roadways. Buckling up to save a life, and avoid driving distracted to reduce accidents. Driving safely and taking the proper precautions can mean the difference between having a fun trip and becoming a statistic, whether you travel across town or coast to coast. Make your next road trip more enjoyable and safe by getting organized before you leave home.

Home Sweet Home ~~ You can limit the possibilities of disasters and injuries in the home by identifying and removing unsafe conditions. Take a hike around your home and check for halogen lamps, scatter rugs, slippery floors, worn stair treads, clutter, extension cords that cross traffic lanes, old batteries in smoke detectors, lack of fire extinguishers, worn or ill-fitting shoes and slippers, and other potential trouble spots.

Hike or Bike ~~ Health experts say walking is the best exercise while biking is an enjoyable family activity. Yet, how safe are you? Walk only in safe areas where sidewalks will keep you off the roadway. Be sure every member of the family wears a helmet while biking. Bones can mend and skin abrasions heal, but a head injury is a lifetime affliction.

Whistle While You Work ~~ Getting hurt at work is not pleasant. Do not be complacent and believe that injuries happen in highly unusual or exceptional circumstances. This is not the case. Accidents and injuries occur with carelessness, thoughtlessness and not paying attention. Controlling dangers at work is no different than any other area of your life–recognize the problem and put a solution into place. The most common workplace hazard is slips and trips. A high level of noise causes tinnitus and hearing loss, an occupational hazard in many fields. Illnesses develop from exposure to hazardous chemicals, dust, fumes and bacteria. It is your responsibility to be aware of your environment.

Awareness is the first step in creating a healthy and safe environment at home, at work, at play.

June Challenge: An Organized Car

Make your next road trip enjoyable and safe by getting organized before you leave home.

1.  Schedule general car maintenance, including hose and fluid checks, prior to your trip. Check air pressure in all tires, including the spare. Replace your wiper blades at least once a year.

2.  Pack duct tape. It will seal and hold together many broken car parts long enough for you to get to a service station. Duct tape is one of the most useful tools to pack for any trip. It can mend a hem, repair a tear, seal a leak, secure a bag…  Another good tip to remember is that nylon stockings can function as a fan belt in an emergency.

3.  Pack a first-aid kit, water, snacks, blankets, old towels, handi-wipes, litterbag and a flashlight with fresh batteries.

4.  Simple habits contribute to safe driving. Check your rear-view mirror and blind spots frequently. Always come to a complete stop at stop signs and watch for other cars before continuing. Be aware of complacency when driving familiar roadways.

5.  Defensive driving is safe driving. Be conscious of your surroundings.

6.  Avoid distractions–map reading, talking/texting on a cell phone, rowdy children, loud noises, etc. When your attention is diverted, you are more likely to make a mistake. Small mistakes create big problems.

7.  Keep all doors locked while driving.

8.  Obtain updated maps (either paper or electronic) and plot out primary and secondary routes.

9.  Schedule frequent rest stops to stretch your legs.

10. ID your children with special bracelets, necklaces or information placed in the insoles of their shoes.  Google “ID for children.” Don’t forget to ID their backpacks, personal items and strollers. Always carry a recent photo of your child for identification purposes. Consider using brightly colored shoelaces for quick and easy identification.

11. Pack surprise toys, pillows and blankets in the car when traveling with children.

12 Hang a plastic shoe bag or back-of-the-seat organizer for toys, games, crayons, coloring books and litter.

13. Children will enjoy using a lap tray for play games, coloring or holding a book.

14. Do not let you children lie down. They are not protected by seat belts in a prone position.  Never put infants and young children in the front seat.

15. Do not store books, equipment and other material on the shelf behind the back seat. Sudden stops cause these objects to be thrown forward with tremendous force.

16. Daytime running lights help other drivers see you better.

17. Stay sober.  Stay awake.  Stay calm. Stay safe!

“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”  Ernest Hemingway