How to Make a Safety Plan to Keep Your Family’s Summer Fun

BY SANDRA GUY

How important is safety and preventing injury — especially inside our homes, where we work and play?

Just ask me. I spent a few painful, exasperating weeks hobbling around in what felt like a 30-pound boot after I broke my toe by accidentally slamming my foot into my spin bike in the middle of the night.

The bike had sat in the same spot for two years — with its jagged, rock-hard front wheels — the small wheels that let you move the bike — wickedly sticking out, just waiting to be tripped over.

A bone takes eight to 12 weeks to heal, and the stiff and flat-bottomed shoe that followed the boot did more damage to my foot than did the broken toe. Lots of frustration.

Who needs it? Why not create a family safety plan — after all, the National Safety Council recognizes June as National Safety Month — that protects you so that you don’t have to rush to the emergency clinic at 7 a.m. on a Saturday?

I ordered soft coverings for the spin-bike wheels and covered the now-cushioned wheels with a soft thick blanket for a second layer of protection. I then bought a weatherproof cover for the entire bike so I couldn’t miss it again in the dark.

Lots of other potential disasters await, so think about these tips from the National Safety Council.

Stay hydrated while you enjoy the outdoors. Take frequent breaks, use sunscreen, and carry — and drink — plenty of water.

Keep from becoming dessert for a swarm of biting bugs. I can offer my own experience of attending a night-time outdoor concert and coming away with hundreds of bug bites on one of my legs. Remember to spray with insect repellant. If you are allergic to bee stings or other insect bites, be sure to have your EpiPen in case you need an epinephrine injection.

And be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and long pants, if the latter is possible, to protect yourself against mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can cause malaria, yellow fever or the Zika or West Nile virus.

Have fun while staying safe at playgrounds, fireworks shows, water parks, swimming pools, skateboard parks and amusement parks. Remind yourself about past horrific experiences in the emergency room, and play it smart while you’re having fun.

Safety includes family members who understand consensual conduct. Teach children the proper names for body parts and what to do if someone tries to touch them in a sexual way. Keep a list of the proper authorities and resources to contact.

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