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Health Department Notes

Summertime safety

The summer season marks the time for families to enjoy some of America’s traditional summer pastimes – barbecues, pool parties and backyard gatherings. However, family festivities could be interrupted by a trip to the emergency room if you don’t follow simple steps to safeguard your family and friends against summer hazards.

Grilling safety

Make sure your next barbecue doesn’t go up in flames. The following safety tips are recommended:

• Designate the grilling area a “No Play Zone,” keeping kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.

Before using, position your grill at least three feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.

Only use starter fluid made for barbecue grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.

Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to be sure it is working properly and not leaking.

Never use a match to check for leaks. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and don't attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed.

Never bring a barbecue grill indoors, or into any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.

Swimming safety and pool security

Many drowning incidents involve swimming pools and spas. Drowning is a silent and sudden event. Use these guidelines to help keep your pool area safe:

Always practice constant adult supervision around any body of water. Older children should not be left in charge of younger children in the pool area.

Install four-sided fencing that isolates the pool from the home. Four-sided pool fencing is proven to be an effective drowning prevention intervention.

Pool fencing should be at least five feet high and have self locking and self closing gates.

Position gate latches out of the reach of young children. Never prop the gate open or disable the latch.

Clear debris, clutter and pool toys from the pool deck and adjoining pathways to prevent falls.

Keep a cordless, water resistant telephone in the pool area and post emergency numbers near the pool area.

Enroll non-swimmers in swimming lessons taught by a qualified instructor. Pediatricians recommend that children ages 5 and older learn how to swim.

Never swim alone. Even adults should always swim with a buddy.

Learn and practice the basic lifesaving techniques, including First Aid and CPR. Insist that anyone who cares for your children learn CPR.

Backyard safety

Lawn mowing and landscaping top the list of household chores when it comes to preparing for backyard parties and barbecues. The simple act of yard work can be riddled with opportunities for injuries if you’re not careful. The following tips are recommended to insure your backyard doesn’t become an injury trap:

Wear protective goggles and ear protection while using outdoor machinery to prevent sight and hearing-loss injuries.

Keep all garden tools out of children’s reach and store them with tines, blades or spikes pointing downward.

Fuel mowers outside and only when the motor is completely cool. If necessary, store small quantities of gasoline outside the home in a detached garage or shed, tightly sealed in an approved safety container and out of the sight and reach of children.

Start the mower outdoors to avoid raising carbon monoxide levels inside the home or garage.

Store pesticides in their original containers and out of the reach of children, and only mix and store pesticides in containers not used for eating or drinking.

Clear sidewalks and pathways of any toys and clutter to avoid falls.

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