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Our View: June about reminders for safety

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, take in some sun and enjoy Mother Nature. But it is also a time to be reminded of the importance of safety, particularly preventing injury and/or death.

While June marks the official start of summer, it also recognizes National Safety Month. Observed annually, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.

The national recognition is sponsored by the National Safety Council, with each week of the month dedicated to a different safety topic. This year’s recognition highlights emergency preparedness, wellness, falls and driving. The overarching theme is “No One Gets Hurt.”

The NSC provides some tips for each week’s theme.

— Prepare for the unexpected. Research and prepare for natural disasters common to your area, such as floods, earthquakes or tornadoes. Create an emergency kit for both your home and car. Create a home emergency plan with your family and learn how to shut off your utilities. Be a good participant in emergency drills at work and school by following instructions and paying attention to lessons learned. Store important phone numbers, including those of family members, with other important documents in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box.

— Prioritize your wellness. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or go for a walk at lunch to work physical activity into your daily schedule. Take advantage of workplace wellness programs and choose healthy snacks each day. Find nearby options for exercise classes through your local parks department. Take breaks throughout your day to refresh your body and mind – if you sit for long periods, stand up and stretch for a few minutes at a time. Get regular medical checkups, such as an annual physical and age-appropriate tests – ask a professional about the right tests, exercise and nutrition choices for your physical fitness and age.

— Prevent slips, trips and falls. Remove clutter, including electrical cords and other tripping hazards, from walkways, stairs and doorways. Install nightlights in the bathroom, hallways and other areas to prevent tripping and falls at night. Always wear proper footwear and clean up spills immediately. Place non-slip adhesive strips on stairs and non-skid mats in the shower and bathroom. For older adults, install grab bars near showers and toilets, and install rails on both sides of stairs – older adults can also take balance classes, get their vision and hearing checked each year and talk with their doctors and pharmacist about fall risks from medication.

— Always drive safe. Avoid impaired driving, whether by alcohol, lack of sleep or drugs, including over the counter and prescription medication. Avoid cell phone distracted driving, including hands-free. Practice with your teen drivers and teach them to avoid distraction. Make sure all occupants are properly secured in age-appropriate restraints. Never leave a child alone in a car and always keep your car locked when not in use. If you drive for work, talk with your employer about safe habits – do not take calls while behind the wheel. Regularly check your vehicle for recalls at CheckToProtect. org and stay up to date on the safety features in your car by visiting MyCarDoesWhat.org.

Think of at least one change you can make to improve safety this June. Use these resources during the designated weeks, or create a schedule that works best for your organization.

It never hurts to be reminded of precautions we can take to improve our safety and others’.