It’s almost summer and it’s time to break out the camping gear, crank up the ATV’s, fire up the BBQ grills and have fun. That’s how we want to see summer, but summer is also the deadliest time of the year. The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day see spikes in motor vehicle crash deaths, drownings, recreational vehicle accidents, falls while hiking, bike crashes and other warm-weather accidents that result in serious injuries and deaths. Burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and boating-related injuries all go up in summer.
However, knowing the risks go up as we engage in summer activities gives you time to prepare for yourself to mitigate those risks. What can you do to prepare? Here are a few things to consider and you’ll be adding to this as you think it through.
1. Everyone needs at least basic medical training. You are your own first responders and having basic first aid knowledge can make the difference between a family member being a summer time statistic or their lives being saved. As a minimum, call your local Red Cross and schedule a class for your entire family as anyone, even your kids, could find themselves in a situation of being that first responder.
2. Check your gear; all of it. Service what needs it. Unserviceable gear will fail. Don’t let that failure cause an injury, especially when it is preventable with just normal maintenance.
3. Have the proper medical gear on hand. If you’re med kit has a few Band-Aids and out of date wet wipes in it, upgrade it. Besides the everyday items you find in a big box store variety medical kit, be sure yours has items to stop excessive bleeding by including a good pressure bandage, have items to immobilize a limb, it should have items to treat minor burns which are more common in summer, and have a quick reference first aid guide. Also, tourniquets are something everyone should consider for every med kit they own. The old way of thinking that a tourniquet is to be used as a last resort has changed with lessons learned from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. It can save a life and they are too inexpensive to chance being caught without one.
4. Have the proper safety equipment for the activity you are engaging in. This also includes those common things like working flashlights, signaling devices, and charged communication devices.
Summer is a great time of year, but with all the fun comes a need for increased awareness. Just because statistically we are approaching the deadliest time year doesn’t mean we should overly worry, but it does mean we should prepare for the unexpended to help take the worry out of summer.
Check the medical kits Rocky Mountain Readiness has to offer here.