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franklin county times

Keep summer dangers in mind

It’s been heating up outside for the past several weeks, but now it’s official: It’s summertime in Alabama.

For most of us, it’s time for fun in the sun, for gatherings and traveling, for soaking up the season. Summer gets us out to great local destinations like the Bear Creek Lakes, community splash pads, downtown shopping and youth sports complexes. It’s a time of late-night milkshake runs, early morning bicycle rides, long evenings on the front porch and making memories we will carry for years to come.

As you go out to enjoy Franklin County – and beyond – over the next couple of months, we hope you will keep safety in mind.

We don’t want risks to hinder the fun, and we certainly don’t want to make anyone unnecessarily fearful or anxious. But the bald truth is, there are so many potential hazards in the summertime that we don’t encounter the rest of the year. From sunburn and heat stroke, to drowning, to vacation travel incidents, to out-of-control grill fires and more, there are unfortunately plenty of ways to bring injury to yourself while enjoying your favorite summer activities.

Hiking an unfamiliar trail can bring you in contact with ticks and poison ivy. A day on the lake carries risks of a boating accident. Even just spending a long morning working or playing in the backyard can end in sun poisoning or dehydration.

So, as you go about enjoying this season, please keep safety in mind. We don’t want to report on any major hazards, injuries or fatalities this summer. By employing some basic precautions, any summer activity can be safe as well as fun.

Use caution with fireworks, making sure to follow local laws, keep a water source handy in case of fire and keep little ones away from the action. Don’t let a fun day of patriotism be spoiled with a trip to the ER or a call to 911.

Load up on sunscreen and bug spray. Stay hydrated. Keep cool by wearing light colors and taking frequent breaks out of the sun. Be sure to check on pets and neighbors, especially those who might be particularly susceptible to heat-related injuries and illnesses.

Wear your seatbelt and don’t drive while sleepy or under the influence. Follow the speed limit and obey passing and stopping laws.

Wear a life jacket. Don’t swim alone. Have a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling. Keep your first aid kit stocked.

These are just a few of the basic safety measures that can make sure summer is a time of safe fun in the sun.

We’re not trying to bring doom and gloom to the fun of summer. We just want everyone to safely enjoy what this season has to offer.

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