Warm Weather Safety

Swimming Pool Safety

While enjoying a cooling dip in any public swimming pool this summer, keep the following health and safety tips in mind.

* Look for a current Illinois Department of Public Health operating license. Public pools are required to display this license.

* Make sure a lifeguard is on duty. If there is no lifeguard present, DO NOT let children swim unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

* Never swim alone, no matter how experienced a swimmer you may be.

* Look around the pool area for lifesaving devices, so you know where they are located should the need to use them arise.

* Be sure there are grate covers on all drains. The pool's pumps create suction which can be dangerous if not reduced by grates.

* Swim only in pools where the water quality is properly maintained.

Summer Sun Safety

While enjoying the beautiful weather this summer, keep this fact in mind - one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. If caught early, skin cancer is the most curable type of cancer. However, it is important to do your best to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun's harmful rays.

It is most important to protect young children from the dangerous effects of the sun. It can take less than 10 minutes for a child's skin to burn. Individuals who suffer severe sunburns during childhood are at an increased risk for skin cancer.

Keep the following sun safety tips in mind when outdoors this summer.

* Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially between 10 am and 4 pm, the peak hours for harmful UV rays. Do not sunbathe - tanning is your skin's response to injury from the sun. Remember, skin cancer develops slowly and could take 20 years to form.

* Babies under 6 months old should have very little sun exposure. If out in the sun, they should wear protective clothing, including a hat & sunglasses, along with sunscreen. Discuss sunscreen options with your child's physician.

* Everyone over the age of 6 months should ALWAYS wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every 2-3 hours when in the sun. Don't forget the nose, lips, ears, and backs of hands and feet.

Barbecue Safety

One of our favorite things to do during the summer is to have cookouts. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure an accident doesn't spoil the fun.

* Keep your barbecue grill away from walls, low overhangs, and other flammable materials.

* Handle charcoal starter fluid carefully. Never add more to a fire, it may explode. Never use gasoline or other substitutes for starter fluid.

* Don't let children or pets play near a grill. They might touch it or run into it and get burned.

* Never use a charcoal grill in a garage or enclosed area where carbon monoxide can build up.

* Protect yourself by wearing a heavy apron and an oven mitt that fits high over your forearm. Avoid loose clothing that could fall onto hot coals.

* Always store propane cylinders for gas grills outside. To check for leaks, use a soap and water solution, which will show bubbles if any gas is leaking.

Outdoor Activity Safety

The number of children in and around village streets always increases when the weather gets warm. With that in mind, we'd like to caution drivers to be more observant as they travel in and around town. The ambulance responds to numerous accidents, many involving children, that could be avoided if we all practice a little summer safety.

DRIVERS - slow down. Give bicyclists plenty of room and be on alert for rollerbladers and skateboarders coming out of driveways.

CHILDREN - remember, when traveling the road on your bicycle, you are responsible for obeying the same traffic laws as automobile operators. Don't travel against traffic and obey all traffic signs and signals. Be sure to look before entering into a traffic path and always signal your intentions.

Lawn Mower Safety

More than 70,000 people are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for lawn mower injuries, including casualties of burns, thrown objects, falls, and electrical shock. Avoid being a statistic by following some commonsense safety tips from Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL).

* Before operating your mower, make sure you have read the owner's manual thoroughly, noting all safety instructions.

* If you have a gasoline-fueled mower, store the gas in a UL-listed safety can. Be sure to fill the mower outside, using a funnel to prevent spills.

* Always start the mower outdoors. Never operate the mower where carbon monoxide can collect, such as in a closed garage, storage shed, or basement.

* Ensure all safety guards are in place and keep the mower's blades sharp.

* Keep your hands and feet away from the mower's blades. Never reach under the mower for any reason while the mower is in operation.

* Never leave a lawn mower operational while unattended. Curious children could get seriously injured.

Gasoline Safety

Along with lawn mower safety come some reminders about safe handling and the use of gasoline. Most of us know that transporting gasoline in a car is risky, but every summer, people must carry gasoline home from service stations. Here are some tips from the experts on how to do it safely:

* Use a proper container. Fill no more than 3/4 full to allow for the expansion of vapors.

* Be sure the container is closed tightly and braced to prevent tipping. Never fill the can while it is in the car and remove it from the trunk as soon as you get home. Dangerous vapors can be emitted, causing combustion.

* Never store containers with gasoline in the house. Store them in a safe location outside.