It doesn’t take long for the summer heat to do some serious harm. Whether you’re working outside or traveling with children, there are important precautions you can take every day to avoid repercussions. Ensure you and your family stay safe this summer with the Safety Council of Palm Beach County’s essential heat safety recommendations.
More than 850 children have died from preventable heatstroke deaths in vehicles since 1998, and with 93 deaths contributing to that number, Florida is the second most highly-contributing state in the country behind Texas. Of those fatalities, 54% from 1998 to present were children “forgotten” by their caregiver, 28% were playing in an unattended vehicle, and 17% were left intentionally by an adult. Caregivers should always ensure that their cars remain locked and keys are safely tucked away.
A simple way to avoid the mistake of leaving your child in a vehicle is to implement a “look before you leave” policy in your car. Create a routine to check your backseat before leaving the car each time you exit. This can be done by leaving your belongings in the back with your kids, bringing a stuffed animal to the front seat with you, or by using the Baby in Back! Bracelet Reminder System.
With the bracelet reminder system caregivers have a simple, low-tech way to remind themselves that they are not alone in the car. Each time you drive with a child, wear the “Baby in Back!” bracelet for the entire duration of your trip. When you arrive, remove the bracelet from your wrist and place it in the child’s car seat to wear for the next trip. This simple but effective reminder bracelet is available for free at the Safety Council of Palm Beach County’s office.
With that said, children are not the only ones at risk during the hot summer months. Workers should also be taking care of themselves while outside in warm or hot weather environments. Workers in extreme weather conditions, such as construction workers and farmers, as well as workers in hot environments, such as factory workers and firefighters, have a high risk of heat stress. Heat stress can manifest as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or heat rashes. The risk of heat stress increases with age, weight, and health problems.
Even if a worker avoids heat stress, there is still an increased risk of work-related injuries due to sweaty hands, foggy safety glasses, burns on hot surfaces, and more. Employers and workers can monitor real-time heat safety with the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App, which features “heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH.” Guarantee your co-workers or employees stay safe this summer with proper safety training provided by the safety council, call us for more information at (561)845-8233.
All of us here at the Safety Council of Palm Beach County hope you now have the tools to stay safe during Florida’s summer heat. We wish you a happy, safe summer and for any questions you may have you can contact our office!