Commentary by: Michelle McBride

Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and with it began the “101 critical days of summer,” which spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  This is a time of year that our Texas Military Forces leadership wants to highlight safety on and off the job. 

With barbecue, long travel days and fireworks in the mix, it’s easy to lose sight of important safety precautions and become a little careless. For example, did you know that even the “safe” fireworks, such as sparklers can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), “in 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 8,600 people treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, 39 percent of whom were under 15 years of age.”

Increased travel also seems to decrease safety in personal vehicles. Some important things to remember are don’t drink and drive, don’t drive while tired and take plenty of rest breaks along the way-- your destination will still be there even if you stop to use the restroom. Also, if riding a motorcycle remember to wear a helmet, as well as highly visible protective clothing and gear. 

When you arrive at your beach vacation of choice remember to always apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. This is especially important if you have children with you as the NSC indicates, two sunburns before the age of 18 can double the risk of melanoma. 
When in the water, try to avoid drinking and swimming so you can stay cognizant of your surroundings as well as the people around you who may not be strong swimmers. 

Again, as you embark on the ‘dog days’ of summer, remember these are just a few tips to help you make the most of your summer and help keep you and your family safe. For more tips, visit the National Safety Council website at: 

http://www.nsc.org/learn/Pages/safety-events-summer-safety.aspx