Friday, June 12, 2015
Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Glenda Bobalik - June 2015
For young people, it is the magical time when school is out. The words “school’s out” affect adults as well as they bring memories of friends and special adventures. Together, we charge into summer with plans to maximize our opportunities for fun!
As you enjoy this magical time, please take a minute and think about safety. We all need to be reminded at times that some of the most fun activities of summer can turn to tragedy quickly. Barbecue grills must be maintained and operated with safety in mind at all times. Boating, swimming, and other water activities should be enjoyed following training in how to be safe in and around the water.
Heat is another factor that needs to be respected. The long, hot days of summer can bring dangerously high temperatures. In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Postpone outdoor games and activities.
• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
• If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
I encourage each of you to remember and practice the steps that keep us safe as we enjoy this magical time of year when “school’s out”. And beyond that, let’s each take a few minutes now and remind our friends and family to be safe.
You are important to me. So stay safe and enjoy the summer!