Summer Time Safety for the Military Family

Summer is really here and with it comes those outdoor activities we all love to participate in and enjoy to the maximum! Because of their youth and nature, I think military personnel and their families tend to do adventurous activities. The kind that keep you young and give you an exuberance for life! However, they also tend to be the type of activity that can lead to injury or even death in some instances! So, I’d like to share a few tips on how to avoid some of those injuries (not foolproof but they never are). Some of these are based on training I received on active duty and some are personal experiences that I still shake my head at and thank the guardian angels around my family!

First, if you are going to go to an amusement park, baseball game or airshow be sure to stay hydrated and use plenty of sunscreen. A big meal is taboo as well since they tend to make it easier to get rundown (and nauseous on the roller coasters we all love to ride)! Carry in water if allowed and have plenty of it. A couple of quarts a day per individual is not too much! Beer is not a substitute for water! Read more on that below. Also, after 8-10 hours in the sun you will wish you had put on the sun screen as many of us forget it unless we are heading to the beach!

Second, if you are doing a physical activity, be sure to loosen up before jumping on the jet ski, tube, skis, four wheel, taking that long hike, climbing that steep path, etc. Most outdoor activities should include a bit of a stretch after a long car ride or sitting still for any length of time!

Third, wear the safety gear required for the sport! All of it! Life jackets, helmets, long sleeved clothing, boots and leather clothing if practical do save lives and limbs! I cringe every time I see motorcycle riders in flip flops or short sleeves and not wearing a helmet!

Fourth, be aware of the affects of alcohol! Any activity requiring judgment and coordination can end tragically if you combine alcohol with it. I remember telling new service members how to plan for consumption of alcohol and it is still true today! If you do not have a plan for who is driving before your second drink; you won’t have a plan and then someone will get hurt or arrested! Great day at the beach but horrible way to end it with an accident or DUI!

Fifth, planning a large outing? Ask someone to be a safety observer and tell everyone else what the “safety’s” role is. Want to try to that new trick on your bike? Swim across the lake and back? Ride the heavy duty stroller down the steep hill (yep this family has tried that one)? What does the safety think about it? Tough role but sometimes it saves an emergency room run for someone!

Sixth, going to the beach? New beach? Are you familiar with the currents, depth, nearby safety gear, etc? Is there a lifeguard? Are you a swimmer? How many aren’t and do you know who they are? Have you set limits for depth for the kids? Buddy swimming required? Do you insure the rules are followed? Anyone trained in CPR in the group? Lots of questions to think about here!

Seventh, have a great time, return home safe and sound and have a wonderful summer from the team at MilitaryAvenue!byColonel KonMonday, June 15, 2009Military Life:,,

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