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Talk Around Town: Summer Safety Tips

“Water safety should be top of mind all year long, but the summer months are a particularly good time to focus on swim safety because 70 percent of drownings happen during the summer months. Tragically, drowning is the single leading cause of unintended death of children ages 1 and 4 in the U.S. and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids enroll in regular swim lessons by age 1. Studies show that swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent. Through consistent, high-quality lessons, kids can increase muscle memory by practicing basic techniques such as the crab walk, properly getting in and out of the pool, going under water, rolling on their back, treading water, learning different strokes, etc.” -Rand Barba, owner of Gold Fish Swim School

“Even if lifeguards are present, you or another responsible adult should stay with your children. Be a ‘water watcher’ – provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising; avoid distractions including cell phones. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Children, inexperienced swimmers and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.” -Fair Haven Borough

“Summer is a great time to enjoy time eating with friends and family at barbecues and picnics. Whether you are at the beach, your backyard, or a park, there are some things to keep in mind about prevent bacterial foodborne illness, often referred to as food poisoning. Don’t forget to apply these during your food preparation too if your kitchen is warm. Per the US Food & Drug Administration, use clean surfaces, including tables, dishes and utensils. Bring cleaning products to your picnic site if away from home. Wash your raw foods like fruits and vegetables well. Keep your perishable foods like dips, side salads, and of course any raw meats and seafood you will be grilling in a closed cooler at 40 degrees or less until you are ready to use them; separate these from your drinks which should be kept in a cooler that may be opened frequently.” -Kristine McCoy, MD, IMA Urgent Care & Primary Care

“Safety tips for pets: During the fun of summer and barbecues, be careful with meats and grease from the grill and corn on the cob. Leftover bones or cobs will cause GI distress and can even require surgery to remove! We know dogs are pros at finding and eating leftovers so be sure to keep garbage out of reach. Pavement, especially black top, can become hot under the summer sun and burn the paw pads of dogs. The rule of thumb to follow for walking your dog on pavement is if you cannot comfortably walk in your bare feet on the pavement, then you should avoid those areas for your dog too.” -Dr. Kristine Montekio, medical director at Mosaic Animal Health Center 

“Parents should enforce bike safety with their children, including wearing proper equipment and follow the laws of properly riding your bike in the street. We also ask that everyone locks their bicycles when you are in public and to secure them when you are home.  Please make sure that you are aware of your surroundings, especially near bodies of water, and that children are properly supervised. Be cognizant of the heat during the summer months, and please do not leave children or pets unattended in a hot vehicle. As always, remember to lock your vehicles, remove key fobs and remove valuables that are in plain sight.  Thefts of vehicles are more prominent in the summer months. Please be safe and have a great summer!” -Fair Haven Police Chief Joseph P. McGovern 

“The most effective way to prevent contracting a disease spread by ticks and mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten. Avoid tick habitat – brush, tall grass, woodland edges. When in tick habitat, wear long-sleeve shirts tucked into long pants, with pants tucked into socks. Perform a ‘tick check’ on yourself, children and pets. Take a hot shower after being outdoors to wash off unattached ticks. Reduce mosquito habitat by removing standing water in your yard. Limit time outdoors during peak mosquito activity, during dawn and dusk. Apply insect repellent appropriate for clothing or skin. Treat yards with environmentally safe repellents. Talk to your veterinarian to select tick, mosquito, flea and heartworm prevention methods for your pets.” -Monmouth County Planning Board

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