As it finally cracks 50 degrees and Massachusetts residents get their first taste of spring, everyone is heading outside. Enjoy the nice weather tending to the yard and pedaling your bike, but don’t forget to avoid personal injuries. Here are some ways you and your family can avoid personal injuries:
On a hot humid Boston day, a swimming pool can be an oasis. However, swimming pools can be hazardous for young children. Adults should keep a close eye on children, whether in or near the water. Home pools should be surrounded by a fence that is at least 5 five feet high and self latches. When not in use, the pool fence should be locked. Keep the area around the pool free of clutter that can cause someone to trip. Poolside rescue equipment- such as 10-12 foot rescue pole and a ring buoy with line-should be kept close by. Keep a life vest close by and outfit all poor swimmers with a life vest. Be aware that the suction from pool drains can entrap swimmers underwater. Finally, keep pool chemicals in a safe place, out of reach of children.
Lawnmower safety starts with the proper shoes. Although it feels great to slip into sandals after months in boots, always wear sturdy shoes when operating a lawnmower along with eye and hearing protection. The next rule of lawnmower safety is to survey the yard for sticks, stones, and other objects that can go flying when struck by a lawnmower blade. Use a mower that will stop moving forward and will stop the blades’ movement if the handle is released. Wait for the blades to stop before crossing a street or trying to remove the grass catcher or discharge chute. Start and refuel motors outside on the yard, rather than in the garage. Finally, never let children under 12 operate a handheld mower or under 16 operate a ride-on mower.
Adults and children alike should wear helmets when riding bikes. Helmets prevent serious injuries and can keep a bike accident from being a fatal accident. Helmets should be worn level on the head with the chin strap secured so the helmet cannot move. Also, when purchasing a bike for your child, make sure the bike is the right size for the child. An oversized bike can be hard to control and dangerous.
Anyone who has ever fallen off a slide or slipped off the monkey bars knows there are significant risks for personal injuries at the playground. Always keep a watchful eye on children. If putting together playground equipment, make sure the equipment is assembled according to instructions and weighted to the ground. Periodically check for loose, rusted, or sharp pieces. Install safety padding, mats, or soft fill material beneath playground equipment, extending out six feet on all sides. Do not allow children to attach ropes to the playground equipment to avoid strangulation hazards and accidents if the rope comes loose. Make sure walls and fences are at least six feet away from all playground equipment.
For more tips on keeping your family safe this spring and summer, see the following websites:
Home Safety Council (Pool Safety)
US Consumer Product Safety Commission (Pool Safety)
Department of Transportation (Bike Safety)
HealthyChildren.Org (Lawnmover Safety)
If you need assistance with a case involving a bicycle accident, premises liability, personal injury or wrongful death, contact the experienced attorneys at Breakstone, White and Gluck. The Boston, Massachusetts attorneys have decades of experience successfully handling cases. For a free legal consultation, call 800-379-1244.