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How To Stay Safe This Summer And Avoid An Accident

05 Aug 2021

How To Stay Safe This Summer And Avoid An Accident

Even with restrictions being lifted in the UK, there are still limitations on global travel meaning that your holidays will most likely be remaining in the UK. However, this doesn’t mean that your holidays will be filled with boredom as there is plenty of adventure to discover within the UK! There are various beaches, lodges, caravan and camping sites, plus a whole heap of tourist attractions to visit, to make this year’s staycation one to remember.  This post will tell you how to stay safe this summer and avoid accident:

Whilst we all deserve to have some fun on staycation this year, we need to ensure we are all staying safe in both the summer weather and the various attractions around the UK. 

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A staycation means that there’s no need to worry about overseas travel. No early morning airport arrivals and last-minute scrambling to the find the passports. Summer UK staycations can be great, with light nights and warmer weather helping the fun stay outdoors and for longer. 

Being frequently outside and more active than in the cold winter months leads to an increase in accidents occurring during the summer.   

To be sun safe this summer you should follow the usual advice of: 

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated 
  • Wearing sun cream and topping up throughout the day 
  • Try to avoid alcohol and drinks containing caffeine as they dehydrate you 
  • Wear protective accessories such as hats and sunglasses  
  • Stay cool and in the shade as much as possible 

 

COMMON SUMMER ACCIDENTS 

 Whilst you are having fun, there are some activities where accidents are quite common. We look at some of the most common summertime accidents and injuries; cycling accidents, water accidents and dog bites, with tips on how you can prevent you and your loved ones from becoming a summer accident statistic.   

CYCLING ACCIDENTS 

Not only is cycling a great way to stay healthy, but it also has many benefits for the environment. The number of people cycling on UK roads has increased in the last decade. During the lockdown, cycling activity had increased by around 200% showing how popular this hobby has become. This alongside initiatives and campaigns encouraging cyclists to take to the road, has all contributed to an increase in the number of people cycling. As a result, there has been an increase in cycling accidents. 

In the UK, Every year over 3,000 cyclists are injured and more than 100 cycling accidents are fatal.  During the summer months, the good weather encourages more people to cycle. This is great but there are a few steps you should take before hitting the road to stay safe:

1. PUMP YOUR TYRES 

Make sure your bike is fit for the road before heading out. Ensure that your tyres are pumped to the correct pressure before you begin your journey. To know what the right pressure for your tyres is, you just need to look at the sidewall of the tyres where a recommended range will be written based upon the conditions you are going to be cycling in. 

2. TAKE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT 

Take a bag with you which includes essential items like water and food for a long bike ride. Plus a multi-tool kit that can help you fix your bike if you encounter any mechanical problems while riding your bike. 

3. WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES 

Wear the right clothes for the weather and conditions you are cycling in, for example, waterproof clothing and high visibility clothing, especially at night. This can include a high visibility helmet or hi-vis stripes that you can attach to your helmet. You can also wear a head torch and a reflective safety jacket along with cycling gloves or mitted gloves if you are intending to ride for a long time . 

4. CONSIDER RIDING WITH OTHERS 

Not only will this help you improve your cycling as you can learn from others, but it can help ensure your safety, whether you are riding down isolated trails or well-worn roads. Cycling with a friend ensures that someone can help you if you encounter a serious problem. There is always safety in numbers.  These steps can make a big difference in preventing accidents and injuries. However, accidents can still happen. 


WATER ACCIDENTS 

In 2020 there were 631 water-related fatalities within the UK.     Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death.     Nonfatal water accidents can still have serious and lifelong consequences on the victim.   

SWIMMING POOLS 

 Dangerous and unusual pool design or insufficient depth marking are just two causes of accidents that can occur which are the most common Swimming pool-related accidents. However, other injuries may be also be sustained as a result of damaged tiles. In addition, a lack of poolside supervision in the form of lifeguards may also cause swimming pool accidents.     To avoid water accidents; 

  • Look for signs that state the depth of the pool before diving in 
  • Keep an eye on children at all times when near or in water, staying within arm’s reach at all times and make sure they are wearing appropriate safety equipment such as armbands.
  • Never run near a swimming pool 
  • Do not enter the water after drinking alcohol 
  • If someone is in trouble in the water don’t go in; throw them a life preserver such as a life jacket or a life ring and attract the attention of a lifeguard
  • Swim only in designated areas 

BOATING 

 Boating is an area covering many types of recreation including yachting, rowing, canoeing and sailing. Alternatively, you may work on a boat if you are employed by a fishing or ferry company. If you have sustained an injury while on a boat, you may be entitled to claim compensation. 

Owners of boats or any other water vehicles are legally obliged to carry public liability insurance to protect against accidents; ferry, fishing and cruise liner companies are subject to the same health and safety rules set down by the Health and Safety Executive to protect employees and customers. Leisure companies and tour operators organising excursions involving boats also have legal obligations to ensure the safety of participants. 

Boating accidents are very diverse and can result in serious injuries for people unlucky enough to suffer one. A head injury from a canoeing accident, for example, can be very serious and leave an individual with total dependency on his/her family.  To avoid accidents: 

  • Always wear a life jacket on a boat 
  • Go out in good weather 
  • Make sure the boat, canoe or yacht is in good working order before using it and you are familiar with how to operate the equipment before you set sail
  • If you are going on a boating excursion then make sure you have carried out enquiries into the company leading the excursion and their qualifications before participating.  If you have any concerns then it may be best to avoid this company and re-book with another

 

DOG BITES 

Dog bites tend to increase in the summer as more people gather outside in places where dog owners tend to visit such as parks. However, the heat can impact the dogs and make them more irritable.  

The PDSA reports that 26% of UK adults have a dog with an estimated population of 10.1 million pet dogs. The Guardian recently reported that in the last “20 years, admissions for dog bites almost tripled, from six to 15 per 100,000 people, with children aged under 14 made up a quarter of that number”. Dog bites can lead to permanent disfiguration and disability.     There are some preventative measures you can take to try and reduce the chance of it occurring: 

  • Do not approach a dog if it looks uncertain of you 
  • Never put your face near to a dog’s face 
  • Don’t leave a baby or child alone with a dog regardless of the history a dog may have 

  If you suffer a dog bite, you will most likely need emergency medical treatment. The consequences of a bite injury can be devastating for these people. A prolonged stay in hospital, physical impairment or extensive psychological damage are some examples of the traumas one might sustain. 

Any witnesses of a dog attack should call 999 immediately. A person should also try to administer basic first aid to the victim in order to stop any bleeding and limit the chance of infection occurring. Antibiotics could be required for infected wounds further down the line. Other serious conditions, such as blood poisoning, can also result from a dog bite wound. 

Young children, couriers, postmen and women are generally the most susceptible victims of dog attacks. You could be entitled to claim personal injury compensation if you or a loved one have suffered from a dog bite injury in the last three years.     Finally, review the latest COVID-19 pandemic guidelines before you head out.     Have a great summer whatever you do and where you go, and stay safe.