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Five Tips to Make Your Summer Safer

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016

BePrepared_700Summer is prime time for vacations and fun, but it can also be a hotbed for trouble and misery if the right planning isn’t done or if precautions aren’t taken.

Below are five tips to make summer road trips healthier and happier for everyone involved.

  1. Visit your local mechanic for a tune-up before you leave. If your vehicle has not been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, schedule a preventive maintenance checkup with your mechanic as soon as possible to avoid an inconvenient vacation break-down.
  2. Make sure everyone in your car always buckles up before starting the engine. Also, confirm your child’s car or booster seat offers optimal en-route protection by calling 866-SEAT-CHECK to locate a child safety-seat technician in your area. Have him or her check to see if your child’s safety seat is properly installed before hitting the road.
  3. Pack sun glasses and sunscreen for everyone. The sun bearing down can be brutal – even when driving in your car. When applying sunscreen, the rule-of-thumb is to apply one teaspoon per each body part or area (treat your face, head and neck as a single body part). Apply the lotion 30 minutes before going outside and reapply at least every two hours. Also, remember to do a touch test when returning a child to a safety car or booster seat, so unnecessary discomfort and burns are avoided.
  4. Pack insect repellent. Not only are bug bites uncomfortable, but they can cause serious diseases. Notably, the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, is already a growing threat in some countries and is expected to affect U.S. locations soon. Protect your family when outdoors by using EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET (products include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods); however, never apply insect repellents on babies younger than two months. For more about repellents, go to “Find the Insect Repellent that is Right for You” posted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.
  5. Pack an emergency road kit, and put it in the trunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests you include the following:
  • Cell phone and car charger
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares and a white flag
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Jack (and ground mat) for changing a tire
  • Work gloves and a change of clothes
  • Basic repair tools and some duct tape (for temporarily repairing a hose leak!)
  • Water and paper towels for cleaning up
  • Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Maps
  • Emergency blankets, towels and coats