Summer Safety and Injury Prevention Tips

Laura Moss: Swimming, boating, bike riding, just being outside all summer long is what everyone wants to do and there’s nothing like being a kid during the summer, but we want to make sure that everyone is safe at the same time. We have Chad McLain of Graves McLain joining us this morning with some great advice. Thank you for being here this morning.

Chad McLain: Thanks for having us.

Laura Moss: Summer time just means to be outside to have a lot of fun, and with heat like today coming, well, I guess we get a little bit of a cool off, but this is one of the first weeks that we’ve really felt that heat.

Chad McLain: Right.

Laura Moss: And you’re saying that’s something we really need to be careful of. What are some things that we can avoid getting hurt in the heat?

Chad McLain: Well, the heat is . . . It’s infants up to four years old in Oklahoma, the statistics show they’re the most at risk in the heat. Leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, that’s kind of when everybody’s out, around the pool, around the lake. Some of the things you need to do is make sure you cover them up, make sure you have a sunscreen on them, obviously, at least SPF 15, needs to be UVA and UVB protective.

Laura Moss: Okay, and that’s good for ourselves, too.

Chad McLain: Yeah. It counts for infants and adults. And make sure that they’re not out in the heat exposed for any length of time. The most important thing that we always see in the summer time is a child being left inside a car.

Laura Moss: Yes.

Chad McLain: Unattended for a long time, that’s a bad thing.

Laura Moss: Absolutely.

Chad McLain: Don’t want to do that.

Laura Moss: So cracking the windows, none of that is a good idea.

Chad McLain: It’s actually against the law in Oklahoma to leave a child in a car unattended.

Laura Moss: Period. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is.

Chad McLain: No circumstances. You can’t do it.

Laura Moss: All right. Well, we’re glad we have you here because you know the law. All right, so sun and heat, things to watch out for. Also playing in the water, what are some of the rules that we need to follow with keeping kids and ourselves by the water?

Chad McLain: Right. One of the leading cause is actually the leading cause of child deaths in Oklahoma, kids age one to four, is drowning. It’s usually lack of supervision, lack of the child’s knowledge around water. Constant supervision is one of the things we recommend and again, with parties coming up, it’s easy to become distracted to lose the little ones, but that’s mandatory. When you’re around some swimming pools, half of the deaths in Oklahoma drowning are at home pools, not necessarily your children, but children coming to home pools. One of the things that you can do on the lakes that you need to do, you have to do, is have them in life preservers that are fitted properly.

Laura Moss: Perfect. What are some things that you can do to protect yourself legally when it comes to having those home pools because can you put the signs up? What’s going to keep you safe lately and also keep kids safe from getting hurt?

Chad McLain: Well, the first thing is to have some sort of barrier getting into your yard.

Laura Moss: Okay.

Chad McLain: And then it’s recommended that you have a self-locking pool gate and it secures the perimeter of the pool itself, not only a privacy fence, but then a fence around the pool itself.

Laura Moss: Okay.

Chad McLain: And there are companies that sell them specific for that reason.

Laura Moss: All right, so some extra ways to keep yourself safe. All right, boating, you said the life preservers. What are some other things that we could do on the lakes and while we’re boating to make sure that we’re safe and our loved ones are safe?

Chad McLain: Well, one of the things we do around the holidays is not only for children, but mainly for adults is be sure to cover up, make sure you’re not out in the sun for extended period of time. What happens is you go off on these long boat trips and you get stuck talking to friends and you don’t realize how long you’re out in the heat. So the heat . . . The other thing is to make sure you’ve maintained hydration. That’s probably the biggest problem, is lack of hydration. And then also for adults is we have to monitor our alcohol consumption.

Laura Moss: Absolutely.

Chad McLain: That could be a huge problem and obviously, you can’t drive a boat while you’re under the influence either.

Laura Moss: And there are some lakes where you can’t drink period.

Chad McLain: Right.

Laura Moss: So just knowing the rules of the lake that you’re going to be on. Big case going on right now, manslaughter case of somebody who got a little too out of control, and that’s something that we want to avoid, absolutely.

Chad McLain: Right.

Laura Moss: All right, back to the kids, bikes, scooters, skateboards, what can we do to make sure that we’re not getting bumped and bruised from those activities?

Chad McLain: Well, I have a seven-year-old and a five-year-old. And one of the things we’re teaching them now, we’ve taught the seven-year-old from the time he rode a tricycle is you have to wear a helmet. And boy, they don’t like that at all. They push it away. But if you kind of groom them to it’s just part of riding a bike.

Laura Moss: Yeah.

Chad McLain: When you get on the bike, you put it on. I would say that a properly fitted helmet is the most important thing you can encourage your children to do. Make sure there is a reflective device somewhere on the bike, front and back. If you’re riding the bike at night, you need to ride with the traffic. The rules in Oklahoma for riding bicycles are very similar and the same as for motor vehicles.

Laura Moss: Okay.

Chad McLain: And so you need to make sure you’re visible when you’re riding. Most kids ride their bikes in their neighborhoods, so you kind of lose your attention to that. Sometimes, the parents say, “Oh, no, he’s just riding down to the neighbor’s house.” The same rules apply.

Laura Moss: Okay.

Chad McLain: Those are one of the most severe accidents can happen is just in your neighborhood riding around the block.

Laura Moss: So making sure to be diligent all the time no matter how long or short that trip is from the home.

Chad McLain: Exactly.

Laura Moss: All right. Can you be held responsible if your child is injured and not wearing a helmet? Are there any laws against that?

Chad McLain: There is some in the criminal arena, criminal penalty arena. There are some ways that the parent could be held responsible otherwise, but sometimes when children are coming to play at our house, we may be held responsible for other children being in that situation.

Laura Moss: So it’s okay to say, neighbor kid, you need to put the helmet on as well.

Chad McLain: Absolutely.

Laura Moss: All right.

Chad McLain: Absolutely.

Laura Moss: All right. Thank you for keeping us all safe this summer.

Chad McLain: Thank you.

Laura Moss: We appreciate it, some great tips guys. And you can find out more through Graves McLain, Boulder Towers. They’re at 1437 South Boulder Avenue, Suite 1010. 918-359-6600, GravesMclain.com for information, of course. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.