Cruel Summer - Hidden Dangers to Watch Out For


Summer is a time for fun, barbecuing and spending time with friends and family outside. And while you may have a tendency to keep your eyes peeled for danger, some hazards may slip right by you — especially when you’re under the hypnotic spell of warm summer weather. But not to worry — we’ve got you covered with a quick overview of commonly overlooked hazards, and ways you can keep your family safe.


Your own backyard could be a garden of hazards.

Just because you know it like the back of your hand doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that you have to watch out for.

Keep an eye on:

  • Your kids’ play set — In addition to your close parental supervision, you can help protect your children even more by installing shock-absorbent material underneath your backyard playground to safeguard them from falls. Sand, rubber and mulch are all viable options.
  • Surfaces made from pressure-treated wood — Backyard furniture made from pressure-treated wood may contain arsenic, a substance that poses an increased risk of cancer to kids who play and eat on these surfaces. Sealing the wood once a year or using tablecloths are easy solutions to minimize the health threat.
  • Bug bites — In today’s world, a mosquito bite could turn into much more than just a red patch on your skin. West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases spike during the summer, so use insect repellant if you intend to be out in your yard for an extended period of time.
  • Your home security camera — Ever get that nagging feeling that something just isn’t right? With live video surveillance of your yard, you can check in on the kids, the dog or the patio furniture — right from your smartphone.

The amusement park may not be all fun and games.

The CPSC estimates that in one year, more than 8,000 Americans were treated in emergency rooms from amusement park injuries. Surprisingly, the amusement park industry is not uniformly regulated. This means that your local park is actually monitored through a patchwork of voluntary standards and federal, state, and local laws. Because the industry isn’t subject to strict regulations, it’s really up to you to be as careful as possible when you’re enjoying the rides with your family.

Make sure to:

  • Obey listed age, height, weight and health restrictions
  • Tell your kids to keep their arms and legs inside the rides, and observe all the posted rules and verbal instructions — just like the signs say
  • If your small child seems afraid of a large thrill ride, there’s a valid reason. Never force anyone to ride attractions that they don’t want to ride

When the temperature rises, so does violent crime.

No matter where you live, chances are pretty good that you might hear about more assaults and robberies during the summer. Experts attribute this phenomenon to the fact that people are outside more and have a greater opportunity for negative interaction with strangers. There are a few ways that you can help keep your family safe:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid unfamiliar areas or situations
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain view
  • Arm your security system, even when you’re home

Food poisoning is no picnic.

In the summer months, few events are as anticipated as a backyard barbecue. But beware — the heat is often blamed for a spike in the number of reported foodborne illnesses. To prevent you and your loved ones from becoming heirs to the porcelain throne, be sure to:

  • Store food immediately in the refrigerator after eating
  • Separate raw meat from ready-to-eat foods
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure that all meats are properly cooked