Message From the Mayor
Summer is now in full swing! School is out, the temperature continues to rise and families are hitting the road for vacation. Opelika also offers a number of fun activities right here at home for all ages to enjoy. But before you take advantage of the long summer days, here are some safety tips from your Opelika Fire Department and the National Safety Council.
- Hydrate. Drink lots of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Soaring temperatures cause you to sweat more than usual. Dehydration can lead to problems ranging from headaches to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.
- Stay safe in the sun. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so limit your sun exposure during these peak hours and protect your skin with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher.
- Practice safe food handling. Food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures provide a breeding ground for germs.
- Never swim alone. If your family is enjoying pool activities or water sports, always go in pairs.
- Lifeguards are not babysitters. Make sure that kids are under constant adult supervision, as well as equipped with the proper flotation devices. The USA Swimming Foundation reports nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool from January through May 2018, and every year about 19 children drown during the July 4 holiday. Find age-appropriate swim lessons for your child, but keep in mind that lessons do not make your child "drown-proof."
- Don’t drink and swim. Adult water-related deaths are frequently caused by drinking on watercraft or before swimming.
- Lock up. Remember to lock your house windows and doors before you leave to prevent theft. Also, remember to lock your car and hide belongings no matter how long you stop.
- No man (or dog) left behind. Like young children, pets are vulnerable to injury when left in hot cars. Even when the outside temperature is 60 degrees, the sun can raise it to 110. If your dog is coming along on your summer vacation road trip, plan ahead for how you'll keep him cool.
- Head up, phone down. Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. In the summer, accidents caused by distracted driving increases. There is hands-free technology to help you travel safely.
- Emergency Contacts. Let a trustworthy neighbor know you will be out of town and carry emergency contacts with you while you travel in case of an emergency.
Some of my favorite childhood memories come from summers spent with my family. I urge you to share these safety tips with your loved ones so that you can enjoy a safe and fun-filled summer.