Summer is here, vacations are underway and blue skies are enticing great adventures. Happiness is one result. Accidents are another. This is why the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign was developed. It’s how the Department of Defense aims to curb the risk of injury and death by educating its personnel on summertime risks and how to avoid them.
Here at DIonDEMAND, we think the 101 critical days are worth talking about … not just for our great servicemen and women, but for civilians too. After all, injuries lead to disabilities and disabilities lead to lost income and financial hardship (unless you have paycheck protection of course).
Why be more vigilant about safety now?
According to a Naval Safety Center presentation, last year during this period, 14 sailors and 12 marines – that is, 26 "trained and ready" service members – lost their lives to summer fatalities, including accidents with motorcycles, automobiles, drowning while hiking, swimming or boating, falling and intoxication. While traffic and off-duty recreational fatalities did decrease 6 percent from the five-year average in 2015, they rose 24 percent from the year before. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.
What should you focus on during the 101 critical days of summer?
When taking a road trip:
- Drive during daylight hours
- Start every shift well-rested
- Take a break every two hours
- Pull over if you get tired
When participating in physical activities:
- Stretch before you play
- Don't push yourself past your limits
- Use appropriate gear and footwear
When out in the heat:
- Drink water frequently
- Notice if you have dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, or muscle cramps
- If you have any of these symptoms, move into the shade and apply cool wet towels
- Watch children for the same symptoms, as they may not tell you if they have them
While out on the water:
- Keep an eye on other boats, objects on the water, and changes in weather
- Don't go on the water without well-fitted flotation devices for everyone
- Operate at safe speeds, and never operate a boat while intoxicated
- Be aware of boater's hypnosis: a fatigue brought on by sun, wind and motion that can impair reaction time almost as if you were drunk, after only a few hours’ exposure
When swimming and splashing:
- Understand that drowning is silent – if someone can't answer you, they need help
- Don’t just stay near your children; look at them frequently to assess how they’re doing
- Know your limits and be cautious of unexpectedly-fast currents
These tips may seem obvious: we’ve all heard them before. Yet people die every year in accidents that could have been prevented by practicing one or more of the precautions above.
Injuries, too, can be prevented. But if a disability should happen to you – as it will for more than one in four of today’s twenty-year-olds at some point – would you be able to survive without your paycheck for three months or more? If not, we encourage you to invest in paycheck protection, and enjoy your time outdoors knowing that your ability to provide for your family is not in question.
Get a quote here, or take our “Who Needs Disability Insurance” quiz to find out if you are a good candidate for coverage. Never forget that the American Dream is a freedom worth celebrating … and protecting. Here’s wishing you a safe summer!