Summer is Near: 5 Safety Tips to Stay Safe During Florida’s Hot Summers
Millions of people enjoy Florida’s warm weather, sandy beaches, and various water activities each year. However, not everyone, especially tourists, is aware of how hot it can really become in Florida during certain times of the year. Because the Sunshine State is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, it is constantly affected by tropical weather which can cause periods of dangerous weather conditions. Below, a Florida injury attorney at Searcy Denney shares five tips to help keep your family safe this summer in Florida.
Tip #1: Prepare in Advance for Florida’s Hot Summer Heatwaves
One way to keep your family safe during the summer is to prepare in advance for Florida’s hot summer heatwaves. When the state experiences high heat indexes, which is a combination of hot air and high humidity, the human body has difficulties handling the heat which can cause very serious health issues to occur such as heat stroke, muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and fatigue, among other issues.
Before dealing with the dog days of summer in Florida, prepare early by taking steps such as:
- Gathering food, water, and essential medicine to be prepared in the event that a heatwave closes stores or affects supplies
- Preparing emergency supply kits for home and travel. Take steps to cool your home such as covering windows with shades, weather-stripping doors and windows, and adding insulation to keep heat out.
- Preparing to find a cool place to spend each day to reduce heat-related illness, especially if your air conditioning breaks down.
- Checking out resources on heatwave safety provided by the American Red Cross (ARC). For example, the Red Cross recommends preparing a “Go-Kit” that includes three days of supplies that you can easily carry with you on the go, and a “Stay-at-Home Kit” that includes two weeks of supplies to survive at home.
Tip #2: Do the Back Seat Double-Check to Keep Your Kids Safe
Before hot summers hit the Sunshine State, take time to think about ways you can ensure your children are out of the car after every transport. Although children are precious and unforgettable, when parents or guardians are distracted and in a rush, it is possible to forget that a child is in the back seat – especially a child who falls asleep and is unable to get themselves out of the vehicle if needed.
The temperature in a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in just 10 short minutes. That said, leaving a child in such conditions can lead to serious harm or even death especially considering their body temperatures rise five times as fast as adults.
The Florida Department of Children and Safety provides resources online to help keep your children safe during Florida’s hot summers.
- Do a back seat double-check. Always double-check the back seat even if your kids are not with you to create the habit of looking to make sure the back seat is clear before exiting and locking your vehicle.
- Store items in the back seat. If you place items that you will need when exiting the vehicle in the back seat (such as one of your shoes, purse, wallet, bag, etc.), this can help create a habit of looking in the back seat before leaving, which, again will help ensure that your kids are out of the car.
- Do drop-off check-ins. If someone else is transporting your kids to activities during the summer, have them call you when the kids are dropped off to confirm that they were safely dropped off and not left in the car.
In Florida leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is a criminal offense, which can make a painful situation even more difficult. To protect yourself and your little ones, be sure to always do the back seat double-check.
Additionally, when it is time to upgrade to a new car, consider purchasing a family-friendly vehicle that has a new rear occupant alert that is a feature meant to notify parents that a child has potentially been left in the back seat after the driver has exited. This new technology may save lives.
Tip #3: Pay Close Attention to Weather Notifications and Prepare Accordingly
Although preparing in advance for Florida summers can be helpful, also be sure to keep a close eye on weather notifications to watch for turbulent weather and heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).
The NWS notifies the public through warnings when unusual periods of hot weather are expected which include the following outlooks:
- Excessive Heat Outlook, which is issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3 – 7 days.
- Excessive Heat Watch, which is issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 1 – 3 days.
- Excessive Heat Warning/Advisory, which is issued typically within 12 hours of the onset of an extremely dangerous heat condition.
You should also listen to local weather stations for information on weather advisories such as oncoming hurricanes, tropical storms or future heat waves that may come your way so you can be prepared.
Tip #4: Know When and Where to Seek Medical Help
Hot weather can cause various medical issues to surface. It is important to pay close attention to symptoms that your loved ones may present during the heat of the summer to ensure they get adequate medical attention in a timely fashion.
Some symptoms to look for during a hot summer include but are not limited to:
- Heavy sweating
- Fast, weak pulse
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
If you or a loved one has one or more of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
Tip #5: Stay Hydrated at All Times
A simple, yet very important tip to keep you and your family cool, healthy, and safe during Florida’s hot summers is to stay hydrated. Be sure to drink sufficient water and stay away from sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks that can cause dehydration. Staying hydrated can go a long way to keeping you and your family safe.
Were You Injured During the Summer in Florida? Speak to a Florida Injury Lawyer for a Legal Consultation
If you experienced an accident during a hot summer day in Florida, contact a Florida injury lawyer at Searcy Denney for guidance. Our attorneys have decades of experience with personal injury cases and can offer guidance on your case. Contact us to schedule your free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Tampa, West Palm Beach and Tallahassee. We work on a contingency fee basis.