Barbecues, Balloons and Windows: Watch Out for These Summer Dangers

Updated on October 9th, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes

For most of us, summer has well and truly arrived. Flowers are in bloom, the weather is brighter, days are longer and we may even get to wear our shorts and flip-flops at some point, but with summer comes a whole host of household dangers we need to be aware of. Here are some of the most common summer dangers to look out for.

1. Drowning

Drowning is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in people of various ages and it the second leading cause of unintentional death for children aged one to 14. If you’re going swimming whether that’s in a pool, the sea or another natural water setting ensure you are a confident swimmer first.

Never leave children unattended in water and familiarize yourself with the terrain. For boat trips, ensure you use a life jacket regardless of the size of boat or the length of your trip.

If you own a swimming pool, install an isolation fence with self-latching gates to prevent entry.

Summer Dangers - Gas Barbecues
Gas barbecues can lead to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning if not used correctly. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

2. Barbecues

Barbecues offer a fun alternative to normal cooking during the summer months but it’s important to be vigilant. Research suggests that a third of people use a gas barbecue on a weekly basis during the summer which exposes them to a number of dangers.

Check to make sure your barbecue is in good condition and check to see if there are any loose or missing parts as these may need to be repaired before use.

Carefully choose the location to make sure the barbecue is away from any sheds, trees or shrubs that could catch on fire and never ignite a barbecue in an enclosed space as this increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Keep a bucket or water or sand nearby in the event of an emergency.

3. Cooking

The kitchen is generally the most active room in the house and receives much traffic. Slips and spills may be common place but be aware when cooking, too. If you need to leave the kitchen ensure you take any pans off the heat and keep towels and cloths away from the cooker.

Why not make it fun? Teach your children about the importance of cooking and kitchen safety and get them involved in the preparation of your food but don’t leave them unattended.

Also, make sure your appliances are in good working order and ensure they are regularly serviced and maintained. Faulty appliances are one of the biggest causes of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning within the home.

Finally, check your smoke detector! Change the batteries annually and test it regularly to make sure it works.

4. Windows

When the weather gets hot and stuffy, you’ll probably want to open your windows to let some fresh air in. But be careful! If you’ve got kids, don’t place furniture near windows where they can access an open window and fall out.

Check safety latches and use window guards if necessary but be sure that at least one window in each room can be used as an emergency exit in the event of a fire.

5. Camping

Camping can be a great way of getting back to nature and really helps us to appreciate the great outdoors but a fire can be a significant risk whilst camping. Never cook inside the tent and change any gas canisters outside the tent too.

Use torches instead of lighters or candles for illumination and pitch your tent during the day so you can clearly see your surroundings.

Furthermore, don’t position your tents under a tree as falling branches may injure you and position your tents with sufficient space between them to prevent fire spreading, if one does occur.

6. Balloons

Latex balloons pose a significant choking risk for children when chewing or blowing them up. In fact, since 1973, more than 110 children have choked to death on latex balloons.

Store any balloons out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet or drawer.

Supervise your child when playing with balloons and if a balloon pops, pick up the pieces immediately and throw them all away.

7. Power Windows

Many cars now have electric, power windows but these windows cause hundreds of children to lose or crush their fingers each year.

Never leave children alone in the car and pay close attention when their windows are down. Where possible, ensure you have an adult passenger in the car sitting with the child to keep an eye on possible accidents whilst you drive.

Most European cars have an auto-reverse mechanism now which lowers the window when it comes into contact with an object however it’s always better to stay vigilant as not all American cars have this functionality.

About Anna Gillespie
Anna is a freelance journalist currently writing for a number of sites including The Huffington Post. An experienced writer, her interests include homes, interior design, current affairs and the occasional cat video!

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

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