Simple reminders to make this summer a safe summer

Summer in the Slave Lake area is special.

There’s lots to explore and outdoor fun waiting for everyone, regardless of age and ability. Along with all those fun outdoor activities comes the responsibility to be safe and watch out for each other.

As we’ve discussed in previous website posts, safety is a big deal at Vanderwell. When you’re operating and working around heavy equipment all day, safety just becomes part of the job. You’re always vigilant; focused on going home at the end of the day the same way you arrived at the beginning of your shift.

It’s our hope that all of us, can bring that same “safety first” attitude when we’re outdoors enjoying the summer with family and friends.

Here are some easy reminders for a safe summer:

Practice water safety: In the Slave Lake area, we have some of the most beautiful places for swimming, fishing and other water sports. Common sense tells us that children should never be unattended in water, not even for a second, and yet every year drowning is a leading cause of death among that age group. Water-related fatalities most often occur from May to September on weekends in natural bodies of water. Global statistics show that the highest age group for drownings is children 1 to 4 years followed by 5 to 9 year-olds.

Within 15 minutes of the town of Slave Lake you will discover Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park , Alberta’s 6th largest Provincial Park, Canada’s northernmost Bird Observatory , Alberta’s easternmost foothills, Marten Mountain and the most beautiful stretch of white sand beaches in Alberta! Check our more at the Town of Slave Lake website!

Avoid becoming over heated: With all the rain we’ve had, it’s hard to imagine a hot, sweltering day, but there’s still a lot of summer to come. Keeping cool and hydrated and reducing time spent in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m is a good general rule. Children or pets should never be left inside a parked vehicle. When the outside air temperature is 23°C/73°F, the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous – more than 50°C/122°F.

Pack an emergency kit: Something we’ve talked about before. An emergency kit is always a good idea in a vehicle, while outdoors, or if you have to suddenly leave your home. Check out the Alberta Government site on what needs to go into an emergency kit.

Reduce the risk of food-borne illness: Eating outdoors, and enjoying a picnic is what summer is all about. Chilling food properly is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy. Leftovers should be chilled promptly and thrown away if they have been out at room temperature for more than two (2) hours.

Stay safe on the roads: When you live in a more rural area, and personal vehicles are the only way to get around, road safety becomes even more important. In Canada, we have about 900,000 kilometres of road — enough to circle the globe 22 times! Every year in our country, about 10,000 children — infants to 12-year olds — are hurt or killed on the roads. Across Canada, it’s mandatory that everyone wears a seatbelt while in a vehicle. And the general rule is that the back seat is always the safest place for children.

Stay safe while camping: Wherever we live, extreme weather changes are becoming more common. If strong winds, hail or a tornado is developing while camping in a tent or tent-trailer, move to the closest building or a hard-topped vehicle. Look for a suitable shelter and if no shelter is available, find a thick stand of trees in the lowest-lying area.

Avoid the bugs – and their bite:  In Alberta, most ticks do not carry the bacteria that causes lyme disease in people and cases of West Nile Virus mostly occur in southeastern Alberta. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the two provinces in Canada with the most cases of West Nile Virus because of the grasslands area. Light-coloured clothing is less attractive to mosquitoes and it’s also easier to see ticks. Insect repellents containing DEET are safe when applied as directed and to find out those approved brands, check out the Pesticide Product Label Database. The Canadian Pediatric Society supports Health Canada’s review of DEET products.

Wear the right helmet:  Accidents do happen and wearing a helmet when cycling, inline skating and skateboarding is just a good way to prevent serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. In Canada, it’s the law everywhere to wear a helmet while driving or travelling in an off-road vehicle.

Be careful in letting the world know you’re away: Try to avoid making your home a target for break-ins and vandals. It’s probably a good idea not to mention being away for an extended period on your social networking sites. Also consider deleting messages from friends who mention these things. Avoid geo-tagging photos since most smartphones and many digital cameras now automatically attach the exact location where a photo was taken.  Here are a few more suggestions towards securing your home:

From Everyone at Vanderwell, have a Safe & Awesome Summer 2024!

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