By Gerald Hopple, safety manager, and Cmdr. Connie Scott, department head, Health Promotion and Wellness Department, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center
Summer is finally here. The days are longer, the sun is brighter, and the air is warmer. It’s time to head to the beach or the backyard for well-deserved relaxation with family and friends.
Just remember to keep safety in mind as you fire up the grill or jump in the pool. Fun summer activities can put you at risk for accidents that have potentially serious consequences. During the summer of 2014, 64 service members lost their lives due to accidents.1 Of those service members, 13 Sailors and nine Marines died between Memorial Day and Labor Day in accidents involving motor vehicles or recreational activities.2
Don’t be a statistic this summer! Think safety first and check out the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) Department’s Summer Safety toolbox. There you’ll find posters, fact sheets, and guides on everything from water safety to food safety.
In particular, the Summer Safety Fact Sheets Series provides evidenced-based guidance for enjoying an injury-free summer. The series features 13 fact sheets that focus on a variety of safety topics. Each fact sheet identifies the risks associated with the activity and offers practical injury prevention tips. By engaging in simple risk management, you can help keep you and your family safe this summer. We’ve highlighted a few fact sheets here, but be sure to check out the entire series for information on other summer safety topics:
- Canoeing/Kayak Safety
- Drowsy Driving Prevention
- Grilling, Fireworks, and Fire Safety
- Heat/Sun Injury and Hydration
- Picnic and Food Safety
The Summer Safety toolbox is just one example of what the Health Promotion (HP) toolbox has to offer. The HP toolbox is a monthly calendar of health observances and supporting materials that promote health and wellness. It provides health promotion coordinators and health information disseminators with tips and resources to help reduce the risk of chronic disease, enhance peak performance, and promote overall well-being among Sailors, Marines, beneficiaries, retirees, and DoD civilians.
Take a moment to explore the health observance for each month. You’ll notice that in July, HPW will focus on fruits and vegetables. They’ll offer tips on how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, how to eat healthy on a budget, and more. Feel free to download and reproduce any of the materials for your own use. Remember to check back often for new resources to help keep you and your family safe and healthy throughout the year.
1 Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Are You Ready for the “Critical Days of Summer”? [Memorandum]. Washington, DC: Department of Defense.
2 Naval Safety Center. Summer 2014 Off-Duty Fatalities. http://www.public.navy.mil/comnavsafecen/Documents/statistics/SeasonalFatalities/Summer.pdf. Published September 2014. Accessed March 2015.