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A Safe and Happy Summer

Summertime is the perfect time to sit back and relax. School is out, the weather is warmer and life slows down a bit. It’s a time for vacations and gardening, spending time outdoors and traveling. For many, it’s their favorite time of the year.

“I’ve always loved the summertime,” said Greg Marks, a partner and founder of Guajardo & Marks, a personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas. “As a kid it meant being out of school – a chance to play around away from the books, to relax a bit. I’m as busy now in the summer as the winter, and I work just as hard, but somehow it’s still more peaceful.”

Marks’ longtime law partner and co-founder of the firm, Michael Guajardo, agrees. “Summer is just an incredible time to be a Texan,” he said. “There’s so much going on, not just around here but all around the state. It’s a chance to get out and be a part of the bigger community.”

But, because of the increase in activities in the summer, especially outdoors, there are precautions necessary to stay safe. Out of all the potential dangers, the biggest is heat.

Stay Cool

The State of Texas offers several safety tips on how to be safe in the sun, including:

Be Prepared

  • Pack your cooler with water, ice and cool packs or cloths. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are diuretics and can dehydrate you.
  • Dress for the heat in loose, light-colored clothing; wear a hat and use sunscreen.
  • Stay hydrated and drink more water than usual, 2 to 4 eight-ounce cups of water every hour when outside for long periods of time and when performing strenuous work or exercise.
  • Don’t over-exercise; take breaks and seek the shade or air conditioning to cool yourself down.
  • Keep an eye on children, pets and the elderly for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Know the Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Urine dark in color or lack of need to urinate; you should urinate at least once every 3-4 hours.

Know What to Do

  • Move to a cooler location.
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths or compresses to as much of your body as possible.
  • Sip water.
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat Stroke Warning Signs

  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees F)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

What to Do

  • Call 9-1-1 immediatelyTHIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment.
  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
  • Do NOT give the person fluids.

Other Safety Tips

While the heat may be the No. 1 danger in the Texas summertime, there are other dangers, as well. Elite Emergency Care mentions several on their blog, including:

Be Careful Around Lakes, Rivers and Waterfalls

Cliff jumping, tubing and other activities can be a great deal of fun, but it pays to be vigilant. Watch for sharp rocks and boulders – diving without knowing what’s under the water can lead to tragedy. Unless you’re specifically prepared, avoid water moving at high speeds. Even tubing can be dangerous if the tube is caught in a current. Before going, check with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for water conditions. High water can be dangerous.

Boating

Boating accidents accounted for more than 2,500 injuries and 600 deaths last year alone. Make sure to be conscious of the boats around you; know the laws, especially rules and speeds, and be responsible.

Fishing

Use common sense, especially when casting. One in five sports-related eye injuries occur while fishing. Make sure to know who is around you.

There is no reason summer can’t be fun, but by following basic tips and using common sense, it can also be safe.

Guajardo and Marks of Dallas have more than 20 years of experience serving from offices in Dallas, Texas. We have the experience and resources and are proud to help our fellow Texans with the legal help they need. For questions or to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us at 972.774.9800.