Summer Plans Should Focus on More Safety, Less Alcohol
Summer is fast on the way. People are already busy blocking off weekends on the calendar and making plans for all kinds of outdoor activities that make summer so much fun. But another plan people should be considering is how to enjoy those great outside activities without alcohol. Especially if the planned activities occur on or around the water, the safest thing to do is leave alcohol out of the cooler. The National Institutes of Health notes that half of all water recreation deaths of teens and adults involve alcohol. Consider these tips:
When it gets hot and humid most of us are ready to head into the water for some relief. Whether it’s water in the pool, the lake, the ocean or the river, alcohol and swimming make a dangerous combination.
It doesn’t take much alcohol at all to impair a person’s judgment. People swim farther than they should, misjudge the water’s depth, and become dulled to the water’s temperature. An exaggerated sense of confidence combined with an impaired ability to evaluate danger is a seriously troubled equation.
Again it only takes a small amount of alcohol to transform a great day on the water into a place of potential tragedy. The boat driver with as little as .1 percent blood alcohol is 16 times more at risk for a deadly boating accident versus a driver with zero percent alcohol. The driver’s ability to make wise decisions and respond quickly is dampened by drinking. Alcohol also affects visual ability and can make it harder for boat operators to stay alert. On board passengers who drink run a greater risk of slipping and falling – on the boat or into the water.
On the Road
Drinking and driving should never mix. But in summer when people are travelling to new and unfamiliar places, the risks are even greater. Never drink and drive – that includes on vacation.
If summer plans are get-togethers with friends on the home turf, it’s still important to think through summer drinking choices. Alcohol is always a diuretic and can be harmful during hot summer months. Consider serving only nonalcoholic drinks at your parties. At the very least, be sure to have plenty of water on hand.
Summer is a fleeting season. We want to load as many fun activities into three short months as possible. Just remember that a bad drinking decision can create a problem that will linger long after the days of summer have passed into memory.