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As we approach the holiday weekend, many of us are thinking about what we are going to grill, which pool we are going to go to, which sporting event we are going to watch, and which BBQ we are going to attend. We should also be thinking about some basic safety information as the hot weekend approaches.


The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that children under the age of 5 represent almost 75% of the deaths that occur each year in pools and spas. Children should never be left unattended near a pool, spa or other body of water. Children under the age of 5 are at a higher risk of drowning. Protect your children from pool drowning, lake drowning, bathtub drowning and spa drowning.


The roads this weekend will be crowded and drivers are distracted. Almost 91% of this weekends travelers will go by car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2009 that 4,462 motorcyclist were killed and 90,000 were injured on our highways. For those who need these numbers placed in perspective, in 2000, there were less than 3,000 fatal motorcycle crashes and 58,000 injuries caused in motorcycle crashes. This is motorcycle safety awareness week – let's pay attention!


A popular activity in the hot weather, at least in Missouri, is to go boating at The Lake of the Ozarks. This week is National Boat Safety Week as it is a well-known fact that our waterways will become significantly more crowded this weekend. Unfortunately, this likely means that the number of water-related injuries and deaths will increase. Memorial Day Weekend is often a time of year when people enjoy alcoholic beverages while escaping the sun in the refreshing water. Driving a boat while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving a car intoxicated. Boat Safety Week encourages us all to watch our behavior and be safe. It also encourages us, along with the National Safe Boating Council, to focus on the "wear it" campaign which was started to encourage those riding on boats to wear life jackets or other personal floatation devices. Floatation devices can safe a life following a boating accident or accidental overboard fall.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently reported that of 484 boaters who drowned in 2010, only 57 of those people were wearing life vests.

Be smart. Be safe.

Lindsay Rakers is a Missouri and Illinois injury attorney.

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