Summer Safety Tips to Prevent Personal Injury All Season Long


Six orange rafts are lined up on the bank of a river, prepped with oars in each.

Summer is a season where much of our lives are spent outdoors — whether it’s traveling on vacations, grilling with family and friends, spending time at the pool. or late nights around a bonfire. Our legal team wanted to share this comprehensive list of summer safety tips to keep you and your family safe from personal injuries all season long. 

Swimming and Diving Safety

Swimming in a pool is a common summer activity in the Midwest. However, a nice day at the pool can quickly turn into disaster if someone jumps into a pool improperly or slips and falls. If you own a pool, make sure to educate your visitors and family members about proper pool safety, including information about the depths of your water. For example, if you have a shallow pool, make sure no one dives in headfirst to reduce possible head or traumatic brain injuries. 

If you are swimming in a lake, river or ocean, do not underestimate what might be underwater before attempting to dive in headfirst. Be cautious before jumping into any body of water from a high height or when waves are crashing in.   

Boating Safety 

Missouri and Illinois have many popular lake destinations, including the Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Crab Orchard Lake and Lake of Egypt. However, with great lakes comes unpredictable waves and currents. It’s important for all on the water to wear or keep a life jacket nearby. Illinois and Missouri laws require boats to have U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets onboard for all occupants. Additionally, children of a certain age must keep a life jacket on at all times. 

If you are riding in a boat this summer, keep in mind these additional summer safety tips: 

  • Keep your arms and legs inside the vessel as it moves. 
  • Never swim alone.
  • Put up proper flags if you have members of your boating party swimming in open water.  
  • Be aware of your alcohol intake. 
  • Do not drink and drive a boat. 
  • Keep your distance from other boats in the water to avoid collisions. 

River Floating in Summer Safety

Going for a float trip is a staple on a midwestern bucket list. The most important step you can take before embarking on your float is to be prepared. Keep an eye on how the weather conditions may impact the river on the day of your float. Regardless of your swimming experience, you must wear a floatation device, especially on rougher rivers that contain areas of whitewater rapids such as the Meramec River and the Huzzah River. 

If you are floating in Missouri, you must also adhere to these rules established by Missouri’s river laws. If you are in violation of any of the below laws, you may be subject to a misdemeanor. The following items and actions are prohibited while floating on Missouri rivers:  

  • Polystyrene food or beverage coolers 
  • Beer kegs or “beer bongs” 
  • Glass containers or bottles 
  • Littering

Fire Pit Safety  

When you are in your backyard or camping, outdoor fire pits and bonfires are often part of the outdoor experience. Fire burns are one of those common summer injuries that may lead to a trip to the emergency room if proper precautions are not taken. Here are five important summer safety tips to remember before you light an outdoor fire: 

  1. Keep it contained and away from your home, dry grass, or low hanging branches. 
  2. Establish rules for fire pits at home, especially if young children are present. 
  3. Stick to burning wood over any other items. 
  4. Keep the flammables such as alcohol and gasoline away from your fire pit. 
  5. Have someone on fire watch to keep others safe and make sure it is properly extinguished before going inside for the night. 

Summer Firework Safety

Summer celebrations often end with fireworks in the sky, but they can also end with serious burn injuries. Many firework accidents occur due to improper handling, misjudging firing distance or encountering an unknown product defect that leads to early explosions or unpredictable firework paths. To celebrate and use fireworks safely this summer, we advise you to: 

  • Keep them away from young children. 
  • Do not light them while intoxicated. 
  • Do not hold a lit firework in your hand. 
  • Do not light one inside your home or another enclosed area. 
  • Do not light or relight a malfunctioning firework. 
  • Keep water nearby to douse an open flame. 
  • Do not point fireworks at people, animals, houses or cars.

Summer Road Trip Safety 

Road trips from Missouri or Illinois to beach or campsite destinations often require long hours of highway travel. If you and your family are planning a long road trip, stay aware and review these summer road safety tips: 

  • Plan your route ahead of time and pay special attention to areas where road work may be occurring. 
  • If you have multiple drivers in your car for a long road trip, break up the driving time to ensure no one drives drowsy. 
  • If you are towing a trailer, camper, or boat, make sure to triple check your mirrors before merging to avoid a sideswipe accident. 
  • Share the road effectively with motorcycles, semi-trucks and agricultural vehicles that might be working on their fields. 

If you get into an accident while driving across the country, make sure you talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your options. 

Stay Aware with MHM’s Summer Safety Tips 

As personal injury attorneys, we often see common summer injuries that occur from incidents that could have been avoided with adequate summer safety preparation. When these injuries occur, you or a loved one may require the expertise of a personal injury attorney. 

For firework accidents, trucking accidents, boating accidents and more, our legal team is here to help you through the complexities of your case. With over 70 years of experience, we are dedicated to helping you get back on your feet. If you have a need for a personal injury attorney in Missouri or Illinois, contact our team today for a free consultation.