Which is the most dangerous time of the year, Summer or Winter?
As you sit in the garden, sipping your evening glass of wine this summer, it might not occur to you that this is the most dangerous time of year. Indeed, you may quite rightly think that winter with all its cold snaps and storms is the season to be wary of. The truth is that both summer and winter have their dangerous sides and they can certainly pose a threat to the most vulnerable in society.
The Heat of Summer
We are lucky that we live in a temperate country such as the UK but there are times when the skies clear, the temperatures soar and we all need to take a little extra care with the heat. The longer days and warmer weather gives us greater opportunities to go out and about and enjoy ourselves. There’s also the chance to have the odd barbecue here and there which can present its own dangers including mixing flammable liquids and hot open air grills with people who may have had too much alcohol.
Making sure that you drink enough water during the hot summer days is a must, as we are all aware. Don’t forget to check on any elderly neighbours as they are the most vulnerable when it comes to problems such as dehydration. You will also need to apply some suitable sun protection when going out in the heat of day and make sure any children are adequately covered.
Beaches can very quickly turn a relaxing environment into a trial of the elements. Every year millions of people look to the golden sands and pebbled beaches of the UK’s coastline with a view to topping up a tan, reading a book or playing in the sea and sand with their family. With so many people cramming into finite areas of space it is not uncommon for more and more people to seek the more secluded and less popular stretches to spread out onto.
The downside of this is that many fail to take into account the reason they are less popular. Fierce rip tides, full stretches of beaches cut off and then submerged leaving many beach goers stranded and in need of rescue. Last year alone 7,000 people had to be rescued in situations ranging from straying too far from the shore on inflatable beds to wind surfers getting caught by fierce tides and people being stranded by the sea.
During prolonged hot spells you may well find that areas like forests become vulnerable to fires and whilst the UK is nowhere near as dangerous as a country like Australia in the summer, people still need to take care when lighting up for whatever reason. Avoiding extremes is also a good idea and you should think twice about jumping from a hot day into a cold river or lake as the shock can actually cause your heart to fail.
The Ice of Winter
Winter, of course, brings its own problems. A cold snap can be a danger to the most vulnerable in society, particularly the elderly who may not possess the funds to keep their heating on all the time. In addition there may well be icy spots on the roads and pavements that present a danger to almost anyone who isn’t taking sufficient care.
If you are going for a walk out into the country then you need to make sure you are prepared for every eventuality. What starts out as a nice day may well turn more wintry and leave you stranded without the right equipment or clothing. A major factor in many deaths, particularly in the country, is the wind chill that can send temperatures plummeting and leave people in real difficulty.
A Change in the Weather
We are beginning to see more and more extremes of weather in the UK and we have, in recent years, encountered cold snaps and heatwaves as well as periods of rain that have caused damaging floods across the country. Both Winter and Summer have their own challenges and making sure you are properly prepared for most eventuality will help keep you safe and in full health whatever the season. One advantage of injury by insufficient planning and poor quality environmental maintenance means that you may actually be eligible for compensation. Girlings Personal Injury Claims company have an online claims checker that allows you determine whether or not you would qualify for compensation.