Welcome spring with safety

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- In less than a week, spring will be upon us again and many of will eagerly advantage of spring break by participating in a variety of warm-weather activities.

While we're not completely out of the woods yet with recent and expected snowfall and cooler temperatures, the advent of spring does give us the chance to remind ourselves of the hazards that come with the warmer weather, so I ask us all to think about any activities we have planned.

Are you helping your family members and friends think about safety behind activities they haven't done for several months? While most of these safety ideas are probably not new, it's still wise to keep them at the forefront of our activities.

As we dust off our motorcycles, bicycles, mountain climbing gear, boats, gardening tools, barbecue grills, and in my case, power tools for home projects that I've been saving for better weather, have we thought about the safety?

Whatever activities we embark on this spring, always plan ahead, make good decisions and ask "Is this worth the risk?"

There are many reminders to adjust our thoughts on safety to protect us and our families. Many of us have big plans for spring break: road trips, working on big projects around the house or participating in various outdoor activities. Take a look at how you can safely enjoy these activities. You may wish to play in the snow for these last few weekends so have fun but don't push it.

For motorcycle riders, lookout for other vehicles on the road and be sure to prep your bike for that first ride of the season. Single vehicle motorcycle accidents are very frequent but they can be prevented. Wear an approved helmet, eye protection, and consider high-visibility sturdy clothing. Check the condition of your tires, cable hoses, lights and signals. Don't let your desire to get on the road sway your good judgment prior to your first ride of the spring.

The home and work environments are not immune to safety hazards either. Every day, nearly 82 people die as a result of unintentional poisoning and nearly 2,000 are treated daily in emergency rooms across the nation.

Consider posting the Poison Control Center phone number, 1-800-222-1222, by your home' s telephones, keep toxic products in their original container and make sure batteries in carbon monoxide alarms are replaced often. In case of accidental poisoning, stay calm and call 911.

Enjoy the warmer spring time weather but always remember to be safe!

(Editor's note: March is National Poison Awareness Month)