Now that summer is well underway, it is a good time to revisit and think about some safety tips to survive the heat, summer activities, and ensure that everyone has a fun, healthy, and safe summer.
While this is a year-round tip, summer heat, humidity, and hours spent outside in the sunshine make it even more important. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to consume plenty of water. Particularly if you know you will be outside for long periods of time, and when you might be exerting yourself through sports and physical activity, make sure you have had a good amount of water to drink before you head out for the day. Keep a bottle with you to sip from throughout the day, and ensure that children are regularly taking in water as well.
In general, we are now all fairly well aware of the many dangers that sun exposure poses to our skin and the importance of wearing sufficient sunscreen regularly. However, many people still think that the standard SPF 15 or 30 will be sufficient to protect them from harmful UV rays. While the CDC recommends use of an SPF 15 at minimum, many dermatologists recommend SPFs of much higher, particularly on one’s face. Additionally, even with application of sunscreen, other protective methods such as hats, sun-protective clothing and swimwear, and umbrellas should also be used, and sunscreen should be reapplied frequently, especially after swimming, sweating, or toweling oneself off. Take breaks from being in direct sunlight to cool off, reapply sunscreen, and give your skin a rest from the rays.
Be smart on the water.
Swimming and open-water sports, such as boating, waterskiing, tubing, kayaking, or canoeing are a great way to relax and enjoy nice weather outdoors, but these activities should be undertaken in a safe and conscientious manner. Make sure that everyone joining you is able to swim, or keeps their water enjoyment to a level that is safe and comfortable for them and their abilities. For lakes, rivers, or other open-water scenarios, lifejackets are a must, and should be worn whenever possible. Each state has its own laws and regulations about life jacket availability and use, especially for children, and you should always check those out before heading out on the water to be sure you will be in compliance.
It is also important to stay alert and aware while near the water. Even though it can be fun to have a nice cold beer while out on the water or in between dips in the pool, alcohol consumption poses a real danger for accidents and drowning. Make sure to have a designated driver of any boat or watercraft, and stay on dry land if you feel any effects of alcohol, which can alter your judgment, reaction time, and muscle movement, all of which are important to remain safe on or near the water. Similarly, taking photos is a fun way to document your good times, but be conscious not to become so distracted with taking videos or selfies that you put yourself at risk of losing control.
Enjoy fireworks safely and legally.
Fireworks are a unique show that make summer special, but every year they contribute to injuries, deaths, or close calls. States have specific laws for purchase, possession, and use of consumer fireworks, and there may be various levels of regulations depending on the area where you may want to set off fireworks. Laws may also be seasonal or by date. You should take a look into any regulations that apply to your area before purchasing or attempting to set off fireworks on your own. A better option may be to check where fireworks will be set off in your area by professionals, as shows are usually free, pretty spectacular, and can be enjoyed from a safe distance!