10 Summer Safety Tips
Summer fun is truly something special, but summer safety should always be a priority for you, your friends and your family. When preparing for your favorite summer activities, don't forget to follow these summer safety tips to make sure everyone has a great time without any of dangers the warm months can bring.
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1. Understand SPF and Use Sun Protection
Know your SPF numbers and what sort of SPF protection to buy for your family. Extra-high SPF numbers aren't nearly so important as careful, effective application on all exposed skin. Today's spray-based sunscreen is usually more child and teenage friendly, since it's a lot easier to apply than oily lotions. UPF or ultraviolet protection factor is used to rate summer clothing for protection, another valuable specification to keep in mind when headed up to the mountain or out on the water.
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2. Protect Against Mosquitos and Other Threats
Mosquitos carry some of summer's worst diseases (Lyme, Zika, etc.), but they are also very difficult to avoid without proper care. If you are going to be spending time near open water, especially standing water, protect yourself from mosquitos by covering arms and legs, and using effective repellents like deet. Protect against wasps, hornets, and other bugs by avoiding their nests. While bright colors are a good idea in the forest, in other environments try to stay away from bright or floral patterns, which are an attractor for these stinging insects.
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3. Remember Helmets and Kneepads
From skating on the street to – well, nearly any other type of summer sport, protection is important. Equip your kids with their helmets for extra protection, but don't stop there. Kneepads protect from scraps and hot metal surfaces, and you should encourage their use for any wheeled or motor-related activity.
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4. Practice Proper Safety Near Water
A vast number of unfortunate summer deaths are caused by drowning. If you or your family are enjoying pool activities or water sports, always go in pairs and make sure that kids are under constant adult supervision, as well as equipped with the proper flotation devices. As fun as alcohol may be while out on the water, it's also a really bad idea. Adult water-related deaths are frequently caused by drinking on watercraft or before swimming. If your summer fun involves a few beers, then enjoy your water activities first: Drink when you are done and back on land.
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5. When it Heats Up, Plan Hydration Carefully
Dehydration is no fun at best and deadly at worst. If you are heading into hot temperatures, make clear plans for water: Bring along your own water storage and make sure you have a couple liters for every person, even if you are just headed out for an afternoon. If it is particularly hot, make sure you frequently stop in the shade and take a drink of water to keep from sweating out too much.
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6. When Exploring, Coordinate Times, Directions, and Group-Ups
Exploring festivals, new towns, hiking paths, and even other countries are very popular summer activities. They should also involve proper planning. Make sure everyone has an exploring buddy and a way to keep in contact. Have everyone's phone number for contact, and arrange for specific times and places to meet up once exploring is finished.
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7. Be More Careful in the Car
Summer is a more dangerous time to be on the road: The combination of drivers new to the area, drivers who may be acting more careless, and more bikers can lead to disaster. So remember to check your car, practice good maintenance, follow local traffic laws, and stay safe on the road.
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8. Use Licensing and Safety Courses
From dirt-biking and off-roading to jet-skiing and flying drones, a lot of today's summer activities involve advanced equipment. Don't let you or your family jump into this equipment without the proper training! Make sure everyone takes the right classes, obtains any important licenses, and follows the right codes for their summer fun. It takes a little bit of preparation, but it vastly increases safety and avoids any hefty fines you may occur if no one knows the rules.
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9. Stay Away from Activities That Are Simply Too Dangerous
This is particularly important as a parent, because while summer is about fun and even testing boundaries, parents still need to draw lines when activities become too dangerous. It is too dangerous to let kids go unsupervised or without the proper equipment, no matter how much they may want to do something. Certain things, like trampolines, have proven too dangerous to use, especially without the right trampoline insurance (the fact specific insurance exists should be a warning sign). Just because something is popular or trending doesn't mean it should be allowed or encouraged.
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10. Protect Food and Wash Your Hands
Keep food sealed and covered until it is ready to eat, and try to keep it out of the sun if possible. When grilling, make sure meats are properly refrigerated before use and thoroughly cooked. When dealing with any kind of food, wash your hands first to prevent contamination. These summer home safety tips are simple, but easy to overlook during summer activities.
Originally Published: July 26, 2017