Summer is in full swing and that means cookouts, swimming, hiking, and bonfires. This time of year is full of fun and can be very exciting, but it is also important to stay safe. Here are some summer safety tips to help keep you safe and having fun!

Be Prepared in Case of Emergency

  • Take safety training courses.
    • Get CPR certified, take lifeguard classes or learn how to spot things like heat stroke symptoms from your doctor. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in crowded public places, like a city beach, learn situational awareness techniques to keep an eye on anything suspicious.
  • Carry a first-aid kit when going out.
    • This should include bandages, antibiotic cream, bee sting remedies, sunscreen, and sunburn treatment. Make sure you know how to clean and dress small wounds you or your kids might get while out and about.
  • Enroll in swimming lessons.
    • Kids, teenagers and even you can benefit from learning how to swim. Knowing how to swim may reduce the risk of drowning in children ages 1 to 4 and has been shown to increase self-confidence in young children.

Get Serious About Water Safety

  • Always swim with a buddy.
    • Swimming alone comes with a whole host of risks, like no one being around to help you if you get into trouble. Make sure kids stick together and are wearing life preservers, even if the water is shallow.
  • Check for deep water.
    • It might look shallow, but lakes, ponds, and rivers can be deceiving. Make sure there are no obstacles before diving into the water.
  • Keep undertow in mind.
    • Rivers, lakes and the ocean all have the ability to tug you under, so make sure children are outfitted with life preservers and don’t swim too far out. If the waves are getting too strong, it’s best to get out altogether.
  • Heed the warnings.
    • If there are signs about algae, sea animals or pollution, pay attention. Don’t get in the water if the posted warnings say it’s not safe.

Keep the Bugs Off

  • Wear shoes outside.
    • This minimizes the risk of stings and bites. If going into tall grass or the woods, wear long pants and tuck the ends into your socks. It may look silly, but it’ll keep ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Watch for stings.
    • If someone gets stung and then develops hives or wheezing, they may be allergic. Use an emergency epinephrine auto-injector, if prescribed by a doctor. Call a doctor or head to the ER if their throat constricts, symptoms don’t go away, or someone is stung multiple times.
  • Pest-proof your yard.
    • Place playground equipment away from brush and trees. Put up a fence to keep wildlife out of your yard that might be carrying pests on them. You can also restrict pest migration into your yard by setting up a 3-foot wide barrier of mulch or gravel between your lawn and any nearby woods or fields.
  • Stack wood away from the house.
    • Not only will this reduce the population of biting insects in or near your home, but you’ll also better protect your house from termites.

Beat the Heat

  • Don’t leave kids and pets in the car.
    • Unless going to a dog park or somewhere they can come inside when you arrive, leave pets at home.
  • Protect your skin.
    • Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat. Make sure you’re applying and reapply sunscreen regularly and wearing the appropriate SPF level for your skin type.
  • Avoid the hottest part of the day.
    • Spending time outdoors between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. can expose you to the harshest of the sun’s rays. If you can, stay inside.
  • Pace yourself.
    • Heatstroke is no joke, so when you exercise or work outside, make sure to take frequent breaks and hydrate with water.

Keeping these tips in mind can help keep summer safe and fun. So don’t forget the sunscreen and get to the beach!