7 Summer Safety Tips

From backyard pool parties to cross-country road trips and everything in between, the summer months are meant for making memories, trying new things, spending time with loved ones and friends, and getting outside to explore the world around you! But there are some common dangers and simple things that could derail your summer plans.

To help make sure your summer is nothing but smiles and good times with good friends, here are seven summer safety tips that can help you avoid the summertime blues. 

1. Protect Your Skin

suncreen picDid you know that having five or more blistering sunburns early in life will increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 80%? During the summer months, and really all year long, it is important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Whether you’re at the pool, hanging out at a backyard BBQ, going for a hike, or taking the dog for a walk, make sure you protect all exposed skin with a good broad-spectrum sunscreen with a rating of SPF 15 or higher that will protect you from both UVB and UVA rays.

Sunburns aren’t the only things you need to worry bout while you're enjoying the outdoors this summer. We all know that arms and legs full of itchy mosquito bites can really derail your summer fun.

When it comes to protecting yourself from any sort of bug or insect this summer, the obvious choice is to reach for the bug spray, but there are some additional steps you can take too. Besides spraying yourself with bug spray and burning citronella candles at night to keep away pesky mosquitos, the following will also help keep summertime bugs at bay -

  • From hairspray to lotions and perfume, avoid scented products that can attract many insects including mosquitos.
  • When going on a hike, especially in areas that may have ticks, consider long sleeves and pants to protect yourself, and make sure to choose bug spray with DEET. 
  • If you enjoy entertaining outside, try planting things like basil, lavender, lemongrass, or rosemary, all known to be natural bug repellents, where you and your guests will be spending the most time. 

2. Stay Hydrated

Avoid heat related-illnesses, like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke by drinking plenty of water and staying well hydrated. Carry water with you wherever you go and take frequent breaks. The 20-minute rule can help you stay hydrated (drink water at least every 20 minutes while outside) and remember heat related-illnesses can come on suddenly with little warning. 

If you’re out with a group of people, make sure everyone in the group can recognize signs of different heat-related illnesses. Some things to keep an eye out for include -

  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting

3. Get Yourself a First Aid Kit

Whether hiking, camping, or just playing a game of football with your pals, summertime is full of fun activities, but with that comes the risk of more injuries. Ranging from cuts and scrapes to more severe sprains and fractures, a simple first aid kit can make a summer accident much more manageable.

A well-stocked first-aid kit should include -

  • 1 bottle of saline solution
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets
  • 5 sterile gauze pads
  • 25 adhesive bandages, 1 roller bandage, 1 adhesive cloth tape
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 adhesive compress dressings
  • Tweezers
  • 1 oral thermometer
  • 1 instant cold compress

4. Plant ID

You’ve got your sunscreen, your bug spray, your water, and your first aid kit in case something does go wrong, but there is one other thing you need to protect yourself from during the summer months - plants. If you’re a person that plans to spend a lot of time outdoors, especially if you plan on hiking or camping, you should learn to identify both poison ivy and poison oak, as well as other poisonous plants like nightshade.

While you can look these up on your phone, many hikes or campgrounds may take you out of range and leave you with spotty or even no service. Study these plants before you head out and consider bringing along a book with photos to help you ID out in the wild. 

5. Water Safety

life jacket picFrom the beach to the lake to the pool, a lot of us spend a lot of time in the water during the summer months, but did you know drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children? Keep you and your loved ones safe this summer while you enjoy the water by practicing proper water safety. 

As an adult, you should always lead by example and practice water safety, like wearing a lifejacket whenever you’re on a boat. Also, make sure toddlers and young children are not able to access pools or other bodies of water unsupervised and never leave young swimmers unattended.

6. Fire Safety

While the summer may be full of water activities, it’s also full of fire! From campfires to BBQs it’s important to understand the dangers associated with any sort of open flame.

Both adults and children are at risk of severe burns caused by getting just a little too close to the fire. To minimize burn risks, adults should again lead by example and not stand too close to any fire. Also, children should never be left unattended near an open flame. 

In addition to burn risks, avoid potential fires and other hazards by making sure any campfires or grills are placed in open, well-ventilated areas away from flammable materials. When grilling, the use of long-handled cooking utensils and well-fitted clothes can limit possible fire risks. You also should keep a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case anything does go array.

And while we are on the topic of fire safety, if you live in a place where fireworks are legal be sure to exercise caution while around them. Follow all the instructions and only purchase fireworks from reputable sources. Before lighting a firework make sure you are in an open area and that a fire extinguisher or water is nearby, should something go wrong. If your firework fails to go off, never relight it! 

7. Watch the Weather

Whether staying near home for a staycation, taking a short day trip, or traveling cross country, the summer can be full of wacky weather! From floods to tornadoes and thunderstorms, summer weather can turn suddenly, without any warning. Always be sure to continually check the weather as you plan your trip, including the day of, for forecasted severe weather. 

Remember forecasts can change daily. Even if the forecast predicts sunny skies, keep your eyes on the sky for any sudden changes. If you do happen to get stuck in poor weather, seek safe shelter while you wait out the storm.

While it’s important to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer, it’s also important to keep your home safe while you’re away. Whether traveling out of town or down the street to a neighbor’s home make sure your home is protected this summer with GVTC’s Smart Home Security.

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