Ah, summer! Time to get outdoors and enjoy these hot days. As fun as it is, summer can be a dangerous time too. But it doesn’t have to be. Follow these hot tips for summer safety.
Safe fun in the sun
Apply sunscreen diligently.
You don't need a super-high SPF. Depending on your natural color, 15 or 30 should do the trick if applied every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
Always designate a driver.
Summer fun often includes an icy margarita or a cold beer. In the heat, alcohol can hit you harder, so before you hit the barbeque circuit, make sure to have a designated driver lined up.
As temps heat up, it's critical to stay hydrated. And remember — caffeinated drinks dehydrate you, so have two glasses of water for every iced coffee.
Protect your eyes with sunglasses.
No, they're not just a fashion accessory. Sunglasses keep your eyes from working too hard squinting in the summer sun and help you drive more safely by minimizing the glare.
Check pavement temperatures.
It's tempting to go barefoot, but pavement and blacktop can scorch your feet. Test the temp before you take off your shoes.
Determine play boundaries.
Kids spend time outdoors all summer. Establish boundaries — for example, three houses in each direction — that they can't cross without alerting you first.
Review sidewalk safety.
Kids should know how and where to cross the street, if there are safe areas to play such as a cul-de-sac and what to do if a ball rolls into the street.
Check the fit of your helmet...
then actually wear it.
Know your ozone.
Use the National Weather Service's air quality map to find out when pollution levels are too high for safe outdoor activities.
Understand local wildlife.
Are there snakes indigenous to your area? What about fledglings? Know what is active in the summer near you — and how to avoid it.
Establish pool rules.
Get everyone in your family on board with the same set of rules, such as no swimming without an adult or, for the adults, no swimming after beers.
Before you host a bonfire, visit your state's Department of Natural Resources website to see if your area is experiencing a risk for forest fires. Then, double check to make sure the fire is out after your event.
Teach kids how to greet dogs.
Kids aren't the only ones spending more time outdoors. Your neighborhood dogs are probably out enjoying the weather too. Make sure your kids know how to greet dogs — from the side instead of the front, never reach for their heads and never, ever greet an unfamiliar dog without an adult present.
Tune up your wheels.
Low air pressure combined with heat could result in a dangerous tire blowout. Check your wheels — car and bike — before hitting the road.
How to fit your bike helmet
Watch this video about bike safety:
More about summer safety