The great outdoors: Outdoor living safety tips
After a long winter cooped up indoors, the warm summer air beckons us outside. Head outdoors and be safe this summer with these outdoor living safety tips.
Be sun safe
Make sunscreen part of your summer routine. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Consider wearing a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun off the sensitive skin on your face.
Practice pool safety
While there's no better feeling than jumping in a pool on a hot day, it's important to make and enforce water safety rules. Kids should know not to run near a pool and not to jump in the water unless an adult is present.
Keep insects at bay this summer. Bugs can be annoying, like mosquitoes, or they can be dangerous, like ticks. Use repellent, especially if you're in a wooded area. In your backyard, use candles or torches specifically designed to keep bugs away. If you're going to spend a lot of time outside when bugs are active, skip the perfume or scented soaps, which can attract bugs. Finally, when cooking or eating outside, keep food covered.
If you're biking, rollerblading or scootering, wear a fitted helmet. Teach kids to stick to the sidewalks and stay out of the road. Check playground equipment for cracks or damage. Check the temperature of playground equipment, especially plastic or metal slides and swings that are in direct sunlight. Asphalt can be scorching in the summer, so wear sneakers or flip flops instead of playing barefoot.
Do yard work safely
Outdoor living requires some level of maintenance. Be safe when it comes to yard work. Don't allow children to play in the backyard while you're mowing. Always follow the safety instructions with any powered equipment such as lawn mowers or trimmers. If you choose to spray fertilizers, pesticides or weed killers in your yard, keep the spray far from where children or pets play, and away from where food is prepared and cooked.
Set fireworks rules
Fireworks go hand-in-hand with summer fun. However, fireworks can cause severe injuries. If possible, attend community fireworks displays rather than setting them off in your own backyard. You'll be able to enjoy the display without the risk. If you choose to set fireworks off at home, first ensure that fireworks are legal in your area. Keep children a safe distance away from the fireworks. Never point them at another person. Before you begin lighting fireworks, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand.