Summer is prime season for outdoor fun, soaking up the sun, and family activities galore! What’s more – June is National Safety Month, so whether you’re taking a hike, diving in the nearest pool, or even doing some much needed yard work, staying safe should be at the top of your priority list. Here’s a few summer safety tips for you and your family.

  • Beware of Bugs – Scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays can attract mosquitos and other biting bugs. Use a bug spray with 10% to 30% DEET, a chemical that wards off ticks and mosquitos, which both carry serious diseases. In addition, avoid nesting or gathering places for insects, such as pools of still water, gardens blooming with flowers, and uncovered foods.
  • Stick to the 20-Minute Rule – To prevent heat stress or heat stroke, both adults and children should have a drink of water at least every 20 minutes. Activities that are less than an hour in duration should be accompanied by water, while being outside for more than an hour constitutes having a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.
  • Play It Safe – Make sure any equipment at the playground is not damaged or worn out. Sharp edges can scrape the skin or cause an eye injury. In addition, test slides and other surfaces to make sure they are cool enough. Some materials, if exposed to sun for too long, can cause burns.
  • Pay Attention to Plants – Learn how to recognize poison ivy and poison oak, and teach your children the same! If you are out hiking, carry a book or photo reference of bad plants just in case you’re unsure. Try not to expose too much skin to unknown plants, as you could pay the price later!
  • Take Action – If you spot a struggling swimmer in a pool or lake, try to ignore the instinct to jump in after them. A panicked swimmer is likely to pull the rescuer under water, so instead throw a Coast Guard approved flotation device to the person, or use a pole to reach them. Make sure that when you go swimming, set limits based on a person’s ability, and try to stick to places that have lifeguards. Finally, avoid drains and suction fittings in pools.

Summer should be spent having fun, so to avoid any unnecessary emergency room visits, take heed of these tips.