Photo by Robert S. Donovan (flickr.com)
From backyard barbecues to swimming in the lake to mountain biking in a state park, the summer is full of awesome adventures. With those activities, however, comes the risk of injury. Don’t compromise your summer fun and safety by not taking precautions. The simple tips below will help keep you safe while you enjoy your summer break before heading back to the classroom in August.
According to the American Cancer Society, 2 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Whenever you are outdoors, take the time to apply a layer of sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays for maximum sun safety and reapply it after being outdoors for longer than a half-hour or 45 minutes. If possible, cover up with clothing for maximum protection. More sun safety tips can be found here.
Sure, feeling the wind blow through your hair is exhilarating, but if the choice is between potential brain trauma from falling off a bike or a helmet, opt for the helmet. Many national and state parks actually require bike riders to wear helmets while riding in their parks. Choose a helmet that fits snugly and does not wiggle around. Check out the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute for more helmet safety tips.
Nothing says summer like a backyard barbecue. Enjoying the smell of barbecue chicken is preferred over the smell of a burning siding, so be sure that your barbecue grill is placed far enough away from your home that it will not accidentally cause a fire. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for operation when using the grill. If small children are around, be sure that the grill is constantly supervised while in use to prevent anyone from getting burned. It is also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher close by. Common sense and a few safety precautions will keep your barbecue from turning into a nightmare.
Photo by Brandi Jordan
Down By the Seashore
If you are planning a trip to the beach this summer, grab your sunscreen and stake out a spot close to the lifeguard stand. Always follow the beach rules, including swimming within the green flags. If you are concerned about undercurrents, ask the lifeguards where it is the safest to swim. They can point you in the right direction and help you avoid being swept out. If you do get caught in a rip current, follow NOAA’s advice for staying safe when caught in a rip current.
Being prepared for an emergency is essential, especially in the summer when you may spend more time outdoors and away from home. Create a first aid kit that you can keep in the glove box or in the trunk of the car. The Red Cross has some great advice about what should be included. Keep a simple first aid bag in your purse or backpack while on picnics, at the beach or while hiking, as well. Let others know where you will be going and always carry a fully charged cell phone. Being prepared helps you stay safe and helps you protected the loved ones who are with you.
Have a wonderful summer full of exciting adventures and calming moments. After a year of teaching, you deserve the peace that summer can bring. Let us know what you’re planning on doing this summer! We’d love to hear all about it!