Red Cross Summer Safety Tips

With the approach of the Summer Solstice (June 21), my thoughts turn toward summertime fun! The younger kids have finished up with school for the year, the college students have vacated their dorm rooms, and restaurants have thrown open the doors to their patios and verandas. The longer days and warmer temperatures of the summer months lend themselves to a host of outdoor activities for these most carefree months of the year.

The Red Cross would like your summer to be safe and healthy, and they have a list of tips for keeping your families free from harm.

Water Safety
The first, most important thing you can do for yourself and for your family to keep everyone safe in the water is to make sure that everyone has learned to swim. They recommend taking lessons and always swimming with a buddy to avoid water accidents. To find a swimming class in your area, you can contact your local Red Cross chapter.

Additionally, the Red Cross would like to reinforce that swimmers should swim only in supervised areas, obey all the posted signs and rules of the pool, lake, or beach, avoid mixing swimming and drinking alcohol, and pay attention to all weather forecasts.

Boating Safety
If you’re going to be boating or jet skiing this summer, be sure to follow all the safety guidelines of the boat or jet ski company, as well as all local beach regulations. Additionally, according to the Red Cross, it is important that you make yourself aware of the weather and water current patterns expected for the region where you’ll be boating. Also, be sure to bring extra gear, including a flashlight, extra batteries, a nautical map of the area where you’ll be, flares, sunscreen, a first aid kit, and sunglasses, and place them in a watertight pouch or into a sealed container that floats. Check all the boats’ or jet skis’ equipment, vehicle balance, engine, and fuel supply before embarking on your boating excursion. Finally, make sure that someone who is not joining you in your boating party knows where you are going, who will be with you, and when you are expected to return.

Sun Safety
The sun is a powerful force in your summertime fun, but just as the sun can inspire your outdoor activities, it can also bring those activities to an uncomfortable end. Avoid sunburn by using sunscreen liberally and re-applying often. Be sure to keep yourself and your family well hydrated with plenty of water, and don’t overdo it- come in out of the sun if you start to feel fatigued, dizzy, or sunburned

The Red Cross recommends that you be on the lookout for signs of heat related illnesses, like Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke. Take proper precautions against these conditions, and know what to do should you suspect someone in your family has overdone it in the sun. For some more information about heat related illnesses, check out the Red Cross’ website.

Summertime is, for many like me, the lightest, happiest time of the year. The summer solstice is upon us; the days are growing longer, leading to potentially excessive sun exposure. With a few precautions and a little information, summertime outdoor recreation seekers can be free from summer related accident and illness. Enjoy a fun filled, peaceful summer, and let the Red Cross help you to stay safe and healthy.

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