Memorial Day is right around the corner, and with it – the kickoff (if not official start) of summer. Within days, families will be flocking to the pool and National parks, piling into the minivan for a trip to the drive-through, and heading to the Capitol to stroll the mall and take in a museum or two or three.

Excitement is high, and so is the temperature. It’s time to take us out to the ballgame, buy a snow cone, and splash our cares away.

Just remember these five summer safety tips as you plan for fun in the sun over the next three months.

  1. Soak up the sun (but not too much): Burns are no laughing matter, and sunshine can be deceptive. Even when the weather is overcast, the risk of sunburn is present. Remember that UV rays are at their highest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and schedule your fun accordingly. Also, consider the following summer safety tips while outdoors:
    • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours – particularly if you are swimming and/or sweating.
    • Keep to the shade when possible.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to deflect harmful rays.
  2. Swim as much as you can (but be careful): Taking a dip is one of summer’s most popular pleasures and for good reason. But there are precautions everyone should take before diving in. Drowning remains one of the main causes of accidental death in our country – and also one of the most preventable. Practice and teach water safety.
    • Never swim without a lifeguard present.
    • Always monitor children whenever they are playing in or near a body of water.
    • Do not run near the pool.
    • Always wear a lifejacket when traveling in a boat.
    • Don’t use alcohol or drugs that impair judgment when playing near water or swimming.
  3. Spray (don’t swat) pests away: Insect repellants containing at least 20% DEET are incredibly effective for warding off mosquitoes and other biting pests. (It also helps to wear proper attire for summer outings, like hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked into boots in the event of a hike.) Remember to reapply insect repellant every seven hours or so.
  4. Sip more frequently: Staying hydrated is so important on hot summer days. Dehydration is all-too-common and leads to any number of symptoms, from dizziness to nausea and worse. Drinking plenty of water is recommended, as is keeping alcoholic beverages at a minimum. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water is the recommended norm on an average day, but that amount gets a boost to two and a half liters in the summer months. Carry water with you wherever you go, and encourage children to drink more, too. Ice pops are a great way of keeping kids hydrated when playing out in the sun.
  5. Sanitize regularly: From playtime at the park to a trip to the local petting zoo, summer fun can be a bit dirty, sometimes. So, keep hand sanitizer that’s at least 70% alcohol at the ready for when soap and water are not, and make sure to wash your hands regularly in between outings.

Of course, there are plenty of other summer safety tips we should all be aware of and heed as we have fun this Memorial Day and beyond. As always, use your best judgment, and when in doubt – don’t take chances. And remember: Quality First Urgent Care will be open throughout the summer to help with any scratches, scrapes, rashes, and more that may pop up, so you can get back to your regularly scheduled vacation in no time.