As the days get longer, many of us will head out on everyday excursions and maybe even a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Whatever you’re doing and wherever you’re headed this summer, make sure you keep these smart safety tips in mind as you make some amazing memories.
1. Stay Hydrated
As summer temperatures rise, our bodies sweat more to keep cool, increasing our risk of becoming dehydrated. Make sure you have plenty of fluids for yourself, kids, and pets when you’re out in the sun. And if you’re out exercising in warm weather, you may want to consider a sports drink to replenish electrolytes and provide a little energy, especially if you’re exercising for more than an hour.
But plain old water can get boring, right? Here are some tips for upgrading the flavor of your water so you never want to leave home without a bottle.
- Infuse some fruit: Try adding a couple halved strawberries, a few slices of cucumber, or some fresh mint leaves to your water bottle add some refreshing flavor.
- Add an extract: Find an alcohol-free extract in a favorite flavor to give your water some zing without adding calories or energy-sapping sugar.
- Squeeze some citrus: Add a little lemon or lime juice to make your water look and taste more enticing.
Exercising on a hot summer day? Take extra precautions to make sure you’re hydrated and stay hydrated while exercising in hot weather. If you’re exercising vigorously or working out for longer than an hour, you may want to have a sports drink handy to help replenish lost electrolytes.
2. Protect Your Skin
Beyond the pain, sunburns are dangerous because they increase the risk of skin cancer. When you’re outside in the sun, make sure your skin is covered with sun-blocking clothing or sunscreen with a protective SPF. Also, the sun is strongest in the middle of the day, between 10-4, so try to get outside in the morning, late afternoon, or early evening when it’s cooler.
- Keep in mind that regardless of waterproof and sweat-proof labels, going in the water or sweating decreases the efficacy of sunscreen, so you should reapply after a dip or a game of beach volleyball.
- Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before sun exposure for maximum protection.
- Make sure your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection from the UVA rays that cause sunburns as well as UVB rays that cause long-term damage to skin cells.
So what do those SPF numbers mean, anyway?
- SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the SPF number is meant to help you know how long the sunscreen will help protect you from the sun’s rays.
- To understand how long different SPFs will protect you, you can use this formula from howstuffworks.com: Minutes to sunburn without sunscreen x SPF number = How long a sunscreen application may provide protection.
3. Be Smart Near the Water
Nothing says, “summer” like a day by the water, just make sure you keep these safety tips in mind while you’re out by the ocean, a lake, or a river.
- Don’t swim alone, on beaches without a lifeguard, or in rough waters.
- Make sure to read and follow directions from any signs on the beach to avoid dangerous currents, marine life, or algal blooms.
- Heed any warnings about currents and undertow before jumping in the water, and don’t be afraid to ask lifeguards if no signs are present. Beware of rip currents, for instance, that send water rushing away from the shore. These currents are very common and considered the most dangerous hazard to swimmers according to the U.S. Lifeguard Association.
- Always wear a life jacket when you’re boating, kayaking, or doing other water sports, even if you’re strong swimmer.
- Make sure access to pools or hot tubs is blocked off when unsupervised to prevent little ones or children who can’t swim from falling in.
4. Mind the Weather
Warm weather and bluebird skies can make for an unforgettable day of hiking. But even on a picture perfect day, the weather can change fast.
- Keep an eye on the sky. If storm clouds start rolling in, turn back before the weather turns bad.
- Leave as early as possible to reduce the likelihood of being caught out in an afternoon storm.
- Be better prepared for bad weather by packing at least some warm waterproof clothes, a space blanket or tarp, hiking boots, and extra food and water.
- Of course, make sure someone back home knows the route you plan to take and when they should expect you back.
5. Keep the Bugs Off
Insects such as mosquitoes or ticks can carry disease. Keep a few things in mind to reduce your risk of being bugged by one of these insects.
- Empty or fill in any standing water around your house to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds.
- Mosquitos that carry West Nile virus are most active from dawn to dusk. If you’re going to be outside during these times, cover up with long pants and a shirt.
- Stay out of tall grass and make sure to check yourself, kids, and pets for ticks after you’ve been out in the woods or brush. Wearing a light-colored shirt can help make ticks easier to spot.
- If you’re going to be out in an area with ticks or out during a time when mosquitoes are active, use an effective insect repellant such as DEET or picaridin. For a more natural bug repellant, choose an effective brand of oil of lemon eucalyptus.
6. Have a Plan for Summer Parties
For teens, summertime often means less structure and more freedom. This might make it more likely for teens to find themselves in a situation where they feel uneasy or uncomfortable. Get ahead of this kind of situation by making a plan with your teen about how they can make a smooth exit from a bad situation.
- Make sure kids have a safe way out or ride home, no matter what. With a Revolar wearable, they can simply click twice to easily and secretly ask you to call them and let you know they want to be picked up. That way, they have an excuse to leave (let them blame it on you!), and they'll feel less pressure to stick around for fear of looking uncool.
- Talk with your kids about the importance of never driving with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and make sure you have a plan in place so they have other options like calling you or another trusted adult, sending you a Revolar Alert, or using a ride-sharing app.
7. Communicate Proactively
Time off from school or for vacation often means more time for exercising outside, nights out, and travel. Heading out to a new destination or meeting new people is certainly exhilarating, but it can also be a stressor, especially for parents of young adults.
With Revolar, there's less worrying because it's easier to be proactive about communicating when connecting is as simple as clicking a button. Whether your teen, spouse, or parent is out and about this summer, having a Revolar device by their side means they can reach you and other trusted contacts with their safety status and real-time GPS location more easily than ever before.
Here are some tips for using Revolar devices to help you stay in touch:
- Use Revolar Check-ins (1-click) to quickly let loved ones know when you arrive at your destination safely so they don’t worry.
- Activate a Revolar Yellow Alerts (2 clicks) while you’re out exercising or exploring a new neighborhood. That way, your chosen contacts know where you are and can react quickly if you elevate the alert to indicate you need help.
- If you’re traveling, customize your Revolar Alerts to include relevant information like names and numbers of people you’re traveling with, and the hotel and room you’re staying in.
Stay better connected to friends and family on all your summer adventures with Revolar by your side.
Before you go! Here are a few more summer safety tips to keep in mind:
- Always wear your helmet on summertime bike rides, no matter how experienced a rider you are. Also, make sure helmets are secured in place with a proper fit so that your forehead is covered.
- Never leave children or pets in the car during the summer. In a matter of minutes, the car can heat up to dangerous levels.
- Don’t keep cooked food out for more than two hours. If the temperature is over 90 degrees fahrenheit (32 degrees celsius), cooked food shouldn’t be left out for more than one hour.
What other summer safety tips would you share?