Yep! It’s that awesome time of year again – Summer! We’re thinking about sunshine, pool parties, barbeques and spectacular fireworks in the sky for the next few months. While we hear summer-friendly, safety reminders everywhere these days, we’ve boiled the bulk of them down to a highlights reel.
Here are our Top 5 Summer Safety Tips:
1. The “golden glow” of summer
Are you one of those people who say, “I don’t really need sun block since I have a ‘good foundation’ already”; “my skin never burns”; or “I just want a little color”? The truth is you really DO need it. Other than helping to prevent more severe health issues associated with ultraviolet radiation (UVR), it can also reduce the possibility of photoaging. That’s a condition often attributed to people with prolonged exposure to the sun – as well as the self-proclaimed sun worshippers. It’s not known to be life-threatening, but it can damage the ego by causing premature aging of your skin with leathery sagging and wrinkling. If you don’t want to look like a raisin when you’re 40, rub a little sunscreen lotion on today. Make your over-40 tomorrows a little “smoother.”
2. Walking on sunshine
Warm weather triggers an immediate thought of sand. Just remember that while it’s great to have this natural exfoliant squishing between your toes, with a little heat, sand can be sizzling hot. So, when you’re walking to the perfect beach spot or grabbing something from the snack shack, toss on your sandals or flip flops. And for water play, don’t forget foot protection here too. Grab some aqua socks to avoid stepping on jagged rocks or debris on the lake or ocean “floor.”
3. Love those summer drinks
It’s great to enjoy a cool glass of lemonade, iced tea or a tropical, fruity concoction. If you add a little something to your beverage that changes it to a cocktail, be careful about the simple dangers of mixing alcohol with outdoor activities. If you’ve “had a few,” remember to
- Hydrate…hydrate…hydrate! Lack of water can lead to dehydration which can cause headaches, dizziness, sleepiness or extreme thirst.
- Stick with the buddy program and know someone’s got your back. Feeling impulsive about a late-night swim or nature walk? If you take a buddy, you’ll have someone around for fun but also to make that 911 call if necessary.
- Choose a designated driver or simply call a taxi or driving service to return home. It’s a cheaper and less risky alternative for you – and others – if you’re not fully alert behind the wheel. The alternative, a driving under the influence (DUI) offense, or worse would have a lifetime impact.
4. Lighting up the night sky
Let’s narrow this down to the basics. It used to be that fireworks displays and kids spinning sparklers were pastimes to celebrate summer holidays and special events. Now, they’re more commonplace and a part of everyday life from sports games to parties. In fact, many states allow people to purchase certain flammable items (fireworks, roman candles and sparklers). While any of these items can be dangerous, if you choose to buy and use them, remember a few things:
- Know your state and local laws on the use of fireworks or other flammable devices.
- Do not light them up in dry areas (e.g. grass, plants) or around forestry. Use a flat, solid surface such as a parking lot or driveway that’s away from any buildings (homes), people or pets.
- Light only one device at a time, and don’t try to “relight” a failed firework. It could be slow to explode, and you wouldn’t want to be there when it does.
- Have a water hose and a recently tested fire extinguisher readily available. Soak any devices after they’ve been fired off or failed.
- As for sparklers, did you know they burn at approximately 1800° and cause severe injuries every year? That’s hot enough to melt some metals[i]. If you use one, maybe stick it on the cake, light it and stand back to watch it burn. Just don’t hold it.
5. Lifeguards aren’t babysitters
Understand that the community pool or water park lifeguards are there to save lives – and not babysit children. Certified lifeguards go through rigorous training to build physical endurance – especially underwater – and to know how to identify risks and aid in injuries, drownings or other life-saving measures. Since it’s nearly impossible to see every danger in crowded areas before it happens, let them focus on their priority, and you can enjoy some water play with the kids. They’ll be grown before you know it!
Just Livin’ Life…to the Fullest
In the big picture, you simply have to remember to balance your warm weather adventures and festivities with some caution. Look over your shoulder before changing lanes. Check both ways before crossing the street. You know the drill. It’s about making good decisions and protecting what really matters most. No matter how cautious you are, life insurance coverage offers you a balance by providing a solution to take care of them for a long time should one of those unpredictable situations happen. So when you need to shift out of summer or vacation mode and back to everyday life, keep your motivation going with a few wise words from Dr. Seuss. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”