Make Sure Summer Fun is Safe

The warm weather is here and that means plenty of outdoor excursions and activities. Whether your plans involve trips to the beach, park, forest or simply your own backyard, make sure safety is a priority.

Get the most out of your favorite outdoor activities with these precautionary tips, courtesy of GHI Insurance company.

Sun Safety

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. It can be prevented by taking steps to protect your skin. Remember, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays shine down even on cloudy days. So even when the sun seems to be hiding, follow safety measures.

* Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

* Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outside, again every 2 hours once in the sun, and even more often if you're swimming or sweating.

* Stay out of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm, when the sun is strongest.

* Seek shade when it's available.

* Cover up as much as reasonably possible.

* Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that block UV rays.

Bug Safety

For most people, insect bites and bee stings aren't dangerous. But for people who are allergic to them, bites and stings can cause a potentially fatal allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. This must be handled as a medical emergency. When in the woods, wear long sleeves and pants to prevent tick bites. Most tick bites are harmless. But many types of ticks carry and spread Lyme Disease. Check your clothing, socks and body for ticks when returning from your trip to spot potential ticks early on before they bite.

Water Safety

Watch your children closely when they're in or around a pool. Before they learn to swim, flotation devices can help them stay above water, but they are not foolproof and should not be used as a replacement for adult supervision. Early on, teach children the rules of safe swimming, including no running near a pool and no diving in waters less than five feet deep.

Heat Safety

To avoid heat-related illness, drink plenty of water or liquids with electrolytes. Know the symptoms of heat rash and heat stroke to prevent serious problems. If you have young children or pets, never leave them alone in the car with the windows rolled up. If a person has stopped sweating, heat injury can occur and medical attention should be taken promptly.

Travel Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 40 percent of run-off-the-road car crashes happen because of driver distractions. These include reading, eating and using a cell phone. Whether you're driving, biking or running, stay focused on the road and be aware of the drivers and conditions around you. Always wear your seatbelt and ask all the passengers in your car to do the same. And remember that during the summer season there tend to be many people on the road, causing more congestion and road rage. So be patient and drive carefully.

Bike Safety

When you're biking, make sure your bike is the right size and always wear a helmet that fits you. For the most protection, use a bike light and wear light-colored clothes.

Plan ahead to stay safe and the entire family can enjoy this season of fun in the sun.

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