1. Learn CPR
With 88% of cardiac arrests happening at home, it’s wise to be trained in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help loved ones immediately. Many people who suffer from cardiac events appeared healthy at the time and didn’t have any known heart risk factors. Whether you’re enjoying time outdoors, at a friend’s home, or in your own home, knowing CPR can buy an individual precious minutes until professional medical help arrives.
2. Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries
When was the last time you changed your smoke alarm batteries? Make it a priority for your summer to-do list. Don’t forget to set a calendar alert for checking your smoke alarms monthly, too.
3. Remember Your Mask
Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently stated fully vaccinated folks could go mask-less for the most part. But don’t ditch the mask just yet. Crowded areas and venues — think a bustling train station or market — may still require you to wear a mask even if you’re fully vaccinated.
4. Swim Smart
Kids aren’t the only ones who need to practice safe swimming. Adults need to keep swimming safety in mind, too. Whether enjoying the pool, beach, lake, or river, any body of water can be dangerous if the appropriate precautions aren’t taken. It’s important to remember drinking alcoholic beverages and swimming don’t mix. Don’t overestimate your swimming abilities and avoid swimming alone, especially where there are reported strong currents in natural bodies of water. Designating an undistracted “water watcher” to keep an eye on your group can be helpful in detecting a swimmer in trouble.
5. Wear Daily Sunscreen
Reduce your skin cancer risk (and the early onset of wrinkles!) by wearing sunscreen daily. Most people spend more time outdoors enjoying summer activities, making it easy to forget to apply sunscreen. People with sensitive skin are most likely to burn easily in the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Since no sunscreen can block all of the sun’s UVB rays, be sure to wear sunglasses, a hat, and cool, long-sleeved clothing when outdoors for long periods of time.
6. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is always important for optimal body functioning, but especially during the hot and humid months. That’s because fluids are lost through sweat which happens a lot more often in the summer. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure you keep water with you and drink it often. Consuming foods with high water content — think melons, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. — can also help you stay hydrated to avoid heat illnesses.
7. Prepare an Emergency Weather Kit
Summer is known for its long days, but it’s also a prime time for severe weather like thunderstorms or hurricanes. Heavy area storms can easily knock out power and scatter debris, making it difficult to travel outside the home for necessities. Ensure you have a full emergency kit ready to go with non-perishable food, flashlights, water, a first aid kit, extra medications, etc. to see you through an emergency situation.
8. Be a Defensive Driver
Every summer, more drivers hit the road for vacations. With individuals still hesitant to hop aboard aircrafts, the roads are bound to be more crowded. When driving, put your cell phone away (put it in the trunk if you need to avoid temptation) and keep your eyes on the road. If you’re tired, pull over for a quick nap since drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. And, above all, if you’re under the influence, wait until you’re sober before driving. In 2019, over 10,000 individuals were killed in drunk driving incidents, according to a press release from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
9. Use Insect Repellent
Protect yourself from diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks like dengue fever, malaria, West Nile Virus, and Lyme disease by wearing bug repellent. In addition to bug spray, you can also minimize bug bites by discarding standing water in your yard (think bird baths and kiddie pools), wearing long sleeved-clothing, and using mosquito netting, when outdoors to avoid bug bites.
10. Boat Safely
Summer is a great time for boating. A few precautions to take when boating include: ensuring enough life vests are onboard; watching the weather before and during your time on the water; skipping alcoholic beverages when driving the boat; staying hydrated throughout the day.
11. Don’t Ignore Thunder
As the saying goes, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” While the odds of being hit by lightning are one in a million annually, it’s still not a good idea to hang outdoors during a thunderstorm — especially if you live in a place like Florida or Texas. Remember the 30-30 rule. Once you see lightning, count to 30. If thunder claps happen before you hit 30, go inside. Additionally, avoid bathing in the shower or bath tub during thunderstorms as lightning can travel through plumbing.
12. Move It
Physical activity is a must to stay healthy. If you have the summer off — or need to use up vacation time — consider planning an active vacation. Kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, whitewater rafting, and hiking are great outdoor activities to hit your necessary 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.
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