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Top 10 Summer Safety Tips

Summertime is always a lot of fun, but make sure to keep it a safe one!

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    FIREWORKS SAFETY If you want to see fireworks this summer, the safest (and oftentimes the cheapest) way is to go to a public fireworks show. If you do decide to set off fireworks from home remember these tips! When setting off fireworks always wear eye protection and keep a bucket of water nearby as a safety precaution. Only one firework at a time should be set off and never point a firework towards a person, animal or vehicle. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    GRILLING SAFETY Nothing beats the smell of hamburgers and hot dogs grilling. But every year people get hurt from using their grills. Remember to never grill indoors including inside your house, camper or tent. When grilling be sure that the grill is facing away from the house. Hanging tree branches or plants nearby could catch on fire so keep the grill out in the open. Remember to use long handed cooking utensils when grilling to keep yourself burn free. If using a charcoal grill, never use starter fluid after the coals have been ignited. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    FOOD SAFETY When hosting your next backyard outing remember foodborne illnesses increase due to higher temperatures, which means bacteria will grow faster. Remember to keep foods that are normally refrigerated as cool as possible by using ice and ice packs. If grilling meat remember that ground meat needs to reach 160 degrees, steaks and pork chops 145 degrees and chicken 165 degrees before serving. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    BEACH SAFETY If your summer plans take you to the ocean remember these few tips. Swim only when a lifeguard is on duty and within the designated areas. Check the weather and for local conditions. Sometimes storms can come in very quickly during summer months. Before going on the beach make sure to observe and read any warning signs or flags. Inexperienced swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket. Make sure to find the approved label on each vest to see if it’s acceptable. Be mindful of shallow water- there could be unexpected drop offs. Remember to never drive headfirst into open waters. When headed to the beach remember to wear shoes in the sand, there may be broken glass or other harmful objects. Watch out for dangerous aquatic life including animals and patches of plants; animals like to hide in these areas. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    RIP CURRENTS When at the beach, beware of the dangers of rip currents as they have caused hundreds of drownings across the country. Any beach with waves could potentially have these dangerous tides. If you find yourself caught in a rip current remember to swim parallel headed back to the shore until you are fully out of the current. At that point you can start swimming directly towards the shore. If you are too tired to swim, lay on your back to float until you regain strength. Oftentimes permanent rip currents exist by piers, so try to avoid swimming within 100 feet of these structures. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    PRACTICE SUN SAFETY Summer means spending a lot of time outside. Make sure to limit direct sunlight between 10a.m. and 4p.m. Prevent UV rays by reapplying sunscreen often and make sure to use one with a protection factor of 15 or higher. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and a hat with a broad rim. Never leave children or pets in the car. Also, make sure you know the signs of heat stroke. The Red Cross says “hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, rapid weak pulse and rapid shallow breathing” are all signs of potential heat stroke. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke make sure to call 911, cool the person down ASAP by applying wet cloths directly to their skin while they are lying down. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    HYDRATE Remember to drink lots of fluids and try avoiding drinks with alcohol or caffeine. Remind yourself to take frequent water breaks to prevent potential dehydration. If exercising outside make sure to drink before, during and after your workout. Take breaks every 15-20 minutes to rehydrate. Photo: Fotolia.com
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    PROTECT AGAINST BUGS When the temperatures start to cool off at night it’s fun to enjoy bonfires and cook outs, but watch out for bugs. Not only are insects like mosquitos a huge nuisance, but they could be carrying diseases. Make sure to protect yourself by using bug spray repellant. During the day make be weary of bees and know if anyone you are with anyone who have these allergies. Photo: GettyImages.com
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    WEATHER Summer weather can be unpredictable. One minute the sun is shining, and then the next it’s a torrential downpour. Check your phone for up-to-the minute weather forecast updates if you are planning an outing. There are several free apps that will provide this information. Remember flash floods can occur in the matter of minutes. Do not drive in water that is more than six inches high- you could lose control of your vehicle. Protect your home against any severe storm damage by examining the outside of your home for any drainage issues and be sure to tie down any items that could be blown around. Photo: GettyImages.com
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    TRAVELING If taking a road trip this season remember to service your car before heading out. According to AAA, 3.5 million travelers will require towing for repair. Make sure to check your car’s battery, air conditioning, tire inflation, emergency roadside kit and windshield wiper fluids and wipers. Prepare your driving route before setting out. If a large portion of your trip requires time in the car you may want to consider renting a vehicle that will be comfortable for everyone. Also, purchasing travel insurance prior to your trip may be something to think about. It can help cover health related costs and travel cancellations fees while on your trip. If planning to visit a foreign country, contact your local embassy to get safety related information. You may need to get certain shots before you enter into that country as well. Photo: Fotolia.com