Summer offers many opportunities for weekend fun — especially this long holiday weekend. It's become tradition to spend this time under the sun and in the water, welcoming the arrival of the warm weather. But with this celebrating comes an increased risk for injuries, so making safety a part of your summer weekend plans is essential.
On the water
Whether boating, tubing, skiing or swimming, once you are in the water, you need to be thinking about safety for yourself and everyone around you.
- Don't swim alone. Make sure someone is near in case you encounter trouble.
- If boating, follow all posted regulations for watercraft — speed, direction and ski zone rules are there to keep visitors alive.
- ALWAYS wear your personal floatation device. Make sure all straps are connected and pulled tight so that the device fits securely. Also, make sure it isn't too large or small for the wearer's body.
- Never take your eyes off of children who are in the water.
Under the sun
It's finally time to enjoy the sun! Just make sure you don't enjoy too much of it.
- Use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Damage from the sun occurs before you feel the pain, so don't take any chances. Remember to reapply every two hours, covering all parts of the body exposed to the sun.
- Children can have reactions to certain chemicals in sunscreen, so have them wear a sunscreen that uses titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (sometimes referred to as UVA/UVB physical sunscreens).
- Don't apply spray sunscreen directly to the face. Spray it into your (or your child's) hands, then spread it on the face.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids to make sure you aren't running the risk of dehydration.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses — this will further reduce sunburn risk and the chance for eye damage, and will help you stay alert so you can react quickly in very bright conditions.
Everyone knows about the dangers of drinking and driving, and this is certainly no time to attempt such a hazardous (and illegal) activity. However, excessive alcohol consumption during weekend activities can be just as dangerous, so make intelligent choices if you choose to drink while enjoying the weekend.
- Drinking and driving dangers apply equally to boats and cars. If you are hitting the lake and manning watercraft, leave the alcohol at the shore. You need to be alert and focused so that you can avoid and respond to unexpected situations.
- Alcohol poisoning is very real, and if you are farther away from emergency care, especially with people who are not sober enough to transport you, you could put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Have fun and stay safe this summer!
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This content originally appeared on LifeSignsBlog.com.