Summer Safety Tips

By Insurance.com Posted : 06/21/2006

Summer is nearly here, and we`re all thinking about how much fun we`re going to have. We've got some useful tips and ideas about how to make the most of the summer months while keeping you safe.


Keep the Window Up
As tempting as it might be to wind down a window, lean your arm outside, and enjoy the sunshine while driving, you might get burned. The cooling sensation of the wind blowing across your arm disguises the fact that you might actually be getting badly burned. Use sunscreen liberally, or cover up - or both.

Your Car`s an Oven
Cars get hot, fast, even if it doesn`t feel that warm outside. Direct sunlight can raise the temperature inside a car by over 30 degrees in less than five minutes, which can and has killed children and elderly people over the years. Even keeping a window cracked isn`t enough, so never leave children, pets or anyone inside a car during the summer.

Sunscreen for your Car
Inexpensive sunshields are available that can be placed inside your car, and can help keep temperatures down when you`re away from your vehicle.

On Your Bike

Protect Your Noggin
Make sure you wear protective gear, including a helmet that fits correctly. Only wear a helmet that is approved by either the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) or Snell. A helmet will have a sticker indicating that it has been approved. Also, remember that helmets are designed to protect you from a single serious accident. If the helmet has taken a hit, it should be replaced.

Maintain a Safe Ride
Keep your bike well maintained, and check tire pressure, brakes and chain. Oil relevant parts when necessary, and check your bike before each ride. Make sure your bell works and that the reflectors are clean.

Stand Out
Wear bright colors to stand out from the scenery. You want other drivers and bikers to be able to see you easily. Always carry some form of ID when you`re out cycling.

More Fun with Two... or more!
There`s safety in numbers so when your kids go for a bike ride, encourage them to take a friend as well as make sure you know where they`re going. That`s something for adults to consider too!

Sun Safety
Sunscreen. Lots of it. Regularly applied. This is important for any outdoor activities in the summer. It doesn`t have to be hot or sunny for sunburn to occur, and although staying in the shade is an essential part of skin care during these months, some sun exposure is unavoidable. Covering up with lightweight, light-colored clothing can also help minimize exposure.

Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol or caffeine, as these will only add to dehydration. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion. The warning signs are feelings of nausea, cramping, light-headedness, fatigue, or headaches. Should you suffer any of these, it`s important to get out of the sun, and start drinking water. Untreated, heat stroke may develop, and that is a potentially fatal condition.

At the Beach

Dangerous Toys
Carefully supervise the use of inflatable toys as floatation devices. Not only are they not an alternative to knowing how to swim, they are easily blown out to sea, and children often attempt to recover these toys, which could put them into danger. If your child does need a floatation device, then provide them with a properly-sized lifejacket or other personal floatation device.

Keep Applying
Reapply sunscreen often, especially after being in water. Tell kids to check in regularly for sunscreen. You can still get sunburned in the water, so it's not an alternative to wearing sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreens lose their SPF after 40 minutes in the water; waterproof sunscreens after 90 minutes so it's critical to reapply. The water may feel cool on your skin, but it's not protecting you from the sun's harmful rays.

A Sailor`s Life
If you`re on the water in a boat or other craft, make sure to pay attention to the weather reports for small craft advisories and other alerts. Also, remember that boats and beer don`t mix. Many accidents and fatalities are caused by alcohol. You wouldn`t drink and drive on land, so don`t drink and drive on water either.

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