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2012 Summer Safety Tips 

Summer is right around the corner, and that means opening pools, buying sunscreen, taking swim lessons, and becoming knowledgeable about summer safety practices. Here are common but necessary tips for making sure youíre protected while enjoying the beautiful weather. 

  • Before sun exposure, apply sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30. If in the sun for a prolonged period, reapply sunscreen every few hours.
  • Wear sunglasses, pants, long sleeves, hats, and other loose-fitting clothing that helps block UV rays.
  • Some cosmetic products, such as foundations and moisturizers, offer sun protection.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure Ė peak UV ray hours are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • It is estimated that 80 percent of lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. Thus, encourage children to play in the shade and make sure they are protected from sunlight as much as possible.
  • Avoid tanning beds and regularly check skin for new moles and growths that look abnormal.
Severe sunburn and blisters on a shoulder, thr...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Stay hydrated at all times. Drink water before going out and every 15 minutes during the workout or activities. Have water available at all times.
  • Sports drinks or other substances that help replenish electrolytes in the body are recommended.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing to help stay cool.
  • Avoid working out in high heat and humidity. Keep childrenís activities at a minimum during those conditions.
  • Workout in the shade if possible.
  • If feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous, end the workout immediately and get out of the sun/heat.
  • Always keep an eye on children when they are around pools and spas.
  • Make sure children are aware of basic water safety tips, including walking around the pool perimeter and staying away from pool drains and pipes.
  • Do not rely on pool toys to keep children afloat if they do not know how to swim. Make sure they are equipped with lifejackets or proper safety devices instead.
  • Make sure all pool and spa drains are properly covered if there are small children around.
  • Make sure the pool/spa area is fenced and properly secured when not in use.
  • If it is a community pool, make sure it is compliant with safety regulations and has water safety rules posted.
  • Teach children how to swim and make sure someone around has knowledge of life-saving procedures.
  • If toddlers or infants are in the water, an adult should always be at armís reach.
  • Make sure rescue equipment, such as rings, are present around the pool.
  • Learn CPR or make sure someone around knows how to perform it in case of an emergency.
  • Keep a phone handy in case of an emergency.
  • Use the buddy system and never swim alone.
  • Make sure children are watched at all times and aware of the differences between swimming in a pool and in a lake or other open body of water.
  • Stay close to shore, especially if the waves are large or the current is strong.
  • Beware of undertow. Even if the waves do not look deadly, the undertow can be strong and pull a person out into the water.
  • Avoid diving or venturing into unfamiliar areas. Water depth can unexpectedly change and become dangerous, especially for those who do not know how to swim.
  • Check forecasts and know the weather conditions before leaving. If storms are on the way, itís best to stay out of the water.
  • Be prepared for the trip by creating a checklist and float plan. A float plan is essentially an itinerary given to a trusted person on shore so they are aware of boat information, estimated length of the trip, emergency contacts, and other useful information.
  • Make sure all on board, especially children, are equipped with properly-fitting lifejackets.
  • Make sure as many people on the boat as possible know how to swim.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. The sun, wind, and other environmental factors in combination with alcohol can heighten the effects of alcohol.
  • Getting a boat safety check beforehand is another possibility to ensure the boat is safe for the water and well equipped in case of emergency.
  • For more information, Manitou Pontoon Boats offers a boating safety quiz and links to U.S. boating laws, safety courses, and licensing by state.