• Learn to swim. Never swim alone and swim only in supervised areas. Obey “No Diving” signs.
• Outfit everyone with the proper gear. Use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) in and around the water, especially when boating.
• Always observe children near water and practice “reach supervision” for young children: stay within arm’s length of a child in case an emergency arises.
• Watch out for the dangerous “too’s”. Take a break at the point of being too tired, too cold, or too far from safety, too much sun, too little hydration, too much strenuous activity.
• Don’t mix alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination; it affects your swimming and diving skills; and it reduces your body’s ability to stay warm.
• Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts; stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
• Protect the skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear water-proof sunscreen with SPF of at least 15. Apply 15 to 30 minutes before exposure to the sun; reapply often, especially after swimming.
• Certain medications can increase sensitivity to the sun. Check with a physician or pharmacist before planning outdoor activities.
Heat Stroke Prevention:
• Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that will reflect some of the sun’s energy. It’s also a good idea to wear hats or use an umbrella.
• Drink lots of water. Carry water or juice and drink continuously, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
• Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
• Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest period of the day (usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).
• Take regular breaks when you are engaged in physical activity on warm days. Take time out to find a cool place. If you recognize that you are showing signs of a heat-related illness, stop activity and find a cool place.
Summer Pet Safety:
• Never leave your pet in the car. The inside of your car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if you are parked in the shade.
• Watch out for fertilizers. Plant food, fertilizer and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them.
• Repel fleas and ticks. Another summertime threat is fleas and ticks. Use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter flea and tick products can be toxic, even when used according to instructions.
• Always make sure your pet has water. Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets while they’re enjoying the great outdoors so they can stay cool.