Summer is officially upon us-or at least on the horizon, depending on where you live. Pretty soon, weekends will be booked with barbecues, parties, and vacations and camping.
I love the summer months. The warmer weather appeals to my “girly-girl” side with cute summer dresses and sandals. And now that I’m living so close to the beach, I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with the sand between my toes.
No matter what your summer plans are, be sure to keep your family safe with these handy tips for common fun-in-the-sun activities:
The neighborhood barbecue: One common summertime downer is food-borne illnesses. Bacteria loves summer’s hot humid weather and will flourish if temperatures aren’t regulated. Keep your guests healthy by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. And don’t forget to refrigerate cooked food within two hours.
The camping trip: First off, always tell someone your plans–where you’ll be going and how long you plan to stay–just in case anything happens. Be sure to pack enough supplies for your trip and a bit extra. Always carry plenty of bottled water and an emergency first aid kit. The Centers for Disease Control has a great site that talks more about camping and what to bring. (http://www.cdc.gov/family/camping/)
The beach picnic: Ah, my favorite summer activity! Sunscreen is the obvious safety tip here. Aim for a SPF 30 if spending lots of time in the sun. In addition, don’t forget to reapply every two hours (sooner if you’ve been swimming). Keep small children under an umbrella to stay cool and make sure the family is drinking plenty of water. If you do find yourself with a sunburn, apply cool compresses immediately, followed by an aloe vera gel and ibuprofen.
Don’t forget about pets too: Never leave an animal in an enclosed car in warm weather. Always make sure your pet has access to fresh water.
Whatever you do this summer, be sure to have fun and enjoy the weather! Before you know it, we’ll be back to complaining about the cold.
Jessica Aycock is a certified holistic health coach, military brat and avid blogger. She received her health coach training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. From her blog, Deployment Divas, Jessica educates military spouses and families about healthy living amid the chaos of military life. Jessica currently lives in NC and is about to undergo her first deployment as an Army girlfriend. Follow Jessica’s blog at www.deploymentdivas.com.