Summer is in full swing.

Time to grab that swimsuit and hit the beach. Of course, don’t forget the sunblock.

With the warmest season of the year comes a variety of dangers that you need to be vigilant of.

What You Need To Know

  • The summer sun can cause both skin and heat-related illnesses

  • Water can be deadly in the wrong circumstances

  • On top of being a pest, insects carry diseases that can turn serious if bit or stung

The Sun

A nasty sunburn can put a frown on your summer vacation.

The sun’s UV rays can damage skin in less than 15 minutes. The CDC recommends applying a broad spectrum sunblock of at least SPF 15 if outdoors for a prolonged period of time. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours, or after getting out of the water.

When possible, seek relief under an umbrella or other shaded area. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV damage. A wide-brimmed hat can be worn for both shade and comfort from direct sunlight.

Simple steps like these help reduce your risk of sunburn and even more serious concerns like skin cancer.

The heat

Did you know heat is actually the deadliest of all weather-related hazards?

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body loses too much water and salt through sweat. Symptoms include pale or moist skin, fatigue, rapid heart rate, and muscle cramps.

To remedy, get out of the heat and into an air-conditioned area. Sip water and take a cool shower if available.

If left untreated, heat exhaustion can mature into heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening illness that occurs when the body temperature rises over 103 degrees.

Symptoms include rapid breathing, flushed skin, and headaches. Victims may experience confusion and become unresponsive.

In this case, immediate action is required. Immerse the victim in a cold bath if possible and call 911.

Be sure to take breaks indoors and drinky plenty of water if outdoors for a prolonged period of time. Never leave a child or pet in a vehicle unattended, even for a few minutes.  

The fireworks

Who doesn’t enjoy a dazzling display of lights right in their backyard? Fireworks are a sure sign that summer is here.

But with thousands of injuries a year, the fun can quickly become a visit to the ER if you’re not careful.

Always follow proper handling instructions and stand back after lighting the fuse.

Weather also plays a role in staying safe.

Abnormally dry conditions increase the potential for fire should embers make contact with dry vegetation. Wind can blow smoke into spectators.

Read more about how weather impacts fireworks.

The water

What’s more fun on a hot summer day than jumping in the pool or splashing around in the ocean?

Sadly though, thousands perish each year from drowning related causes.

It's important to swim only in lifeguard supervised waters. If swimming in the ocean, be cautious of rip currents. Swim parallel to the shore to escape, never attempt to swim against the current.

If boating, keep that life jacket on, even when the boat is stationary. Of course, never operate any watercraft while under the influence of alcohol. It's also critical to be mindful of the weather forecast for the day. You wouldn't want to get caught out on the water in a thunderstorm or rough seas.

And as always, when thunder roars, go indoors.

The bugs

Those pesky bugs.

Mosquitos, ticks, bees…just like us, they all come out to play in the summer.

As mosquitos like lay their eggs in standing water, it’s a good rule of thumb to rinse out any birdbaths or empty planters that you may have around at least once a week. 

Insect repellant with DEET can also help keep the blood suckers away from you. Although uncommon, mosquitos can carry serious diseases like West Nile and the Zika virus. If symptoms more than just an itchy bump on the skin develop, seek medical advice.

Ticks can also carry their own set of diseases and tend to cling to vegetation and brushy areas. While insect repellant can be successful in warding off ticks, it's best to check your clothing and skin after going indoors.

If one is spotted, a pair of tweezers can be used to pull them off the skin. Like mosquitos, watch for any unusual symptoms like rash or fever and seek addition attention if needed.

Stay safe and have fun

While summertime sure does have its set of hazards to watch for, taking proper precautions can help keep you and your family safe.

You can read more about these dangers and ways to protect yourself here.