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Safety tips for the 101 critical days of summer

Image of Food on a grill, a sparkler, and a child in a swimming pool. The Army Public Health Center encourages everyone to follow a few critical summer safety tips around their home as they soak up the sun, enjoy the outdoors, cool off in the pool, and master their grilling techniques (Photo by: U.S. Army Public Health Center photo illustration by Graham Snodgrass).

As the restrictions of COVID-19 begin to relax, there will be an increase in families and friends out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, swimming, boating, playing, and traveling.

"Please be aware of the risks associated with your summer activities and take steps to mitigate that risk," said Catherine Hall, chief of Occupational Safety for the Defense Health Agency. "Always have a well-thought-out plan; that old adage of 'fail to plan, plan to fail' has merit."

Harris added, "Success does not always happen by accident, but accidents do happen due to that failure to have a plan."

The 101 Critical Days of Summer begin on Memorial Day weekend and end after Labor Day. With all those fun summer activities, the following safety tips are offered to make your vacation journey a safe and happy one.

Safety outdoors

  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
  • Always carry water with you and drink frequently.
  • If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
  • Always wear sunscreen outside and frequently reapply.
  • Hats and sunglasses are a good idea each time you go outside.
  • Know your own limits when it comes to activity.
  • Watch for signs of heat strain and heat stroke. These include:
    1. Painful muscle spasms usually in the legs or abdomen
    2. No sweating
    3. Goosebumps
    4. Headache
    5. Clamminess, pale skin
    6. Dizziness or disorientation
  • Try to stay out of the sun when it is at its height, especially between the hours of noon and 3 p.m.
  • If bugs are a problem, use a bug spray made with DEET or a naturally derived product. Mosquitoes can cause Zika and West Nile infection and disease
  • If ticks are a problem, wear long pants and long sleeves and use bug spray
  • Check for ticks when you remove your clothes. Ticks can cause a number of diseases, and deer ticks, which cause Lyme disease, are tiny.
  • If you find a circular red spot like a bullseye on your skin after being outdoors, you may have been exposed to deer ticks. Check with your health care provider as soon as possible.

Over the span of the summer, the Military Health System will run a series of listicles covering a variety of safety areas focused on summer activities, including sun, swimming, boating, fireworks, camping, bicycling, driving, and food.

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Bicycle Safety

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Ride a bike and a helmet that fits you. Wear bright clothing and reflective gear so you can be seen. Drive with the flow of traffic. Be alert – avoid listening to music with headphones/pods. Share the road with automobiles. www.health.mil/bikesafety #ShareTheRoad; #BeAHardHeadWearAHelmet; #GoWithTheFlowOfTraffic

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety Main

Summer Safety main

#Summer is upon us! With so many sun-filled fun activities to look forward to, don’t let #safety take a backseat! #SummerFunSummerSafe #SummerIsHereBeSafe #101DaysOfSummerSafetyFun www.health.mil/summersafety

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Swimming Safety

Summer Safety - swimming

Never allow young children to swim without adult supervision. Never swim when you are tired, under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication. Know and observe your swimming limitations and capabilities. Avoid swift-moving water. If caught in a current, swim with it and angle towards shore or the edge of the current. www.health.mil/swimsafety ...

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Driving Safety

Summer Safety - driving

We’ve all got places to be this #summer, but let’s get there safely. Don’t rush! Give yourself time to get where you’re going, don’t tailgate, change lanes safely and don’t overuse your horn. #DriveSafeDontTailgate#HaveFunButDriveSafe #DriveSafeOutThere! www.health.mil/DrivingSafety

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Heat Injuries

Summer Safety - heat

Prevent heat injuries by keeping hydrated with water or a sports drink before exercising. Avoid outside activities during the hottest part of the day. Wear light, loose fitting clothing when exercising outside. Don’t forget to use sunscreen! www.health.mil/heatinjuries #H2OB4Workout; #SPFKeepsYouFromTheBurn; #DressLightKeepCool; #DontOverheatHydrate

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Firework Safety

summer safety - fireworks

Do not point sparklers or fireworks at yourself or others, especially while they are being lit. Only light fireworks on the ground and in areas that are dry and fire resistant. Do not attempt to light multiple devices at the same time, and never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers. www.health.mil/fireworkssafety #DontGeBurned; ...

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Boat Safety

Boating Safety

Keep a good lookout and situational awareness of other boats and objects. Ensure crew and passengers wear a USCG approved personal floatation device. Operate at safe and legal speeds – watch your wake. Know and respect the weather – heed weather warnings. www.heatlh.mil/boatsafety #SeasTheDaySafely; #EnjoyTheWaves; #KnowHowToFloatYourBoat; ...

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May 5, 2022

Summer Safety - Bug Safety

Summer Safety - bugs

Keep bugs away when you play! Avoid wearing perfumes and scented soaps. Stay away from stagnant water and heavily wooded areas. Be safe – Check the DEET concentrations before use! www.health.mil/bugsafety #BugsDontBugME; #BugsStayClear; #BugsLovePerfumeDontWearItOutside

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Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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