Summer Outdoor Safety Tips May 29, 2019 Summer is here, which means it’s time to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities with the family. Whether you’re cooling off in the pool or grilling burgers, it’s important to keep outdoor safety tips top of mind. Check out these tips to help ensure you have a fun and safe summer. Water safety Whether you’re poolside or lakeside this summer, keep these outdoor safety tips in mind to make sure you and your family are safe from any water-related accidents. Use flotation devices. Water conditions can change in an instant, so even those riding in a boat or in shallow water should wear a life jacket at the lake at all times. At the pool, children who can’t swim should be outfitted with arm floaties or life jackets and adults and children who can’t swim should stay in the shallow areas where they can safely touch the bottom of the pool. Apply sunscreen. Make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and often. An appropriate SPF can help protect your skin against damage and burns from the intense summer sun. Never leave children unattended. Always watch children when they’re in or around water. This will help prevent any water-related accidents, as well as allow you to take action quickly if a situation occurs Fire and grill safety Summer means campfires, bonfires and outdoor grilling. These tips are helpful if you are working with fire or heat this summer. Choose the right location. Keep any fire apparatus or grill at least 10 feet away from any home or structure and make sure it is on a flat surface. Also keep it away from overhanging branches and patio coverings. Check weather and burn status. Fires can unexpectedly spread, especially on windy days. Make sure to check the weather as well as the burn status to avoid the dangerous spread of a wildfire. Be smart around fire. Never allow children or pets to be unattended around fires. Follow basic safety tips such as: avoid wearing flowy clothing, avoid drinking while grilling or dealing with fire and always keep a fire extinguisher in close vicinity of the fire/grill. Playground safety Children’s outside playground equipment can have some hidden hazards during the summertime. Here are some outdoor safety tips to be mindful of in the summer heat. Hot surfaces. The metal and plastic on the surface of playground equipment can reach temperatures between 120-150 degrees. You will want to check the heat levels of these surfaces before your children play on them, or seek out equipment that is in a shaded area. Insects. Wasps and mosquitos are two insects commonly found at playground sites that you will want to watch for in the summer. Wasps can sting and injure a child, and mosquitos are known for transmitting diseases. Applying bug spray can help prevent encounters with these, and other, insects. Bacteria. Children can pick up all kinds of viruses and bacteria from playground equipment. Some playgrounds may offer wipes — or you can pack your own — for sanitizing surfaces before playing on them, which can help prevent the spread of diseases. Have your children wash their hands before and after a playground visit to help keep illness at bay. No matter what activity your family is enjoying this summer, always stay hydrated and apply sunscreen. Drink water continuously throughout the day and take breaks in the shade to avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration. Be aware of the warning signs so that you can take action if necessary. Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Safety Services Division offers a wide variety of free safety programs that provide further information and safety tips. To learn more or request a program in your community, visit OKFB’s Safety Services Division.