Most of us wait all year for summer to arrive. There’s no doubt there’s something special about the longer days, the sunshine, and the memories that are always made during this laid-back time of year. As much fun as summer is, though, all that time outside can lead to certain dangers.

As you read on, you’ll learn some important summer safety tips that will keep you safe at any age. From ages 1 to 100, everything in this article applies! Follow these steps and you’ll have great summers for the rest of your life.

Understanding SPF Sunscreen

If you’ve ever purchased sunscreen (hopefully you do on a regular basis!), you’ve probably noticed that different types have different SPF ratings. SPF stands for Sunscreen Protection Factor and is something you should pay close attention to! However, you’re not alone if you don’t quite understand how it works.

Here’s a quick breakdown: If you normally start to burn after about 10 minutes in the sun, SPF 15 sunscreen should prevent you from burning 15 times longer (150 minutes), SPF 30 should protect you for 30 times longer (300 minutes), and so on. In addition to the SPF rating of any sunscreen you buy, you should pay attention to what chemicals it contains, whether or not it’s waterproof, and if it’s the form you personally prefer (lotion, spray, etc.).

Avoiding Dehydration

Dehydration is more common during the summer months than the winter months for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it’s hotter; this means your body is more likely to sweat, therefore losing water. For another, people tend to be more active when it’s nice outside; physical exertion can also lead to dehydration.

To avoid getting dehydrated, drink plenty of water and never go outside without a water bottle. It’s worth noting that small children and elderly people are most at-risk of dehydration, so you should pay close attention to them.

Basic Water Safety

Playing in the water can be a lot of fun for family members of all ages! Unfortunately, it can also be hazardous if the proper precautions aren’t taken. It’s imperative to make sure anyone who can’t swim is wearing a well-fitting life vest in a pool or on a boat; while boating, it is even recommended for good swimmers to wear life vests.

Additionally, make sure children are closely supervised when playing in lakes or pools. Even kids who can swim can get into trouble in the water, particularly when they are tired or overexerted.

Preventing Swimmer’s’ Ear

Swimmer’s Ear is a common type of outer ear canal infection that is most prevalent in the summertime, when people find themselves in the water frequently. There are three levels of swimmer’s ear: mild, moderate, and advanced.

The mild, initial form of the infection is usually characterized by slight redness around the edge of the ear canal, itching inside the ear, and, slight clear drainage, and some pain. As the issue progresses, itching and pain will worsen, drainage will become pus-filled, and hearing may be muffled. Any stage of swimmer’s ear can be accompanied by a fever.

If you’re starting to panic that you or a loved one might be suffering from this problem, don’t fret! Doctors typically prescribe ear drops that can clear it up in a short amount of time. If you want to try to prevent swimmer’s ear completely, always wear a swim cap and drain your ears by tilting your head to each side when you exit the water.

Have a safe and fun summer!