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Enjoy the Outdoors Safely

It’s time to get outside! But along with all that fresh air and sunshine come hazards. Whether you’re biking, hiking, camping or just hanging out in the park, planning ahead and being smart about safety can help make your outdoor experience much more enjoyable.

Celebrate smart – Summer is the time for a host of outdoor celebrations. And while grilling is great and fireworks are fantastic, burns are bad. Make sure you take extreme care when your party involves fire or firecrackers – particularly if there is alcohol involved. If a partygoer does get singed, first cool the burn with cool water (not cold water or ice), cover it with a clean bandage, and treat the pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever. More severe burns, obviously, will require professional treatment.

Always check the weather – Nothing dampens an outing like bad weather. What’s more, weather can be extremely dangerous. Make sure you check the weather conditions and forecast before you leave. If you are going on a long hiking, boating or camping trip, take along a compact weather radio if possible.

Wear appropriate clothing – Being hot, cold or having sore feet can quickly turn outdoor fun into misery. Make sure you choose clothing and footwear suitable for your activity and the weather conditions.

Use sunscreen – Sunburns are painful, and dangerous too. Regardless of your outdoor activity, sunscreen is essential. Experts recommend an SPF of 45 and that you reapply every couple of hours, particularly if you are swimming. A hat and sunglasses can provide more protection.

Be aware of bugs, wildlife and poisonous plants – Do you know what poison ivy looks like or what to do if you encounter a bear on the trail? It’s smart to do a little research about where you’re going so you’ll understand hazards you might encounter and how to respond to them.

Know basic first aid – Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s still important to know the basics about injuries and illnesses like sprained ankles and heat stroke. If you’re going on an extended outdoor trip, it’s always smart to pack a first aid kit .