Summer Safety Tips

As we enter the warm summer months, there are many exciting events that bring us outdoors to enjoy great food, fun and sun! That’s why it’s important to remember these safety tips when enjoying all the festivities that the summer has to offer.

Extreme Heat and Heat-Related Illness

When outside, remember that extreme heat can be deadly, so you need to be aware of the risks of heat-related illness. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause cramping, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death.

Stay hydrated and seek cool temperature environments until the heat subsides. An important precaution that people should take is to schedule or reschedule activities and outdoor work until the coolest parts of the day. In the summer, sunlight exposure and heat are greatest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

On hot days, prevent illness by keeping cool indoors. If your home is not air conditioned, try to spend the hottest hours of the day in a cool public place such as a library, movie theater, or store. Signs of heat-related illness include high body temperature, fast pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, headache, passing out and hot, red, dry or damp skin.

Here are some additional steps you can take to protect yourself against heat-related illnesses:

Food Safety

When preparing meals for gatherings, grilling outside or visiting local Farmer’s Markets, here are some important food safety tips to follow.

  • Don’t let uninvited guests ruin your party. Whether it’s a pool party, BBQ, or graduation celebration, don’t let foodborne illness tag along. Thaw and marinate food in a refrigerator. Cook food to a safe internal temperature. Store cooked food in a hot holding area (like an insulated container).
  • Picnic preparation – Make sure when filling your basket that you keep the food cold with ice packs. And don’t let food sit out for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperatures are higher than 90 degrees.
  • Who doesn’t love a Farmer’s Market? Fresh produce, friendly people, and delicious baked goods. While you browse, make sure to follow these food safety tips from the Department of Agriculture:
  • Don’t cross-contaminate! Wash fresh produce before cutting. Use clean utensils & wash/sanitize in between use. Store raw meat on the bottom shelf to avoid meat juices dripping on other food. Wash your hands before, during, and after handling food.
  • Time to get the grill going – Prevent fires and foodborne illness by following these tips for grill safety and meal prepping:

Swim Safety

Whether you are swimming in pools, water parks or recreational waters like rivers, lakes and coastal waters, it’s important to remember these swim safety tips to stay safe while having fun in the water. Learn more swim safety tips:

  • Understanding the Risks: Drowning can happen quickly and quietly. Even if someone looks like they’re okay, they might be in trouble. It’s important to know what to look for and how to help.
  • Adult Supervision: When children are near water, supervision and safety is critical to prevent drowning. Children do not always struggle in the water. They can drown without making a sound.
  • Swimming Lessons and Skills: High quality swimming lessons will include potentially life-saving skills such as self-rescue, swimming in clothes and life jackets, and falling into the water. While swimming lessons can contribute to water safety, they do not erase the risks of swimming. Conditions such as water temperature, air temperature, weather, water depth, water movement and situational and individual factors can affect an individual’s swimming ability.
  • Safety Gear: Wearing a life jacket is like having a superhero cape in the water! It keeps everyone safe, even the not-so-great swimmers. Remember that floaties are not safety devices and can often provide a false sense of safety to guardians and swimmers. When these toys are in use, the caregiver must still provide active supervision. 
  • Water Barriers: It’s important to have barriers and safety controls around water to keep everyone safe. Putting up fences and alarms around pools is like building a castle to protect from danger.
  • Emergency Preparedness and CPR: Learning CPR and what to do in an emergency is like having a superpower to save lives. Let’s make sure we know what to do if someone needs help in the water.
  • Community and Water Education: We can all be water safety superheroes by helping others stay safe. The more we know, the safer we’ll be! Remember to never swim alone, stay away from deep or unknown water and spread the word.

Fourth of July Safety

If you plan to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, it’s important to wear ear protection while participating in noisy activities like watching summer fireworks, which can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.
Learn more:

Everyday sounds typically do not damage your hearing. However, many people participate in activities that produce harmful sound levels. Such activities, when repeated over time, will cause hearing loss.

Avoiding noisy situations is the best prevention. But if you can’t avoid the noise, use adequate hearing protection such as earplugs and earmuffs. You can protect your hearing and still do the things you enjoy.

At Public Events

  • Move or stay far away from the loudest sound-producing source—like fireworks—especially if attending with children.
  • Limit the time of exposure to loud sounds.
  • Pay attention to signs and information flyers warning of possible loud noise or recommending the use of hearing protection.
  • Bring hearing protection devices with you. Make it a family affair! Keep them in your car, pockets, purse, backpack, or another place that is easy to access.

Firework Safety Tips

  • Each year, countless Virginians are injured or worse due to fireworks. The only safe way to view fireworks is by attending public displays and leaving the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.
  • It’s important to note that many local jurisdictions prohibit the use of all fireworks. Check with your locality to determine any local regulations. Learn more: