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10 tips for staying safe while having fun this summer Associated Press
This Wednesday, May 9, 2012 file photo shows a bottle of sun tan lotion and sunglasses on top of a cooler carried onto Miami Beach, Fla. by tourists. Sunscreen confusion won't be over before summer after all. The government is bowing to industry requests for more time to make clear how much protection their lotions really offer. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)

When I look outside and see snow coming down on April first, it’s hard to believe that summer is coming. But the calendar has flipped to April, which means June isn’t that far behind, and some parts of the country are already having temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

Here are 10 tips on safety during warm temperatures.

1. Stay inside

While it’s tempting to be outside as much as you can while the sun is out, especially after a long winter, it’s well researched that extended sun exposure is not good for you.

Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.

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2. Hat up

If you are outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your face and neck. Look for hats that include UV ratings on the labels.

Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun and mosquitoes.

3. We’ve gotta wear shades

It’s not just because you’re cool – sunglasses help protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, which left untreated, can lead to blindness.

4. Sunscreen is your friend

When you’re out on the beach, liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before stepping on the sand and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen prevents skin cancer and prevents premature aging.

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5. Take a heat break

Hiking, biking, yard sports – they’re all fun summer things to do. But if the temperatures are climbing into the 90s or 100s, that can quickly lead to dehydration.

Keep physical activities to a minimum during excessively high temperatures. Whether working or playing outside, drink plenty of water or juice even if you are not thirsty, and take rest breaks in the shade.

6. Take them out of the car

If the temperatures are climbing, no one you care about should be left in a parked car. Especially infants, children or frail elderly people – don’t leave them unattended. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to levels that can kill.

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7. Ward off overheating

To prevent overheating and/or sunstroke, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths – if you or someone nearby experiences a rapid, strong pulse, feels delirious, becomes unconscious or has a body temperature above 102, call 911 immediately.

8. Keep an eye on young swimmers

Young children love to cool off in the water, but they can get over their heads quickly  Prevent children from drowning by combining adult supervision at all times and have a safety barrier that surrounds a pool or spa.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury deaths for children under five.

9. Defend your home from insects

Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus (WNV) which often mimics influenza, with fevers, body aches and eye pain. WNV can cause serious health complications, and in rare cases, death.

Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls – mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in standing water.

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10. Defend yourself from insects

Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions. You can also make your own with essential oils, natural witch hazel, distilled water and vegetable glycerin.

Mosquitoes usually bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear repellent at those times.

Joshua Trudell About the author:
Joshua Trudell is a freelance writer, photographer and graphic designer living in New Hampshire. Follow Joshua on Twitter and Facebook and check out his website.
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