man playing beach volleyballNow that winter is finally over and the sun is coming out, summer activities are a popular way to beat the heat. Whether you prefer to stay on land and hike, or hit the rivers and white-water raft, safety is important. 

Keep in mind that each sport has its own set of safety guidelines, so be sure to look into safety precautions for you specifically. But for more general summer safety, here are five tips:

1.Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen is absolutely essential this summer, and can save you from the pain of a sunburn and the long term skin damage associated with repeated burns. By following the directions on your specific sunscreen, you can protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. 

Although the proper application method changes a bit depending on the summer activity, as a general rule, reapply sunscreen after 80 minutes of wear.  If you enjoy watersports, be sure to opt for waterproof sunscreen this summer. 

2. Stay Hydrated 

Drinking plenty of water is vital to staying comfortable and safe during the summer. The CDC has specific recommendations for water intake, but factoring in activity level is also important. If you are staying running around outside in the heat, your body will sweat more and require more fluids. 

Heat stroke is a common side effect of dehydration, and the warning signs include: high body temperature, altered mental state, nausea and vomiting, rapid breaking, and rapid blood pressure among other symptoms. The Mayo Clinic has a complete list of symptoms here, if you feel that you are experiencing heat stroke be sure to seek medical attention.

3. Wear a Helmet During Summer Sports 

There are many fun sports to partake in during the summer months, but it is important to wear a helmet while doing so. Since helmets can protect your brain from serious injuries, they should be worn anytime you are at risk of falling or hitting your head. Even some water sports like whitewater rafting can require helmets. 

States like Colorado have a plethora of outdoor activities available to residents, and personal injury attorneys like Dormer Harpring know just how common head injuries can be during the summer. This seasonal increase in injuries can be due to people trying out unfamiliar sports, not wearing helmets, or even another party’s’ negligence.

If you have sustained a head injury, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Even if you think your head injury is minor, you may be risking your life by not getting assessed.  

4. Take Breaks 

Along the lines of staying hydrated, over exertion can also contribute to heat stroke. To avoid this, make sure to take frequent breaks in the shade during strenuous activities. Also, any summer time heat will put additional stress on your body, so be sure to take that into consideration as well.

5. Watch the Alcohol 

Alcohol can contribute to dehydration quickly since it is a diuretic, so make sure to drink plenty of water in between beverages. In addition to dehydration, alcohol can lower your inhibitions, causing you to take risks that you would not take if you were sober. To reduce serious consequences, avoid drinking too much alcohol in dangerous environments like cliffs or raging rivers.