Summer is on the horizon, and you've probably already started making big plans with friends and family. It's easy for an accident or injury to happen if you don't pay attention to some basic safety precautions. By following these tips your vacay will not only be exciting, you will ensure that the fun lasts until the very last day of summer.
Make sunscreen your best friend. Carry a bottle everywhere you go. You should even carry a small bottle in your purse or backpack. Apply it often. Exposure to the Sun's UV rays, can cause serious damage to your skin, and can even cause skin cancer. Skin Cancer.org states that 1 in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime. A recent study by the British Medical Journal states that those with a parent who has been diagnosed with melanoma are almost 300 percent more likely to develop the disease than children who do not have a parent with a history of melanoma and that 86% of all skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun's UV rays.
Carry water everywhere you go. Your body can dehydrate quickly in the summer heat. Drinking tea or soda will dehydrate you quicker. Water is really the only way to stay hydrated. Make sure you take a sip often.
Know how to spot poisonous plants and avoid them. If you are spending any time in the woods with friends this summer, whether you are hiking, camping, or just enjoying some hang time, you need to know your surroundings. This quick poisonous plant reference will help keep you from spending your summer scratching endlessly and save you from the painful blisters.
Make sure your cell phone is charged. You never know when something will go wrong with your plans. If camping or hiking, make sure your phone is charged before heading out into the wilderness. Have emergency contacts like police, fire, emergency contacts, and even forest rangers numbers programed into your phone.
Always tell someone where you are going. Letting a parent or other reliable person know where you are can make the difference between life and death. Besides, you really don't want your "rents" worrying for nothing, right?
Have an emergency kit in your vehicle or in the car in which you are the passenger. Pack several high protein energy bars, extra water, maps (your GPS may not work in the wilderness), first aid supplies, an EPI Pen if you are allergic to certain plants or insects, a sharp knife, and anything else recommended for the area you plan to go. Your friends may make fun of you, but if you ever are stranded, you will need to have these items handy.
Be aw are and follow water safety rules. Never swim by yourself, use the buddy system, even if your friend just wants to sit on the shore or sidelines, at least you have someone you can count on in an emergency. It is smart to always swim where there is a lifeguard on duty. If boating, remember to wear a lifejacket or flotation device, in case the you fall out or the boat tips. Follow any other rules set by the area in which you are swimming.
Never text and drive. Don't even read texts. Put the cell phone down. If it is too big of a temptation for you to have to look at every text immediately or talk on the phone while driving, put your phone in the back seat until you reach your destination. Texting and talking on cell phones distracts you from driving, and can cause accidents or result in death. Thousands of teens are killed every summer because they were on their cell phones while driving. Avoid this costly mistake.
These are just some basic guidelines that will help you be safe this summer. It's important to let loose and have a blast as a teen. However, you have to shoulder some responsibility as well. Look forward to all the exciting activities ahead of you after school lets out, but be prepared to make ensure you are able to enjoy the whole summer.