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July 1, 2013

In our opinion: Be safe and enjoy your summer

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

Swimming, boating, bicycle rides, parties, picnics in the park — it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors. But it can also be a dangerous time.

With temperatures often in the 80s or higher, heat can be a real problem. Do all you can to stay cool and hydrated. Save outdoor chores and activities for the morning or evening. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes. And never leave those who cannot fend for themselves in a closed vehicle, since temperatures can get to dangerous levels quickly.

Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses to protect your eyes, and broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF should be applied at least 30 minutes before venturing outside. Doing so will offer short-term protection from sunburn and sun poisoning, and long-term protection from skin damage and cancer. 

Summer is also a time for celebrations such as reunions, parties and, of course, the Fourth of July. 

Oftentimes these celebrations are marked with fireworks. And while we love fireworks shows, leave them to the professionals. Most fireworks are illegal in New York.

For those that are legal, make sure people handling them have the knowledge and skill to do so properly. Sparklers may look relatively safe for young ones to use, but they can reach up to 1,800 degrees and can cause third-degree burns quickly.

Alcohol also plays a factor in many celebrations. If you do partake in adult beverages, don’t drive. Make sure you have a designated driver, a ride or a place to stay until the effects of the alcohol wear off. 

With drinks goes food. If you’re having a outdoor party, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to avoid potential food poisoning. Try to serve food directly from the grill, or place hot food in a chafing dish. Keep cold food in a well-insulated cooler out of direct sunlight.

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