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Don’t take summer safety for granted

Free time, fine weather and plenty of daylight hours - what could be better than summer?

But muscles and joints that have spent too much time sitting at a desk for nine months, skin that hasn’t seen the sun for awhile and water skills that might have become a bit rusty can lead to trouble.

Mix in a little too much alcohol and summer can become downright dangerous.

Of course, the word “danger” is not the first that that comes to mind as we head out to the beach, and most of us will make it through the warm months without a major incident.

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But it doesn’t hurt to brush up on safety tips one time before heading out into the waves or out among the trees.

“The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. And always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.”

This advice comes from the summer safety page on the

Red Cross Web site

:
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The nation’s premiere emergency response organization also recommends that people:

  • Swim in supervised areas only.
  • Obey all rules and posted signs.
  • Don’t mix alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm.
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.

And if you prefer being on the water to being in the water, the Red Cross recommends the following before you pull up anchor:

  • Be weather wise.
  • Bring a portable radio to check weather reports.
  • Bring extra gear you may need, including flashlights, flares and a map.
  • Tell someone where you’re going, who is with you and how long you’ll be away.
  • Check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.For children especially, sun safety has become a basic part of everyday care. We know too much about skin cancer today for any parent to be casual about sunscreen, hats, rash guards and plenty of shade.

A little bit of sun protection today can prevent lots of troubles later in life.
Visit the

Red Cross Web site

for lots of other safety and preparedness tips.

And maybe help out someone else this summer, too. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. requires blood. There is no time like the present to commit to taking the opportunity to donate whenever you can.