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Have a fun, but safe summer

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Have a fun, but safe summer 

It’s easy to let your safety guard down right now. After all, it is summer. School’s out. The beach, rivers and pools beckon. The longer days allow more time for outdoor activities – like boating, riding motorcycles and pursuing great adventures on all-terrain vehicles.

But it is more important now to not let your safety guard down. Of course, you want to have fun and take advantage of every opportunity to do so this summer. And you can do so if you practice some safety procedures. We’d like to share just a few safety tips for some of your favorite activities.

Getting on the water is a great way to beat the heat and have loads of fun in the water.

• Before boarding a boat, be sure you know the boating laws. Take a boating safety class. Don’t exceed the boat’s capacity. Have a first-aid kit on the boat. Have enough personal flotation devices for everyone on the boat.

If you plan on drinking alcohol, be sure to have a designated skipper. Be sure you have food and non-alcoholic drinks available as well.

Make sure your boat is equipped with distress signal flags and flares and fire extinguishers in case of an emergency. 

• When swimming, be sure to swim in designated swimming areas and never swim alone. If you water ski, maintain a safe speed and watch out for other skiers and watercraft. When jet skiing, be sure to wear a personal flotation device and stay 100 feet away from other skiers and swimmers.

• Protect your eyes. Excessive sun exposure and tanning can severely damage your eyes. Children and adults should wear protective eyewear that blocks 99-100 percent of ultraviolet rays from the sun. 

• While biking is fun all year-round, it is more prevalent in the summer. Wearing a properly fitting bike helmet is important to prevent serious head injuries. Keep your bike properly maintained. Wear bright clothing and have reflective gear. Ride single file.

• South Carolina recently passed a bill that places safety restrictions on the use of all terrain vehicles by juveniles. The law requires that children between ages 6 and 15 take a safety course before operating an ATV and wear a helmet and eye protection. It is illegal for children under age 6 to drive an ATV.

• Playing on a trampoline is a favorite pastime for many. Like many fun activities, danger lurks there also. To prevent serious injuries while on the trampoline, allow only person at a time, and don’t allow somersaults. Use a shock-absorbing pad that completely covers the springs and place the trampoline away from structures and other play areas. Children under 6 should not play on full-size trampolines.

• Wear sunscreen. Many people seek a golden bronze tan, either by sun bathing or tanning booths. What they don’t realize is those long hours in the sun and tanning beds will not only age their skin, it can easily lead to dangerous skin cancer.

We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful, fun-filled and safe summer. We know you’ll have that if you just practice some basic safety procedures.

 Happy summer.