Stay safe in summer, follow these tips

Saige Heyer

For most people, summertime is all about having fun. However, if you don’t keep these safety tips in mind, the summer fun won’t last as long.


Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside and every two hours while outdoors, even on cloudy days. Make sure you apply sunscreen to every inch of skin that isn’t covered, even if you think it won’t burn.

Make sure the sunscreen you buy protects against UVA and UVB rays.

The sun protection factor, commonly known as SPF, listed on sunscreens is how long it takes for your skin to redden with sunscreen versus without sunscreen. For example, if your skin reddens in the sun after 20 minutes, then with a sunscreen with an SPF 15 it would take you 15 times longer to redden.

Insect repellant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using a repellant with at least 20 percent DEET. Off! and Cutter are just two brands that contain DEET. Please be careful when using this on children and always follow the instructions on the label.


Whether you’re boating on a river, lake or ocean, always wear a life jacket that fits properly. There are different types of life jackets and choosing the right type is important. For more information on choosing a life jacket, visit

If you don’t know how to swim, taking swimming lessons from a certified instructor would be a good idea, even if you don’t plan on going into deep water.

Swimming lessons are offered in Ames through the city of Ames, Ames Racquet & Fitness Center and Cyclone Swim School.

Never swim alone because you never know what could happen, especially if you’re tired, weak, intoxicated or in open bodies of water.

If a storm is approaching, get out of the water, even if you’re on a boat. It is not safe to be on or near the water during a lightning storm. As soon as you hear thunder, head for the shore and take shelter in an enclosed place or your vehicle.

Learn First Aid and CPR/AED

Taking a First Aid or CPR class is a good idea, especially if you plan to be far away from emergency personnel.

Classes are offered at Iowa State through the Environmental Health and Safety Services. Information can be found at

The American Red Cross office in Ames also offers classes. More information can be found at under the training and certification tab.