Critical Days of Summer: Enjoy the great outdoors safely

Base Info

Critical Days of Summer: Enjoy the great outdoors safely

by: Air Force Safety Center | .
Stripes Korea | .
published: July 16, 2012

7/15/2012 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- As summer reaches its peak, Airmen should stay safe as they enjoy all types of outdoors activities. Here are some great tips and resources for safety as you weather the summer heat.


With warmer weather comes family gatherings and cooking outside on a charcoal or gas grill. Barbequing is a relatively harmless event, but mishaps can occur if safety rules and respect for the dangers of fire are not followed. Burns, scalds, soft tissue injuries, abrasions and cuts are just a few of the accidents that can occur when grilling.

Grilling safety
Food handling safety
Grill safety tips

Beat the Summer Heat

As the weather is gets warmer, the potential for heat-related illnesses and injuries, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke increase. Learn the signs of these as well as how to prevent sunburn, sun poisoning and other hazards.

CDC information on skin cancer
Summer Safety: The Dangers of Extreme Heat to Service Members

Summer Weather

Summer brings some unique weather hazards in many parts of the world. Lightning, tornadoes, typhoons and hurricanes are the ones that can be extremely dangerous.

According to the National Weather Service, there are approximately 16 million storms a year. And in the United States, there are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year. The average number of fatalities in the U.S. is 61. However, due to under reporting, it is estimated that, more realistically, about 100 to 120 deaths per year occur because of lightning.

National Weather Service lightning risk reduction
U.S. Forest Service recreational safety

In the Sun

According to the University of California at San Francisco's School of Medicine, "Sunblock protects your skin by absorbing and/or reflecting UVA and UVB radiation. All sunblocks have a Sun Protection Factor rating. The SPF rating indicates how long a sunscreen remains effective on the skin. A user can determine how long their sunblock will be effective by multiplying the SPF factor by the length of time it takes for him or her to suffer a burn without sunscreen."

The American Association of Dermatology recommends that a broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 15 be applied daily to all sun exposed areas and reapplied every two hours. Some recent clinical trials show sunblock with SPF 30 provided significantly better protection than sunblock with SPF 15.

Sunburn prevention
Skin cancer prevention
Spring and summer outdoor safety


Enjoy camping safely
Camping health, packing checklist


While mowing accidents are not publicized often, the severity of the injuries can be devastating. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that yearly injuries (treated at emergency rooms) from lawn mowers total more than 70,000 annually.

The severity of the incidents is explained by Herb Willcutt. He states, "The revolving blade of a lawn mower can throw objects at speeds of 200 miles per hour or the length of a football field in one second. There is no time to dodge thrown objects. It takes an adult about two-thirds of a second to react to danger and young children may react slower."

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