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It’s easy to forget what you can and can’t bring on board planes. Remind yourself when packing for your next trip.

Summer Safety Tips

With warm weather comes more opportunities to explore new places, spend time outdoors and share quality time with friends and family.

Swimming, walking or having a picnic are just some of the many things you can do together during the Summer.

To enjoy these activities safely and accident-free, make sure to keep these tips in mind:

Water safety

  • Supervise your kids, as well as other children, when playing or swimming in the ocean, lakes, rivers or pools.
  • Only use life jackets certified by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Avoid swimming in rough or deep water.
  • Respect “No Swimming” signs.
  • To prevent choking, make sure children do not eat or chew gum in the water.
  • If your home has a swimming pool, install a protective fence around it. Be sure to place a cover on the pool when it’s not in use.
  • Take cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes to help people who are drowning or choking.

Protection against sun and heat

  • To avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or too much sugar.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Also wear sunglasses and a hat that covers your face and ears.
  • Apply sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher a half an hour before any sun exposure. Reapply several times a day, or according to the product directions.
  • Keep your lips hydrated with a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure when ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Try to spend the majority of your time protected by cool, shady areas.

Food safety

  • If you’re camping or you plan to do any outdoor cooking, use a cooler with ice to keep your food refrigerated. Make sure to keep the cooling temperature (PDF) at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food.
  • To avoid cross contamination, separate raw meat from other food, and place meat on its own plate or tray.
  • Make sure meats are cooked and served at an internal temperature (PDF) of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Immediately refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. Don’t leave perishable foods out in the open for more than two hours.
  • To avoid getting food poisoning, follow these tips for eating safely at fairs and festivals.

For more information about food safety contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

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From Smithsonian:

Everything you wanted to know about the design history of the beach chair from our Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation:
Invention Hits the Beach | Bright Ideas

Image description:

From Smithsonian:

Everything you wanted to know about the design history of the beach chair from our Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation:

Invention Hits the Beach | Bright Ideas

Things to Keep in Mind as you Prepare for Vacation

AAA estimates that two-thirds of American adults plan to vacation this summer. If you are one of them, here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to get away.

  • Put a hold on your mail. Mail stacking up is a good indicator to people that nobody is home. To be on the safe side, have your mail held at the post office until you return.

  • Check for travel alerts / warnings for your destination from the State Department. The world can be unstable, and sometimes dangerous for visitors in certain places. Make sure the risks are minimal wherever you are going.

  • You may not need a passport. A passport card is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. It can be used for non-air travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

  • Be careful online. Announcing your vacation via social media channels also tells people you aren’t home, and makes your house vulnerable.

Four Things to do to Prepare for your Summer Vacation

Vacationing this summer? Besides packing sun-block and swim suits, there are other things you need to do to prepare, and USA.gov can help. Remember to: