COLUMN: Enjoy, but use caution, when enjoying summer fun

Published 9:38 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

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Summertime is here. June 21 is the official start of summer. It’s the warmest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere, from June to August, and in the southern hemisphere from December to February, according to the dictionary. 

The heat is on, folks. It’s time to have a check up of your air conditioning unit at home or in your car. It’s hot and humid outside, once the sun appears on the horizon. If the temperature becomes unbearable, seek relief and shelter by staying indoors. Go to a cooler place. Drink plenty of water, if you feel dehydrated.

It’s time to bring out those sandals, shorts and shirts again. Lighter, cotton clothes or outfits are preferable. Have sunscreens and the shades ready.  

Going to the beach, wading through the clear water, surfing through and swimming along with the waves, building castles, playing volleyball definitely offer a blast under the sun, with balmy air and/or soothing breeze. 

It’s undeniably the season of fun and sun. 

Summer activities are aplenty. There are people gamboling in the sand, basking in or reveling under the sun.

There are more fun activities, more concerts and festivals and festivities on the beach or at the oceanfront. These are anticipated as we welcome summer with its bright colors, shades, sounds and music.

Everywhere you see plenty of fruits — watermelons and cantaloupes — and summer drinks and treats such as shakes and smoothies.

Let’s savor summer but with caution, though. Safety should always be in mind as we’re out there, enjoying the season with our family, pets and friends

Young kids are especially vulnerable to drowning and heat-related injuries, illnesses and diseases. So are seniors or the elderly, especially when they live alone in their own homes. Younger children need to be monitored at all times — be on the lookout for possible abductors, predators, pedophiles and miscreants. 

Young teens or adults, enjoying their summer break with friends or acquaintances at  resorts or theme parks should be vigilant too. Teens can be victims of abduction, human trafficking and physical or sexual abuse. 

Underage teens should not be left alone in a hotel or elsewhere. They should be with family or a group to prevent such unforeseen criminal circumstances. 

Summer accidents or mishaps happen. They can be preventable if or when we’re prepared.

When traveling to tourist spots, be wary of scams, dangerous crowds, pickpockets, distracted or erratic drivers, deer collisions and food-borne illnesses. 

Pay attention to heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, with signs or symptoms like heavy sweating, thirst, pale or clammy skin, headache or dizziness; or heat stroke, which is more dangerous or deadly. If you have these symptoms such as hot, dry, red skin, profuse or excessive sweating, confusion, slurred speech or loss of consciousness, seek medical help or call 911 immediately.

Be on the lookout for ticks, stinging insects, bug infestations and poison ivy, especially when you’re camping outdoors, trekking or hiking in a trail. 

Enjoy your summer. Have fun, but be safe always!

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk and Chesapeake. Email him at