Memorial Day weekend is nearly here – the kickoff to summer! With Casper area temperatures expected to climb to the mid-to-upper 80s, many people will spend hours outdoors, at the city parks, along the river, at Alcova Lake, on Casper Mountain, camping, hiking, picnicking … enjoying fun in the sun!

Getting outdoors is good for us – the fresh air, sunshine, exercise and activity all bode well for our health. However, there are things to be careful about, from campfires to insect bites.

Here are five safety tips to enjoying the weekend – and the upcoming summer season:

  1. When enjoying water activities such as boating or rafting/tubing, wear a life jacket – they save lives. They are required by law for children ages 12 and under. Fire stations throughout Casper loan flotation devices.  Learn more about the program at  Also use caution floating the river or swimming in the local creeks. Watch water levels as they can rise quickly.  Our nurse manager lost her ten-year-old son in a swimming accident in a creek that was usually mild and calm but had risen to unsafe levels during a water release.
  2. Wearing a helmet while bicycling. Experts estimate more than 300,000 children visit the emergency room every year from bike-related injuries; many result in death or severe brain injury. Therefore, make sure your child wears a helmet, and be a good example – wear one, too. By the way, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is required by law in Wyoming for those under 18 who are operating or are passengers on an ATV.
  3. Apply sunscreen and wear a hat. Although tan skin has been sought after for decades, protecting oneself from harmful UV rays is critical. Too much time in the sun, especially without the protection of sunscreen and coverings, like a hat, can lead to sunburn and possibly skin cancer, including melanoma, which can lead to death.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other fluids, such as iced herbal teas, milk, and sparkling water. You can also eat juicy fruits, like melon and strawberries. Having sufficient fluid in your body helps combat heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can lead to other health problems.
  5. Use insect repellant. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile, Zika virus, and other diseases. Using a product made of DEET can help keep these pesky creatures at bay. NOTE: DEET should not be applied to children under 2 months of age.

If you are pregnant, many of the above also apply to you. Here are five additional tips for pregnant ladies to beat the heat this summer:

  1. Put your feet up to alleviate swelling.
  2. Take frequent naps. Tiredness is prevalent during pregnancy, therefore, rest is important.
  3. Take quick showers frequently to keep cool.
  4. According to WebMD, swimming is an excellent activity for pregnant women – you can exercise and keep cool.
  5. Wear light-colored clothing to also help keep cool.

Find additional helpful hints at and