Ah, summer. Nothing beats enjoying a long, hot day in the great outdoors. Swimming, hiking, camping – however you choose to celebrate the warmer months, stay safe and have fun all season long by utilizing the following safety tips.

1. Don’t catch rays. Dodge them

Lounging poolside under the sweltering sun sounds like the start to a perfect summer day but catching rays while leaving your skin unprotected is bad for your health. In 2016, nine million commercially insured people had skin cancer, according to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Health of America study. Practice sun safety and protect your skin by:

• Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+. Reapply every two hours
• Seeking shade and covering up with a hat and sunglasses
• Limiting UV exposure, which causes long-term skin damage

Both natural sunlight and tanning beds cause UV exposure. If you’re among the 53 percent of millennials who believe getting a tan is a sign of health, it’s time to let the misconception go. Learn more about a Nebraska woman’s skin cancer experience here.

2. Beat the heat

A sweaty workout can feel good, but if your body is exposed to too much heat, you can’t regulate your temperature by sweating, according to the National Safety Council. That’s when heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, can occur. Heat-related illnesses can be deadly but are preventable. Simply limit the amount of time you spend outdoors, stay hydrated and wear sunscreen to stay safe. Infants, the elderly and overweight individuals are most at-risk.

3. Bugs bite. Keep them off

Itchy bug bites are annoying. They can also spread diseases, including West Nile virus and Lyme disease, according to the CDC. Keep yourself safe by:

• Checking your body for ticks
• Applying bug spray before heading outdoors
• And more

4. Watch the fireworks and your fingers

Guess which body parts were most injured by fireworks in 2017? Hands and fingers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Around July Fourth, an average of 280 people visit the emergency room daily with fireworks related injuries. Make sure you’re not one of the injured this year by:

• Keeping a hose or water bucket nearby when lighting fireworks
• Never trying to relight a firework that didn’t go off
• Never pointing or throwing a firework at another person
• And more.

For more stories like this one, visit the heath and wellness tab.