How to make the most out of your Minnesota summer

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With warm weather upon us, it is tempting to shed all inhibitions and wholeheartedly enjoy the summer sun, but with the summer heat, unfortunately, comes the risk of injury.
But, fear not! There are ways to prepare.

We checked in with Toben Nelson, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota to get the scoop on some simple tips on insuring a safe and healthy summer.

1.Make sure you're using the right equipment, technique and supervision
Having proper instruction and supervision for the young ones is crucial in preventing injuries this summer. "Goofing around" is a common reason for injury, so parents or anyone supervising should make sure that kids are making good decisions, even though that is often easier said than done.

"If involved in any sort of recreational summer fun, it is very important to make sure that the equipment you are using is in working order," recommends Nelson.

It is also important that both children and adults are aware of their surroundings and are paying attention to the quality of their equipment, which can be anything from helmets to life jackets to volleyballs. Always check to make sure your bike helmet is fit appropriately for your head size and that life jackets are worn by all children and are a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V jacket.

2. Protect yourself from the elements
It seems simple, but sunscreen and protective clothing are your best defense when avoiding sunburn. With a son who experienced his first major sunburn, Nelson understands the importance of keeping kids protected from the sun.

Paying attention to the temperature, keeping hydrated and avoiding caffeinated beverages or foods with high sodium content that can dehydrate are good defenses to combating the summer heat when being out and about.

3.Enjoy the Minnesota summer!
The last bit of advice Dr. Nelson had to offer was to encourage people to be out and enjoying everything the summer has to offer, but to also be cautious and prepare in advance for the potential problems that may arise.

"There are so many great things to be involved with in our state, one of the worst things you can do to yourself this summer is not take advantage of them and be active outdoors."

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