File photo

File photo

Summer fun comes with its own unique hazards, but you can keep yourself, your family and your friends safe by following a few tips from the doctors over at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.

Although Santa Monica isn’t known for brutally hot summers, a little caution is always recommended when playing in the heat.

Stay hydrated by drinking between six and eight glasses of water a day, even if you’re not thirsty, and wear sunscreen wherever your clothing — made of lightweight, light-colored fabrics, please! — does not cover.

For those outdoor adventures, make sure the first-aid kit is stocked with Band-Aids, calamine lotion, Ace bandages, anti-bacterial wipes and bug spray. Pain relievers are always a good idea as well.

Keep the important pieces safe by wearing protective gear like helmets and pads while Rollerblading, biking or skateboarding, said Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at the hospital.

“Before the summer starts, double-check that bikes, helmets, skates and hiking boots still fit whoever will be using them,” Ghurabi said. “You’ll be surprised how often children have outgrown items from last season.”

Water presents its own challenges. Make sure that children know how to swim, and always supervise kids around pools or other bodies of water. Life jackets are a must when boating, and when at the beach, the buddy system is the best policy while swimming.

Finally, food makes any outdoor activity complete, but remember that the heat can turn your favorite snack into a sickening proposition.

Food that sits out for more than two hours is not considered safe, and when the temperatures hit 90 degrees or more, that window narrows to one hour. Keep meat and poultry in a cooler packed with ice until it’s ready to use, and store that cooler in the shade.

Stay safe, and enjoy your summer!