The Summer Guide to Fun and Safety

School is out and summer is in full swing! But there are a few things that should warrant your precaution.
Here are a few tips for a hassle-free summer experience!


1) Potato Salad is a must-have at summer picnics and barbecues. It typically contains mayonnaise that can break down and be harmful to eat if it’s out in the sun for a while.
After serving potato salad, put it back in the fridge to keep it cool or try an equally-delicious recipe that does not require mayo.

potato salad
potato salad

2) Avoid taking burger patties in and out of the freezer. The burgers are usually prepared to go straight from the freezer to the grill. Thawing is not necessary, as harmful bacteria can grow on the meat.

3) Although, ice cream is a picnic favorite, it can become a hassle to deal with. Instead of buying large tubs, purchase individual treats and ice cream sandwiches that you can find in brands like, HĂ€agen Dazs and Good Humor. For healthier choices, consider chilled fruit cups or smoothie popsicles.

smoothie popsicles
smoothie popsicles

4) Keep condiments in a water cooler between uses to prevent them from spoiling due to exposure from the sun.


1) Mosquitoes are a pain in the-you-know-what!
Dip a cotton ball in some vanilla extract and rub all over your body, particularly on the areas most exposed, like arms, legs, and face. According to my aunt, mosquitoes hate vanilla!
If you have time, you could always get vanilla bean and boil it. Let it cool and pour over your body after your shower. Mosquitoes are always around, you just don’t want them around you!

blood-sucking mosquito
blood-sucking mosquito

2) Keep other little critters at bay by making sure that you have screens for your windows and doors.


1) Watch out for the riptides! They can disarm even the best of swimmers.

How to escape a riptide
How to escape a riptide

2) Watch out for jellyfish!! Remember, the more colorful ones are the most deadly.

3) Watch out for sharks!!! No explanation needed.

Take shark warnings seriously!
Take shark warnings seriously!

4) Invest in a life jacket and be sure to stay close to the shore if you cannot swim!

5) Always make sure to spot the lifeguard on duty.

Baywatch Lifeguards!!! ;-)
Baywatch Lifeguards!!! 😉

6) Read the signs! If the beach is closed off to the public, it is for a good reason.


1) Pools can be a Petri dish of bacteria. Make certain that you do not have large scrapes and cuts before jumping into a pool.

Playing cards in the pool
Playing cards in the pool

2) If you see any objects floating around in the pool, i.e., fecal matter, diapers, band-aids, get out and let the pool attendant know immediately.

3) Condition your hair before and after you go swimming. The chlorine in the water strips your hair of its natural oils and nutrients.

4) If you cannot swim, do not take the responsibility of watching over children.


1) Most amusement park attractions have height and size requirements. Please honor those rules!

amusement park
amusement park

2) Let your instincts guide you!
If you do not feel good or are too nervous about a ride, don’t go on. Never let yourself feel pressured to go on an attraction you are not comfortable with.

3) For roller coasters and other thrill rides, make sure that the attendant helps you properly and securely strap yourself in. Do not agree to go on, if a seat belt or latch is loose and shaky!


There is a lot of sweat and bacteria on movie theater and airplane seats. Opt for loose fitting pants or a flowing skirt to avoid your skin’s contact with germs.

Travel Casual
Travel Casual

Plus, with the AC on, it can get pretty chilly when you have been sitting for while.


1) Sunblock lotion MUST be used by everyone – black people included! Skin cancer has become a leading cause of death among people of color.

Top sunscreen brands
Top sunscreen brands

2) Believe it or not, it is best to wear darker colors in the day and lighter colors at night. Light colors may keep you slightly cool in the heat, but dark colors ward off harmful sun rays. Opt for black and navy bathing suits at the beach. Wear white at night to keep the mosquitoes out of sight!

black one-piece bathing suit
black one-piece bathing suit


1) Do not leave your air conditioners, ceiling fans or other appliances running when you are not at home.
Instead, leave windows slightly raised and bedroom doors open, so air can circulate throughout your home or apartment.

Conserving energy can keep your electric bill costs low and prevent city blackouts
Conserving energy can keep your electric bill costs low and prevent city blackouts

2) When you have the AC on, make certain that all windows sealed.

3) Clean air conditioner filters once a week.


1) It is important that you conserve your vehicle’s air refrigeration. Only use it when absolutely necessary. Once you have reached the desired level of coolness, turn it off. Open all the windows of your car, if it should get a little stuffy.

2) Drivers must be mindful of children, playing children, children on bicycles, children on scooters, children on skateboards, children everywhere and……………children!
Drive slower through residential neighborhoods, where children have more freedom to play on the streets.

Be mindful of children playing in the street!
Be mindful of children playing in the street!


Inquire about the rules of the park you wish to have your family barbecue or picnic. Every park is different. Some parks require you to have a permit issued by the city or state when entertaining large groups. There are several city parks that do not allow unleashed dogs, barbecuing, alcoholic beverages, or playing loud music. Many have strict t-shirt and shoe laws – even if there is a nearby pool, you cannot walk around barefoot and/or without a shirt.

Barbecuing in the park
Barbecuing in the park

It is very important to know a park’s allowances. It could mean the difference between having a beautiful day with family and friends or getting thrown out by a couple of park rangers.


1) Wear light colored pants and hiking-appropriate shoes to prevent contact with poison oak, sumac and other plants that cause skin irritation.

Wear khakis and light colored pants when hiking
Wear khakis and light colored pants when hiking

2) Bring calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and/or antihistamine pills, such as: Benadryl and Allegra to soothe skin irritations and calm outdoor allergies.

Use Claritin to subside symptoms of outdoor allergies.
Use Claritin to subside symptoms of outdoor allergies.

3) Do not forget to carry your pump if you have asthma. Hiking up steep hills or being outdoors in woodsy areas can excite a respiratory attack.

4) Keep food sealed and put away to prevent bears from sniffing around your camping area.


1) Fireworks are illegal in most places. You can be arrested and fined, if found in possession of them.


2) There are many fireworks displays to choose from. You can head to lower Manhattan to see the Macy’s Fireworks or if you are in the Washington, DC area, the Capitol Fourth is always a treat. Or you can do like most Americans and watch it on television from the comfort of your own home.


If you decide to stay mostly indoors this summer, there are a host of things you can do to keep yourself and your guests entertained.

For larger groups, my all-time favorite would have to be Pictionary. There is no limit to the number of players, so everyone can be part of the fun.

For medium-sized crowds, Monopoly will always be the go-to game. Chaos will ensue as players scramble to take control of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk.

Play the new Social Media edition of Monopoly and gain control of Twitter!
Play the new Social Media edition of Monopoly and gain control of Twitter!

For just the two of you, play tĂȘte-Ă -tĂȘte in a game of chess.

And if you want some alone time, Solitaire is always good!

computer solitaire
computer solitaire

Movies & Television
Here are my picks for summer movies that you will really enjoy:image Grease (1978): a musical about a teenage love affair – starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.
Watch the Thunderbirds and the Pink Ladies experience love and heartbreak at Rydell High.

imageThe Beach (2000): a young American traveler searches for “paradise” – starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
It’s starring Leonardo DiCaprio!

image Roman Holiday (1953): a princess and a reporter take a Vespa ride and find love in Italy – starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Audrey actually gets an impromptu haircut on set that can be seen in the movie. Talk about committing to the job!!!

image Mystic Pizza (1988): three young women navigate the ups and downs of friendship, family, and love – starring Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, and Lili Taylor.
Mystic Pizza is an actual pizzeria in Mystic, Connecticut. But don’t go there – the reviews are not so tasty!

image Fight Club (1999): starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.
I would tell you what the movie is about, but the 1st rule of Fight Club prevents me from doing so. Just watch!!!

imageThe Sound of Music (1965): a carefree nun wins the heart of a captain and his seven children – starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
The carefree nun will win your heart as well!

image The Lion King (1994): a lion cub named Simba, just can’t wait to be King………in the Pride Lands of Africa – voiced by Matthew Broderick.
Hands down, the best animated film of all time!!!

image Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984): a handsome archaeologist runs amuck in India on a quest to find a mythical stone – starring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw.
There’s nothing better than a bowl of popcorn and Dr. Jones in a fedora!

image As human beings, there are a lot of things that we are unsure of. But one thing that we do know is that there will always be………..NETFLIX. The End.

Have a great summer!!!

-The Reporter

Image Sources:;;;;; resort;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


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