As temperatures rise and summertime approaches, many will pull out and dust off their old swimsuit, lathering up in sunscreen as they head outdoors to soak up the sun and spend time with family and friends.According to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Safety Office acting director Bobby Taylor it is important to be mindful of safety concerns and make smart decisions, but to remember that summertime activities can provide a greater risk of accidents.“Statistics show an increase in accidents during the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, known as the 101 critical days of summer,” Taylor said. “During this time, the Army Safety Center and the USASMDC Safety Office look to educate Soldiers, civilians and their families on how to reduce risks of accidents while enjoying their summer.”Taylor said there are a number of seasonal activities that carry accident risks when performed irresponsibly, including spending time in the heat, boating, swimming, playing with fireworks, and drinking alcohol.“Heat-related illness is a major concern during summer,” Taylor said. “Never leave infants or young children in cars, and make sure to take precautions when you’re spending time outside in the heat. Remember to stay hydrated, and look out for those who are most at risk of heat-related illnesses, including elderly individuals, children and people with chronic health conditions.”Taylor said drowning cases also increase during the summer, so swimming and boating should be participated in with heightened awareness for safety.“Parents should always be around when their kids are in or near water and pay attention to what’s going on,” Taylor said. “Swimmers of all ages should learn basics of how to swim safely. Both children and adults should take their skill level into account when swimming. Rivers and lakes with currents are better suited for strong, confident swimmers.”Taylor also recommended avoiding alcohol when swimming and never swimming alone.Taylor said that boating can also lead to accidents. He said that many boating-related drownings involve alcohol consumption and passengers not wearing life jackets.While sparklers are a Fourth of July favorite, they can also lead to injuries, Taylor said. Sparklers can catch clothing on fire or burn feet if dropped.“Sparklers are a Fourth of July tradition, but they are also the cause for many emergency room visits, especially for children,” Taylor said. “Consider skipping the sparklers this year and giving your kids glow sticks, confetti poppers or streamers instead.”Taylor also said that if one chooses to drink, doing so responsibly should be a number one priority. He said adults should be mindful of how much they consume and always avoid drinking and driving. While ride-sharing services have increased in popularity and accessibility over the past several years, drunk driving has continued to be a problem.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of almost 30 people a day die from drunk-driving crashes, equaling more than 10,000 deaths a year. Taylor said this is why it is important to always have a plan when drinking. Have a designated driver or plan to call a taxi or ride-sharing service.In addition to the traditional safety risks presented every summer, extra considerations may need to be taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.“Accidents are down significantly this fiscal year, likely due to COVID-19,” Taylor said. “Once stay-at-home orders and activity restrictions are removed, we may see a significant increase. We must remain vigilant and increase safety awareness. Take time to think about consequences and follow through with a plan to ensure the safety of your loved ones.”USASMDC employees can access safety tools and resources on CommandNet, and questions regarding safety should be directed the Command Safety Office at (256) 955-4800.