Last updated: Apr 28, 2008

Its here—the season of cookouts, road trips, and lazy poolside afternoons with family and friends. However you celebrate summer, our smart tips will keep the action safe and healthy.


Start by grilling smart. Grilling mistakes cause thousands of fires every year. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you position any grill at least three feet away from house siding or railings and never place it in an enclosed area or under eaves or tree branches. If you smell gas, turn the tank off quickly and call the fire department. When grilling with charcoal, never add lighter fluid after lighting coals—the flames can leap high.


 

Dodge the burn and the bugs
Turned off by greasy sunscreen and smelly sprays? Cabana Life has a line of clothing with UPF 50+ (like SPF for fabrics), including the stylish Gingham Reversible Bucket Hat ($42; www.cabanalife.com). And the Patch Madras Shirt from Orvis ($59; www.orvis.com) is outfitted with Insect Shield, a repellent that wards off bugs for up to 70 washings. (P.S.: We still recommend sunscreen for your face).


 

Take CPR . . . to the pool
Its scary to think about, but serious pool accidents happen all the time. You can save a life by immediately performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); that doubles a drowning persons chances of survival, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). How do you learn? A 30-minute do-it-yourself course is all it takes. Try the AHAs CPR Anytime ($29.95 for adult kit; www.americanheart.org), featuring a dummy and DVD.


 

Practice safe picnicking
No one wants to be stuck in the bathroom when everyones outdoors. Avoid food poisoning by putting meat, potato salad, beans, cut and cooked vegetables, and cheese in a cooler, which is 41°F or colder, after two hours on the table, experts say. Try the Big Dipper Collapsible Tub Cooler ($32; www.picnicfun.com), which folds flat for storage.


 

Get your game on
Why let a silly, preventable injury kick you out of that impromptu tennis tourney? “If youre not accustomed to playing sports, muscle strains are common,” says Margot Putukian, MD, director of athletic medicine at Princeton University. Solution: Warm up with a few minutes of walking and stretching. Got a bum knee? Wrap it in a brace before you play.