The first day of summer is officially June 20, but summer fun and sunny weather are already in full swing. With so many fun holidays and outdoor activities in the summertime, alcohol consumption is heavily increased. MDC wants you to make safety a priority and think before you drink.

As alcohol decreases judgment and increases risk-taking, an array of mishaps and injuries can occur during summer activities. In fact, up to 70 percent of water recreation deaths involve the use of alcohol. Swimming while inebriated can influence individuals to swim too far, dive too shallow, or preform riskier stunts than they may have otherwise.

Boaters should also be aware of the consequences of alcohol consumption. Alcohol influences 60 percent of boating fatalities, so if you are drinking, designate a boat driver that is not. However, even passengers should be aware of the consequences of drinking. Overall, drinking and boating can lead to a variety of injuries from slips to drowning.

During the summer months, parents should pay special attention to the activities of their teens. By the end of summer, 940,400 teens will have tried their first drink of alcohol according to Bradford Health. In addition to alcohol, many teens will experiment with drugs during the summer months with more free time and less responsibilities. Always ask your teen about their whereabouts, who they are with and why they are where they are. Additionally, keep honest conversations about alcohol and drugs ongoing with your children.

Overall, we encourage you to avoid drinks that may inhibit your abilities during activities like boating, swimming and driving. Whether you are drinking or not, stay hydrated during these hot summer days. Following these tips can ensure a safe and fun summer.

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