Summer—the perfect time of the year to enjoy the outdoors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more time may be spent in the backyard and other outdoor activities will be different—based on public health guidelines. Help keep yourself and loved ones safe with these American Red Cross tips.

  • If your community is reopening, know what precautions to take in public settings.
  • Keep about 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Wear cloth face coverings, especially in crowded areas. Do not place them on children under age 2.
  • Limit your risk by reducing the number of places you go and your exposure to others.
  • Order food and other items for home delivery or curbside pickup, if possible.
  • Visit the grocery store and other stores in person only when necessary.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.

Many public pools and beaches may be closed. Follow the guidance of state and local officials. Make sure the area is designated for swimming before entering the water.

  • Maintain social distancing, both in and out of the water, between you and people who don’t live with you. If you don’t think your child can do this, come up with another activity.
  • Wear a face covering on land but not in the water as it may be difficult to breathe.
  • Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.
  • A kiddie or inflatable pool can be a great way to have fun but be sure to provide constant supervision to children in and around the water.

Summer is a popular time for grilling family meals at home. Yet grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year. To avoid this:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Never grill indoors—not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including children and pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill in the open, away from the house or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

Help save lives this summer.

  • Give blood, platelets or plasma – we’re all in this together! Visit for more information or to schedule your donation.
  • Learn how to save a life with the Red Cross First Aid App and training courses (

We have several resources to help you prevent and respond to summer emergencies.

  • Receive customized weather alerts and warnings with our Emergency App.
  • Download our Swim App and visit our new Water Safety for Kids site ( for videos, activities and quizzes.
  • Enable the Red Cross skills on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices for valuable first aid information, to schedule a blood donation, receive warnings about an approaching hurricane or make a financial donation to the Red Cross (

To learn how you can support American Red Cross safety, preparedness and relief efforts visit: Prepared by, Ekland Durousseau, Red Cross contributor