How To Have A Safe Summer In Chicago This Year

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Summer in Chicago is a season like no other. From its beautiful beaches and iconic skyline to its bustling outdoor markets and festivals, there’s no shortage of things to do in the Windy City during the warmer months.

As the temperature rises and the days get longer, Chicago comes alive with a vibrancy that’s all its own.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor this year or a seasoned local, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in the city during the summer season.

Read more below about the essential tips before you pack your bag for a Chicago trip this summer.

Chicago Sailing | Enjoy Travel Life
Summer in Chicago offers all kinds of fun activities!

CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn some very useful tips for planning your summer in Chicago, including:

11 Essential Chicago Summer Safety Tips

Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the vibrant city of Chicago, with its beautiful parks, festivals, and outdoor events. In this article, you’ll learn about some essential summer safety tips for enjoying Chicago to the fullest.

Chicago is known for its hot and humid summers, which can pose health and safety risks if not managed properly.

When visiting any hot, humid city like Chicago, it’s crucial to be aware of potential hazards and take necessary measures to stay safe.

So, look to these important tips for a safe and enjoyable summer in the Windy City.

1.   Staying Hydrated

With the soaring temperatures in Chicago during the summer months, staying hydrated is very important.

Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which can be life-threatening.

You’ll want to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during outdoor activities. And, avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine.

You may feel like you’re quenching your thirst, but these beverages can actually contribute to dehydration.

It’s a good diea to carry a water bottle with you and take frequent sips to stay hydrated if you’ll be spending time outdoors.

2. Sun Protection

Summer in chicago
Good sun protection is essential for summer in Chicago.

Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is crucial during the summer in Chicago.

So, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on all exposed skin, including the face, arms, legs, and neck, before heading out. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.

If you’re not a fan of slathering up, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

In fact, it’s a good idea to do so even if you’re wearing sunscreen.

3. Water Safety

Chicago is known for its beautiful beaches and waterfronts, but it’s important to practice water safety to prevent accidents.

If you’re planning to swim in Lake Michigan or any other body of water, it’s best to swim only in designated swimming areas with lifeguards present.

Be sure you follow all safety rules and warnings posted at the beach or pool.

And if you’re not a strong swimmer, consider wearing a life jacket for added safety.

You’ll especially want to keep a close eye on children at all times and never leave them unattended near water.

4. Beat the Heat

Summer in chicago
Beat the Heat

Chicago summers can get extremely hot and humid. On the hottest days, you might consider staying indoors during the hottest part of the day. That’s usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

If you don’t have air conditioning, consider spending time in air-conditioned public places, like shopping malls or libraries. Even a leisurely lunch or dinner inside an air conditioned restaurant can give you a repreive.

You can also use fans or take cool showers (or both!) to lower your body temperature.

Another good way to beat Chicago’s heat is to dress in lightweight, breathable fabrics and avoid heavy materials that can make you feel sluggish in the heat.

Be intentional about take frequent breaks in shaded areas so you avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Doing so can help prevent heat-related illnesses.

5. Food Safety

With the warmer weather, outdoor barbecues and picnics are popular activities in Chicago.

However, it’s crucial to practice proper food safety precautions to prevent food-borne illnesses.

So, keep any perishable foods refrigerated until it’s time to cook or consume them. That includes things like meat, poultry, and dairy products.

It’s always important to use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination. Don’t forget to wash your hands and utensils frequently, especially when handling raw food.

You may also want to cook meat thoroughly to the recommended temperatures to kill harmful bacteria.

These are all important food safety tips you should follow at any time of year, but especially during the summer heat.

Finally, be sure to avoid leaving food unattended in hot weather to prevent spoilage. The last thing you want when you’re trying to have fun in Chicago is food poisoning. (Definitely NOT fun!)

6. Insect Prevention

Insects like mosquitoes and ticks are common during the summer in Chicago and can carry diseases like the West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

So, wear long sleeves and pants, especially when you’re exploring in wooded or grassy areas. When you return from your outdoor adventure, check yourself and your pets for ticks.

You’ll want to promptly remove any ticks to prevent the risk of disease. If you find a tick attached to your skin, make sure you carefully remove it and speak with your physician about whether you should seek treatment. At minimum, wash the area well and make sure no parts of the tick remain embedded.

For added protection, you might want to use an insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing.

7. Outdoor Activities

Summer in chicago
Cycling in summer is a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Chicago offers a plethora of outdoor activities during the summer, from biking and hiking to boating and kayaking. However, it’s important to engage in these activities safely.

So, wear appropriate safety gear, such as helmets when biking or using other wheeled vehicles, and life jackets when boating or participating in water sports.

Follow all rules and regulations at parks and recreational areas.

And, use caution when engaging in adventurous activities like rock climbing or zip-lining.

Finally, be aware of weather conditions and any potential hazards before participating in outdoor activities.

8. Travel Safety

Summer is also a popular time for travel in and around Chicago. Whether you’re planning a road trip or using public transportation, it’s crucial to prioritize travel safety.

Follow all traffic laws, wear seatbelts, and avoid distracted driving. The attorneys at Smith LaCien, LLP note that car accidents are an ever-present issue in Chicago.

If using public transportation, be aware of your surroundings, and follow all safety guidelines. Keep your belongings secure and be cautious of pickpockets or other potential risks in crowded areas.

You’ll want to research and book accommodations and activities from reputable sources, too. That way, you’ll more likely ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

9. Pet Safety

Hot weather can also affect our furry friends. It’s important to take measures to keep your pets safe during the summer in Chicago!

Provide your pet with plenty of water and shade, especially during hot days. Avoid leaving your pet in a parked car, as temperatures can rise quickly and cause heatstroke or even death.

The best time to walk your pet in summer is during the cooler hours of the day, such as an early morning or late evening. That can prevent them from overheating on hot pavements.

They even make pet-safe sunscreen you can apply to exposed areas, such as your nose and ears.

And, just like humans, you’ll need to be mindful of insect prevention for your pets.

10. Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are a popular part of summer celebrations. But they can also pose risks if not handled properly. In fact, in many states they are illegal unless you’re a professional.

For that reason and others, it’s important to follow all local laws and regulations regarding fireworks. If you decide to use fireworks at all, opt for legal and approved fireworks.

You’ll need to protect your eyes and ears by wearing safety goggles and hearing protection when using fireworks.

And, it goes without saying you should keep a safe distance from fireworks when they are being lit. Also, you should never attempt to relight a dud.

Before you ignite anything, make sure you keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.

11. Neighborhood Safety

Like many cities, staying vigilant and aware of your surroundings is crucial for neighborhood safety during the summer in Chicago.

Keep your doors and windows locked, especially when you’re not at home or at night. And look to outdoor lighting to deter potential intruders.

If you’ll be enjoying an extended stay in Chicago, it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbors so you can watch out for each other.

A good rule of thumb in any city is to avoid walking alone at night, and stick to well-lit and populated areas.

Finally, stay informed about any recent crime trends or safety alerts in your area so you can take appropriate precautions to protect yourself and your community.

Final Thoughts on Summer in Chicago

In conclusion, summer in Chicago, Illinois is truly an experience that should not be missed. The city offers an array of activities, attractions, and events that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

However, it’s important to keep in mind these essential safety tips to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Last but not least, have fun!

Related: 10 Important Tips for An Illinois Getaway: Chicago and Beyond


Jackie Gately at the beach


About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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