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lear skies, cool water

and f resh-squeezed

lemonade—these are

images of summer at its



they’re not all the season has to

offer. Summer also presents many

hazards, making this a good time

for a quick safety review.



It doesn’t mix with driving,

boating or swimming.



To help keep bees and other

stinging insects away, don’t wear bright-

colored clothing and don’t use perfume

or scented soaps. Cover food and drinks

at outdoor events.



Give someone your itinerary,

and think carefully about the equipment,

supplies and skills you’ll need for your trip.



It’s a particular concern for

active kids. Make sure they drink between

5 and 9 ounces (about 10 to 20 gulps) of

fluid every 20 minutes during vigorous




If you’re severely allergic

to insects that sting, carrying a device that

allows you to inject yourself with this res-

cue medication could save your life. But

don’t forget that you still need to go to the

emergency department if you’re stung—

even if you use epinephrine.


oodborne illness.

Harmful bacteria

can quickly multiply on food in summer’s

heat. At picnics, keep foods you’d normally

refrigerate on plenty of ice. If possible, chill

or freeze foods before packing them in a

cooler. Be sure to pack cold and hot foods

separately. And don’t let perishable food

sit out for more than two hours—that time

drops to only one hour if the temperature

outside is 90 degrees or higher.



Barbecue meat to an appropri-

ate minimum internal temperature to kill

bacteria (steak to 145 degrees; hamburger,

160 degrees; and chicken, 165 degrees).


eat illness.

For prevention, dress in

lightweight clothes and do strenuous ac-

tivities when it’s coolest (early morning

and after sunset). Seek out air conditioning

when you can. Strongly consider postpon-

ing or canceling your outdoor activities

when it’s extremely hot or humid.


tchy skin.

It’s a problem that can af-

fect swimmers in parasite-infested waters.

Known as swimmer’s itch, it usually can

be treated with corticosteroid cream, cool

compresses or anti-itch lotions.

Be water-wise

Pools, lakes, oceans—whatever the

source of cool water during hot days,

kids want it. Make water safety a prior-

ity with these tips for kids:

Watch them like a hawk.


close attention whenever kids are in

or near water—and always keep little

ones within arm’s reach. Texting, phon-

ing, reading or doing yard work could

be risky distractions.

Take precautions with home


If you have a backyard pool,

make sure it’s properly enclosed so

that no one gets in without you know-

ing. Recommended safety features

include fencing on all four sides, with

self-closing and self-latching gates.

Don’t overlook the risks of inflatable

or portable pools either. Empty them

right away when you’re done using

them, and store them upside down and

out of a child’s reach.

Issue U.S. Coast Guard-approved

life jackets.

Make sure they’re worn

for those lake and ocean outings—and

consider having young or inexperienced

swimmers use them in swimming pools.

Sources: American Red Cross; Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention; Safe Kids Worldwide


ust minutes.

That’s the time it can take

for heatstroke, a life-threatening condition,

to develop in a child left in a car on a sunny

day. Never leave children alone in a vehicle

or let them play in an unattended vehicle.

If you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle,

call the police.


eep your distance.

That’s how you

should think of lightning. When you see

it, note how long it takes to hear thun-

der. If it’s 30 seconds or less, seek shelter

S a f e t y

immediately. Stay away from open fields,

open structures or vehicles. If you or some-

one you know is struck by lightning, get

medical help right away.


ife jacket.

It’s smart attire for all boaters,

even those who know how to swim.



Some are just pests; some

carry West Nile virus. To protect yourself,

use insect repellent containing DEET,

especially at night. Follow the instructions

on the label. If using an insect repellent

on kids, keep in mind that it should only

contain 30 percent DEET. And never use

it on babies.



That’s slang for your head, a

part of your body that needs a helmet

when you bike, in-line skate or ride a

scooter. Make helmets mandatory for

your kids too.


pen-water swimming.

Never swim

alone or in canals or fast-moving water.

Don’t swim in the ocean unless a lifeguard

is on duty, and check with the lifeguard

about surf and beach conditions before

going in the water.


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