Summer Safety, Come Rain or Shine

7) If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Cut down on exercise during the day, and if you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage may be a good choice, as it can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Try to rest often in shady areas.

8) Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat -- an accessory which should also keeps you cooler. Be sure to also wear sunglasses and apply on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher; the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels.

9) Pay attention to the weather reports. You are more at risk as the temperature or humidity rises or when there is an air pollution alert in effect.

10) Headache, confusion, dizziness or nausea when you're in a hot place or during hot weather could be a sign of a heat-related illness. Seek out a doctor or an emergency room to find out if you need treatment.

Sources: CDC Extreme Heat: Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness (; National Institute on Aging: Hyperthermia: Too Hot for Your Health (; CDC Extreme Heat: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (

Summer Day, Gone in a Flash: 10 Tips for Lightning Safety

According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes about 25 million times a year in the U.S. Over the past three decades, lightning has killed, on average, 58 people per year -- higher than the average 57 deaths per year caused by tornadoes and average 48 deaths due to hurricanes. And while documented lightning injuries in the United States average about 300 per year, the fact that many are never recorded make it likely that the true total is much higher.

Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the summer so health officials and weather experts offer the following tips to stay safe.

1) If you are planning to be outdoors for a significant amount of time, know the weather forecast beforehand. Your best source of up-to-date weather information is a NOAA Weather Radio (NWR). You can stay updated with a portable weather radio if you are planning on being outdoors, or you can keep up to date through the Internet, TV or local radio reports, or through your cell phone.

2) Keep an eye out for developing thunderstorms. These storms are even more likely to occur in the spring or summer as the sun heats the air, causing pockets of warmer air to rise and form cumulus clouds. Continued heating causes these clouds to expand upward, forming towering cumulus clouds, which are often the first sign of a developing thunderstorm.

3) Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from the area where it is raining, which is about the distance that the rumble of thunder can travel. Such long-distance strikes are sometimes called "bolts from the blue" because they can seem like they come from a clear, blue sky. These lightning strikes are rare, but fatalities from them have been known to occur. Therefore, if you can hear thunder, know that you are within striking distance. Seek safe shelter immediately.

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