May through September are the busiest months in the emergency room

Why? Bee stings, swimming accidents, and food poisoning – just to name a few reasons. So here are some tips to stay safe from Prevention magazine:

Don’t eat dirty fruit. An under-cooked burger isn’t the only way to get food poisoning. In fact, you’re more likely to get gastrointestinal problems from fruit. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, over a 10 year period, more people have gotten sick from fruit than from beef or poultry. So clean all fruits and vegetables before eating them – even ones that have a rind, like lemons, melons and oranges. The bacteria can spread through the whole fruit when you cut into it.

The next summer health hazard: Never let your kids help mow the lawn. The lawn mower will cut anything in its path. Just ask the 68-thousand people who get in the way of the blade each year. And 85% of those injuries are to children under 10.

Another summer bummer: Don’t swat bugs. You don’t have to be in a horror movie to be swarmed by insects. For instance, if you swat at a wasp, they emit a chemical that alerts all their friends to join their attack. And Africanized bees can assault by the thousands when they’re provoked. So if a stinging bug comes close, put down anything it may be attracted to – a sweet drink, or even beer, avoid sudden movements and walk calmly indoors. If you were stung several times, feel nauseous, or have swelling more than 2 inches from the site of the sting, get to a hospital.

Lastly: Beware of that little mound of dirt with no hole on top. It may house 200-thousand or more fire ants. Only 1% of people are allergic to their bites, but their bites hurt and can become infected. Unfortunately, knee socks with sandals are more effective at keeping them away than repellant. But if you can’t bear to make that fashion statement, remove the ants with a fast brushing motion. Shaking and rinsing them off won’t work. Those suckers hold on tight.

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