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CDC Highlights Summer Health and Safety Tips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today called on all Americans to protect their health while they pursue summertime fitness and fun and provided key summer safety tips.
"Summer is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors and swim, hike, travel and barbecue, but we also want to steer clear of accidents and injuries," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. “By taking simple, common-sense precautions, we can have fun and stay safe at the same time.”
CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, at a news briefing, discussed the importance of taking simple, commonsense precautions that everyone can do to help keep families safe as they enjoy their summer.
"I like to hike and garden, and I fully appreciate the benefits of outdoor activities as a way to stay healthy," Dr. Gerberding said. "I join the Secretary in encouraging everyone to get out and be active--and to play it safe--this summer."
Topics covered during the briefing included:
Sun and Heat: Studies show more than a million cases of the most common forms of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and that even a few serious sunburns can increase your risk of getting skin cancer. You can protect yourself during the time of day when the sun's UV (ultraviolet) rays are strongest – between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. – by wearing long sleeves and pants, and by applying sunscreen and a protective lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. Be sure to reapply frequently especially after swimming.
Heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States from 1979-1999. Most heat-related deaths occur in the hot summer months, and the elderly, the very young and people with chronic health problems are most at risk. Because even healthy people can fall victim to summer heat, take the following precautions to reduce your risk:
Water Safety: Thousands of Americans drown each year, and thousands more are injured or killed in boating accidents. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for children age 14 and under. Follow these common-sense precautions for safe summer fun in the water:
Food Safety: Summer is the season for outdoor barbecues and picnics; however, food-related illness can put a damper on those outdoor fests. CDC estimates that 76 million Americans get sick from food-related illness every year. More than 300,000 end up hospitalized and about 5,000 die each year from foodborne illness. Protect yourself and your friends and family in these ways:
CDC also released today a new and expanded edition of Health Information for International Travel. The book, commonly referred to as “The Yellow Book” and considered by many to be the gold standard on travel information, contains new information on scuba diving safety, high altitude travel, travel information for individuals with specific health needs, and travel with children. The book is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/yb/index.htm. For more information about these and other safe summer tips, visit CDC's Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/ and Summer Health and Safety Tips.
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CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.
This page last updated June 26, 2003
Department of Health and Human Services