Ah, summer. It’s the time of backyard barbecues and camping trips, days at the pool and treks through the woods. Sure, it’s fun in the sun, but the summer is also the prime season for a number of serious hazards. From jellyfish stings to lightning storms, spending all that time outside requires you to be a cautious of your surroundings. But are you going about those precautions correctly? Read on for some of the biggest myths about summertime dangers.
1. Myth: You Really Can’t Tell What a Bear is Going to Do.
Spending time in bear country? It’s important to know about the animal’s body language and communication because, for the most part, bears are very predictable animals. Your first step to knowing what to do if you encounter a bear is to know what kind of bear it is — a black or a grizzly/brown. It’s also important to know that bears prefer to be left alone, so making your presence known will usually scare a bear before you have a chance to see it face-to-face. You can read more on how to stay safe around bears here.
2. Myth: Wait to Swim After You Eat.
Will taking a dip after eating a dip cone give you cramps? Nope! This old wives’ tale is pure fiction. As long as your meal is non-alcoholic and you’re not destined for the Olympics anytime soon, eating just before swimming is perfectly safe.
3. Myth: Eating Poison Ivy Will Make You Immune.
False, false false! Not only will eating poison ivy not make you immune to the stuff, it can actually kill you.
4. Myth: You’ll Know if You’ve Been Bitten By a Tick.
You can’t actually feel a tick bite, which is one of the reasons they can be so troublesome. It’s not all bad news, though. It usually takes several hours for a tick to actually transmit diseases (and many ticks don’t even carry diseases) so checking your body for ticks regularly can help prevent illness.
5. Myth: If The Sky is Clear, You’re Probably Safe From Lightning.
Lightning in the distance but not a cloud in the sky? Don’t assume you’re safe outdoors — lightning can strike miles away from the eye of the storm. If you see lightning, find shelter immediately.
6. Myth: Suntans Aren’t As Bad for You as Sunburns.
A tan is simply a sign of skin damage, nothing more. Sure, it doesn’t turn red or peel like a sunburn does, but it’s still unhealthy.
7. Myth: Peeing on a Jelly Fish Sting Helps the Pain.
Urine not only doesn’t help much with alleviating, it can actually make the pain worse. So what will relieve that sting? It actually depends on the species of jellyfish. Some stings will feel better with vinegar and baking soda, others with topical creams, and still others with plain ol’ hot water. You can read more about this here.