Summer Survival: Health and Safety Tips

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Summer brings with it new places, new activities and new risks. Here are our tips for a healthy and safe summer.

Sun and Heat Safety

Mississippi is about heat and mosquitoes in summer. Sunburn, heat stroke, dehydration and skin damage can strike quickly, and be especially dangerous for older adults.

Stay Hydrated

A healthy adult needs 10 or more eight-ounce cups of water a day, but if you're outdoors in the heat of summer, you could need much more water per day to stay healthy and avoid dehydration dangers.

All your body's functions are affected by water and thirst. Plentiful water is needed for your body to process prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines as well. Drink up!

  • Drink before you're thirsty if you're headed outdoors for any length of time, especially if you'll be active. Water that's already in your body is immediately available when you need it most.

  • Carry water with you when you leave home. Even if you're not active outdoors, thirst can build up over time in hot weather.

  • Avoid sweetened drinks and alcohol if you're thirsty. The best thirst quencher is plain water.

  • Sports drinks and specialized hydration drinks can be beneficial if you are very active or losing a lot of water through perspiration. Prefer plain water for most of your drinking, though – it's what your body needs most.

Disease-Carrying Ticks and Mosquitoes

Midsummer through September is peak season for West Nile virus and infections like dengue carried by mosquitoes. WNV symptoms are usually mild, but severe illness can occur, and Mississippi has seen many deaths from WNV over time. Prevention is your best defense!

At the Beach and in the Water

Lakes, pool and beaches are the focal points of summer fun, but they carry serious risks. Most drownings occur in the summer months, and it's the leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1–4. Salt water carries its own risks: Vibrio bacteria – in food or seawater – flourish in summer months, and bring the risk of serious illness.

Seafood and Summer Food

Hot weather and safe food don't mix; Mississippi has most of its food-borne illness outbreaks, including Salmonella, in the summer. If your plans include seafood, Vibrio bacteria make food safety especially important.

Hurricane Season

Late August is Mississippi's prime time for hurricanes. Even a landfall outside of Mississippi can bring high winds and dangerous flooding. Prepare now!

Starting School?

Don't forget that if you have children entering school or daycare for the first time in Mississippi, they'll need up-to-date childhood immunizations. Visit your pediatrician or one of our scheduled immunization clinics. We can help with copies of birth certificates as well.

Last reviewed on May 26, 2010 request edits

Related resources

Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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