Department of Health launches Summer Survival Guide

Published 10:43 am Thursday, July 4, 2024

Summertime brings a lot of fun, but Mississippi has a host of hazards that everyone needs to be prepared for and protect themselves from.

The Mississippi State Department of Health is launching a new campaign called “Summer Survival” that will provide tips for everything from heat to food safety, mosquitoes to sunscreen.

Each day in July will feature a summer health topic on the MSDH social media channels, and the full guide is available on our website at Some examples include:

  • Protect yourself from heat stroke by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoiding alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Body temperature can rise to 106 degrees within 10 minutes during a heat stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,220 people in the United States die from extreme heat annually.
  • Avoid mosquito-borne illnesses by using a repellent such as DEET, covering your arms and legs when outside, staying away from mosquito-prone areas in the mornings and evenings, and removing sources of standing water around your home.
  • Wear sunscreen rated SPF-15 or higher with UVA and UVB protection. Serious sunburns can double your lifetime risk of developing malignant melanoma. Unprotected skin can be harmed by UV rays in as little as 15 minutes. When in the sun, cover up with loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brim hat, and seek shade during midday hours.
  • Stay safe around water: Never swim alone, constantly watch children, learn CPR, avoid drinking alcohol, install a fence around pools, and remove toys.
  • Keep foods chilled when outside to reduce foodborne illnesses. Don’t let foods sit out for more than two hours (one hour if the temperature is higher than 90 degrees).
  • Always check the back seat! Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. Temperatures can soar to 125 degrees in less than 15 minutes in a hot car.
  • Check on family and friends frequently, especially seniors and vulnerable adults.

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