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Now for the ‘solar’ vortex: Keep summer safety in mind

Memorial Day weekend beckons, as does the summer of 2014. Let’s all embrace safety in our summer pursuits.

Published: Friday, May 23, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

With an oppressive winter behind them, Sauk Valley residents are ready for the glorious days of summer.

But as the first holiday weekend of the season beckons, folks would be wise to keep safety in mind.

Yes, it’s true that we got through that “polar vortex” thing, but surviving the “solar vortex” – summer – takes some doing, too.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has put out a 42-page summer survival guide, available online, that lists as many summer hazards as its experts could find, and how to avoid them.

“Summer? No Sweat” takes the reader through how to be safe when swimming at the beach or pool, bicycling, boating, water skiing, and operating a jet ski.

Summer health hazards are discussed, such as sun exposure, heat-related conditions, home canning, food poisoning, rabies, mosquitoes, ticks, and stings from bees, wasps and hornets.

Don’t forget severe weather. Emergency preparedness measures are detailed, along with how to react when tornadoes or floods threaten.

For those who care for lawns and gardens, the guide deals with hazards posed by lawn mowers, string trimmers, and hedge trimmers.

Summer and poison ivy, unfortunately, are synonymous. The guide reviews poisonous plants found in wooded areas and fields, mushrooms, trees, ornamentals, and plants around the house, flower garden, and vegetable garden.

The guide is filled with information and useful warnings, which should be taken to heart.

Memorial Day weekend beckons, as does the summer of 2014 right behind it. We encourage people to embrace safety in all their summer pursuits.

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