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Herald Health: Have fun this summer -- safely

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By Melanie Munk, Features editor
  • Hana Barhoum, 4, lets the wind do the work as she plays with bubbles at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Hana Barhoum, 4, lets the wind do the work as she plays with bubbles at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park.

Summertime, and the living is easy.
The sunshine, however, so welcome after nine months of dreary Northwest gray, is almost a siren song.
That welcome sun on your shoulders -- and your nose, the tops of your ears, the part in your hair and those spaces between your sandal straps -- can cause painful sunburns and, in time, wrinkles, spots and skin cancer. Don't even mention sunstroke.
And water. We flock to the lake, the shore, the pool. We want to wade in the creek, float and ski and swim. Two words: Life jackets.
Too much water? How about not enough? Dehydration is dangerous. If you are thirsty, it's already too late.
Other ailments and indignities, like bites and blisters, scrapes and stubs, are seasonal: this season of more light, more outdoors, less clothing and lighter shoes.
Despite the dangers, you can be safe if you follow a few precautions and use common sense.
Our stories on summer safety, tetanus shots, skin care and sleep reinforce the rules and serve as a reminder of the best family practices.
Also in this issue, you'll learn the simple steps you can take to ward off diabetes. It's not as hard as you think it is.
And you'll meet Ndnd, cover girl of the Chihuahua world. Find out how the formerly portly pet lost half her body weight and regained her self-esteem.
Now, put together a good first aid kit, stock up on sunscreen and enjoy the glories of summer in the Puget Sound.

Good night, sun: How to get some shut-eye when the days are long.
Summer-proof: Safety tips for the season of adventures.
Cover up: Sunshine is fine, but it's hard on your skin.
Start small: Little changes do a lot to stave off diabetes.
Tetanus 101: Don't take a chance on infection.
Fit or fat? Plumpness can be a risk to your dog's health.
Story tags » Wellness

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