Contrary to popular wisdom, mayonnaise in your summer chicken salad is usually not the cause of food poisoning; it is more likely that the source of the problem is improperly handled chicken (undercooked, unrefrigerated, or both). This helpful summer tip is among many collected in a new booklet released today by a panel of scientists from the American Council on Science and Health.
Here are a few more tips:
* Prevent premature aging and reduce your risk of skin cancer by using a good "broad spectrum" sunscreen.
* Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
* Avoid overheating in the summer sun by drinking plenty of liquids and taking breaks in cool places.
* To stay safe while swimming or boating, know your limitations and never swim alone. Most of the 7,000 yearly deaths by drowning are preventable.
* Always wear a protective helmet when biking or rollerblading. The American Medical Association reports that 75 percent of the cyclists who die each year die from head injuries.
* To avoid bacterial food poisoning, always keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold.
* Be aware of the tiny deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. Take precautions (wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants; apply insect repellent) to avoid being bitten. If you do get bitten, know which symptoms to watch out for, as early treatment is important.
* Don't let an itch ruin your vacation. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac grow widely throughout the United States. To avoid or lessen the unpleasant itching rash these plants cause, wash the contact area with soap and water.
* Pack a healthy suitcase: Bring along a first-aid kit, ample supplies of prescription medicines and copies of your prescriptions.
* Take steps to prevent travelers' maladies such as motion sickness and traveler's diarrhea. If they should occur, know how to treat them.
"Whether you're traveling around the world or relaxing at home, to avoid spoiling your summer fun, take seriously the tips we've gathered in our latest booklet," says ACSH President Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.