Injury Prevention

Lightning Safety

You know that lightning can cause death or serious injuries, but did you know that the number of people injured by lightning is 2.5 times higher than the number killed? Unfortunately, that statistic is changing as more and more people are killed by lightning as they enjoy the outdoors. Males are five times more likely to be killed by lightning, and the group at greatest risk is 20- to 29-year-old men.

Lightning injuries occur seasonally and are highest in the summer months. And keep in mind that the majority of lightning occurs between noon and 6 p.m.

Safety Tips

Teach your children the following lightning safety tips:

  • Go to the lowest place near you.
  • Crouch down or squat in a ditch or gully.
  • If you’re in an open field, don’t let anything but your feet touch the ground as you crouch down or squat. If you see something that’s plastic, place it between your feet and the ground.
  • If you are close to a tree, stay a few feet away from the trunk and crouch down. This is safer than being right next to the tree trunk or completely out in the open.
  • If in a car, be sure your entire body is inside and not touching any of the outside metal.
  • Small buildings, sheds and tents aren’t safe places to be when there is lightning.
  • Never swim or wade in water when there is lightning.
  • If you’re in an open boat, make sure the driver goes under or near a tall object, such as a bridge. Don’t let any part of your body touch the water.

For more information, contact the following organizations:

Last Update
May 23, 2008
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Last Update
May 23, 2008