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What would you do if you were stung by a jellyfish? (Illustrations by Kate Francis)

Summer Survival Guide

Tips for dealing with scary summer situations

<p>TOP: If you're stranded on a deserted island, try to signal for help.</p><p>MIDDLE: Ask an adult to help you remove any ticks you come in <br />contact with.</p><p>BOTTOM: If caught in a rip current, try to move parallel to the shoreline.</p>

TOP: If you're stranded on a deserted island, try to signal for help.

MIDDLE: Ask an adult to help you remove any ticks you come in
contact with.

BOTTOM: If caught in a rip current, try to move parallel to the shoreline.

Summer can be a time for trips, outdoor adventures, and excitement. But sometimes, trouble can threaten to spoil the fun. Arm yourself with these tips for dealing with four scary situations.

STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND

No homework, no parents, no rules—what could be better? Keep in mind there are no video games, Internet, or hot meals either. Step one: Locate sources of fresh water. Humans can survive without it only for an average of three to five days. Gather any sources of food, such as coconuts. Next, signal for help. Find items such as rocks or seaweed to create three large triangles in a row on the ground. That’s the universal distress signal.

STUNG BY A JELLYFISH

Few things can spoil a swim faster than a jellyfish sting. Swim to shore and rinse the area with seawater. Vinegar or mustard, which contains vinegar, is even better. The acid helps deactivate the stingers, easing the pain. If a jellyfish tentacle remains on the skin, don’t touch it with your bare hand. Lift it off with a towel or stick. Last of all, don’t believe the myth: Peeing on the wound won’t ease the burn.

BITTEN BY A TICK

If you’re hiking in the woods, you might come in contact with a tick. There are many types of these insect-like creatures. But a few can carry serious diseases. If you spot one on you, ask an adult to help remove it. Using tweezers, the adult should grab the tick close to your skin and pull it off in one motion. Put the tick in a jar in case a doctor needs to see it later. Wash the bite with soap and water. Call a doctor if a rash or fever develops. Caught early, tick-related diseases are treatable.

CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT

Imagine you’re swimming at the beach. Suddenly, you feel yourself being rapidly dragged out to sea. That’s what happens when you’re caught in a rip current. This powerful surge of water flows rapidly away from shore. If this happens to you, don’t fight the current. Try to swim out of it by moving parallel to the shoreline. If that doesn’t work, float on your back until the current stops pulling you. Then swim back to the shore at an angle.

This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of SuperScience. For more from SuperScience, click here.

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