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Our family had a bit of a lightning safety wake-up call this past week - my father was zapped by an electrical surge from a nearby lightning strike while he was in the shower! Yikes! I am happy to report that he's doing fine and survived without any injury... but he was very shaken! Of course, after I learned he wasn't harmed in any way, I had to poke a little fun at him... after all, it was always my parents who warned me about getting into the shower when there was thunder about.
That got me thinking... how many of those old wives tales we've heard about lightning are true?
The answer turns out to be pretty much all of them. All that nonsense you've heard about not cooking during a storm, or using your computer, or being outside at all, or swimming, or bathing or anything else, is all based on cold, hard facts.
Here's the low-down on lightning safety, ladies and gents. Some of these things are often over-looked, but they are important lessons we should be teaching our kids. In fact, your child is three times more likely to be struck by lightning than abducted by a stranger! No joke! Now think about all those "Stranger Danger" chats you've had and compare them to the talks about lightning you've belabored your kids with. So far this year, there have already been 20 deaths on record from lightning strikes and who knows how many more injuries. I'm not trying to scare the pants off you, exactly, but it's one of those things we need to actively teach our kids about.
The National Weather Service is chock-full of all the safety advice you could possibly need, and I encourage you to check out their site! Of course, there's an awesome mascot names "Leon," and you can print a great coloring book full of lightning safety tips for kids! They also make these handy videos to keep you up-to-date on the latest in lightning safety (hey, I know my kids believe it more if they hear it from a video than my mouth...)
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q9t4ZuKcaY&feature=player_embedded
However, if you're feeling lazy and don't want to run off to check out any of the awesome resources I've just given you (yes, that does make you lazy) here's lightning safety in a nutshell: