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Myth Buster: Thunderstorm Safety

[PURPLE_TEXT_BOLD {What you've heard:}] To protect against a lightning strike, get your child indoors once you see the first flash.

[PURPLE_TEXT_BOLD {The truth:}] To be safe, head for the door earlier than that  -- at any sound of thunder. Your child is vulnerable if he's standing on a ball field or under a tree (lightning seeks high points first) or if he's in a pond or pool because water is an excellent conductor. The most common time for a strike: summer afternoons.

Sneakers or rubber ponchos don't protect, but the inside of a hard-topped vehicle is safe because the metal in the body of the car directs electricity straight to the ground  -- and away from the people sitting inside. Once everyone's indoors, stay away from windows and phones with cords, don't take baths, and turn off all the computers.

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