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Whenever there are big summer thunderstorms, you see lots of rain, high winds and lightning. The rain and wind are pretty harmless in most cases, but the lightning can be deadly. 100 or so people die every year when they are struck by lightning, and hundreds more are injured (they get hit by lightning and live to tell about it, but they may have pain and nerve problems for years).
Lightining is a surge of incredibly powerful, high voltage electricity. It starts in a cloud and heads toward the ground. It is looking for the tallest object possible to shorten the distance it has to travel to reach the ground. Lightning prefers metal, but it will accept trees, phone poles and even you, if you are the tallest thing around.
If you are lying on the ground or swimming in water when lightning strikes nearby, enough electrical energy can flow through your body to cause serious damage or death. That's why lifeguards will have you get out of the pool, and why you should not lie on the ground in a thunderstorm.
If your child is outside playing or swimming when lightning strikes, your child may be hit by lightning. To avoid a lightning injury, you should teach your child about lightning safety. You and your child should take the following steps. include "start-small-head.inc" ?> Steps you can take include "end-small-head.inc" ?>