Summer Health and Safety Tips for Males Summer Health and Safety Tips for Males
Center for Disease Control

Summer is a great time to build up your fitness program, enjoy meals filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, vacation away from home, and have fun with outdoor activities. It’s also a time to take precautions in the water, with sun and heat, at work and play, and for disasters and emergencies.

Males are at increased risk for some injuries and conditions. The leading cause of death for males from 1-44 years of age is unintentional injury. In 2003, deaths for males 1-44 years of age were most often due to unintentional injuries, including those from motor-vehicle traffic, poisonings, drownings, falls, fires/burns, other land transports, and suffocation. For males 45 years of age and older, unintentional injury deaths were most often due to motor vehicles, poisonings, falls, and unspecified causes.

The three words to remember this summer and all year long are- protect, prevent, and prepare. Protect your health, prevent illness and injury, and prepare for possible emergencies and disasters.

Be Water-Savvy
Keep Your Cool in the Sun
Use Fireworks Safely
Be Safe
Fight the Bite
Practice Good Human/Animal Etiquette
Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections
Eat Healthy and Keep Food Safe
Be Physically Active
Be Prepared for Severe Weather and Natural Disasters
Related Links

Be Water-Savvy

In 2003, males accounted for 80% of fatal drownings in the United States. Alcohol use is involved in about 25% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation. In 2004, 3,363 persons were reported injured and 676 died in boating incidents. Among those who drowned, 90% were not wearing life jackets.


Learn how to swim. Never swim alone.

Wear your life jacket while boating.

Avoid alcoholic beverages while boating.

If you have a swimming pool at your home, install a four-sided isolation pool fence.

Boating Safety

Cruising Tips

Drowning Prevention in Recreational Water Settings

Water-Related Injuries

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Keep Your Cool in the Sun

Protection from sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. Any time the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are able to reach the earth, you need to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure. UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or temperature. Take precautions to help prevent skin cancer and other conditions.

Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. From 1979 to 1999, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.


When possible, avoid outdoor activities during midday, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.
For eye protection, wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection.
Always wear a broad-spectrum (protection against both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen and lipscreen with at least SPF 15. Remember to reapply as indicated by the manufacturer’s directions.
Extreme Heat

Skin Cancer Prevention Questions and Answers

Working in Hot Environments

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Use Fireworks Safely

In 2003, 9,300 people were treated in U.S. emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. Children 14 years and younger sustained about 45% of injuries related to fireworks, and boys represented 72% of all those injured. Typically, two thirds of injuries from fireworks in the United States occur in the days surrounding the July 4th holiday. Injuries were most commonly associated with fire-crackers (24%), rockets (18%), and sparklers (21%).


Leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.

Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.

If using fireworks, have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.

Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

Fireworks-Related Injuries Fact Sheet

Fireworks Safety Tips

Fire Deaths and Injuries: Prevention Tips

Spotlight on Injuries from Fireworks

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Be Safe

In 2002, the motor vehicle death rate for male occupants age 16 to 19 was nearly twice that of their female counterparts. Among male drivers between 15-20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2003, 39% were speeding at the time of the crash. Male high school students (22%) were more likely than female students (15%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.

Drivers and passengers can cut their risk of dying in a crash by half simply by buckling up. In the U.S. during 2004, safety belts saved the lives of an estimated 15,434 people over 4 years of age. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years. For children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to safety belts alone.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The leading causes of TBI are: falls (28%); motor vehicle-traffic crashes (20%); struck by/against events (19%); and assaults (11%). An estimated 300,000 sports- and recreation-related TBIs of mild to moderate severity occur in the United States each year. Males are about twice as likely as females to sustain a TBI.

Males are four times more likely to die by suicide than females. Suicide rates are highest among Whites and second highest among American Indian and Native Alaskan men. Of the 25,203 suicide deaths reported among men in 2003, 60% involved the use of a firearm. In 2003, 3,854 Americans age 65 and older died by suicide. Of those, 92% (n= 3,547) were men and 8% (n= 307) were women.


Wear a safety belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

Buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or safety belt.

Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or let someone drive who is.

Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle; playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing; using in-line skates or riding a skateboard; batting and running bases in baseball or softball; riding a horse; and skiing or snowboarding.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit

Become involved in suicide prevention. Protective factors buffer people from the risks associated with suicide. A number of protective factors have been identified, including effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders; easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking; and family and community support.

Child Passenger Safety

Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports
Injuries among Children and Adolescents

Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury


Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet

Traumatic Brain Injury

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Fight the Bite

Exposure to West Nile Virus (WNV) is possible. The more time you’re outdoors, the more time you could be bitten by an infected mosquito. Avoid mosquito bites when you spend time outside working or playing. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.


Install or repair window and door screens.

Use mosquito repellent.

Eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

Fight the Bite: Avoid Mosquito Bites to Avoid Infection

Recommendations to Protect Outdoor Workers from West Nile Virus Exposure

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Practice Good Human/Animal Etiquette

Your relationship with your pet enriches your life. However there are a few important tips to keep in mind when you own a pet. Some animals may carry germs that may be transmitted to people. These are called zoonoses.


Pick the right pet for your family.

Wash your hands thoroughly after playing with or handling your pet.

Get your pet early, regular, and life-long veterinary care.

Avoid ticks on dogs and cats.

Practice good hygiene around your pet.

Prevent rabies.

Teach children how to appropriately care for pets.

Keep wildlife wild.

Spay and neuter.

Healthy Pets, Healthy People

Ten Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership

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Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), remain a major challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain STDs in recent years, CDC estimates that 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.

An estimated 40,000 Americans still become infected with HIV every year, and many of these are young persons under the age of 25. African American men and women are among the hardest hit populations in the U.S. In 2004, they accounted for half of all new HIV diagnoses in this country and more than a third of AIDS deaths to date. African American men who have sex with men are especially hard hit.


The surest way to avoid transmission is to abstain from sexual intercourse.
Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
Use latex condoms. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of certain sexually transmitted infections.
Get tested.
HIV/AIDS Prevention

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Trends in Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States, 2004

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Eat Healthy and Keep Food Safe

Whether you bite into thick juicy burgers and dogs hot from the grill, pack a picnic for the park, or dine on dilled salmon on the patio, chances are you’ll want to enjoy cooking and eating outside all summer long. To obtain the proper nutrients, be sure to eat balanced meals that include plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Foodborne disease is caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. An estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States. The great majority of these cases are mild and cause symptoms for only a day or two. Some cases are more serious, and CDC estimates that there are 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to foodborne diseases each year.


Wash your hands.

Cook all foods to the proper temperatures.

Refrigerate foods promptly.

Handle and prepare food safely.

Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away

Clean Hands Saves Lives

Foodborne Illness foodborneinfections_g.htm#consumersprotect

Grillin’ and Chillin’: Keeping Food Safe During Summer Cookouts and Picnics

Nutrition for Everyone

Men Shoot for 9 (Non-CDC site)

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Be Physically Active

The summer is a great time to play outdoor games, garden, and be active. Start a new routine that combines fun and physical activity. Scientific evidence shows that more active people are less likely to be obese or to have high blood pressure; type II diabetes mellitus; osteoporosis; coronary artery disease and stroke; depression; colon cancer; and premature death than inactive people.


Adults should engage in moderate-intensity physical activities for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week.

Children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most, preferably all, days of the week.

Start at an easy pace and increase time and distance gradually.

Don’t overdo it. Prevent injuries.

Heart Disease Prevention: What You Can Do

Physical Activity for Everyone

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Be Prepared for Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

Flooding is the nation’s single most common natural disaster, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Flooding can happen in every U.S. state and territory.

Earthquakes are often thought of as a West Coast phenomenon, yet 45 states and territories in the United States are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes and are located in every region of the country.

Tornados are nature’s most violent storms and can happen anywhere. However, states located in “Tornado Alley” and areas in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Florida are at the highest risk for tornado damage.

Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The latest 2006 north Atlantic hurricane season prediction from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for 13 to 16 named storms, 8 to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which 4 to 6 could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher.


Make a plan.

Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.

Take safety precautions to protect yourself and others.

Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before a disaster strikes.

Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate.

Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.

Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, and stocks.

Stock your home with supplies you will need in an emergency.

Key Facts about Readiness

Be Informed: Natural Disasters (Non-CDC site)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Non-CDC site)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Non-CDC site)

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Related Links

Tips for a Healthy Life for Men
Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age: Checklist for Your Next Checkup (Non-CDC site)