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Water doesn't have to soak summer plans

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The sun is beating down. A gentle breeze is blowing. The clear pool water is warm. You are enjoying a perfect summer day with family and friends. Then all of a sudden - plop! Your cellphone drops in the water. Don't feel bad, you can take action.

Replacing a wet smartphone can be costly, so there are recovery steps you can take if your device accidentally ends up in the sink, gets splashed by waves at the lake or encounters a stray thunderstorm. U.S. Cellular recommends following these five steps to help ensure the photos, contacts and messages you have on your mobile device are not lost:

Step 1 If your phone does not turn off when it gets wet, power it down immediately. Once the power is off, remove the battery.

Step 2 Remove any skins, covers or faceplates. Grab a towel and remove as much excess water from the phone as you can. If you have a flip phone, you should open it up, so air can reach the keypad.

Step 3 As hard as it may be, the best thing to do is to leave the phone powered off for a day or two to give the internal circuitry a chance to dry out. During this time, turn it over several times, so that any water trapped inside can make it to the surface.

Step 4 It is very tempting to try and speed up the drying process with hairdryers, microwaves, space heaters and ovens. However, the intensity of the heat may cause further damage to the phone's internal circuitry. Placing your wet phone by a fan is a much better alternative to help the phone dry out.

Step 5 Once you put the battery back in, power on your device. If it turns on, you can breathe a sigh of relief, though it may only be temporary. Moisture damage signs may take time. Symptoms might appear several weeks or months later. Check your keypad, as keys that stick or don't work all the time are signs of permanent damage.

Mobile devices have improved relationships with family and friends by enabling more frequent, in-the-moment sharing, but accidents can happen. Back up your data, so if your phone ends up damaged this summer, you can still share the fun times you had.

There are a number of smartphones and accessories like waterproof cases that can keep your device safe from the elements as you enjoy baseball, softball, camping, biking or hiking this summer.

Samsung Galaxy S 5: This 4G LTE device is made to last longer and stronger. With an IP67 certification, the Galaxy S 5 is resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so your smartphone is protected for any activity and situation.

Kyocera Hydro XTRM: The waterproof Hydro XTRM has Military Standard 810G certification for shock and drops, plus carries IP57 certification for protection against dust and immersion in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

ECOXBT Waterproof Speaker: Don't worry if you drop this accessory in the pool, lake or river because it floats. The ECOXBT, which features 10 hours of battery life, can serve as a Bluetooth speaker or speakerphone.


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