Staying Safe Outdoors

May 4, 2016

playNow that spring is in full swing, you and your family will likely be spending more time outside taking part in activities and enjoying the beautiful weather. However, there are some dangers unique to the outdoors that you should be aware of, to keep your family healthy all season. Here at AFC/Doctors Express, we have some tips on how to avoid a seasonal trip to your urgent care center!

  1. Wear sunscreen — even when it doesn’t look sunny out! The sun’s rays are very powerful, and as we now know, they can damage human skin. Besides causing a painful sunburn, exposure over the long term can lead to dangerous skin conditions, such as skin cancer. Sun exposure without protection can also prematurely age your skin, which isn’t something anyone wants! Even if the sun is behind clouds, UV rays are getting through, and they can still affect you.
  2. Wear bug spray! Insect bites can be painful and itchy, but that’s not the worst part. Many insects like mosquitoes and ticks can spread dangerous diseases, like West Nile virus and Lyme disease. This is especially worrying with the recent spread of the Zika virus, the effects of which are still being discovered.
  3. Stay hydrated, and know the signs of heat illness! As the weather gets warmer, we’re going to see a rise in heat illness. The old and very young are most at risk, because their bodies are not good at regulating their core temperature. Additionally, those who spend a lot of time outside playing sports or doing manual labor are at a higher risk, because they are exposed to the heat longer. If you notice that you or someone around you has stopped sweating, seems confused and has become very pale or weak, take them out of the heat and begin rehydrating them and cooling them down, because they are likely in the beginning stages of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  4. Keep your first aid kit handy! Cuts, bites and bruises are a fact of life when you’re playing outdoors, so keep a first aid kit nearby to deal with minor injuries. It’s important to clean and wrap an injury quickly in order to prevent infection. You don’t want to stop the fun because of a cut that could easily be taken care of!
  5. Know your plants! Many poisonous plants have very distinctive markings or shapes, so with an observant eye, you can keep your family from experiencing some very unpleasant symptoms! As a general rule, unless you are completely sure of what a plant is, do not eat it. Remember, the plants could be blueberries, or they could be nightshade!

Here at AFC/Doctors Express, we want you to be able to enjoy all that spring and summer have to offer, with none of the dangers! Take some time to address these preventive measures, so you can get the most out of your warm weather activities!

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