Springtime is upon us! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and everyone is starting to shed their layers of coats and scarves in exchange for shorts and flip flops. With the weather so great, what better outing than a camping trip?!
Get vaccinated. Vaccinations can help protect you and your family against diseases like tetanus, pertussis, meningitis, and/or hepatitis A, depending on where you are camping. Check with your doctor to see if you have had all of the recommended vaccines. Camping is a great way to get your family and friends outdoors, but health and safety should be your top priority. Here are 5 ways to ensure a safe and fun camping trip this spring:
- Ensure your food is packaged safely. Keep your foods safe by packing all food in tight, waterproof bags or containers and keep them in an insulated cooler. Make sure you and your family wash your hands and surfaces often (use hand sanitizer if the water is not available), particularly before eating. Separate raw foods from cooked foods to decrease the risk of contamination. Also, cook foods to proper temperatures and chill foods promptly.
- Include safe physical activities. While walking, hiking, biking, or swimming, be sure to bring and wear protective gear, including helmets, sturdy shoes, and life jackets. Avoid poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak. Also, NEVER hike or swim alone.
- Ward off bug bites. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can cause life-threatening diseases such as West Nile Virus or Lyme disease. Ward off bug bites by applying insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin and the insect repellent permethrin to clothes to help prevent ticks from attaching to them. Wear long sleeves, pants, and light-colored clothing to help prevent bites and spot ticks.
- Watch the temperature and protect yourself from the sun. During hot days, protect yourself from dehydration by drinking plenty of water and wear layers of light-weight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing. Rest often in shady areas and protect yourself from the sun with broad-spectrum sunscreen, lip screen, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses. During cool nights, prevent hypothermia with adequate bedding and clothing to stay warm. Use a plastic ground cloth under your tent to help keep you dry.
With these few tips, you can ensure you and your family a fun and safe camping trip, free from a trip to the doctor.
Emergi-Care is a fully licensed, freestanding critical care clinic in Houston, Texas, providing the NASA area community with a convenient alternative to overcrowded hospitals and urgent care centers by delivering fast, friendly, high-quality medical treatment in a comfortable neighborhood setting. For more information visit Emergi-Care’s website or Facebook page.