HEALTH BEAT WITH DR. ALICIA ARNOLD -- Camping Safety

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Many of us may be heading camping this summer. What health and safety concerns should we think about before we go? Dr. Alicia Arnold shared her tips with Hello Wisconsin. The Q&A can be found below and you can watch the video above to learn more!

Let’s talk about safety in the heat.

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “Staying cool can be particularly important for children and the elderly, who may not be able to regulate their body temperature as well. Plan potentially strenuous activities like hiking for the morning or evening when it is cooler outside. Drink lots of water, and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Temperatures can change rapidly too, so be prepared with some clothes to layer, in case the weather isn’t as hot as you expected.”

Tips to keep kids from getting lost?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “Dressing them in brightly colored clothes and giving them a whistle to blow in case they are lost or need help. Before you leave to go camping, also tell a family member or friend where you are going and when you expect to be back.”

How about drinking water?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “If possible, try to bring bottled water, since creek or stream water can be contaminated from animal waste, which can give people gastrointestinal illnesses. There are different methods for purifying creek or stream water if you want to go that route. Boiling works well, but the length of time you have to boil varies by altitude. Commercial products and kits are available as well.”

How about poisonous plants?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “Show your kids pictures of poison ivy and poison oak before you go, so they know to avoid them. Long sleeves and long pants will be helpful if you are hiking. If you think you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, remove any clothing you were wearing, and wash off your skin, including the area underneath your fingernails to remove the oil that causes the allergic reaction.”

You can’t have camping without bugs?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “Most people think about insect repellant before a camping trip. Some people have questions about DEET. The amount of DEET in insect repellant can range from a small percentage to more than 30 percent. Higher percentages of DEET should give you protection for longer periods of time. More than 30 percent DEET has not been shown to be more effective. Insect repellants are also not recommended on children less than 2 months according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Anyone who lives in the viewing area knows about the importance of doing tick checks and removing ticks right away, so pack fine-tipped tweezers for your camping trip. Wearing light colored clothing and tucking pants into socks can also help you avoid tick bites.”

Other camping safety tips?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “Never use a stove, grill, or lantern inside a tent, camper, or enclosed shelter. Not only is this a fire hazard, this can cause levels of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas to build up. High levels can cause illness or death.”



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