Play it safe outdoors this summer by being prepared

As the weather gets warmer and the days longer, we’re all drawn to the great outdoors. But exposure to the elements can lead to common injuries that may require first aid. Take some time this summer and get prepared so everyone stays happy and healthy in the warm weather.

If you are planning to be outside for a long time — whether it’s for a hike, fishing trip or family picnic — bring a first-aid kit stocked with gloves, bandages and other supplies. That way if something goes wrong, you’ll have the tools you need to provide basic medical attention, at least until the real experts arrive. You can assemble a kit yourself or purchase one at a store.

Greater time spent outside also increases the risk for exposure to threats such as poison ivy and insect bites. Learning to recognize dangerous plants (leaves of three, let it be!) can reduce the chance of skin contact and allergic reactions, but be prepared by sticking some calamine lotion in your kit. Bug repellant can prevent mosquito and tick bites. If you live in an area affected by Lyme disease, learn how to protect yourself and know the symptoms in case you get a tick bite. Most cases of Lyme disease can be cured, especially if detected and treated early.

Here are a few other tips:
* Brush up on first aid for common injuries
* Every so often, take a look at your first-aid kit to make sure you have everything you need, but remember that a well-stocked first-aid kit is no replacement for medical attention.
* Keep a list of emergency phone numbers with you at all times. Make sure to include a poison control center and the number of your family doctor. If the injury is severe, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Play it safe this summer by taking a few extra steps to prepare before setting foot outside.


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