Sandy Dahl, P.A.-C.
Emergency Medicine, Urgent Care
Spring has sprung! Well, at least it is trying. Spring in the Midwest is lovely, but it is important to keep safety in mind as the weather warms and outdoor activities are resumed. Nothing can ruin a beautiful spring day like an accident, so keep these tips in mind as you head out:
Dealing with stinging insects
The bugs are back, and a sting can cause an allergic reaction. If you are stung, remove the stinger with a quick scrape of a fingernail or credit card edge. Treat reactions, such as redness, swelling, itching or discomfort near the site of the sting, with cold compresses, antihistamines or calamine lotion.
Of course, seek immediate medical help if you have tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing, swelling of your tongue, hoarse voice, dizziness, nausea or a loss of consciousness.
Spring is the perfect time to clear your yard and landscaping of winter debris. Remember to wear gloves, goggles, sturdy shoes and long pants when operating machinery.
Use hearing protection when operating machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk with someone who is an arm’s length away, the equipment noise can be harmful to your hearing.
Sun safety<p">The sun’s rays in the spring can be surprisingly intense, especially if you have been indoors for most of the winter. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses when outside. Sunscreen should be SPF 30 or higher. </p">
With the warmer weather, sun and outdoor activities also comes risk for dehydration leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. So, make sure you are drinking plenty of water and finding shade on those sweltering days.
The start of daylight saving time is a good reminder to change the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors. You should have a detector in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on each floor of the house, including the basement. So, when you move your clocks ahead one hour, swap out the batteries and test your smoke detectors.