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PREVENTING TICK BITES AND THE DISEASES THAT COME WITH THEM

Warm weather means lots of outdoor activities, and with that comes the risk of tick exposure. Ticks are tiny, have eight legs and are typically reddish-brown in color. Ticks can’t jump or fly, they climb tall grasses, leaf litter or bushes and wait for a host to walk by and brush up against them and look for a place to attach. Be especially cautious when in this type of environment. Ticks carry a lot of different diseases, some of them serious. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections.

If you spend time outdoors or have pets that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks. You and your family can take several steps to prevent and control tickborne infections:

  • The CDC recommends using insect repellent rated for the amount of time you are going to be outside. Use DEET or for a plant-based option, oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants, and tuck your pant legs into your socks.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors.
  • Check for ticks daily—especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and on the hairline and scalp.
  • Landscaping techniques may help keep ticks out of your yard.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, follow these steps from the CDC on how to remove it safely: http://bit.ly/2LQVaXc

If you think you’ve been bitten and show any signs and symptoms of a tickborne illness, please contact your doctor immediately.

Scare Safe: Best Practices for Trick-or-Treaters

When someone says Halloween, naturally what comes to mind are costumes, sweets, and of course the phrase “trick or treat.” However, safety should be part of your list.

Every year, there are an estimated 3,800 Halloween-related injuries according to Protect America. So how do we make this spooky night a little safer? Follow these best practices for before, during and after Halloween.

 

  • Before the night begins, homeowners should prepare their home and stock their candy bowls.

Be sure to remove any obstacles from the front yard, restrain any pets you may have, and make sure your house is well lit. When lighting your house, use artificial lights and candles, they are a safer alternative to real candles which can pose a fire hazard. Before putting together your candy bowl, consider providing treats that are individually wrapped or offer kids nonfood treats, such as stickers and erasers.

 

  • While Trick-or-Treating, be aware of your surroundings.

Whether you’re heading to a party or planning to walk around with your children, make sure you’re paying attention. If driving, be sure to watch out for kids crossing the street, drive slowly, and follow the rules of the road. If trick-or-treating by foot, know where you are geographically (try to stick to well-known neighborhoods), only approach houses that are well lit, and avoid taking shortcuts across backyards or alleys.

 

  • When the festivities are over, arrive home safe.

This goes for children and adults. Make sure your children don’t eat the candy they receive while out. When children return home, sort and check all treats. Throw away any unwrapped, opened, or suspicious candy. If you’re heading home from an adult party, be smart, don’t drink and drive. Use a designated driver or a ride share like Uber or Lyft to help you get home safely.

Remember, you can have a fang-tastic Halloween, just proceed with extra caution to help ensure a safe night for everyone.

 

Turn the Safety On

Whether you’re grilling, or off basking in the sun, safety is always important. Through leadership, research, education, and advocacy, the National Safety Council Mission (NSC) has been at the forefront for promoting safety at home, work, and the road, especially during the month of June, which is recognized as National Safety Month.

Staying safe is just as much our job as it is staying healthy. There are many risks in all facets of life and it’s a duty to keep yourself and those around you safe, as best you can. Since this is National Safety Month, we’ll share tips on how to stay safe in three of the NSC’s key areas: home, work, and road.

When it comes to the home, familiarity may be the greatest counter to fear and insecurity. You know where everything is, how everything works, therefore you’re very comfortable. However, there are times spent alone in the home that can be anxious, thus Safewise reported a few ways to feel safe in the home, and we’ll discuss the following:

  • Get to know your neighbors – Not only is it great to meet and make new friends in your community, but friendly neighbors keep an eye out and alert you of any problems.
  • Lock the door – Seems like a no brainer, but despite how safe you believe your community is, locking the door makes it difficult for strangers to enter your home. Dead bolts are ideal.
  • Have an emergency plan – In case of a fire or extreme weather conditions, know the safest and quickest way out of your house.
  • Get an alarm system – Security systems these days are advances that you can monitor them from your work computer to your phone to keep watch on your home at all times.
  • Don’t leave a spare key outside – Give your spare to a trusted neighbor or family member. Keeping it hidden outside may make it easier for any intruders to enter.
  • Have a check-in plan – This is important especially when living alone. It’s good to let a trusted person know your basic schedule, so if you plan on heading out of town, they can account for any anomalies.

Now as you leave your safe home and on the way to work, typically the average person drives. But even if you’re not driving to work, there are many occasions behind the wheel. Per Injury Facts 2016, the three biggest casualties on the road are alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving. Fortunately, Lifehack shared tips on how to stay safe on the road, and we’ll discuss them below:

  • Allow enough time – Plan your trips accordingly. It’s best to plan to have a little extra time, to avoid rushing and henceforth speeding on the road.
  • Don’t drive distracted – IT CAN WAIT. Texting and driving result in accidents that injure more than 330,000 people a year. It’s best to keep the phone away until you arrive at your destination.
  • Check the weather – Can help in predicting delays and getting your car ready in case of severe storms
  • Keep regular maintenance – Keep your car in good shape. Every 3,000 miles you should get an oil change
  • Don’t drive sleepy – If you’re planning on driving for long stretches, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. You should also take food and rest breaks every few hours to keep your energy steady

After the commute from home to work, the goal of safety doesn’t end there. It’s important to stay safe at work to reduce your risks of injury and illnesses. BetterHealth offered their best tips for work safety, regardless of occupation:

  • Understand the risks – Knowledge of hazards in the workplace can reduce your risk of injury or illness
  • Reduce workplace stress – May be caused by heavy workloads, long hours, job insecurity, etc. and can lead toward depression and sleep deprivation
  • Take regular breaks – Staying fresh and attentive can keep you from burnout and help you with your most difficult tasks
  • Avoid stooping or twisting – rearrange your workspace so everything is within reach when you need it
  • Talk over any concerns – Reach out to your HR manager to ensure a safe working environment

As you can see, there are many different methods to stay safe in these three areas. Moreover, feeling safe in all areas of life is great for your mental health. If you’d like to learn more safety tips, you can always reach out to your R-Health doctor and receive great insight.