Thursday, May 16, 2019

Warm Weather and Tick Reminders


The warmer weather is coming upon us. We want to remind you of what to be aware of when outside during the warmer weather.
 
Ticks

What are Ticks? Ticks are small around the size of an apple seed, black or red in color, have four pairs of legs, and have flat, oval bodies. Being small, they are hard to spot. Ticks usually live in wooded areas, tall grasses, weeds, and leaf litter.
 
What can Ticks cause? Ticks spread diseases by passing along bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Common diseases of ticks include Lyme Disease, along with Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Tularemia. These all can result in negative health effects.
 
Symptoms of being bit by a Tick: Usually most of these illnesses will give you the typical flu-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, headache and muscle aches. Also, muscle stiffness/soreness, fatigue or lethargy.
 
How to prevent a tick bite?
 
>>  Dress Properly by tucking in your pant legs to not expose the skin on your ankle/legs. If you are exposing the skin around your ankles/legs, be sure to check thoroughly for ticks upon returning inside. Wearing light colored clothing can help with spotting a tick more easily.  More and more companies are manufacturing tick repellent clothing which could also be another option to consider.
 
>>  Use Repellent especially on your feet and ankles and any exposed skin.
 
>>  Be aware of your surroundings. Try to stay on more busy trails. If you do venture in wooded areas or tall grasses, immediately check your body for ticks.
 
>>  Check your body thoroughly. Pay special attention to under the arms, in/around the ears, belly button, in/around hair, between the legs, and around the waist.
 
What if a tick bites me? If you have been bitten you may see a “bullseye” or solid red patch around the site of the bite.  Pay attention to any of the symptoms listed above. These symptoms typically occur within 30 days following a tick bite.

How to remove a tick?  The most common method is to use a fine-tipped tweezers, pull upward with steady even pressure, and after removing the tick make sure to wash the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
 
Other methods that may be helpful to remove ticks could include, liquid soap, petroleum jelly or rubbing alcohol. The petroleum jelly and the rubbing alcohol methods, while effective may be dangerous, as they may irritate the tick and make it release its toxins.  The liquid soap method if the best alternative option of these listed.
 
Heat
 
Common heat related disorders include:
  • Heat exhaustion: symptoms include faint or dizziness, excessive sweating, cool/pale/clammy skin, nausea/vomiting, rapid/weak pulse, and muscle cramps.
  • Heat stroke: symptoms include throbbing headache, no sweating, body temperature above 103, red/hot/dry skin, nausea/vomiting, rapid/strong pulse, and may lose consciousness. 
  • Heat cramps: symptoms include muscle pain or spasms in the abdomen, arm or legs.  
  • Heat rash: symptoms include small blisters or red cluster of pimples.
 
Reminders when outside in the hot weather:
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, 5 to 7 ounces every 15-20 minutes. Also, avoid dehydrating liquids such as alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated drink.
  • Wear protective clothing and sunscreen: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light colored clothing. Also, wear a hat when working outside.
  • Pace yourself: know your limits and stop if you are feeling any symptoms.  
  • Take breaks: take time for rest and water breaks in a shaded area.

Helpful links:
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/default.html


By: Kate Connell, Loss Control Representative

 

 

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