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Anyone enjoying the outdoors  is at risk for exposure to  poisonous plants and insects. While they can result in  problems ranging from a  temporary annoying rash to  life-changing Lyme disease, both threats can be dealt with and shouldn’t scare anyone from enjoying the outdoors.
Tick Bites
Gardening, camping, hiking, and playing outdoors – when enjoying these activities, don’t forget to take steps to prevent bites from ticks that share the outdoors. Ticks can infect humans with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause serious illness. Check your clothing for ticks and remove immediately. Placing clothes into a dryer on high heat for at least an hour effectively kills ticks.

Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease, a common tick borne virus. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick infested ar-eas, which even includes your back yard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Ticks can vary in size, so pay attention to any new dark spot on your skin – even as small as the pointed tip of a pencil. If you find a tick, remove the attached tick as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out.

Watch for signs of illness in the days and weeks following the bite. If you develop any of the following symp-tomsseek medical attention, as they can be symptoms of Lyme Disease: An expanding circular rash (may look like a red bulls-eye at the site of the tick bite), Fever, Joint and muscle pains, Headache, Chills, Fatigue, Swollen lymph nodes.

Poisonous Plants
Poisonous plants found in the United States include poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

You can become exposed through:
Direct contact with the plant
Indirect contact (touching tools, animals, or clothing with urushiol on them)
Inhalation of particles containing urushiol from burning plants

Symptoms of Skin Contact:
Swelling
Itching
Red rash within a few days of contact
Possible bumps, patches, streaking or weeping blisters

Protect Yourself
Wear long sleeves, long pants, boots, and gloves
Barrier skin creams, such as lotion containing bentoquatum, may offer some protection.
After use, clean tools with rubbing alcohol or soap and lots of water. The poisonous secretion from the plant can remain active on the surface of objects for up to 5 years.
Wear disposable gloves during this process.
Do not burn plants or brush piles that may contain poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac.
 
If you have an allergic reaction or alarming symptoms, come in to AFC/Doctors Express.
3000 Summer Street, Stamford, CT 06905
203-969-2000 | DoctorsExpressStamford.com
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