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Couple walking in the woods

Be Safe During Outdoor Activities

We all love the accessibility of recording devices, until we find ourselves on the wrong side of the camera. If it weren’t bad enough to have to have our epic stunts end up in epic fails, falls, and face plants, now we have the added probability of someone with a quick draw on the camera ready to capture the moment and post it on social media. It’s spring and that means it’s time to dust off the skateboards, surfboards, roller boards, and whatever other boards that have been sitting in the cellar for the last few months. But if your don’t want to find yourself the subject of unwanted attention on You Tube, here are some safety tips you may want to keep in mind.

Pack Layers
Spring weather is known for its variability. Hot sunny days may give way to cloudy afternoons and vice versa. Prepare for every eventuality by packing extra clothing layers, including socks. Wet feet can be most uncomfortable.

Hiking Preparedness
If you are heading to the mountains, you’re likely to encounter snow, and when there’s snow on the mountains, there is a risk of an avalanche. Check the local avalanche reports before heading up.

Hiking in the spring is wet. Rivers rise and snow melts, making roads muddy and slippery. Be aware of stream crossings and wet surfaces and look out for flash floods and rising water, characteristic of spring. Pitch tents above the high-water mark, even if it means sacrificing an impressive view or a longer distance to the stream. Remember that even designated campground sites can be dangerous in certain conditions.

Cotton Is Rotten
Although cotton is hailed for its comfort and durability, it is not known to mix well with water. Wet cotton clothes can trap water and rob the body of heat. Choose synthetic clothes appropriate for the activity you’re planning.

Paddling
Paddlers need to be aware of the possibility of hypothermia. If the air temperature and water temperature do not exceed 100 degrees when added together, hypothermia can be a real concern. If you must paddle when conditions are less than ideal, be sure to bring dry clothes and a fire starter in a dry bag.

Warm Up
Keep in mind that your muscles, joints, and lungs are probably still in winter mode. Don’t take on anything physically taxing if you’re not ready for it. Make sure to warm up before engaging in physical activity and stretch out when your done. Work up to longer outings to keep your self from getting strained early in the season.

Check Your Gear
Remember that the gear that broke last spring has not gotten fixed by itself. Make sure to examine, clean, and fix gear before heading out, especially if children are part of the plan.

Share Your Expertise
If you see someone who looks as if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, don’t be afraid to make a suggestion to ease their situation. They may appreciate your advice about finding a safer place to camp or the offer of some water.

Let us know what you’re doing this spring to keep safe. We want to know your best tips for a happy healthy spring.

Woman sneezing into napkin

Living With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Does this season have you doing the allergic salute? The allergic salute, also called the nasal salute, is defined as the gesture of wiping or rubbing the nose in an upward manner with the fingers, palm, or back of hand in and upward motion, and is a common telltale sign of allergic rhinitis.

Suffering with allergies is no fun, and while “saluting” can relieve the symptoms, it can also lead to the transfer of bacteria and germs, and, when done often enough, can result in a “transverse nasal crease,” (a crease running across the nose) which can become a permanent feature. But, worry not. Allergic seasonal rhinitis does not have to doom its sufferers to a life of inevitable unsightly scars. There are some ways to handle the condition salute free. Read on to find out how you can survive the season uncreased.

What Is Allergic Rhinitis?
More commonly referred to as allergies or hay fever, allergic rhinitis happens when your immune system has an extreme reaction to air particles that you breathe. Your immune system reacts by attacking these particles, also called allergens, which causes symptoms, like runny nose and sneezing.

Unfortunately, people with allergies can suffer from the symptoms for many years. They may occur at certain times during the year or at random times. Sinusitis and ear infections are other allergy related problems. Symptoms may become less severe over time and allergens may have less of an effect.

Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are repeated sneezing, especially right after waking up in the morning and a runny nose with post-nasal drip. The nasal drainage is usually thin and clear, but may become thick, cloudy and yellowish if there is a sinus or nasal infection involved. Other signs of rhinitis are watery and itchy eyes and itchy ears, nose, and throat.

How Is It Caused?
Pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds is the biggest cause of allergic rhinitis. Dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, and mold are also triggers, as are things in the workplace, such as chemicals, cereal grain, and wood dust.
If your allergies are due to pollen, your symptoms are more likely to occur when pollen levels are high. If you are affected by indoor allergens, such as dust mites, your symptoms may occur more frequently.

Treatment
While there is no cure for allergic rhinitis, avoiding the causes of your allergies can significantly reduce symptoms. This may require frequent house cleaning to eliminate animals dander, mold, and dust. You may also want to stay indoors when the pollen count is high.

Over the counter medicines are available, but you may want to talk to your doctor first is you have another existing health condition. or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If allergies are severe, immunotherapy, such as allergy shots, is another option for prevention or reduction of symptoms.

How are you surviving this allergy season? Are you doing the nasal salute, or perhaps you are giving your allergies quite a different salute. Let us know what you do to cope.