Outdoor safety

Outdoor safety

May 6, 2020

Did you know that almost a third of hospital and emergency room visits occur in the summer? Yet many of them, from sunburn and heatstroke to bee stings and a close encounter with poison ivy, can be avoided. Check out this quiz and learn whether you’re prepared to protect yourself and your family from nipping bugs this season:

1. QUESTION: Which of these insects can bite or sting?

Answer: D—all of the above. If answer A surprised you, beware puss caterpillars and saddleback caterpillars, which are venomous. Biting flies include horse, deer, and sand flies.

2. QUESTION: Which of these insects is a mite?

Answer: D—scabies and sand flies. Mites burrow beneath the skin and can cause itchy rashes that can be mistaken for dermatitis or eczema.

3. QUESTION: True or false: Horseflies don’t bite people.

Answer: B—false. Horse-flies, which are much larger than the common house fly and often have bright green eyes, bite to draw blood. Attracted to large animals such as people and dogs—as well as horses—they’re only active during the day, mostly during the summer. (Fun fact: Only female horse flies bite. Males feed on nectar and pollen only.) Bodies of water, such as pools and lakes, are favorite environs for horse flies.

4. QUESTION: Yes or no: Can an insect bite be life-threatening?

Answer: A—yes. People who are allergic to bee stings, for example, can experience anaphylaxis. The symptoms include:
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms after suffering an insect bite should seek medical attention immediately.

5. QUESTION: What’s the best way to avoid insect bites?

Answer: D—all of the above. When shopping for repellent to apply to your skin, look for products that contain DEET, which is also effective in repelling ticks. You can also find clothing that has been pretreated with DEET or permethrin.

Summer is the ideal time for backyard barbecues, pool parties, and trips to the beach, not trips to the doctor. That’s why Teladoc’s U.S.-certified physicians are with you 24/7, anywhere you are, to diagnose and treat insect bites and a wide range of non-emergency medical conditions. Use the app to request a visit if you’re battling with a common summertime ailment such as:

  • Sunburn
  • Heat exhaustion and sunstroke
  • Skin rash
  • Food poisoning (keep an eye on the temperature of your deviled eggs and potato salad!)
  • Seasonal allergies

Have a fun and safe summer!

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