Health Matters

Tips on Staying Healthy in the Arkansas Outdoors

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -  Right now, many of us are spending more time outdoors. 

While it's all about fun and getting a nice tan, it's just as important to keep yourself healthy. 

The trees are green, birds are chirping. 

This is summer time in Arkansas. 

With that in mind, it's also important to take some preventative measures. 

"They'll get a good tan, while also getting burned."

It's the time of year where flight paramedic, Josh Richmond, finds people forgetting about putting on sunscreen or don't understand which SPF is best for their skin.

"The more fair skin you are, you'll want the spf 30. If you're darker skin, spf 15 will be fine," says Flight Paramedic Josh Richmond.

The FDA finds the higher the SPF value, means the greater sunburn protection. 

But if you do get a sunburn, Josh recommends using aloe vera to cool the skin. 

You can also take some over the counter medications like Tylenol and Advil. 

If the burn is severe and blistering call the doctor. 

Also, don't use sunscreen if it's expired. 

Just as important, make sure you put on enough.

"With the spray on sunscreens you can actually miss some places, so you'll still want to rub it in. With the lotions, they recommend one full ounce," says Josh Richmond.

Arkansas State Parks, rivers, lakes, and walking trails are seeing plenty of foot traffic right now.

It's a good reminder to be on the look out for venomous snakes especially when there is no cell service.

"Stay calm. The more excited you are the faster the venom will spread through your body," says 
Josh Richmond.

There are four venomous snakes in Arkansas. 

Rattle snake, water moccasin, copper head and coral snake. 

"Don't use any tourniquets, don't ever cut into the bite. Don't ever try to suck the venom out with your mouth," says Josh Richmond.

Josh says in a lot of cases this is what snake bit victims do. 

But the key is prevention. 

That applies to spiders, ticks and poison ivy you may encounter outdoors. 

"If you are going to be in the woods, tuck in your pants in your socks," says Josh Richmond.

These minor changes can go along way in keeping you healthy all summer long. 

You should reapply sunscreen at least every hour to two hours-- more often if you're sweating or jumping in and out of the water. 

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