Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Arizona's summer is approaching: Be on the lookout and protect yourself from the Arizona Sun.

In March and April, rattlesnakes become more active and move to areas where they can soak up the sun.

• During summer months, they are more active at night. After the monsoon begins, rattlesnakes are at their most active.

• The shaking of the rattle can serve as a warning, but not always. Rattlesnakes can strike without warning.

• Babies are typically born at the end of July and are capable of biting from birth.


• Immediate pain or a burning sensation occurs at the site of the bite; fang marks are usually visible.

• Victims may experience a metallic or rubbery taste.

• Significant swelling usually occurs within minutes, and symptoms may progress to weakness, sweating and/or chills, nausea and vomiting.

• Venom can cause severe tissue damage, blood thinning and other effects.


• Seek emergency medical attention immediately.

• If you are far from your car or other help, move slowly to get help.

If bitten

• Stay as calm as possible. If bitten on the hand, remove all jewelry before swelling begins.

• Don't apply ice to the bite site or immerse the bite in a bucket of ice.

• Do not restrict blood flow in any manner.

• Leave the bite site alone.

• Don't try to capture the snake.

• Physicians treat the symptoms as they occur and modify the antivenin/treatment as needed. Treatment is not snake specific.

Source: Banner Good Samaritan Poison & Drug Information Center.

Arizona Bark Scorpion: Prevent Stings

Most scorpion stings in Arizona occur on the hands or feet. The hands get stung easily because they reach for things in places where an Arizona Bark Scorpion may be hiding. The feet often get stung, because either someone puts on a shoe where a scorpion is hiding or they step on a scorpion with unprotected feet.

Here are some tips that we followed:

* Never walk around barefoot at night. At about dusk, the scorpions start to come out and look for food.
* Always check your shoes before putting them on in the morning. We kept our shoes on a shoe rack. It seems like scorpions would have to make more of an effort to get inside of them.
* Carry a blacklight around with you at night if it’s dark in the house and you have to get up. You’ll be able to see scorpions, because they glow green under a blacklight.
* If you are worried about scorpions getting into your baby’s or child’s bed, put each leg of the bed inside a smooth, glass mason jar. Scorpions cannot climb up glass.
* Be very careful with clothes you have lying on the floor. I have heard countless stories of people getting stung because a scorpion was in their clothing. It is the perfect place for them to hide. Make sure you shake the clothes out well before you put them on.
* Be cautious when putting your hands into a dark space, like a kitchen cabinet. Try to look before you reach.
* Scorpions love wet, damp places. Be careful in the bathroom or the kitchen areas. One time, there was a scorpion curled up on the inside of the shower curtain while I took a shower.

These tips should help you to improve your odds of not getting stung by the Arizona Bark Scorpion.

Sun Protection Tips

* Practice sun protection all year. UV rays can cause skin damage no matter what the season, even on cloudy or hazy days.

* Wear sun protection clothing: loose-fitting long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat made of special sun protective fibers which have SPF ratings. For regular clothing, tightly woven fabrics work best.

* Always wear a broad-spectrum sunblock or sunscreen of at least SPF 15. The higher the SPF the better.

* Many doctors recommend using a sunblock instead of "sunscreen." A sunblock has the added protection of zinc oxide or titanium oxide and is gentler on the skin.

* Choose a sunblock or sunscreen that provides "broad spectrum protection" against both UVA and UVB radiation.

* Apply sunblocks and sunscreens at least 20 minutes before you go outside.

* How much sunblock or sunscreen should you put on? Doctors recommend one ounce of sunblock, which is about a shot glass-size amount. It takes aboutthat much sunblock to cover your body at the pool.

* If you will be using bug spray too, do not apply it at the same time as the sunblock, as the products lose their efficacy. Put on the sunblock first, then apply the bug spray 20 minutes later. Use the products separately. Two-in-one sunscreen/bug spray products are not as effective.

* Check the sunblock’s expiration date. If expired or more than 3 years old, discard and purchase a new sunscreen.

* Always wear a broad-spectrum lipscreen of at least SPF 15.

* Remember to reapply your sunblock and lipscreen, especially if you’re swimming or sweating, and during peak sun hours.

* Do not use sunscreens on babies younger than 6 months. Cover them up with a hat and clothing and keep them shaded from the sun.

* Protect your eyes from the sun: wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection (for both UVA and UVB rays).

* Avoid outdoor activity between the peak sun hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. whenever possible. This timeframe is when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

* If you must be outside during peak sun hours, seek shade whenever possible.

* UV rays can reflect off of any surface and can reach you in the shade. Always wear protective clothing, sunblock and lipscreen even if you’re in the shade.

Sources: American Academy of Dermatology; the Skin Cancer Foundation; Mayo Clinic; National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Information collected and edited by Yefim Toybin
Photos are from the Internet
April 20, 2011 @ 20:35
Phoenix, Arizona

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