Camping in The Natural State: Outdoor Safety
Being outdoors is great for your health, but it can also be dangerous.
We got the scoop from Dr. Hannah Renno, a pediatrician at Arkansas Children's Hospital and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, on sun safety and sunscreen. And James Wilborn, assistant superintendent at Lake Ouachita State Park, shared his insight on outdoor safety and treating our State Parks with respect.
Following some basic guidelines is a great way for you and your kids to say safe and healthy while enjoying time in the outdoors.
Sun Safety Tips from Dr. Hannah Renno
► Applying sunscreen once is not good enough, and especially not after you are already feeling burnt. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours while in the sun.
► Already having a tan or darker skin tone is not an excuse to not apply sunscreen. Just because you're not burning does not mean you're not increasing your risk of skin cancer later!
► The science of sunscreen. There are two main types: physical blockers and chemical blockers. The physical blockers (zinc oxide and titanium oxide) are preferable, because they create an actual thin opaque barrier over your skin.
► Spray or lotion? The best sunscreen is the one you will use. Any sunscreen is better than skin cancer. So find a product that you and your kids will not mind using. If you can find one of the physical blockers (zinc or titanium oxide) that fits the bill, that's my recommendation.
Outdoor Safety Tips from James Wilborn
► Always stay on trails. But, if you are lost, hug a tree. By hugging a tree, kids will stay put making it much easier for them to be found. Pick out a good tree, give it a big hug, sit down and stay next to the tree. It is very difficult to find people because if are constantly moving because it makes the search area larger.
► Always wear a life jacket. When you’re on the water, there’s no excuse not to. Make sure it’s fitted properly by checking with a park interpreter at a marina.
► Tell someone where you’re going. If your family is taking a camping trip, tell a friend or family member where you’re headed in case you get lost, lose service or encounter bad weather.
► Respect wildlife. One of the seven “Leave No Trace” principles says to observe wildlife from a distance, to never feed animals and to protect them by storing rations and trash securely.