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Rabies, Rashes and Risk

Tired of caterpillars, ticks, and rabid animals? Me too. But I am still going outside.

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I was really looking forward to summer in my new neighborhood. My daughter is old enough to bike herself to her friend's house, we have a nice big backyard, I was running again and, well, it is SUMMER. Time to get outside and play. Playing outside is good for your health and your mood. LINK

This summer, however, brought new nuisances that attempted to derail our outdoor activities. However, we were not deterred. Prevention and education saved the day.

First, it was the ticks. They are seemingly everywhere and make hiking and playing in nature somewhat stressful. That evening tick check for teeny tiny bugs is so tedious--and what if you miss one? Isn't it better to just stay inside?

Then it was the browntail moth caterpillars. Apparently, my town is ground zero. These stupid creepy-crawlies throw hairs that sent my husband to the specialty pharmacy with an intense rash. I am not nearly as allergic as he, so meet your new lawn-care specialist.

The caterpillars (as you all learned in kindergarten) turn into moths and the risk of the hairs diminishes. So, back outside--right? NOPE. Next was the rabid fox that my neighbor summarily dispatched at the end of July. This was one of many attacks, so kiddo can't play outside unsupervised, and won't bike to her friend's house. AARGH.

All of this is almost enough to send this summer-loving mom over the edge. However, I know that it is critical that we keep going outside and enjoying nature while we can. So, we head to the beach (fewer ticks, no caterpillars), we spray ourselves with sunscreen and DEET, we wear tall socks and light-colored clothes, we run and bike in pairs, and we play in the side yard. We teach our kids what a rabid animal looks like, how to identify a tick.

Just a little effort and creativity keeps us safer and allows us to do all we can to keep ourselves healthy and physically fit.

And now, I am going to go for a run!

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