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Living Teal

Teal Tips for Outdoor Fun on the Fourth

If you’re commemorating the nation’s 244th birthday with some time outside, your to-do list this year might look daunting. Coupled to the challenges of managing food allergy are a new set of considerations raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. But with advance preparation, we can safely share fun al fresco with loved ones this Fourth of July.

Are you holding or attending a barbeque? Check out these summer cookout tips for hosts and guests. From communicating needs and preventing cross-contact with problem foods to allergy-friendly sunscreens and safe ways to store epinephrine, having a plan in advance makes it easier to enjoy the moment.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging socially distanced activities outdoors, many of us will be hitting the hiking trails. Depending on where you’re walking, you might bring home unwelcomed guests that can transmit diseases, including some that can cause allergies to meat! Wearing covered shoes and tucking your pants into your socks can make it harder for ticks to latch on to you, but even if you take these precautions, you should also check yourself and your companions for these nasty bloodsuckers once you’re back from your ramble. To learn more about how the bite of a lone star tick can make you allergic to the alpha-gal sugar found in beef, pork and other mammalian meats, click here.

If you’re capping off the Fourth with a bang, whether at a town gathering or in your backyard, remember that smoke from fireworks can be an asthma trigger. The good news is that some COVID-19 precautions can also help you breathe easier. If you’re sensitive to smoke, an N95 mask can filter out many of the irritating particles. And, always, always carry your medications with you. You should be able to access your epinephrine auto-injectors and your rescue inhaler as soon as you know you need them.

Have fun, everyone, and stay safe!

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