Sandbox Safety

This may be one of those “I’d rather not know what’s really in there” moments. But despite the appeal of sandboxes, those communal gathering spots of the 4-year-old set may not be as innocent as they appear.

Like swimming pools – which we enter with a certain amount of forcing ourselves not to think about what’s really in that water – the shared sand space contains the residue of all who have entered it. That includes bacteria, parasites and other infectious germs carried by kids and – depending on the location of the sand – animals. The difference is that the sandboxes don’t have chlorine or other agents to help kill off some of the germs.

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Bug off!

Is it just me, or are the bugs way worse this summer than they have been in previous years?  Well, it’s not just me.  Warmer winters have led to an increased tick and mosquito population, so experts predict rising tick- and mosquito-borne infections of many types. And with all this rain we’ve had recently, you know the mosquito population is only going to get worse…

In Wisconsin (and many other places in the United States), the disease we most associate with ticks is Lyme disease. Symptoms of Lyme disease can range from common (including the target rash with central clearing, headaches, fatigue) to more rare (vaginal ulcers, inflammation of joints or the heart, or neurological conditions, including seizures).

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