The sizzling sun at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree will raise not only the temperature outside but also the danger of certain medical conditions, including dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Campers may also experience blisters and a variety of bug bites and stings.
The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink a lot of water. Each Scout and Scouter should wear the heat index card issued upon arrival at Fort A.P. Hill. The card shows how much water to drink per hour depending on the temperature and humidity. Periodic loudspeaker announcements will also describe the weather conditions using the color codes on the card.
Symptoms of dehydration—illness caused by loss of body fluids through sweating—include headache, fatigue, reduced perspiration and feelings of nausea or dizziness. If any of these symptoms occur, drink plenty of water, find shade and sit down. If symptoms persist, visit the medical staff immediately. All participants should carry water with them throughout the day.
“Make sure you’re looking out for your fellow Scouts as well as yourself,” said John Phillips, of Morgan Hill, Calif., a registered nurse stationed in the Longstreet Medical Clinic. “We are never without water and you should be the same,” Planton said.
Sunburn is also a real risk and everyone should be carrying and using sunscreen.
“You should be applying at least a forth of a cup of sunscreen on all visible skin,” said Dr. Lorraine Driscoll of Rutherford, N.J., also stationed at the Longstreet Clinic. “Reapply after sweating or water sports, even if it’s waterproof sunscreen.”
[blockquote class="alignleft"]Make sure you’re looking out for your fellow Scouts as well as yourself.[/blockquote]
To defend against blisters make sure your shoes fit well. Clean, dry socks will prevent many problems from developing, including blisters. Socks wet from sweat or rain should be changed right away.
If blisters form, apply an adhesive bandage, moleskin or even duct tape over the hot spot. Do not pop the blister, as it protects the skin beneath from infection.
To avoid common bug stings and bites, including those from ticks, Scouts and Scouters should use bug spray. It is especially important for participants to inspect themselves for attached ticks because of potentially dangerous diseases carried by some varieties of ticks. Ticks can attach themselves to any exposed skin.
Should Scouts find a tick, they should report to a jamboree medical clinic rather than try to remove it themselves. Medical staff will remove the parasite and clean the wound.
By following these tips, participants will be on their way to enjoying a safe and fun jamboree.