Poisonous Weeds of Wisconsin A message from Dr. Cornell

Summer is a great time to explore Wisconsin’s abundant outdoors, but camping, biking or hiking can lead to encounters with poisonous plants that cause skin irritation and injuries when touched. Knowing these types of plants can help with avoiding them, minimizing the level of damage following exposure and taking other necessary precautions. Here are five common poisonous plants that should not be touched. Continue readingPoisonous Weeds of Wisconsin A message from Dr. Cornell

Be Aware of Tickborne Diseases in Wisconsin A message from Dr. Cornell

With the summer months comes the eagerness to be outside and enjoy outdoor activities. This is especially true now with the COVID-19 pandemic and having been cooped up in the house for several months. However, we must remember that there are other diseases that we can contract outdoors.

The most common disease is Lyme’s Disease. But they also can carry anaplasmosis and babeosis. Lyme’s disease and anaplasmosis are caused by bacteria. Babeosis is caused by a small parasite. These bacteria and parasites are transferred to humans and pets through the tick bite.

Click here to read the full article from Dr. Cornell!

Mosquito Borne Illness in Wisconsin A PSA from Dr. Cornell!

Mosquito Borne Illness in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, the most common mosquito-borne diseases are West Nile Virus and La Crosse Encephalitis. Residents who travel to other countries can also be at risk for travel-related diseases, such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever or Zika virus infection.

The Midwest also has one of the higher rates of reported mosquito-borne diseases in the country, especially in states like Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. These diseases include West Nile virus, dengue, and Jamestown Canyon virus, according to the CDC.

There are many illnesses spread by mosquitoes in Wisconsin. Not all mosquitoes spread illnesses, and you won’t get sick from every mosquito bite, but it is important to make sure you are aware of mosquitoes, the illnesses they can spread, and how to prevent bites in the first place.

Mosquitoes 101:

• Basics: Mosquitoes are a type of fly. In Wisconsin, there are many types of mosquitoes, but only some types can spread illnesses. Most people who get sick from a mosquito bite will become ill in the summer and early fall. This is when mosquitoes are most active and people are outdoors.

• Life Cycle: Mosquitoes have a life cycle that includes four different stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on or near water, and the eggs hatch after coming into contact with the water. After hatching, the larvae will feed until they have enough energy to change into pupae. The pupae then grow into adult mosquitoes, the only flying stage. Only adult female mosquitoes bite humans and other animals to get blood meals, after which they lay their eggs on or near water, starting the cycle again. The life cycle of a mosquito usually takes two weeks. However, it can range from four days to one month.

• Habitat: Mosquitoes live in areas with slow-moving or stagnant water, as well as forests, marshes, and tall grasses. Mosquitoes fly and land on animals or humans to bite the host’s skin and consume blood. Warmer and wetter climates can increase the risk of getting an illness from a mosquito. In Wisconsin, climate change has created favorable conditions for mosquitoes to survive in more areas of the state, has made the mosquito season longer, and allows infected mosquitoes to spread diseases faster.

• In general, mosquitoes can be divided into two different types based on the habitats where they lay their eggs: standing water mosquitoes and floodwater mosquitoes. Most mosquito eggs need small amounts of water to hatch and develop into adult mosquitoes.

• Prevention: The best way to avoid getting sick from a mosquito is to prevent bites in the first place. There are many ways to prevent mosquito bites, including wearing insect repellent and wearing appropriate clothes when you are outdoors.

Click Here to Learn More About West Nile

Be Aware of Heat Related Illnesses A PSA from Dr. Cornell!

Heat Related Illness

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies cannot properly cool themselves by sweating. Sweating is the body’s natural air conditioning, but when a person’s body temperature rises rapidly, sweating just isn’t enough. Heat-related illnesses can be serious and life threatening. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs, and can cause disability and even death. Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable. Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It happens when the body’s temperature rises quickly and the body cannot cool down. Heat Stroke can cause permanent disability and death.

Heat Exhaustion is a milder type of heat – related illness. It usually develops after a number of days in high temperature weather and not drinking enough fluids.

Heat Cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during demanding activity. Sweating reduces the body’s salt and moisture and can cause painful cramps, usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. Because heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable, people need to know who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken.

Who is at risk? Those at highest risk include the elderly, the very young, people with mental illness and people with chronic diseases. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in demanding physical activities during hot weather. Other conditions that can increase your risk for heat-related illness include obesity, fever, dehydration, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug or alcohol abuse.

How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

Here’s how you can protect yourself from heat related illnesses:
  • Drink plenty of non-carbonated liquids like water or electrolyte-enriched liquids to replace fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid liquids that have alcohol, caffeine or lots of sugar because they will speed up fluid loss.
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas such as malls, libraries, movie theatres and community centers. Even a few hours can cool your body’s temperature.
  • If you feel very hot, cool off by taking a cool bath or shower. Opening a window or using a fan may not prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Do not cool children in alcohol baths. Cool, plain water baths or moist towels work best.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate.
  • NEVER leave anyone in closed, parked cars during hot weather. That includes all pets.
  • Do not bundle babies in blankets or heavy clothing. Infants do not tolerate heat well because their sweat glands are not fully developed. If you must be in the heat, here are some things you should do:
    • Drink plenty of liquids such as water, sports drinks but no alcohol. Limit physical activity to early morning and evening. Avoid physical activity or exercise between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – typically the hottest part of the day.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed, vented hat or use an umbrella because your head absorbs heat easily.
    • Put on sunglasses and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
    • Rest often in shady areas.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke

Signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

What to do for Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you see someone with these warning signs have someone call 911 for immediate medical assistance and begin cooling the victim:
  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Cool the victim quickly using whatever you can – put them in a tub or shower of cold water; spray them with cold water from a garden hose; sponge them with cold water.
  • Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
  • If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.
  • Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat Exhaustion

This is the body’s response to losing a lot water and salt that’s in sweat. People most likely to get heat exhaustion are the elderly, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment. Warning signs of heat exhaustion include:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Fainting
Also, the skin may be cool and moist. The victim’s pulse will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may develop into heat stroke.

What to do for Heat Exhaustion

Seek medical attention immediately (call 911) if the symptoms are severe or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure. Otherwise, cool off the victim, and seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or last longer than one (1) hour. The victim can cool off by doing the following:
  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Rest in a cool or air-conditioned place.
  • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
  • Put on lightweight clothing. Heat Cramps Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during demanding activity. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

What to do for Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are muscle spasms and pain that occur during heavy sweating during intense exercise. If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:
  • Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place. Remove unnecessary clothing i.e. jackets, sweaters etc.
  • Drink water, clear juice or a sports beverage.
  • Do not return to demanding activity for a few hours after the cramps have stopped. Further activity could lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seek medical attention (call 911) for heat cramps if they do not subside within an hour or if the person has heart problems or is on a low-sodium (salt restricted) diet.

Sunburn

  • Painful, red, and warm skin
  • Blisters on the skin
How to treat a sunburn:
  • Stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals
  • Put cool cloths on sunburned areas or take a cool bath
  • Put moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas
  • Do not break the blisters. If the blisters become more inflamed suggesting an infection seek medical care immediately or if a fever develops. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for the discomfort. Ice packs may also give relief from the pain. Be sure to put a towel between the burn and the ice pack.

Heat Rash

  • Red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin (usually on the neck, chest, groin, or in elbow creases) blisters
  • Stay in a cool, dry place
  • Keep the rash dry
  • Use powder (like baby powder) to soothe the rash

Sunscreen

Sunscreen needs to be applied approximately 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Use a sunscreen that is at least a SPF 30. It needs to be re-applied about every two hours especially if swimming or sweating a lot. Also wearing a hat and sun shirt also helps prevent sunburn.

When applying both insect repellent and sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends applying sunscreen before insect repellent, and letting the sunscreen fully absorb into the skin for 10 minutes before putting on insect repellent. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple of hours to remain effective. Yet insect repellent only needs to be reapplied every three to six hours, depending on the product’s strength.

Source of material: CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization)

DIY Projects: Bird Feeder to Fluffy Slime! Try out these DIY projects to bring camp into your home!

Are you bored at home? Have you run out of activities to keep everyone entertained? Give some of these fun and creative activities a try! From DIY Bird Feeder to Fluffy Slime these activities are designed to use objects and materials found in most homes, while using your imagination and creativeness! The idea behind these activities is to replicate the fun activities and crafts we do at camp!

DIY Bird Feeder

Did you know birds eat half their body weight in food each day? That could mean up to 1 pound of seeds a day!! For today’s activity we are going to make some homemade bird feeders. Using apples, peanut butter, and bird seed! This activity is a quick project that will help seed eating birds get the nutrients they need to survive! This project should take about 15 minutes to complete.

Materials:

  • 1-2 Apples per participant
  • 1 Jar of peanut butter or sun-butter
  • 1 plate of bird seed
  • 8-10 inches of string, yarn, or fishing wire
  • 1 nail or screw per apple
  • Butter knife or spoon
Instructions:
  1. Before starting the apple, grab the plate, and pour the bird seed on it. Making sure to cover the entire plate in a thin layer.
  2. Take nail and insert it, point down, in the top of the apple. Make sure it is as center as possible. Leave enough room to tie the string onto the nail.
  3. Take 8-10 inches of string and knot each end onto the nail, so that the apple dangles when the string is held up.
  4. Once the string is tied, take the knife or spoon and spread the peanut butter all over the apple. Make sure to apply a thick layer to hold the seeds. If avoiding messy fingers, participants can hold the nail.
  5. Once the apple is covered in peanut butter to participants satisfaction, roll the apple in the plate of seeds. Make sure to get all sides and edges.
  6. Repeat steps 1-6 with remaining apples.
  7. When seeds are covering all of the apples, place your DIY bird feeders outside on a tree branch near a door or window.
  8. Now sit back and watch birds gobble up their treat!
Continue readingDIY Projects: Bird Feeder to Fluffy Slime! Try out these DIY projects to bring camp into your home!

Social Stories Using social stories to explain 2020 summer camp.

With the announcement of cancelled summer camp sessions, we realize this may be difficult for some campers to comprehend. They may feel “Why me?” or “Why is our camp impacted?”. There have probably been lots of questions so we have created social stories (one for each camp) as a source for those who may be struggling with the news. Choose your camp below, where indicated insert your camper’s picture and name if desired, and share the story!

CAMP WAWBEEK CAMPERS    or   RESPITE CAMP CAMPERS

Make Your Own Lava Lamp!

Are you looking for a fun science project to do while at home? Look no further. These DIY lava lamps are the perfect science and math projects to do while at home during the “safer at home” orders. The idea is to create a fun activity and experiment that we can all love and appreciate and bring a sense of peace and calmness during these times. Watch the video of the experiment being done on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle or jar
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Alka-Seltzer tabs
  • Measuring cups
  • Optional: funnel & flashlight

Directions:

  1. Fill an empty plastic bottle or jar with ⅕ of water (math skills!)
  2. Next, fill the rest of the bottle or jar with cooking oil. Use a funnel if you have one and pour oil into the bottle at an angle so it stays above the water that is already in the container.
  3. Then, drop in 3-8 drops of food coloring (pick your favorite color). It will settle below the oil.
  4. Finally, drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Wait and watch it bubble like a lava lamp. Shine a flashlight underneath the bottle to create a glowing effect for fun!

Did you know?

Alka-Seltzer tablets fizz like crazy when dropped into water. The moment the tablet hits the water, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide gas which produces the bubbles or fizz that we hear and see. These are the same bubbles we hear and see when we drink soda pop.

Intermolecular polarity water and oil don’t mix. The food coloring is mostly water so it doesn’t mix with the oil. It will drop down to the water layer. Then when the Alka-Seltzer tablets are added it will raise up into the oil with the bubbles.

COVID-19 & Summer Camp Updates What's happening with summer camp and how you can prepare!

Dear Camp Friends,

We have been intentionally waiting to make any decisions about our summer sessions, due to the Covid19 pandemic. The longer we wait, the more information we have so we can make informed, solid plans. Please know that we want to have camp, and are fully aware how much YOU may need camp right now. This is why we are waiting and haven’t cancelled the entire summer; we want to have camp if even for a few weeks.

There are many things we need to consider, from staffing (many of our counselors are from other states and even other countries, will we have enough staff to work at camp?) to the cleaning and disinfecting that will have to be done after every single activity, to obtaining protective equipment for all of our staff, to handling mealtimes, etc. The CDC is expected to release guidelines for summer camps in the near future, this may alter our plans, as well.

What we know right now:

We will not be opening camp at all until at least July. As of today, May 5, staff would report on July 5, with campers able to attend sessions beginning July 12.

Camp Wawbeek and Respite Camp will be adhering to state guidelines concerning group sizes, meaning we will most likely have a group of campers and staff members no larger than 50. All staff members will be required, and campers encouraged, to wear face masks.

When our camps open, we will be doing things differently. We most likely will NOT be opening the pool or the ropes course. Because there is potential for so many tourists in Wisconsin Dells, we will NOT be offering town trips, Duck Boat tours, Tommy Bartlett, bowling, and other trips we have taken into town in the past.

We expect to make a more concrete decision on our summer schedule in mid-May. All of the plans throughout the state and country are based on data, not  on dates, so things can change very quickly.

What can you be doing now?

Is camp right for you…right now? Please contact your primary healthcare provider to see if camp is right for you! Any campers or staff members with compromised immune systems or respiratory issues are strongly discouraged from attending camp this summer.

If you need to cancel: Please contact our office right away to cancel your session if you are choosing not to attend this summer.

Getting your physical for camp: We are aware that many healthcare facilities are not open for general physicals at this time. If your camp physical was done within the past 18 months, you will be allowed to attend camp.

Please choose only one session at this time. If you are currently signed up for two sessions between July 12 and August 9, please cancel one session so that other campers who had their session cancelled in June will be able to attend. If you don’t choose a session to cancel, the camp directors will choose for you.

Please prepare your campers for camp to be different! We are well aware that many campers have the routine of camp in their blood, and that is what they look forward to. We are preparing social stories that will be available on our website for you to use in advance. You can be helping a great deal to make this change a smooth one.

Practice wearing face masks at home. There are campers who will hate doing this; if you start wearing them at home for short amounts of time, they may be more inclined to do so at camp. Also, please prepare your campers to be ready to see their camp counselors and other staff members at camp wearing masks.

Camp Billing

Renita Link, Billing Specialist, will be contacting your funding sources to inform them of this change. Please call 608.237.1372 or email her at rlink@eastersealswisconsin.com if you have any billing questions.

We miss you, but safety comes first!

Know that we miss all of our camp friends dearly, and can’t wait to see you at camp! We will be continuously evaluating the status of this situation, and will keep you informed if there will be other changes. Please refer to the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services website for more information: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm.

In camp spirit,

Carissa

Shaving Cream Color Mixing Sensory Bags Reduce anxiety with this fun art project!

Looking for a fun art therapy project to do at home? This shaving cream mixing sensory bag is a MESS FREE art project that you can make to help relieve stress and help calm the mind when a little overstimulated with everybody being stuck at home. Following are the directions for this easy to make – hopefully mess free 😉 – activity to do at home and without even having to go to the store! Continue readingShaving Cream Color Mixing Sensory Bags Reduce anxiety with this fun art project!