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Medical Monday: Camping safety tips

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(WXOW) - Campers will flock to the great outdoors during the summertime, but there are a few things to be aware before lighting up the campfire.

Dr. Ben Orozco of Gundersen Health System said fire color products that are used to generate unique flames can often be mistaken for fruit snacks due to the packaging.

"We have had some tragic cases where these things have been confused with candies like poprocks or gummy snacks," said Dr. Orozco.

Dr. Orozco added that one packet could be fatal for a small child. Similar products that can be mistaken by children are lighter fluid and tiki torch fluid.

"If they don't read, they are looking at the product. It looks just like apple juice," said Dr. Orozco. "We've seen tragic cases that way too. Even a small taste, if it's choked on by a child, for camp fuels, lighter fuels, things of that nature, can be very dangerous very quickly."

Keeping kids clear of fire pits or rings is also advised as doctors see these accidents often.

Campers also sometimes like to forage for wild foods like berries or mushrooms. While cases are low, Dr. Orozco said to have the poison control hotline numbers on hand. He added that emergency rooms often see problems when adults misidentify certain plants.

Dr. Orozco left a few final tips for those camping activities like biking and boating: always remember a helmet when hitting the bike trail and a life jacket if heading out on the water.

"We do see those injuries go on the uptick when heading to the great outdoors," said Dr. Orozco.

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Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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