More than 80 parks and trails are found within Fresno. Golf courses, Lewis S. Eaton, and Sugar Pine trails are in the city, while there are many others around the area. Woodward Park spans 300 acres with the gorgeous Japanese Garden, a dog park, playgrounds, lakes and ponds, and five miles of trails. All of this encourages residents and visitors to get outside and be active.

Fresno’s typical spring weather is ideal for getting outside before it gets too hot. People are outside readying their gardens and yards and painting fences, decks, and outdoor structures. Getting pools ready for summer fun also gets people outside. As you head out to join friends and family for bike rides, hikes, sports, and other outdoor activities, keep safety in mind. 

We’re sharing our top tips for springtime safety in Fresno. It’s impossible to prevent every injury, but a few precautions can help you avoid some of them.

Apply Sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential when you’re out in the sun. Skin cancer is the most common cancer today, and it’s preventable by limiting time in the sun and wearing sunscreen when you’re outside. Avoid sunburn and future skin cancers by using a product with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Apply sunscreen about 10 minutes before you head outside to give it time to soak into the deeper layers of skin. A broad-spectrum product protects against UVA and UVB rays. If you go into the water, apply more sunscreen immediately after you get out. Otherwise, reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Be Careful About Wildlife

When you’re out hiking, know what wildlife you might encounter. Animals are more likely to be active at night, but you might encounter them during the day. Some animals that appear in the day could be rabid, so you need to keep that in mind and pay attention to animals that aren’t acting normally. Most animals will avoid interactions with humans.

Animals that have been spotted or are well-known to be in the woods and forested areas in Fresno include:

  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Mountain lions
  • Opossums
  • Raccoons
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Skunks

Consider carrying bear spray just in case. If an animal runs at you, yelling at it may keep it from attacking, but bear spray can be a good way to deter an attack if other methods fail.

Check The Forecast

Before you head out, make sure you’ve checked the forecast and are aware of any potential issues. You want to know if it’s likely to be windy, if pop-up thunderstorms are possible, or if there are heavy rains scheduled. Make sure you’re back in time to avoid getting caught in any inclement weather or be prepared with a poncho or umbrella if you might need one.

Air quality reports on sites like AirNow are also helpful. If you have asthma or allergies, knowing what allergens or pollutants are in the air can help keep you safe.

Cycle With Care

While vehicles need to give you room and share the road, that doesn’t mean that every driver will. Take care of yourself when you’re out riding your bike. 

  • Equip your bike with flashing LED lights for visibility
  • Make the most of bike paths and bike lanes when they’re available
  • Ride with the traffic and not against it
  • Use hand signals
  • Watch for other cars
  • Wear clothing that makes you visible
  • Wear a helmet

Drink Plenty of Water

Make sure you stay hydrated when you’re outside. A general rule of thumb is two liters for women each day and three liters for men. This is an estimate as it also depends on your weight, age, and activity level. If you’re sweating profusely, you might need to drink more water to replenish what you’ve lost.

Stretch Before You Start Playing

Whether you’re joining your friends for a friendly scrimmage, plan to play a full round of golf, or are attending a practice with your team, you need to warm up. Do not start playing before your muscles are stretched out and ready for more intense motions.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends seven warm-up exercises:

  • Arm circles – 20 times in each direction
  • Arm swings – 20 times in each direction
  • Heel-to-toe walks – 5 times on each leg
  • High steps – 5 times on each leg
  • Hip circles – 20 times each leg in each direction
  • Lunges ending with a twist – 5 times on each leg
  • Step up and over (pretending there’s an obstacle you’re stepping over) – 5 times on each leg

It’s even better to see a doctor first and ask for a referral with a sports and orthopedic specialist to help you determine the best exercises for your fitness level and needs. You’ll have a customized plan for warm-ups and muscle training.

Use Insect Repellent

Biting insects are common in the springtime, and there’s always a risk of ticks. Lyme disease isn’t as prevalent in Fresno as it is in other states, but there have been a handful of cases over the years. 

Insect repellent helps keep ticks and biting flies away. It’s also advisable to tuck your pants into your socks and check your pants for ticks that have climbed on from taller grasses and weeds and are starting to climb your body looking for the perfect place to attach.

Wear Gloves When Gardening

If you’re working around your garden, make sure you wear gloves. You will find black widow and brown recluse spiders in Fresno, and their bites and dangerous. Wolf spiders aren’t as dangerous, but the bites still hurt a lot. Western rattlesnakes aren’t often seen in backyard gardens, but they are a snake found throughout California. 

Bee, hornet, and wasp stings are possible when you’re working in your garden. It’s not common, but scorpions have been spotted from time to time. When you’re outside, be aware of your surroundings and make sure you’re not accidentally irritating an insect and triggering its attack.

Wear Supportive Shoes With Good Traction

If you’re out hiking, walking, or playing sports, supportive shoes are important. You want to make sure your ankles and feet have the proper support and protection to avoid snake bites and puncture wounds from rocks, old nails, and broken glass.

Make sure the traction is adequate for your activity. If you’re hiking, hiking boots or trail sneakers have good tread for loose rocks or dirt. Walking shoes are good for trips around a zoo. Flip-flops may be comfortable, but they’re not going to protect you from much or provide the support your feet need.

With any medical issue, you need to see a doctor as quickly as possible. Avoid a long wait at an ER when it’s unnecessary. Issues like sprains, sunburns, cuts, puncture wounds, rashes, and poison ivy are issues doctors at Premium UC can address.

Fresno’s Premium Urgent Care makes it easy to see a doctor by checking in online and filling out paperwork before you arrive. Telemedicine visits are also available if you’re not certain you need to go to a doctor or can take care of your issue without leaving your home.