Protect Yourself Against Bug Bites and Stings

Warmer weather means more time outdoors. It also means a higher chance of getting bitten by bugs or even stung as insects become more active. Whether you're hiking in the woods, enjoying a picnic in the park, or simply sitting on the porch, bug bites and stings can quickly ruin your experience. Not only are they uncomfortable and itchy, but they can also lead to allergic reactions or transmit diseases.

Although small, don’t underestimate our insect neighbors. Here are some easy ways you can protect yourself.

Avoiding Bites and Stings


  • Use insect repellents — Apply repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) on exposed skin and clothing. Follow the instructions on the label for proper application.
  • Dress appropriately Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes when venturing into bug-prone areas. Tucking in shirts and pants can minimize access points for insects.
  • Avoid peak times Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk, while bees and wasps tend to be more active during the day. Plan your outdoor activities accordingly to minimize encounters.
  • Eliminate breeding grounds Remove standing water sources like birdbaths, flowerpots, or clogged gutters to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

More than Annoying

Bug bites and stings can be more than a nuisance. They can result in health complications, ranging from mild irritation to severe allergic reactions or the transmission of diseases. Understanding the significance of prevention can help you stay safe and enjoy your time outdoors. Here are a few reasons why it's important:

  • Allergic reactions — Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to bug bites or stings, leading to symptoms like swelling, redness, itching, or even difficulty breathing. In severe cases, this can be life-threatening.
  • Disease transmission Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can transmit diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus. Taking preventive measures reduces the risk of exposure to these illnesses.
  • Discomfort and inconvenience Itchy bug bites can be irritating and disrupt your daily activities or quality of sleep. Scratching too much may even lead to infection. Avoiding bites and stings altogether will spare you from unnecessary discomfort.

First Aid

Bug bites and stings may still occur despite your best efforts. Knowing how to administer proper first aid can alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Here are some general first aid measures:

  • Clean the area Wash the affected area with mild soap and water to remove any venom or irritants left behind by the insect.
  • Reduce swelling and pain Apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Relieve itching Over-the-counter creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone or calamine can help relieve itching. Avoid scratching the area, as it may lead to infection.
  • Seek medical attention Seek immediate medical help if you experience severe allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or other concerning symptoms.

With You All Year

AltaMed is with you through every season, with every bump, bruise, and bug bite, and through every stage of life. Remember to always seek medical attention if you experience severe symptoms or allergic reactions. Stay safe, enjoy the outdoors, and let the bugs remain a minor inconvenience rather than a major concern.

Contact us today at (888) 499-9303 to get started with AltaMed.

Get started with AltaMed

See how AltaMed Health Services can help your family grow healthy.

Learn More


Exercises You Can Do at Any Age

We have written extensively about the importance of exercising. Regular exercise has numerous benefits for physical and mental health, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, improving bone density and muscle strength, and boosting mood and cognitive function.

The great news is it doesn’t have to be strenuous. You can reap the benefits of exercise at any age. What matters is that you get moving.


This is one of the easiest and most accessible exercises for people of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brisk walking can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic suggests that walking can help maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones, and improve balance and coordination. Walking can be done anywhere and anytime, making it a great exercise for everyone from children to seniors.

Strength training

Strength training is important for maintaining muscle mass and bone density, which can help prevent falls and fractures as you age. The Mayo Clinic recommends strength training exercises such as weightlifting, resistance band exercises, and bodyweight exercises. Strength training can be done at home or at a gym, making it a versatile exercise option. They also have a series of videos to show you the proper technique for all types of exercises.

If you don’t have weights or exercise equipment, a full milk jug weighs 8.5 pounds, which you can curl to strengthen your biceps. Use your kitchen chairs to do tricep dips. You can do resistance exercises by holding the end of a towel in each hand and pulling. Also, hold a broom behind your shoulders and do twists at the waist.


Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can improve flexibility, balance, and coordination. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga is a gentle exercise that can be done at any age and can be modified to suit different abilities. Better yet, you don’t need a gym membership to get started. YouTube is home to thousands of free video classes for every age.


Most people see cycling as an intense activity done with special outfits on bikes costing thousands of dollars. It doesn’t have to be like that. At its most basic level, it is a low-impact exercise that can be done outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike. It is a way to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and increase muscle strength.

Tai chi

Tai chi was developed as a martial art but has evolved to become a gentle exercise that combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and meditation. Tai chi can improve balance and flexibility, reduce stress, and increase muscle strength. Tai chi can be done at any age and is particularly beneficial for older adults who may be at risk of falls. You can find free, outdoor lessons for beginners here.


You don’t need to know any steps to dance. You just need to let the music move you. Better yet, anyone can dance. It promotes cardiovascular health, increases muscle strength, and improves balance and coordination. As a social activity, it’s also a great way to connect with others.


Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints and is recommended by both the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association. It can improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength, and improve flexibility. Swimming can also be a fun activity for all ages, making it a great exercise for families to do together. Click here to find community pools in your neighborhood. The YMCA of Los Angeles also offers water exercises classes, swimming lessons, and “Open Swim” lanes.

Helping You Get Healthy

AltaMed can help you determine the best exercises for your lifestyle. Contact your doctor if you have a serious health condition like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or high blood pressure, or if you’ve recently had cancer treatment. Call us at (888) 499-9303 to make an appointment.

Disaster Plan

Be Ready the Next Time Disaster Strikes

Californians are too familiar with disasters. Wildfires, floods, mudslides, and earthquakes are all part of living in California

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks California as the second-most disaster-prone state after Texas with 336 major disasters between 1953 and 2020. That includes the 2020 wildfires that burned more than 4 million acres.

Everyone needs to have a plan for coping with an emergency. In some cases — like wildfires, floods, and storms — you have a little time to prepare. Disasters like earthquakes can strike without warning.

Here are some important ways you can be ready.

Woman Preparing Emergency Medications

First-Aid Kits

Every household should have one. If not, start putting one together. You can buy some kits pre-assembled. You can also buy what you need piece by piece. Regardless of how you do it, remember it’s for emergencies. Try not to use the contents unless there is an emergency, otherwise you might not have what you need when disaster occurs.

Basics should include:

  • Two pairs of sterile gloves
  • Sterile dressings
  • Soap and antibiotic towelettes for disinfecting
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
  • Bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash
  • Thermometer
  • Medicine dropper
  • First-aid book
  • Pain reliever, antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, laxatives or other over the counter drugs
Woman Shopping Bottled Water

Earthquake preparations

The best time to prepare for any disaster is before it happens. It’s best to prepare ahead of time, especially for earthquakes, given their unpredictability. Part of those preparations should include a communications plan. Make sure there is an out-of-state contact you can alert. You should also plan where to meet if you are separated from family.

In addition to a first-aid kit, your supply kit should have a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food for several days, a flashlight, fire extinguisher, and a whistle.

Buying all these items at once can be expensive, so buy them over time and put them in a durable bag or plastic bin that’s easy to access.

If you are in an earthquake, you should:

  • Pull over if driving and set your parking brake.
  • Turn face down and cover your neck and head with a pillow if you’re in bed.
  • Stay outdoors if that’s where you are and get away from buildings.
  • Make sure to avoid doorways if you’re inside during an earthquake. Don’t run outside. Crawl under a table if possible.
Kit Emergency Prep

More Emergency Kit Musts

Having emergency kit items in your house is good. Assembling them in a kit is better. Putting items in airtight plastic bags and putting those bags in a storage bin or duffel bag is the best.

A disaster could leave you without power, water, or cellular service. You will need to be self-sufficient for several days. So, have:

  • Water — at least three gallons per person
  • Food — three days of non-perishable energy bars, canned fruit, canned juices, comfort snacks
  • Extra doses of medications that your family regularly needs
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • A weather radio with tone alerts
  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust masks
  • Plastic sheets and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties, and hygiene products
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Portable cell phone chargers and backup batteries

Always Here for You

AltaMed is here for you regardless of the circumstances. We provide primary care, urgent care, behavioral health servicespediatrics, dentistry, health screenings, women’s health, and much more.

Call (877) 462-2582 and get started with us today.


Protect Yourself Against Bug Bites and Stings