What's hiding in a leaf pile?

Is there anything that makes you think of fall more than jumping into a giant leaf pile? Did you know a leaf pile could potentially pose a health risk? After a long afternoon of work, there's nothing better than watching your loved ones jump in the leaf pile and bring a fitting end to an autumn day.

Before you let your little ones frolic through a leaf pile, be mindful of the following risks:

Ticks

First and foremost, there are few places preferred by ticks quite like leaf piles. The cool, damp environment is the ideal environment for them to thrive. Ticks carry a variety of dangerous illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They are particularly aggressive in the fall months before the onset of the winter frost that reduces their populations. If your kids are playing in leaf piles, make sure their arms and legs are covered and perform a tick check.

Mold

If you or a child has asthma or a mold allergy, the mold present on fallen leaves can trigger an allergic reaction. Mold spores can be brought into the home where they can lead to further respiratory distress. As a general rule, children with mold and other fall allergies should avoid leaf piles, and if they are working outdoors, invest in a pollen/respirator mask to help avoid allergic reactions.

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Insects/Wildlife

When you rake your yard and arrange leaves into a pile, it's important that you bag and dispose of them quickly. Leaving a leaf pile unattended in your yard could provide a home for all manner of wildlife. Spiders, beetles, snakes, wood frogs and caterpillars may hide in the pile, and could pose a risk to loved ones. When it's time to rake your yard, make sure you finish the job completely!

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Sharp objects

Be mindful of sharp objects in the yard, including rocks, sticks, broken glass and any other types of yard debris. Check the yard before allowing your family members to jump into a leaf pile. In addition to common cuts and abrasions, running head first into a pile of leaves could result in painful eye injuries. Make sure everything is clear of these objects.

Buy a first aid kit with an FSA

Prepared for fall and shop at FSAstore.com!

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