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101 Critical Days of Summer

Heat Injuries

CRAMPS: Occur after several hours of physical exertion in the heat.
Symptoms: Painful muscle spasms usually in the legs or abdomen.
Treatment:

  • Get out of the heat and into the shade
  • Hydrate with water or sports drink
  • Stretch/massage the muscle

Prevention:

  • Acclimatize to the environment so your body adapts to the heat
  • Hydrate with water or sports drink before & during exercise
  • Avoid exercising during hottest part of the day
  • Wear light, loose clothing & use sunscreen

HEAT EXHAUSTION: Due to loss of water & salt through sweat

Symptoms: Headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and cool, clammy skin.

Treatment:

  • Stop and rest
  • Hydrate and get into a cool room or shade
  • Loosen clothing and apply cool wet towels or pour cool water over the head

Prevention: Same as heat cramp prevention

HEAT STROKE: A serious condition when the body’s cooling system stops working and core temperature rises to dangerous levels. If ignored, heat stroke can lead to death.

Symptoms:

  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Rapid but weak pulse
  • Rapid but shallow breathing
  • Confusion, faintness, staggering, hallucinations
  • Unusual agitation or coma

Treatment:

  • Reduce body temperature by cooling the body
  • Remove unnecessary clothing
  • Apply water, cool air, wet sheets or ice on the neck, groin & armpits to accelerate cooling
  • Seek medical attention immediately

Prevention: Same procedure concerning heat cramps or heat exhaustion

Boating Safety

Operating a boat requires concentrated skill and a keen sense of awareness in the boat and on water. A clear head and a responsible outlook are necessary to make a day on the water as smooth and as safe as possible.

  • Don’t overload - check the boat manufacturer’s capacity plate
  • Know your boat - what it can and can’t do
  • Keep a good lookout and situational awareness of other boats and objects
  • Ensure crew and passengers wear a USCG approved personal flotation device
  • Operate at safe and legal speeds – watch your wake
  • Know and respect the weather - heed weather warnings
  • Take sufficient fuel in proper containers, know your cruising radius.
  • Keep your boat shipshape; check safety equipment.
  • Take necessary equipment such as fire extinguishers, signal devices and personal flotation devices.
  • Secure the boat properly. Stow loose objects.
  • Review the boating laws and obey them.
  • Never operate a boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Check local and state laws that pertain to your area for additional requirements.

Drinking Afloat: More Dangerous Than Driving

It takes as little as four hours of exposure to sun, wind, glare, vibration, and other motion on the water to produce “boater’s hypnosis,” a kind of fatigue that slows reaction time almost as much as if a person were drunk. Alcohol can affect your judgment, motor skills, peripheral vision, depth perception, night vision, and balance. “Tipsy” people on an unstable, moving platform like a boat run the risk of slipping on deck, stumbling down a gangway, or falling overboard. In the event of a fall overboard, alcohol may increase risk of cardiac arrest and will certainly reduce your body’s ability to stay warm in cold water. It is a well-established fact that with the very first drink, brain functions are depressed. That’s why boaters should never drink when operating a boat. Every state has strict drinking and boating laws – you can be arrested on the water.

Swimming Safety

  • Always swim with a partner
  • Never allow young children to swim without adult supervision
  • Never swim when you are tired, under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication
  • Know and observe your swimming limitations and capabilities
  • Avoid swift-moving water. If caught in a current, swim with it and angle towards shore or the edge of the current
  • Observe warning signs
  • Stay out of the water during thunderstorms and severe weather

Rip Currents

A rip current: A strong channel of water flowing seaward from the shore. It can occur at any beach with breaking waves.

How to escape a rip current:

  • Relax; don’t swim back to shore directly against a rip. You risk exhaustion and drowning.
  • Calmly float or tread water to conserve energy. Swim parallel to shore until outside of the rip or in a diagonal direction towards the shore.
  • Swim where lifeguards are present

Pool Security & Diving Safety

Pool Security

  • Use an approved safety cover and keep the pool covered when not in use
  • Never allow children access to the pool without adult supervision
  • Fence and lock your pool (consider installing a water surface tension alarm)

Diving Safety

  • Always test water depth before diving
  • If you are unable to see below the water’s surface, don’t dive
  • Never dive into rivers or other moving bodies of water
  • Keep your arms extended above your head when diving

Fireworks

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions
  • Be sure people are out of range before lighting fireworks
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials
  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned
  • In case of a malfunction or fire, keep a bucket of water/garden hose and/or fire extinguisher at the ready

Barbeques

  • Place grill in well-ventilated area and away from children's play area
  • Wear fitted clothing so loose clothing doesn’t contact fuel or fire
  • Stand up wind when lighting the fire
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start the fire or to relight the coals
  • Be in attendance at all times

Sports Injury & Prevention

  • Warm up and stretch before playing any sport
  • Ensure you are physically able to play – see your physician for periodic physicals. Don’t participate in a sporting event without a physician’s release if you’ve had a sports injury that required medical attention
  • Make sure to wear all proper protective equipment required by the sport:
  • Shoulder, elbow, knee pads and helmet for football.
  • Helmets with faceguards for baseball; for catcher – catcher’s mitt, face mask, throat guard, chest protector and shin guards.

Playground Safety

  • Ensure children take off their bicycle helmets when playing on the playground equipment
  • Ensure there is soft surfacing underneath the playground equipment
  • Ensure children are sitting down while swinging. Have them slow down before they get off of a swing. Do not let them walk near someone else who is swinging
  • Ensure children use both hands when using climbers. Ensure they only climb on dry equipment to prevent them from falling
  • Never let your child climb up the front of the slide as they may get hit by another child sliding down. Ensure your child slides down feet first. Ensure children slide down one at a time to avoid a pile up.

Walking and Jogging Safety

  • Execute warm up exercise prior to walking, jogging or running
  • Jog, run or walk on sidewalks facing traffic; exercise caution when jogging, running or walking near roadways
  • Choose good shoes for jogging, walking or running
  • Wear loose clothing with light colors. In the evening use reflective clothing
  • Drink plenty of fluids (water or Gatorade) before and during a walk, jog, or run
  • Watch for signs of heat stroke in hot weather
  • Jog, run or walk in a familiar area; carry a whistle or cell phone
  • Allow a cool down period

Bicycle Safety

  • Remember to use arm and hand signals
  • Ride with traffic, not against it
  • Always wear an approved bicycle helmet
  • Avoid riding at night if possible
  • If you must ride at night, install front and rear lights on your bicycle and wear reflective clothing

Vehicle Trip Preparation

Safety check your vehicle:
  • Oil
  • Brakes
  • Tire wear & air pressure
  • Coolant
  • Steering Fluid
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Spare Tire (air pressure, jack & lug wrench)
Other Items:
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blankets
  • Extra Clothes
  • Emergency roadside kit (flares/safety triangles)

Off-Road Vehicle Safety

  • Children and young people under the age of 16 should not ride adult ATVs (with engines bigger than 90 cubic centimeters).
  • Take a hands on training course.
  • Always wear an approved helmet.
  • Never drive ATV on paved roads.
  • Never drive ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Never drive ATV with a passenger, and never ride as a passenger.

Drinking and Driving

  • Impaired driving is one of the most often committed crimes, randomly killing someone in America every 30 minutes and 40 people a day. That means you, your family or friends are just as likely to be innocent victims.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that alcohol-related fatalities rose slightly from 17,400 in 2001 to 17,419 in 2002.
  • Every year 1.5 million impaired drivers are arrested yet only one arrest is made for every 772 occurrences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Repeat offenders account for a high number of alcohol-related crashes.
  • America is at a crucial point where we must all do more as communities and as individuals if we are to make significant declines in the number of alcohol- and drug-related crashes.

Related Independent Study (IS) Courses

 
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