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    Monthly Archives: July 2014

    • Hot Weather Tips

      People are dying. This can be avoided.

      Some people think about heat safety... in fact, this is a very busy time for us with Military Families shipping cold packs to those that serve in the Middle East and other extreme climates (They put our instant cold compresses in their uniform pockets to bring down body temperature/stay cooler.)

      Think the climate isn't changing? We've sold out of Electrolyte Tablets every year at this time for the past 5 years... Bad planning on our part? Not at all- each year, we take the total increase over the year before, project that same growth in demand, increase that number by an additional 50% growth, and pre-order enough to cover - we still run short, The Electrolyte Tablet manufacturers run out, too, so we can't restock enough to keep up... Why? It's darned hot.This ain't no joke, folks, people are suffering and as Americans, we generally don't think about dealing with this sort of extreme heat.

      What can you do to avoid heat emergencies?

      Read, Learn, Prepare, and follow some basic safety precautions...

      Also read; Preventing Injury, Illness, and Deaths caused by HeatHot Weather Health Emergencies - How to treatClimate Change & Keeping it Cool

      Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

      The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

      • Photo of athlete drinking water.Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
      • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
      • Fortify yourself with Electrolyte Supplements on days it is going to be warm - drinking water is essential, but it can also flush the salts and minerals from your system - you need to help your body out.
      • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
      • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
      • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
      • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
      • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
        • Infants and young children
        • People aged 65 or older
        • People who have a mental illness
        • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
      • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

      If you must be out in the heat:

      • Photo of woman relaxing in the shade.Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
      • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
      • Try to rest often in shady areas.
      • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).
    • Safety with Cleaning Chemicals: Storing and Handling

      Safe storage of cleaning chemicals is of great importance for every householder. All of us use a great deal of cleaning products in our homes, but do we know how to properly handle and dispose of them? If used or stored improperly, each solution may be dangerous, which may lead to fire, environmental and health hazards. To reduce the risk of your household cleaning products becoming dangerous for your entire family, check out what measures you can take. Below we offer you a few cleaning chemicals storage and handling tips.

      Labels

      The first thing to give you an insight into a product's contents and proper storage instructions is the label. Here is where you will find considerable information about the ingredients used, expire date, safety tips and others. Be careful with words like “Warning”, “Danger” or “Caution”. If the latter appear on the label, it means you must handle the product with extreme caution. Furthermore, take into consideration the following:

      • Spray_BottleFlammable liquid: its flash point is below 60°C (140°F)
      • Flammable: it means the product burns rapidly and can catch fire very easily
      • Irritant: it means the product can cause swelling or soreness of eyes, skin, respiratory system or mucous membranes
      • Toxic: it means it can cause damages or death if absorbed through the skin, absorbed, inhaled or swallowed
      • Poison: it can cause injury or death if inhaled or absorbed through the skin
      • Corrosive: it can lead to the destruction of a living tissue or material; examples of corrosive substances are sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, perchloric acid, formic acid and nitric acid
      • Combustible liquid: its flash point is between 60°C to 392°C (140°F to 200°F)

      Easy Reach

      It's always advisable that you keep your cleaning products our of reach of children. These solutions can be deadly and your offspring must know about the dangers. Always keep your cleaning kit in a cool, dark place. High temperatures can cause some products to explode, whereas low temperatures may lead to some substances freezing. To avoid that, always read the label and do as instructed by the manufacturer. Every product on the market has safety use and storage instructions; if you comply with them, it's all going to be okay.

      Chemicals and Food

      Never store chemicals and food in the same place. This could lead to food contamination, which can pose a health threat to you and your family.

      Using Alternative Products

      Instead of putting your health and life at risk, try using healthier alternatives to hazardous cleaning chemicals. For example, you can use white vinegar, lemon and lemon juice, baking soda and other ingredients found in the household to clean surfaces like cupboards, floors, windows, tiles, marble, etc. Using natural solutions helps protect nature and does not cause any damage to living organisms.

      Chemicals and Containers

      It is crucial that you keep chemical products in their original containers. They should never be transferred to another container, especially if the latter is not appropriate for chemical storage. There may be spills or other problems that can cause health or fire hazards.

      Corrosive Substances

      Corrosive substances should be kept in cool places (not too cool however).

      Toxic Substances

      Toxic cleaning products should be kept out of contact with oxidizing substances, moisture, acids and heat. They should be stored in well-ventillated, cool areas.

      Mixing Two Cleaning Products

      It is not advisable that you mix tow different cleaning products to obtain better results in cleaning. This may be extremely dangerous, especially if you are not aware of the ingredients of the two products and whether it is safe to be mixed with other chemicals.

    • Climate Change & Keeping it Cool

      EXTREME HEAT - click image to see full  size or print EXTREME HEAT - click image to see full size or print

      It's Hot - Stay Cool... kick it in the shade and enjoy.

      Also read:

      Heat-related Deaths

      Extreme heat events, or heat waves, are a leading cause of extreme weather-related deaths in the United States. The number of heat-related deaths is rising. For example, in 1995, 465 heat-related deaths occurred in Chicago. From 1999 to 2010, a total of 7,415 people died of heat-related deaths, an average of about 618 deaths a year.

      Heat Stress

      Heat stress is heat-related illness caused by your body's inability to cool down properly. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

      A mother and children on the beach

      Several factors affect the body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

      Heat stress ranges from milder conditions like heat rash and heat cramps, to the most common type, heat exhaustion. The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

      Risk Factors

      A mother and children on the beach

      Anyone can develop heat stress. However, the following groups of people have higher risks for experiencing heat stress or heat-related death:

      • Infants and children up to four years of age,
      • People 65 years of age and older,
      • People who are overweight, and
      • People who are ill or on certain medications
      Prevention

      Heat-related death or illnesses are preventable if you follow a few simple steps.

      A family playing board games

      • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. If you don't have air conditioning in your home, go to a public place such as a shopping mall or a library to stay cool. Cooling stations and senior centers are also available in many large cities for people of all ages.
      • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
      • Drink water often. Don't wait until you are thirsty.
      • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities if you are outside or in a building without air-conditioning.
      • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim.

      Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness.

      WRN-AmbassadorAs Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors, we want all our readers to consider how Climate Changes are affecting weather patterns, including increasingly hot Summers and Heat Waves - and how this can affect their health and wellness.

    • Hot Weather Health Emergencies

      Summertime:

      Now a heat-related injury or illness occurs... What do you do?

      Photo of thermometer measuring high temperature.

      Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. During hot weather health emergencies, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels or contact local health departments for health and safety updates. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

      HEAT STROKE

      Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

      Recognizing Heat Stroke

      Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:

      • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
      • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
      • Rapid, strong pulse
      • Throbbing headache
      • Dizziness
      • Nausea
      • Confusion
      • Unconsciousness

      What to Do

      If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:

      • Get the victim to a shady area.
      • Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously. Instant Cold Packs applied to neck, wrists, groin area, and even knee pits and ankles can help cool very rapidly and effectively.
      • Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
      • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
      • Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
      • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

      Sometimes a victim's muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.

      HEAT EXHAUSTIONPhoto of man exhausted from playing tennis.

      Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

      Recognizing Heat Exhaustion

      Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:

      • Heavy sweating
      • Paleness
      • Muscle cramps
      • Tiredness
      • Weakness
      • Dizziness
      • Headache
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Fainting

      The skin may be cool and moist. The victim's pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:

      • Symptoms are severe
      • The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure

      Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

      What to Do

      Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:

      • Cool, nonalcoholic beverages
      • Rest
      • Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
      • An air-conditioned environment
      • Lightweight clothing

      HEAT CRAMPS

      Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

      Recognizing Heat Cramps

      Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

      What to Do

      If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:

      • Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.
      • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
      • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
      • Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

      SUNBURNPhoto of sun bather.

      Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention.

      Recognizing Sunburn

      Symptoms of sunburn are well known: the skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally warm after sun exposure.

      What to Do

      Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than 1 year of age or if these symptoms are present:

      • Fever
      • Fluid-filled blisters
      • Severe pain

      Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:

      • Avoid repeated sun exposure.
      • Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.
      • Apply moisturizing lotion to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.
      • Do not break blisters.

      HEAT RASHPhoto of woman's face sweating.

      Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most common in young children.

      Recognizing Heat Rash

      Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

      What to Do

      The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

      Treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems can be much more severe.

    • Funny as a Heart Attack

      Is a Heart Attack, or SCA ever Funny? No - not a real one, but a little humor can engage and get others to pay attention. Here we have Elizabeth Banks giving an entertaining lesson for Go Red for Women™ helping others understand more about recognizing the sometimes elusive signs and symptoms of Heart Attack in Women.

      Learn CPR!

      Recognizing SCA is only the first step - know how to respond to heart attack or sudden death - CPR and the rapid use of an AED are the nest ways to save someone suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

      Learn at Home:

      Image of Laerdal Family & Friends CPR Anytime

      If you want to learn CPR and don't have the time to take a CPR class, or don't need certification in CPR, thing about the great options available for learning CPR at home... not an online CPR course (Do you really think you can properly learn how o compress a chest and give rescue breaths by clicking a mouse? No. You can learn the fundamentals by watching a video or online course, but rally have no idea of the physical skills - you need hands-on practice!) See the Laerdal Family & Friends CPR Anytime - Also available in dark skin and Infant versions... click image to learn more!

      Hold a class for your Family, Group, or Work:

      CAREAdult, Child & Infant C.A.R.E. CPR™
      (New Guidelines - Full CPR & Compression-Only!)
      2½ Hours
      $16.50 - $29 per student
      2 Year Certification
      These items included in price for every Student!
      Student Handbook, Certification Card, CPR Reminder Pen, & these Student Practice Materials:
      Training kit for teaching CPR; Carrying Case / Sealed Plastic Bag, (2) Vinyl Gloves - Latex Free, (1) CPR Face Shield & More

      Pricing determined by class size, combination of safety topics, and demographics.

      Get an online quote for Group CPR Training

      (NOTE: Combined CPR & First Aid $aves even more time and money)


      So now you know...

      When we first heard of this, we thought "How can this be funny? This is NOT something you joke about..." But, it is great! They managed to make this one both informative and amusing.  A positive teaching tool, very well done. It is also very informative. Please share with all the women in your life.

    • 300 dying from Heat each year in the US

      Why do we "Harp on Heat"? because our climate is warming and heat related injury, illness, and death is on the rise. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat.

      According to the CDC, historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.

      It is easier for us to convince our readers to prepare for disasters than to take the simple steps to avoid heat-related illness.

      STAY COOL: Avoid direct sun, find shade, wear a hat.

      HYDRATE: Drink lots of plain old every day water and take your electrolyte supplements to replace what you are sweating out.

      REST: How hard is that? Heat saps your energy, take frequent cool, shady breaks while drinking that water!

      People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

      Image of hot sun.Several factors affect the body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

      Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.

      Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with measures that aid the body's cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness. This pamphlet tells how you can prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems.

      What Is Extreme Heat?

      Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a "dome" of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

      During Hot WeatherPhoto of elderly couple drinking water.

      To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense.

      The following tips are important:

      Drink Plenty of Fluids

      During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.

      Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

      Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

      Replace Salt and Minerals

      Buy Electrolyte Tablets! You should always have these available. Click the image to learn more...  from just 3 cents per tablet - it's worth it! Buy Electrolyte Tablets! You should always have these available. Click the image to learn more... from just 3 cents per tablet - it's worth it!

      Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets - your doctor may recommend other types of Electrolyte Tabs or another solution.

      Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen

      Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

      Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully

      Photo of young couple hiking.If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.

      Pace Yourself

      If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

      Stay Cool Indoors

      Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.

      Use a Buddy System

      When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.

      Monitor Those at High Risk

      Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.

      • Photo of little girl on beach.Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
      • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
      • People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
      • People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
      • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.

      Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

      Adjust to the Environment

      Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.

      Do Not Leave Children in Cars

      Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:

      • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
      • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
      • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

      Use Common Sense

      Remember to keep cool and use common sense:

      • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
      • Drink plenty of fluids and replace electrolytes, salts, and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
      • Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
      • Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
      • Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
      • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

      Read More

      Take away these thoughts and reminders:

      • Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.

      • Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.

      • Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates

      • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.

    • Heat Wave

      Stay Hydrated! Stay Hydrated!

      Heat can affect your heart and lung health. Stay cool and stay hydrated to protect yourself.

      When temperatures rise in the summer time, extremely hot weather can cause sickness or even death. Extreme heat can also make some types of air pollution worse in the summer, and air pollution can affect your health.

      Extreme Heat and Your Health

      Extreme heat events, or heat waves, are one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the United States. Heat stress is heat-related illness caused by your body's inability to cool properly. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

      Air Pollution (PM2.5) and Heart Disease

      Some types of air pollution can be worse in the summer, especially in large cities. Air pollution can be dangerous for many people including those with other medical conditions like heart disease. Fine particles of air pollution, known as PM2.5, can affect anyone, but some people are more vulnerable to health effects than others. People most likely to experience health effects from PM2.5 are:

      • People with heart or lung diseases (for example, asthma)
      • Older adults
      • Babies and children

      If you have heart disease, breathing in particle pollution, including PM2.5, can cause serious problems such as a heart attack. Coronary artery disease (CAD, also known as coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. While lifestyle habits such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking are most commonly associated with CAD, the risk of CAD can also increase from being exposed to PM2.5 over long periods.

    • Swimming and Drowning concerns at the Pool & Beyond

      drowningWe talked about Swimming Pool Safety this morning and previous articles about drowning. The CDC says that every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.

      An average of 3,868 people drowned per year from 1999-2000, and for most, those accidents were most likely to occur in natural bodies of water, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

      Learn how to prevent drowning and some facts about drowning:

      What factors influence drowning risk?

      Photo: People in a raft with safety equipment

      The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, failure to wear life jackets, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.

      • Lack of Swimming Ability: Many adults and children report that they can’t swim.  Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.
      • Lack of Barriers: Barriers, such as pool fencing, prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.  A four-sided isolation fence (separating the pool area from the house and yard) reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
      • Lack of Close Supervision: Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), and even in the presence of lifeguards.
      • Location: People of different ages drown in different locations. For example, most children ages 1-4 drown in home swimming pools. The percentage of drownings in natural water settings, including lakes, rivers and oceans, increases with age. More than half of fatal and nonfatal drownings among those 15 years and older (57% and 57% respectively) occurred in natural water settings.
      • Failure to Wear Life Jackets: In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports for 4,604 boating incidents; 3,153 boaters were reported injured, and 672 died. Most (72%) boating deaths that occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning, with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets.
      • Alcohol Use: Among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of ED visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths. Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat
      • Seizure Disorders: For persons with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk.

      Read more...

      There are simple steps you can take to improve your chances of staying safe the next time you’re playing in and around water. Here are some recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. Swim School Association:

      Learn to swim: Putting your kids in a good swim program can help them save themselves if they fall in the water. Many swimming facilities also offer lessons for adults.

      Image of Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit This swimming pool and lifeguard first aid kit has everything you'll need around the pool and more – even a whistle for warnings and calling for help! Use the products in this first aid kit for fun in the sun and around the water - protection and treatment for insect bites, minor cuts, scrapes and eye irritations. In addition, our lifeguard kits provide a CPR one-way valve face shield to protect rescuers from contaminants when performing CPR. Products are contained in a strong metal case with gasket for protection from weather and moisture around the swimming pool

      Supervision: The CDC recommends designating an adult who knows how to swim and perform CPR to watch swimmers. “The supervisor should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, or talking on the phone) while watching children,” according to the drowning prevention section of CDC.gov. Also swim with a buddy and try to choose areas that are patrolled by lifeguards.

      Know CPR:The ability to perform CPR could save a life or make a difference while waiting for the lifeguard or paramedics to arrive.

      Use a PFD: A Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device can be a lifesaver but never substitute water wings or other recreational type floating toys for an approved PFD.

      Know the conditions: Be aware of underwater obstacles and drop-offs and check the weather forecast before heading out.

      Rip currents: Different color and choppy or foamy areas of water or an area of water filled with debris moving away from shore are signs of a rip current. These currents should be avoided. If caught in a rip current the CDC recommends swimming parallel to shore until free then head toward shore.

      Swim sober: It might seen like common sense, but swimming under the influence is a good way to get in trouble.

      Have a plan: Have a Safety Plan for wherever you get in the water - Pool, Lake, Ocean, River, Sea or Pond!

      [video width="640" height="360" wmv="/blogs/first-aid-store/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/AMK-Marine-10001.wmv"][/video]
      Have a Boat First Aid Kit when going on the water - Fishing and marine First Aid Kits for Life Boat and on the water injuries - see our Pitt Stop packs, and our Maritime OSHA regulations, too!
    • ABC's of Pool Safety

      Pool SafetyPool safety is often overlooked with devastating results – According to the CDC, Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.  Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects). Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes. Almost all these swimming pool-related deaths were preventable cases. In order to ensure you keep your family and guests safe from harm, it’s important that you invest the time and effort required to fulfill your responsibilities.

      Official Safety Requirements

      Image of Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit This swimming pool and lifeguard first aid kit has everything you'll need around the pool and more – even a whistle for warnings and calling for help! Use the products in this first aid kit for fun in the sun and around the water - protection and treatment for insect bites, minor cuts, scrapes and eye irritations. In addition, our lifeguard kits provide a CPR one-way valve face shield to protect rescuers from contaminants when performing CPR. Products are contained in a strong metal case with gasket for protection from weather and moisture around the swimming pool

      Each State will have distinct rules and regulations, though on most points they’ll overlap. Check your local government to verify the small print for your area. These are the official requirements set by the  government, meaning that you should see these as the absolute minimum. Wherever possible, go beyond that to ensure you provide the safest possible environment.

      Some local governments require you to register your pool as proof that you have complied with official guidelines. You’ll need to have your pool inspected by a licensed pool safety inspector who has the authority to give you an official certificate as proof of your compliance. It’s important that you make 100% sure that you’re dealing with an agent that’s legitimate, so do your homework!

      Pool Gate and Fencing
      A good starting point for anyone that owns a pool is to have a look at PoolSafely.gov and CPSC - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. In addition to Pool and Spa Safety, the CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. These go over what’s expected of you as a pool owner. Before investing in any single solution, ensure that it covers each and every point on your checklist.

      Pool fences are required to be 1.2 meters high, be secure and strong in materials used, as well as be self-closing and self-latching. They should be child-resistant, guaranteeing kids are not able to open them on their own. Remember to clear the area immediately surrounding the gate, as plant pots and garden furniture can be used to climb over the fence.

      Barriers are generally required for the following units: in-ground and above-ground pools, indoor swimming pools, Jacuzzis, spas, hot tubs, and wading and bathing pools. Ensure the barriers are all of decent quality – investing in the right materials is not only safer, but will be cheaper in the long-run as maintenance costs will be lower.

      In addition to the initial installation of your fencing, it’s important that you do regular check-ups. Damaged barriers should be looked at straight away – this not only keeps your costs low in the long term, but also ensures your pool area is kept safe at all times. Remember, as the pool owner you’re responsible that your safety barriers are compliant to government guidelines. You must ensure you tick all the boxes to avoid legal issues and hence keep family and guests safe from harm.

      Teach Children How to Swim
      It’s alarming just how many children play in and around pools without actually knowing how to swim! It is recommended children learn how to swim from an early age, preferably through a school or programme where the proper techniques are taught right from the get go.

      Flotation Devices
      Even if your children have some experience in the water, if they’re still young, it’s recommended that flotation devices be used. Mats, rings, vests and wings should conform to the required standard as set by the Coast Guard – don’t buy cheaper units, as they are often faulty or substandard.

      Supervision
      You can invest in the most advanced fencing, have an auto-closing gate, and have the latest gadgetry installed, but proper supervision is paramount. It’s important you remain vigilant at all times, especially if there are young children in the pool.

      CPR Sign and First Aid
      No matter how many precautions we take, accidents still happen. The important thing is to be ready to do what’s necessary, wasting no time if at all possible. Have a clear CPR sign poolside, as well as at least one person who have attended a first aid course.

      Taking the precautionary steps to keep your pool safe isn't just to abide by government guidelines. Remember, the rules are in place for a reason. Keep your family safe by investing in the right equipment, following instructions, and always remaining vigilant. It may sound like a bit of work, but once everything’s in place you’ll run on autopilot.

    • Older Americans means deeper considerations around CPR & Lifesaving Measures

      As America grows older we need to think more about Senior Care and When lifesaving makes sense and when it doesn't.  The average U.S. retirement age has climbed to 61, up from 57 two decades ago, and it's likely to age higher, according to Gallup's Economy and Personal Finance survey. The average non-retired American now plans to retire at 66, up from 60 in 1995, according to the Gallup survey. Why is this? Because we are living longer. According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration:

      • A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.
      • A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.

      And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95.

      Want to know your life expectancy? You can use the simple Life Expectancy Calculator from SSA to get a rough estimate of how long you (or your spouse) may live.

      Life Expectancy Calculator

      According to National Geographic Magazine, babies born today can expect to live to 120. Read the National Geographic May cover story "On Beyond 100"

      We've discuss lifesaving considerations for the elderly and inform in recent articles Does CPR Save Lives? Yes. Is it always the Answer? No. & To Save a Life with CPR, or Not? That is the question. How does this affect you? What about EMS? What about decisions for elderly family members?

      According to a report by caregiver.org:

      A call to 911 is a request for emergency help; the goal of those who respond to 911 calls is to protect life and property, and the people who respond expect to go to work doing what they are trained to do to accomplish that goal. If your house is on fire, the firefighters don't ask for permission to cut a hole in your roof and spray water all over your living room—they just do what is necessary to stop the fire from destroying your home.

      Similarly, when a person's heartbeat and breathing have failed, the 911 responders are not prepared to have a long talk with you about the person's condition and what you think might be best to do. They know that any delay could mean brain damage, so they immediately start CPR and then take the person to the hospital. With one exception, which we will discuss in the next section, their rules require this, and it makes sense if you think about the purpose of the 911 system.

      The "Emergency Medical Systems Prehospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Form" is a legal document that gives the 911 responders permission not to perform CPR. The DNR form is prepared in advance of any situation and kept at home. This prehospital DNR form lists the name of the person to whom it applies, and is signed by that person (or whoever represents that person if he or she is too ill to make medical decisions on his or her own behalf). It is also signed by the person's doctor. Please note this is very important: the form is not valid until the doctor signs it, as it is a medical order. There is a new form which can replace or be a supplement to the traditional DNR order called a POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment). See Fact Sheet: Advanced Medical Directives for more information on POLST.

      The DNR or POLST is the only form that affects 911 responders; other documents, such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or some other Advanced Directives, do not. If emergency personnel arrive to find a person whose heartbeat and breathing have failed or are failing, they will perform CPR unless they see a correctly completed DNR/POLST.

      In light of this, the DNR/POLST form should be kept near the ill person's bed, perhaps on the wall, so it will be easy to find in case of emergency. When 911 responders see this form, they will still do anything they can to make the sick person comfortable, but they will not perform CPR. In the absence of a DNR/POLST form, they must do CPR. The DNR/POLST is the only form that gives you control over what they may do. (Note: A DNR may be reversed if you so desire.)

      Why would one choose to prepare a DNR? Because, as we've discussed above, there are times when it may not make sense to perform CPR. As an illness progresses, there usually comes a time when continued treatment will no longer reduce symptoms nor heal the person and he/she is in an end stage of the disease. (When a person is becoming more and more sick, doctors may try various treatments to stop the illness, but eventually it may become clear that treatments are not having the desired effect. Other treatments might provide comfort, and might even partly control the disease, but a point may be reached where nothing will stop the person's decline.) Under these circumstances, you might feel there is little reason to attempt CPR, as it (At this point, CPR) may only prolong dying. This allows natural death to occur. In fact, the original name of the DNR form was "DNAR" for "Do Not Attempt Resuscitation." This name recognized the fact that the form instructed the 911 responders not to undertake something that, despite the best efforts, would not work effectively in the long run. At most, the effort might put the sick person in the hospital, in pain and distress, for the last days of his or her life. Having a DNR prepared may also relieve the caregiver of making a decision to turn off a machine, which can be an even more difficult decision psychologically.

      (See the FCA fact sheets, End-of-Life Choices: Holding On and Letting Go and End-of-Life Decision Making for more discussions about this issue).

      cprWhen someone is suffering from a chronic illness, as opposed to an acute illness (the kind that usually requires a hospital visit or stay), the decline is often gradual. As a result, both caregivers and those in their care often forget to talk about the choices the chronically ill person would like to make regarding his or her health care. If you decide that you do not want CPR and are concerned about this decision, it might help to talk with your physician and clergyperson. It is normal, instinctive, to try to save life no matter what, and some people are concerned that not doing everything possible to preserve life is the same as "killing" someone. But it can also simply mean respecting the end stage of a disease as the body shuts down and death naturally occurs.

      There are no right and wrong answers to these questions, and until we face a situation like this, it is difficult to anticipate the kinds of choices we'd make. As we change throughout the course of an illness, our choices might also change. However, the more thoroughly family members have discussed these issues in advance of the need to make a critical decision, the easier it will be on both the person who is ill and those responsible for that person's care. It is never too soon to start the conversation. Hospice care can relieve suffering and provide support to patients and families facing these crises.

      Save a Life! ACT NOW!


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