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Sun safety is so important when it comes to your little ones. Think about a time when you experienced sunburn. It was uncomfortable, painful, and maybe even caused you to get sick, right? While sunburn is serious in adults, it’s even more serious for children. And, lifelong exposure to the sun without following the important basics of sun safety can lead to serious problems in adulthood. Your little one’s young, sensitive skin is something you should protect. Since they are even more vulnerable to damage caused by the sun’s rays, it’s important to protect them all year long. But, especially in summer, you should be on top of your child’s wellbeing and follow sun safety practices to avoid serious problems. Sun Safety Tricks and Tips for Parents As with most things in life, educating yourself on the basics of sun safety will be a huge help to make sure your entire family is safe this summer. So, an important first step is to understand the difference between UVA and UVB rays. Let’s take a look! UVA vs. UVB Sun Rays There are two types of sun rays we deal with when it comes to how the sun affects our skin. Ultraviolet A rays, also called UVA rays, are the sun’s rays that make our skin tan. Ultraviolet B rays, also called UVB rays, are the sun’s rays that cause our skin to burn. Although you might think UVA rays are good for you because they cause you to get that nice summer tan everyone is competing for, neither type of rays are healthy for your skin. When it comes to sun safety, whether you become sunburnt or suntan, both are signs that your skin cells have been damaged by the sun’s radiation. In fact, both UVA and UVB rays are equal in the damage they cause to your skin and the risk they pose of leading to skin cancer. So, how do you protect the skin from these damaging rays? Let’s take a look at SPF What Is SPF and What Number Should I Choose? SPF stands for sun protection factor. Sun safety care products contain different SPF levels. The level of SPF indicates the sunscreen’s effectiveness in preventing sunburn. Sunscreen should be adequately applied on a regular basis when you and your family are exposed to the sun. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. For maximum protection, SPF 50 is the best option. Protecting Your Children from the Sun With so many products available on the market, and competitive marketing tactics to promote them, many parents worry if they are choosing the right option for sun safety. The most effective option to protect your child is sunscreen lotion. It gives you better control over application. You can also monitor how much you have applied, where sprays are difficult to determine whether you have covered the body effectively. Since some children are allergic to the ingredients found in some sunscreens, do a patch test 24 hours before your child will be in the sun to ensure they don’t have a reaction. Be sure to choose a water-resistant product if you plan on swimming or being exposed to water during the day. But remember, even water-resistant products need to be reapplied more frequently when your child is in the water. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that adults use at least one ounce of sunscreen, but there is not a recommended amount for children. Be sure to cover all exposed areas thoroughly. Apply sunscreen at least thirty minutes before you plan to go outside so it absorbs into the skin properly. The rule of thumb with reapplying sunscreen for children is to reapply at least every two hours when they are actively exposed to the sun. If swimming, exposed to water, or sweating, you should apply more frequently. It is not recommended that children six months of age and younger use sunscreen. The chemicals contained in these products can absorb into the skin and affect a baby’s sensitive body. The best skin protection for children under six months of age is clothing with SPF protection and adequate shade. For added sun safety, keep your infant out of the sun during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. This is when the UVB rays are the most intense. Always use a hat or bonnet to protect the face, ears, and neck. More Ways to Protect from the Sun Believe it or not, even on overcast days, you need to practice sun safety. Up to 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate the clouds, reflect on the sand, and even cause sunburn in winter months with snow on the ground. Be sure your children are always protected from the sun. Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and clothing should always be worn when you are outside. If your child does end up with sunburn, contact their pediatrician. If they are under the age of one, it is important they see a doctor to prevent problems in the future. If your child is over the age of one and has blisters, pain, lethargy, or a fever, talk to your doctor about ensuring they are safe, soothing the pain, and calming the itch and swelling that is often associated with sunburn. While it is important for sun safety to keep your child out of the sun without protection, it is even more important to avoid the sun completely until their burn is healed. If you, your child, or any family member has been exposed to extreme sun rays and you feel they are facing a medical emergency, it is always important to trust your instincts and call 9-1-1 immediately! For more information on how to protect your child from the sun and treat sunburn, we are always available to assist you at Seymour EMS. Follow this basic guide for sun safety and you and your family can enjoy the great outdoors for years to come!

The post Sun Safety Basics for Children appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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Summer safety tips serve as a great reminder for parents as the school year comes to a close. By now the kids are itching to get out of school and summer days are already in full swing. Through all the excitement, it’s important to take a step back and review the top summer safety tips. This will not only ensure your young ones are safe, it’ll give you the peace of mind that you are doing everything you can as a parent to make sure of that! At Seymour EMS, we value our community and its members. That’s why we’ve set aside some time to draw up a list of the best summer safety tips for parents. We want to make sure your young ones are safe and are doing what they should be doing this summer-having fun! So, let’s take a quick look at the most important summer safety tips so you can get back to your fun summer activities. 10 Summer Safety Tips The lazy days of summer are here! Gran your summer gear and make sure you are properly prepared for an amazing summer with the entire family. But make sure you avoid unnecessary mishaps by following these top summer safety tips below! 1.          Provide the Right Sun Protection for Your Child. The best sun protection is avoiding the sun altogether. While this might seem a bit harsh, especially when you want your kids to enjoy the great outdoors, avoiding the sun between 10 am and 3 pm can be helpful. If you are outside in the height of the sun’s heat, try to find a shaded area. Equip your children with hats, sunglasses, and SPF protected clothing. For babies who are 6 months or older, be sure to apply sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. Look for a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection. Remember, even on cloudy days, the suns rays can still be harmful. So, lather the kids up even when it’s cloudy. Reapply as necessary. Even waterproof sunscreen loses its effectiveness, so be sure to keep your young ones safe from the sun at all times. 2.          Keep Children Cool Heat exhaustion is a major concern in the summer months. Another important summer safety tip is to be sure you keep your children cool as the temperatures rise. Watch for symptoms of heat exhaustion. These include:
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Muscle cramping
In some cases, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke include:
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of sweat
Remember, heatstroke can be fatal, especially in children. Infants, in particular, are vulnerable to heat-related illness. If you notice signs of heat illness in your children, spray them with cold water, fan them, place them in the shade, apply ice packs to the groin and armpits, and seek medical attention. 3.          Be Cautious Near Water Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in children. Children under the age of four should not be enrolled in formal swimming lessons that teach water survival skills, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If your child is near water, they should be supervised at all times. Take a CPR course so you can be prepared in the event of a near-drowning incident. 4.          Protect Your Children from Burns Your child will probably be home a lot more with school being out. That’s why one of our most important summer safety tips is to protect them from accidental burns. Do not leave small children unattended around hot appliances. Keep them away from the grill and stove while you are cooking. Fireworks are also a huge problem for children when it comes to serious burns. Learn the signs of serious burns and be sure to seek medical attention if your child is having issues! 5.          Beware of Poisonous Plants Poisonous plants can be a huge summer spoiler! Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can leave your little one facing an uncomfortable and itchy challenge if they come in contact with the plants. If your child comes into contact with one of these plants, you can avoid a rash by washing away the oil within 10 minutes. If you don’t catch that window of time, use a topical hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamine to help deal with the rash. To find out more about identifying these plants and their differences, head over to this informational article. You should contact your pediatrician immediately if the rash spread rapidly or comes in contact with the eyes. 6.          Beware of Bees Bee stings can be a serious problem, especially if your child is allergic. Avoid fragrances and floral-patterned clothing during the summer and fall months as bees are more attracted to these things. If a bee does land on your child, remain calm and gently blow it away. This will help you avoid aggravating the bee and possibly prevent a sting. 7.          More About Bug Bites Mosquitoes and other bugs are also around a lot more in the summer months. Bypass bug bites by covering your child with lightweight clothing. Use mosquito netting over strollers and infant seats for younger children. Check your child regularly for ticks when they come in from the outdoors. Bug repellants are a great resource for parents. Talk to your doctor about the best options for your children. These products should not be used on children younger than 3 years of age. 8.          Avoid Ear Infections Swimmer’s ear is a common problem many children face when spending a good amount of time in the water during the summer months. Swimmer’s ear is an ear infection of the outer ear canal caused by germs produced by excess moisture. Be sure to dry the outside of your child’s ear after water play. Since pain is the earliest symptom, talk to older children about letting you know as soon as they experience any ear pain. This can avoid progression that includes drainage and extreme tenderness of the ear. If your child is prone to ear infections, you may want to limit pool time. Your pediatrician can prescribe antibiotics for these problems. 9.          Prevent Food Poisoning Food poisoning is common in the summer months. Since many people are grilling and spending a great deal of time outdoors, food can become spoiled or contaminated easier. Be sure all raw fruits and vegetables are cleaned thoroughly before serving. Keep your cold food at a temperature of less than 40 degree Fahrenheit. Refrigerate all uneaten food after one hour or dispose of it if refrigeration is not possible. If you experience signs of food poisoning like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, contact your medical provider. 10.    Keep a Well Stocked First-Aid Kit Handy At the start of every summer season you should double check your first-aid kit and be sure it is properly stocked. We can’t prevent every accident from happening but we can be as prepared as possible if one does occur. For more information on how to stock your first-aid kit the right way, head over to our first-aid checklist. Summer should be fun! And we don’t want to kill your enthusiasm by talking about all these potential dangers. But, if you are prepared with great summer safety tips, you are more likely to prevent injuries and emergencies and enjoy a summer to remember!

The post Summer Safety Tips for Parents appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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CPR classes are an amazing resource for any community. They help keep caretakers and working professionals prepared if an emergency strikes. What most people don’t realize is that most CPR classes can be taken by anyone. You don’t need to have a medical background or even a professional background requiring CPR certification to be trained in the lifesaving tactic. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect and how CPR classes can provide an excellent resource for anyone willing to get certified! What is CPR? Whether you’re looking to learn more about CPR or are wondering what to expect if you sign up for a class, the first thing you should know is what exactly CPR is. CPR is a term commonly used to refer to the lifesaving tactic of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This is performed on individuals who have stopped breathing and no longer have a pulse. Individuals who require lifesaving measure after cardiac arrest or drowning accidents are examples of patients who may need CPR. The goal of CPR is to compress the chest and heart so that blood can be pumped to the brain. When the heart stops and a person isn’t breathing, fast action is required to avoid brain damage. If CPR is not started within 2 minutes of the heart stopping, brain damage will rapidly begin and a patient may not be able to be resuscitated. Unfortunately, 90% of patients who suffer cardiac arrest will die before they reach the hospital. Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.  The good thing is that by taking CPR classes and getting certified, just about anyone can help save a life with CPR certification. Effective CPR performed within 2 minutes of cardiac arrest can increase the chance of a person’s survival by 200-300%, according to statistics. Who Can Take CPR Classes? The American Heart Association doesn’t actually mandate a minimum age requirement to learn CPR. That’s because the ability to perform CPR is based on body strength rather than age. Statistically, children as young as nine years old have been known to learn and retain CPR skills and even save lives. Traditionally, CPR classes are available to adults. But there are classes directed towards teenagers who care for younger siblings or work as babysitters. These are called Safe Sitter classes. Most people resist taking CPR training because they either don’t have the time, don’t think they are equipped to learn or are put off by the idea of performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on other people. When you understand more about what goes into CPR and the requirements to complete CPR classes, you may reconsider. CPR training actually only takes one to three hours to complete. And, the mouth-to-mouth portion of the skill that is traditionally thought of when talking about CPR is no longer considered a standard part of CPR. So, if you have local CPR classes available, getting trained is something you should really consider. It can give you the chance to save the lives of someone in need, and is an extra resource to keep your family safe in the event of an emergency! What to Expect with CPR Classes If you are planning to take CPR classes, here are some things you can expect when you go for training. Here are some CPR facts you might not know:
  • CPR is the shortest and most basic of all medical training classes.
  • You don’t need to have a medical background to take CPR.
  • There is a public version of CPR that is available to the general public. In fact, medical professionals take a different type of CPR training class to become certified.
  • While CPR classes aim to train you in a standardized way, there are different levels of CPR. CPR classes are broken down in the following ways:
    • Adult CPR is the simplest form of CPR. Adult CPR classes usually only take about an hour. These cover the basic techniques for performing CPR on adults, teens, and adolescents older than 8. Automated external defibrillator training, also known as AED, is often added to most Adults CPR classes.
    • Pediatric CPR classes provide training to administer CPR to children under the age of eight. Since children are smaller, the resuscitation techniques are much different than adults. Differences include chest compression ratios and how to properly provide airway clearance for infants, toddlers, and young children. This class is great for parents, older siblings, and people who work in a daycare, school, or playground setting.
    • Basic life support for healthcare providers is the final level of CPR classes. This is a requirement for all emergency medical personnel. It is also called CPR for professional rescuers. This course is a little more advanced because it also includes AED training, two-person CPR techniques, ventilation devices, and barriers to performing rescue breathing.
Where to Find CPR Classes If you’ve decided you’re ready to jump into CPR training, you may be wondering where you can find CPR classes. The great news is that if you’re local to Seymour EMS, we provide various classes throughout the year to help you get certified at all the levels mentioned above. Additionally, you can find CPR classes in the following places:
  • Hospitals
  • Fire departments
  • Community health centers
  • Community colleges
  • Schools
  • Pediatrician offices
There may also be other places within your community where you can pick up a CPR class. No single institution or agency is credited with carrying CPR classes. So, training can be provided at any commercial organization or individual place as long as there’s a trained professional available to teach the course. Once you finish your training, you’ll get a card or certificate that serves as proof of your full accreditation for completing the course. If you need CPR training as a requirement for your employer, keep in mind that most employers will only take CPR certification that’s been sanctioned by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or the National Safety Council. For more information on the CPR classes at Seymour Ambulance, follow us on social media or stay check back regularly to our website for upcoming classes. You can conveniently register online and we’re here to answer all your questions!

The post CPR Classes Help Everyday Citizens Save Lives appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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The opioid epidemic. It’s a real crisis in today’s society. Every day, 130 people across the United States die of a drug overdose. 91% of these deaths are because of opioids, and the epidemic doesn’t discriminate. From young children to elderly citizens, this epidemic affects individuals of all races, financial backgrounds, and demographics. The fast rise in opioid-related deaths has sparked a dire need for awareness, education, and resources across our Nation. That’s why it’s important we all understand what opioids are, the impact of the opioid epidemic, and how we can help combat this addiction crisis. Let’s start with important facts everyone should know about this crisis. 10 Facts Everyone Needs to Know About the Opioid Epidemic Before you can work to prevent yourself or those you love from falling victim to this epidemic, you need to understand some basic facts about opioids. Here are 10 facts to help you understand more about the potential impact of opioid abuse. 1.          What are opioids? Opioids are narcotic medications used to reduce pain. They can also be referred to as “pain killers.” They work by binding themselves to a specific brain receptor that is the source of your feeling of pain. Once they are bound to the pain-sourcing brain receptor, they minimize your body’s perception of that pain. 2.          What are the common types of opioids? The most common types of opioid medications include:
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen or Vicodin
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine or Demerol
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycodone/Acetaminophen or Percocet
  • Oxycodone/Naloxone
The drugs are prescribed by a doctor and come in prescription pill form. This is true for all the opioids listed above with the exception of Fentanyl which comes as a patch. 3.          How are opioids related to heroin? Individuals who become addicted to opioids often report that they eventually switch to heroin use. In fact, 4 out of 5 people who are addicted to heroin say their addiction started with prescription opioid use. This is why the opioid epidemic has been so rampant. Since heroin is chemically similar to prescription opioids, it affects the body and brain in the same way. The biggest attraction those addicted to opioids find from heroin is that it is cheaper and easier to access. 4.          What are the risks of opioid use? As with any prescription drug, opioids come with several risks and potential side effects. Even when taken as directed, opioid use can lead to sensitivity to pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and confusion. The more a person uses opioids, the higher the risk they have of developing a tolerance to the drugs. This can cause a person to stop breathing as they become desperate to get the same high they did the first time they used the drug. 5.          How big is the opioid epidemic? The opioid epidemic is growing rapidly. Despite aggressive efforts to combat this problem, the issue continues to grow. Between 2011 and 2015, opioids overdose deaths in the United States tripled. BY 2014, Americans were more likely to die from opioid overdose than from a car accident. The most recent study of opioid-related deaths reported that 47,600 people died in the United States in 2017. 6.          How does someone die from a drug overdose? When a person ingests too many opioid painkillers, they can experience slowed breathing, confusion, and lack of oxygen to the brain. This can eventually lead to death. Opioid overdoses are even more common when alcohol, sedatives, or other opioid painkillers are taken alongside the opioid drugs. When a person takes too much of their prescription medication or mixes certain types of prescribed drugs, overdose occurs. 7.          What increases the chance of an opioid overdose? There are several factors that can increase the chance of an opioid overdose. These include using multiple substances, consuming an opioid drug that is too strong, tolerance level, age, other health conditions or medications taken. 8.          Can anything stop an opioid overdose? As the opioid epidemic became more of a problem, educational resources became readily available to try to stop the problem. Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a medication most members of society have at least heard about. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. This means it reverses the effects of the opioid on the body. It is a temporary solution to give medical professionals time to assess the patient and provide proper medical attention. Narcan is now available to the public through community training initiatives and free educational courses. 9.          What should I do if I’m addicted to opioid drugs? If you feel you have an issue with opioid abuse, you can contact the free and confidential Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline. Help is available 24/7, 365 days a year for treatment referral and information service for individuals or family members facing mental health or substance abuse challenges. If you need help, call the hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). 10.    How can I help others who have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic? There are several training opportunities available to the public if you wish to help combat the impact of the opioid epidemic. You can learn the facts, risks, and warning signs of addiction concerns. You can also participate in training on how to help someone in crisis and non-crisis situations. You can undergo community training on how to administer Naloxone. Most Narcan training courses provide community residents who have undergone training a free dose of Narcan. You can protect the ones you love by having an open conversation about the dangers of the opioid epidemic. There are also many community initiatives, such as the Prescription Drug Take Back, that can help you prevent an opioid overdose in your family. For more information on the opioid epidemic, find resources here or check with your local community medical response team for resources specific to your area.

The post 10 Facts Everyone Should Know About the Opioid Epidemic appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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2019 Autism awareness month is here and we’re shedding light on all the amazing autism warriors with some important tips for EMS responders. Being involved in a medical emergency is stressful for anyone. But patients with autism experience stress levels that are considerably higher due to the nature of EMS response. While flashing lights and loud sirens may be comforting to some, they can send someone with autism into sensory overdrive. In honor of 2019 Autism awareness month, here are some tips and tricks to help EMS professionals make their interactions a little less stressful for those with autism. What Is Autism? In order to understand how you can better serve those in your community, it’s important to understand the meaning behind some of the most common disorders in your community. Autism is a spectrum disorder that now affects 1 in 59 children. According to statistics for the 2019 Autism awareness month, it refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism will exhibit a different set of strengths and challenges. Some with Autism spectrum disorder, commonly referred to as ASD, will require significant supports on a daily basis while others may live entirely independently. Those with autism can experience several sensory sensitivities and medical issues. These can include:
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Seizures
  • Sleep disorders
  • Mental health challenges
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention issues
Because autism affects so many people, the 2019 Autism awareness month is celebrated worldwide to shed light on ways we can understand and assist those with the disorder. 2019 Autism Awareness Month Sheds Light on How EMS Responders Can Be Prepared One of the main reasons people work so hard to build awareness is to help educate the community, and world at large, about different ways we can help others. Since EMS responders play a huge role in the safety of all of us, we’re going to give you the best tips and tricks to help you effectively respond to patients with autism. Share these with your entire team and to teams around you to increase the reach of the 2019 Autism awareness month work. Things to Consider Caring for an autistic individual can bring several challenges for an EMS responder. This can become increasingly complicated when time plays a role. Take these three main areas of difficulty into consideration. The more prepared you are, the more effectively you will be able to serve your patients with autism. Adjusting the plan of care will deliver better outcomes all around. 1.          Before the Emergency Find ways to identify individuals in your community with an autism diagnosis. There are all sorts of outreach education programs that coincide with the 2019 Autism awareness month efforts. You can help families register with their community 9-1-1 service. There are sticks and other identifiers that can be placed on windows and doors of cars and home. The Autism Society offers personal identification records in the case of emergencies. These can direct EMS providers on specific approaches that are effective in administering care. Use 2019 Autism awareness month to host or participate in a special event for those in the community with autism. This could even open the door to help you interact with autistic individuals in a non-emergency setting. You can use is as a chance to educate autistic individuals about some of the equipment used in an emergency. It’s also a chance for parents or caregivers to educate EMS professionals on the specific needs of the individual they care for. 2.          When Responding to an Emergency When responding to an emergency with an autistic patient involved, there are specific adjustments you can make to deliver care more effectively. Consider the following:
  • Limit the use of lights and sirens when possible
  • Allocate one individual to focus on the patient. Limiting the number of caregivers can help the autistic individual understand exactly what’s happening and reduce their level of anxiety.
  • Be direct in your request so there is no room for confusion.
  • Move slowly.
  • Explain everything before you do it to reduce the negative impact of new experiences.
  • Inform the receiving facility of the patient’s diagnosis and any specific approaches you have found to be successful.
  • Minimize distractions.
  • Allow the patient to perform self-stimulating, calming exercises when possible.
  • Assess for pain more carefully. Autistic patients may not respond to commonly used instruments.
  • Use the patient’s caregiver whenever possible.
  • Emphasize comfort and reassurance repeatedly.
  • Expect the unexpected. Check carefully for injuries that they might not be relaying to you.
  • Don’t presume a nonverbal child or adult who might not seem to be listening, can’t hear of understand what you say.
3.          Autism and Aggressive Behavior According to research put forward for the 2019 Autism awareness month, those on the autism spectrum are 20-30% more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior than the general population. These behaviors are often escalated when they are in distress, uncomfortable, or not feeling well. You need to think of this type of aggressive behavior differently than you would a planned and purposeful act of violence. Aggressive behavior with autistic individuals is usually due to their inability to communication and their reaction to pain or fear. It is essentially a form of communication. When you step back and approach these calls with understanding, you will more likely be able to provide the proper help your patient needs. Utilize the caregiver to help you navigate any aggressive behavior. Perform only those procedures that are essential to the patient’s well-being. Do as much as you possibly can to alleviate your patient’s fears. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. The rates continue to rise by 10-17% annually. As we make our way through the 2019 Autism awareness month, we encourage EMS personnel everywhere to educate themselves on the disorder and find effective ways to help deliver care during emergency situations. Education and awareness will help you deliver better service to your patients and better outcomes for all involved.

The post 2019 Autism Awareness Month: Tips for Special Needs Calls for EMS Responders appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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Motor vehicle accidents happen all the time. When you have the unfortunate luck of getting into a motor vehicle accident, you are sure to experience a feeling of panic that gets your heart pumping fast. While this is a normal reaction when you get into an accident, it is important to stay calm to avoid further complications. Here are some important steps to take to effectively handle a motor vehicle accident: Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Area If possible, you should move your vehicle off the road to an area you feel is safe. If you are not injured, and your vehicle is still in operating condition, move your car out of harm’s way. If you can’t move your car to a safe area, be sure to put your hazard lights on. This will warn other drivers that your vehicle will not be moved, and they should slow down and drive with extra precaution. Bring Your Vehicle to a Complete Stop Be sure your car has come to a complete stop. Shift your vehicle into park and turn off the engine. If you drive a manual shift, be sure to apply the emergency brake. Take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. Check to see if it is safe to get out of your vehicle, then get out and move to a safe place. Many people carry emergency bags in their cars in case they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. If it’s safe, place flares or other road safety markers around your vehicle. Check on Your Passengers Carefully check on the other passengers in your vehicle. Once you have determined that no one is seriously injured, check on the others involved in the motor vehicle accident. Are all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe? Call 911 to report the accident and notify them if anyone is injured. Even minor symptoms should be evaluated by a health care professional. Request Police to the Scene of the Motor Vehicle Accident Regardless or how serious or minor the motor vehicle accident may be, the police should be contacted. This will help verify that the scene is safe to leave and that you have all you need to report the accident to your insurance company. Let the police evaluate the scene. Avoid admitting fault before it is determined by a professional who was responsible for the motor vehicle accident. Gather Important Information Before you leave the scene, be sure to gather all the important information you need about the other party involved in the accident. Get all driver and passengers’ names. Take down their license plate number and make and model of the vehicle. Record the contact information of any eye witnesses on the scene. Document the location of the accident. Take down the name and badge number of any police officers that responded to the scene. Finally, gather all insurance information of the other persons involved in the motor vehicle accident. Take down their policy number, insurance company information including phone number, and the exact name of those listed on the policy. Document the Scene If you have a phone, take images of the cars involved in the motor vehicle accident and the area where it occurred. This can come in handy when dealing with the insurance companies during the claim process. Begin a file that holds all photos and documentation regarding the accident. Regardless of your driving record, motor vehicle accidents can happen to anyone at any time. Be sure you know what steps to take to keep yourself and your passengers safe in the unfortunate event of an accident. Emergency responders will arrive at the scene and ensure you are safe and the accident is cleaned up to avoid further problems for other drivers.

The post How to Handle a Motor Vehicle Accident appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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Welfare checks make up a large number of calls that EMS providers respond to each year. When it comes to welfare checks, these tips can help ensure the safety of everyone involved. Check out these helpful tips for welfare checks for EMS responders. What Are Welfare Checks? Social contacts are an important part of the everyday safety of individuals. Most people rely on their friends, family, and neighbors to check on them regularly. When a loved one fails to respond to a regular check-in, emergency responders may be called in to conduct a welfare check. This essential law enforcement and EMS function is an important tool for building safe communities. The following are examples of situations that call for welfare checks:
  • You normally see your neighbor and know when they will be away for an extended time, but it’s been a long time since you have seen them. You call them or knock on their front door, but don’t get a response.
  • Your elderly parent or grandparent calls you once a week, but you haven’t heard from them. When you try to contact them, you don’t get a response.
  • Your friend who lives alone has been having suicidal thoughts. He/she sent you a message that causes you concern and you can’t get ahold of them after that.
If you need to call in a welfare check, the first step is to contact your local police department. If you feel like a major emergency situation may be in progress, call 911 directly. Otherwise, you can call your local police department at their non-emergency phone number. You will need to get in touch with the police department local to the residence where your loved one lives. When police respond to welfare checks where they find the person in good health, they will likely just call you to let you know everything is fine. If the person is sick, injured, or deceased, they will call for emergency assistance immediately. EMS will respond to the scene ASAP and perform the necessary measures to stabilize the patient. If necessary, they will transport them to the emergency room for further assistance. While there are several reasons why welfare checks are conducted, the most common is to check on elderly persons who live alone. Important Tips for EMS Providers When it comes to welfare checks, these tips can be of great help if you are an EMS provider. Put Your Safety First Since many jurisdictions dispatch multiple agencies, paramedics and EMTs may respond to the scene before police arrive. Remember that provider safety is a top priority. Follow your instincts when it comes to entering welfare checks without the police present. If something feels off, wait for police to check out the safety of the scene. If you’re not safe, you can’t perform the job you were called to do in the first place. Police are the primary agency called to welfare checks. Do you best to follow the hierarchy of response. Follow Protocol Carefully If you feel that the scene is safe and police have yet to respond, there is some protocol that would allow fire and EMS to enter first. Follow common sense when it comes to forcible entry if the police aren’t on the scene. Common sense guidelines would say that you should only force entry ahead of the police if you:
  1. See something concerning, such as a patient’s body through the window
  2. Hear something concerning, such as a person calling for help
  3. Smell something concerning, such as fire or natural gas
Make Sure All New EMS Professionals Are Trained All EMS professionals should be trained by their department on how to handle welfare checks. Training should include:
  • Providing welfare check protocol
  • How to size up the scene
  • How to notify a patient that entry is being made
  • Assessing a patient properly
  • Escaping violent encounters
  • Understanding when forcible entry is allowed without police presence
Make sure your EMS personnel understand the risks associated with welfare checks. Risk assessment and mitigation is an important part of ongoing EMS training. Find Ways to Deliver Lasting Intervention to Reduce Welfare Checks While welfare checks are a necessary, essential resource in every community, they often take intensive response to executing. Many welfare checks result in an unsatisfactory outcome. This includes no patient present, a non-billable transport refusal, or civilian distress when parts of the house need to be destroyed to gain entry. When you notice a patient who calls for multiple or regular welfare checks, you should try to discuss lasting intervention with their family. Talk about social service referrals or community paramedic check-ups to help the situation. Calling for a welfare check may be the difference between life and death when someone you love faces an emergency. When patients understand how welfare checks work and EMS providers do their best to respond effectively, welfare checks can end with the best outcome.

The post Tips for Welfare Checks for EMS Responders appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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Space heater safety is important to consider in the winter months. Since many people turn to space heaters to keep their homes and offices warm, space heater safety tips can help prevent a major catastrophe. While opting to use a space heater may be a cost-saving option, it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the right safety precautions. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20,000 residential fires are linked to the use of space heaters every year. Let’s take a closer look at the steps you should take to ensure space heater safety. Protect yourself and your loved ones while also staying warm with these simple steps. Choose the Right Space Heater When it comes to space heater safety, the first step is being sure you choose the right space heater for your space. Consider how the space heater will be used. Will it be used regularly to supplement heat in colder rooms? Will it be used only in emergency situations as a temporary heating solution? Although electric space heaters are a safer option than portable fuel-burning options that use natural gas, propane, and kerosene, it’s still important to carefully consider your options. Choose a space heater that is labeled or nationally recognized as a safe option. This will ensure that you choose an option that meets the voluntary space heater safety standards set in place. Consider looking for units with safety features. These can include:
  • Units that shut off before overheating
  • Units with oxygen depletion sensors
  • Units with tip-over switches
  • Units with touch sensor
Proper Setup and Use for Space Heater Safety In addition to choosing the right space heater, you need to be sure you set it up and use it the right way. When setting up a space heater, be sure it is at least 36 inches away from anything flammable. Remove all combustible materials from the area. Unless designed otherwise, always place space heaters on the floor. Never place them elevated where they can fall over and cause a fire. A major space heater safety consideration is to place them in an area free of flammable liquids. Do not put space heaters anywhere close to items that are easily ignitable or have combustible surfaces, this would include rugs or carpets. Never use space heaters to dry wet clothing. If you do end up choosing a fuel-fired space heater, be sure to leave a window or door partially opened to allow for fresh air to enter. Never keep space heaters in an enclosed area without proper ventilation. An important element of space heater safety is to use carbon monoxide detectors to avoid buildup or oxygen depletion. Using a gas-fired or kerosene heater in any confined space that is not properly ventilated can be deadly. When it comes to natural gas or propane-fired space heater safety, remember the following tips:
  • If you smell gas, do not attempt to light the heater. Turn of all controls, open the windows and doors and leave the area. Contact emergency personnel immediately.
  • Remember that propane does not dissipate rapidly. If you smell gas, do not touch any electrical switches. Avoid using any electrical appliances. Do not smoke or use any sparks that could ignite the gas. Before you re-enter the space, be sure it is clearly by an emergency professional.
Always keep space heaters away from wet or moist areas. Any contact with water could lead to electric shock or a fire. Avoid using any type of extension cord when plugging in your space heater. Extension cords and improper plugs can lead to overheating and eventually fire. Finally, space heater safety requires regular cleaning and maintenance of your heater. Add Safety Precautions by Equipping Your Home or Business with Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors It should be no surprise that your home or business should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To increase space heater safety precautions, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition. Regularly change batteries. Smoke detectors can be a fast way to detect smoke and alarm occupants to get out safely. A carbon monoxide detector can alert you to any potentially hazardous gases that may be odorless and colorless. Space heaters are an effective and cost-efficient way to heat home or office spaces. Before you equip your home or office, be sure you follow proper space heater safety precautions to avoid an unnecessary emergency. Winter can be a difficult time of year. Follow additional steps to ensure winter hazard safety.

The post Space Heater Safety Tips appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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Common cold prevention may seem simple, but it sure is important. Unlike other illnesses, the common cold can linger, wreaking havoc on your entire household. Children and elderly people are particularly susceptible to catching colds. They are the main reason children miss school and elderly persons end up in the emergency room. If you want to keep the common cold to a minimum this year, these common cold prevention tips are a great resource for anyone! What Is the Common Cold? If you are sick, you should always seek the advice of a medical professional. But, there are some ways you can tell if you have the common cold. The first signs are usually a sore throat and runny nose, followed by coughing and sneezing. When it comes to the common cold, it takes most people 7-10 days to recover. But there are several steps you can take for common cold prevention. Reduce your risk of catching the common cold by washing your hands often. Avoid coming in close contact with people who are sick. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands. Each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the common cold. Most adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year. Children are even more susceptible to frequent colds throughout the year. Colds are more common in the winter and spring, but can really come at any time of year. The most common symptoms are:
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
While most people recover in 7-10 days, people with a weakened immune system may take longer to get over the common cold. That’s why common cold prevention is even more important for people with asthma or respiratory conditions. Protect Yourself with Common Cold Prevention The common cold is easy to spread. The viruses that cause it can be spread from person to person through personal contact, but they can also be spread through the air. When you shake hands with someone who has a cold, you can easily catch it. Additionally, when you touch common surfaces, like doorknobs, then touch your face, you can catch a cold. So how do you reduce your risk? Here are some common cold prevention tips for everyone:
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Hands should be washed for a minimum of thirty seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer. Regular hand washing can keep you from getting sick even if you come into contact with the germs of the virus.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. The easiest way for viruses to enter your body is through your eyes, nose, and mouth. When you touch these places with the germ on your hands, you will surely get sick.
  • Stay away from people you know are sick. While it isn’t feasible to avoid people altogether, you can stay away from people you know are sick.
Healing from a Cold While common cold prevention can lower your risk of catching a cold, sometimes getting sick is inevitable. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. But you can take steps to get better. Get a lot of rest and drink a lot of fluids. Talk to your doctor to see if a prescription medication is necessary. Over-the-counter medications can help, but do not speed up the healing process. They just alleviate the symptoms so you can rest better. If your symptoms linger more than 10 days, be sure to get in contact with your doctor. Some cases of the cold can move into respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Call your doctor immediately if you display signs of the flu. Know the difference between the flu and the common cold by reading up about it here. Common cold prevention is an easy way to avoid catching a cold this season, but not fool-proof. In addition to the above suggestions, always be sure you eat healthily, take your vitamins, and get regular exercise. If you display severe symptoms with trouble breathing or have a child who is younger than 3 months of age that becomes lethargic, contact emergency personnel. The common cold isn’t the worst illness you can get, but it is certainly one you can do without!

The post Common Cold Prevention Tips: Protect Yourself This Season appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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Seasonal safety tips are a great way to keep the family happy and enjoy your time together. The holidays only come once a year, and you should be enjoying them. They are a time of togetherness, memory making, and giving. They should not be a time of trauma and illness or injury. The good news is that most people who brush up on their seasonal safety tips breeze through the holidays with nothing but a smile on their faces. Seasonal Safety Tips for the Whole Family We want you to enjoy your family time. Here’s a great list of seasonal safety tips to help you keep everyone free of injury and spend your time making happy memories that last. Watch Out for Common Holiday Hazards When it comes to the holidays, there’s a lot going on! Keep an extra eye out for these common holiday hazards.
  • Pay extra attention to the kids. The kids are usually in overdrive during the holidays. There’s a lot going on that will have them excited. And, you might be bringing them to new places or family settings that don’t have all the safety measures in place for childproofing that your own home does. Watch out for:
    • Dangerous food, drinks, or other household items
    • Toys, tools, and choking hazards that could cause harm
    • Hazardous alcohol
    • Decoration hazards
    • Poinsettias that are poisonous if consumed
  • Watch out for extra fire hazards. Winter is a common time for residential fires. With everything going on, it could be easy to overlook common fire hazards. Be sure to:
    • Never leave a fire or heat unattended
    • Keep children and pets away from fires
    • Never use charcoal or gasoline-fuelled devices indoors
  • Important seasonal safety tips involve decorating. If you are decorating, keep the following tips in mind:
    • Don’t block exits
    • Clean and inspect your location and all your tools and equipment before using them
    • Never use damaged accessories, cords, or lighting sources
    • Check for frayed or cracked wires with all holiday lights
    • Be sure all your electric outlets used are GFI
    • Choose holiday decorations that are non-flammable
Seasonal Safety Tips
  • Dress according to the weather. Be sure to stay warm in the cold temperatures and cool in the hot temperatures.
  • Know the basic rules and safety precautions of whatever activity you do. If you’re doing outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding, be sure to dress appropriately. Know the basic rules and safety precautions for the sport or activity in which you participate. And always remember to dress accordingly.
  • Prepare the fireplace before the first burn. Your fireplace should be checked before you use it:
    • Never burn wrapping paper because it could cause flash fires
    • Keep all decorations or flammable objects a few feet away
    • Use sturdy, large fireplace protectors
Travel Safely
  • Plan ahead if you are traveling. Know where you are going and how you are getting there. Have an emergency contact keep your travel information in case of a problem. Be sure your GPS and map are up-to-date. Check for construction detours and weather issues.
  • Never tell strangers about your travel plans. Keep it off social media if you are going away as well. This can lead to a burglary.
  • Create an illusion that someone is home. Find home safety tips to create the illusion that someone is home.
  • If you’re driving, watch for the following seasonal safety tips:
    • Never drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or distractions
    • Buckle up-use proper safety restraints for children.
    • Travel during the daytime if you can
    • Keep a breakdown kit with a spare tire, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight, and a blanket
  • If you’re flying or using public transportation, travel with someone. There is safety in numbers. Always use a travel source that is trusted.
  • Don’t carry too much cash or valuables with you when you travel. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or clothes as this can leave you as an expensive target.
Some other great seasonal safety tips are to drink responsibly, practice good judgment, and de-stress. Remember, this should be a time to enjoy yourself and your family. Follow these seasonal safety tips to keep the ones you love out of harm’s way and on the road to a safe, happy holiday.

The post Seasonal Safety Tips for an Enjoyable Holiday appeared first on Seymour EMS.

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