This is a weekly section in which I will post things related to my career as a Firefighter/Paramedic. The content posted here will range from expository writing explaining what my job entails to actual health and safety related posts.
First off I want to say that I am very happy to be including this section into my blog. I have a passion for helping others and I wanted to express that passion on my personal blog. So here goes:
As most of you know, school is officially out. Tuscaloosa City School students attended their final day of class on this past Friday. For me this is a bittersweet time. I’m happy that we no longer have to get up early each day and be at school by eight o’clock, but it’s taking me a little extra time to figure our exactly how me and my two boys will spend our days together.
One thing that stays uppermost in my mind is the “trend” that occurs during the summer months. From my experiences I have noticed over the past several years that during the summer months, there is an increase in Traumas. I noticed that generally speaking there are more call to 911 for trauma related accidents. To further explain what I mean:
“There are two main ways to classify the type of calls we respond to in EMS: 1) Medical Emergencies and 2.) Trauma Emergencies. Medical emergencies are loosely defined as those emergencies that arise due to some type of sickness, illness, or condition that is caused by disease or a disruption in the normal function of the body. Example of medical calls are: diabetic emergencies, seizures, fainting, stroke. Traumatic emergencies can be defined as emergencies that arise because of injury to the body. These injuries often cause damage to bones, muscles, skin tissue, or vital organs. Unlike most medical calls- traumatic injuries are most often considered preventable.”
After briefly reviewing the definitions of medical and traumatic calls hopefully it is easy to understand why there is an increase in traumatic calls to 911 in the summer. In the most basic sense, children are out of school each day so they have more time to play and explore. The weather is warmer and more suitable for outdoor activities. People are traveling more, and thus increasing the amount of time spent on highways and the amount of traffic. If we take these factors into consideration we can see that there is a justified reason to be concerned about the health and safety of our children during the summer.
As I stated previously, one thing that makes Traumatic Emergencies very different from medical emergencies is that Traumatic Emergencies are often preventable. I don’t mean to scare anyone into keeping their children in the house all summer (that would drive everyone crazy). I do, however, wish to provide you with a few practical safety tips and reminders that can help keep you and your family safe this summer.
10. ALWAYS WEAR A SEATBELT.
9. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED AROUND WATER, HAVE FLOATATION DEVICES HANDY.
8. ALWAYS BE ALERT FOR SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE AND HEAT EXHAUSTION. DURING TIMES WHEN THE HEAT INDEX IS PARTICULARY HIGH, LIMIT TIME OUT DOORS, AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
7. ALWAYS USE HELMETS WHEN RIDING MOTORCYCLES, FOUR-WHEELERS, DIRTY BIKES, BICYCLES, SCOOTERS, SKATEBOARD. (KNEE AND ELBOW PADS MAY ALSO COME IN HANDY)
6. USE HIGH VISIBILITY CLOTHING WHEN RIDING BIKES OR MOTORCYCLES ON STREETS OR HIGHWAYS.
5. MAKE SURE THAT CHILDREN DO NOT USE FIREWORKS WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION
4. USE SUN BLOCK WHEN OUTDOORS FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME. DERMATOLOGISTS SUGGEST THAT EVEN AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THOSE OF DARKER SKIN COLORS USE SUN SCREEN.
3. ALWAYS BE CAUTIOUS WHEN WORKING OR PLAYING IN ELEVATED AREAS. WHEN USING LADDERS ALWAYS USE A SPOTTER ON GROUND, BE SURE TO WATCH KIDS WHILE CLIMBING TREES, ROPES, ON JUNGLE GYMS, ETC.
2. BE SURE TO GO INSIDE A HOME, BUSINESS, OR VEHICLE DURING ELECTRICAL STORMS.
1. NEVER DIVE IN WATER WHERE THE DEPTH IS UNKNOWN!
AS A BONUS- PLEASE REMEMBER TO NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE.
I hope this list helps, and I hope everyone has a great, safe, summer.