Summer time, Summer time, Summer time….
Here in East Tennessee, we are blessed with distinct season and summer is one of my favorites! Rosy checks, shorts and Chacos quickly become the dress code. As you venture out for summer activities, make sure you and your family are prepared for the unexpected- water safety and heat stroke.
Water safety should be a high priority! Swimming is a popular summer activity and preparing yourself and your family is key. Did you know that drowning accounts for over 4000 deaths each year? One way to help reduce the number of victims is to make sure everyone has enrolled in swim lessons and/or use life vests properly to ensure safety.
Be on the lookout for these signs of drowning:
- Drowning victims tend to be quiet and normally don’t make a lot of noise.
- If people are missing, especially children, look in the water first. The victims can appear to be lethargic and/or will be found unresponsive either floating in the water or submerged.
Quick action is required for a positive outcome for a drowning victim. The quicker they are removed from the water and first aid administered the greater the chance of recovery. What should you do if you find someone with signs of drowning?
- Check to see if the victim is conscious or unconscious.
- Ask someone to call 9-1-1 and get an automated external defibrillator (AED).
- Attempt to remove the victim from the water. Perform “rescue breathing” if necessary. This can be started in the water, but all other care requires the victim to be out of the waters.
- Once out of the water
- If the victim is breathing place them on their side in the recovery position to prevent aspiration, which is inhaling vomit into the lungs.
- If the victim is not breathing and has no pulse, start CPR immediately. Continue CPR until a medical emergency person or another trained individual
- Be on the lookout for dry drowning or secondary drowning too. This can occur up to 24 hours after swimming. Monitor breathing, listen for a persistent cough, chest pain, mental status and pay attention to skin color. Call 911 if you suspect dry drowning- the victim will need oxygen supplementation.
Heat Stroke is another dangerous situation that will require immediate medical attention. Heatstroke occurs when your core body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, causing your internal organs to not function property. Heatstroke also called sunstroke, is a result of external environmental factors, such as being outside or exerting yourself physically on a very hot day. Susceptibility to heat stroke increases with age, weight, some medications and your medical history. Keep in mind, some heart medications, such as beta blocker, calcium channel blockers and diuretics can cause the body to have an adverse reaction to the heat.
What can you do if you suspect someone is experiencing Heatstroke?
- Instruct someone to call 9-1-1, heatstroke is life-threatening.
- Attempt to cool the patient’s body. Get them out of the sun, provide them with a cool drink (no caffeine) and use cool air to fan them.
CPR Choice offers first aid training to help prepare you and your family in these types of medical emergencies. Having the skills to perform CPR in an emergency can make the difference between life and death. Sign up for a class today. Visit www.cprchoice.com and chose a convenient location & class. We offer classes all over the East Tennessee area and our instructors are the best around. Give us a try!
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