It’s getting hot in here…

pexels-photo-480072Summer is here. It’s time to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you hike, swim, or just lay out, it’s important you learn about what happens when your body gets too hot.

How much do you know about 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…and can even cause death!

Know the signs of heat illness.

Heat Cramps.

What to look for? 

  • Heavy sweating during intense exercise
  • Muscle pain or spasms

What to do?

  • Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
  • Drink water or a sports drink
  • Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity

Heat Exhaustion.

What to look for?

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Fainting (passing out)

What to do?

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen your clothes
  • Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
  • Sip water

Heat Stroke. Can cause death!

What to look for?

  • High body temperature (103°F or higher)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Feeling confused
  • Losing consciousness (passing out)

What to do?

  • Call 911 right away- heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
  • Do not give the person anything to drink

Pay close attention to children and pets!

Never leave kids or pets in a parked car!

  • Even when it feels cool outside, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.
  • Leaving a window open is not enough- temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open.
  • Children and pets who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.

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For more information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

 

 

Do you Fight or do you Flight…your happy but out of there?

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As I watch the latest news update regarding the recent horrific event that occurred at the Manchester Arena, I think about how I would have reacted in that frighting situation…especially if I had children with me. How horrifying! To be honest, I’m not sure what I would do.

I’m intrigued by how the brain responds to stimuli that triggers the fight or flight response. The question is, do you fight or do you flight–out of there.

Check out this burst of power (adrenaline) coming from inside your body! How cool is this? The body has the right tools, it’s up to you to use them to your advantage.

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I really like this article by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) titled “This is Your Brain on Emergencies”. Here’s the science behind the way you react to stressful situations, and how you should use it to your advantage.

 First thing you should do is slow your heart rate. giphy (2)

If your heart rate soars above about 175 beats per minute (check that Fitbit), you’re more likely to go into shutdown mode and not be able to think clearly or act. A technique called “combat breathing” (inhale through your nose, hold, exhale through your mouth, hold) has been shown to reduce your heart rate by 20-30 beats per minute.

Next, decided what the heck you will do.

As you decided what the heck you will do (these are my own words, not the CDC’s), your mind will most likely move through three stages:

  • Denial
  • Deliberation
  • Decisive action

Knowing these stages – and preparing for them ahead of time – can help you recognize and deal with what’s going on around you more effectively (or you can always just cry).

Denial: This is not happening

You may not think it’s really happening. But don’t waste time! Pay close attention to your surroundings for cues about what you should do (is everyone else running and screaming, or are they sitting quietly in their chairs? Are others stopping to help?). This is known as social proof. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that happens whenever people aren’t sure what to do. We assume others around us know more about the situation, and so we do what they do, whether it’s the right thing or not.

Deliberation: What are my options?

Once you’ve recognized the emergency, you’ll begin to consider your options. The more you’ve prepared, the more options you’ll have to work with.

One thing you can do is prepare everywhere. All it requires is a little bit of imagination (I do this all the time). Pay attention to your surroundings and see what’s available to you. Run different scenarios in your head. Where would you go if you had to get out? Who would you call if you needed help? What will you do if there’s a fire? A robbery? A bomb threat? Think about the possibilities ahead of time.

Decisive action: It’s go time!

You’ve acknowledged there’s a problem. You’ve considered your options. The next step is to take decisive action. With all the information you have, what are you going to do next?

Before you take action:

  • Calm yourself

  • Shift your emotion. If you do get mad, use that anger as energy (Grrrr)

  • Stay fit – if you’re more fit, you’re likely to be more rational (hUSDbUhanother reason to go to the gym)

Now is the time to put your plans into motion. Go to the exit, call for help, take cover, give CPR… whatever you’ve decided to do. In most crisis situations, there is no definite right or wrong. There is no perfect way – only the best we can do. The most important thing is to do something. In almost every case, an imperfect plan is better than no plan, and action is better than inaction.

Don’t wait to make a plan. Know yourself, know your situation, and be prepared to save your own life, and your loved ones too.

What would you do?

 

 

Have we met? Nice to meet you, I’m E. Coli…and you are?

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Before you shake E. coli’s hand, you may want to learn a little more about this microscopic hairy acquaintance.

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Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic (this is a bad thing), meaning they can cause illness, like diarrhea (we’ve ALL been there), or even death (Def not there yet). The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea (or death) can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.

Shiga–What?

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Some kinds of E. coli bacteria cause disease when they make a toxin called Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli,” or STEC for short.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year STEC causes approximately 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in the United States. This is serious PEOPLE!!! These little bugs can kill!

Undelighted to make its acquaintance? Wash Your Hands!! And not just when you go number 2…..Yes, I said it!

  • WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.

  • WASH YOUR HANDS after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).
  • COOK meats thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been needle-tenderized should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F/70˚C. It’s best to use a thermometer, as color is not a very reliable indicator of “doneness”.
  • AVOID raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
  • AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard “kiddie” pools.
  • PREVENT cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

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**Recent E. coli recall**

The Soynut Butter Co has expanded its recall to all I.M. Healthy Soynut Butters and I.M. Healthy Granola because they may be contaminated with E. coli. This recall began on March 7th, 2017.

As of March 7th, 2017, if you have this in your pantry or refrigerator, you may want to throw it away…you’ve been warned!!

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Want more? Visit:

https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm545368.htm#recall-photos

https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2017/o157h7-03-17/index.html

 

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Housewife on the kitchen

If you like to light candles, cook, or partake in other fire-related activities (whatever those may be) I strongly encourage you to invest in a small (or large) fire extinguisher and keep it near, in your pantry or closet. You own one already? Great! Do you know how to use it? If you’ve never used an extinguisher before, no worries. Just remember this: P A S S

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Like this:

PASS

Make sure the yellow arrow is in the green. That means that the extinguisher is still good!

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And an important reminder from the National Fire Protection Association: A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the #1 priority for residents is to get out safely.

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Want more? Visit http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/fire-and-life-safety-equipment/fire-extinguishers

 

 

A dollar short and a day late.

I’m sitting on my couch typing away thinking to myself, what if we had a huge earthquake right now. What would I do? Would I jump up and run out (oh wait, I have little people I need to protect), would I “duck and cover”, or would I squeeze a pillow and scream as loudly as I possibly could? Hmm, the later would be the most therapeutic…

Whatever your natural disaster of choice may be, it is best to give emergency preparedness some thought because you don’t want to find yourself a dollar short and a day late.

Here are some items I deem most important to include in your emergency preparedness kit.

At Least a 3-day Supply of Food and Water 

  • Water – one gallon per person, per day
  • Food – foods that are easy to make and won’t spoil, like canned soup, dry pasta, and powdered milk
  • Manual can opener
  • Basic utensils to prepare and serve meals

Health Supplies

  • 3-day supply of all medicines, at a minimum (specially if you have small children prone to fevers)

Personal Care Items

  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Baby wipes
  • Contact lenses or glasses

Safety Supplies

  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket
  • Multipurpose tool (that can act as a knife, file, pliers, and screwdriver)
  • Whistle

Electronics

  • Flashlight
  • Radio (battery-powered, solar, or hand-crank) for updates on the situation
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Extra batteries

Documents

  • Keep copies of your important documents, cash, spare keys, and maps in you emergency supply kit.
  • Copies of important documents such as insurance cards and immunization records
  • Paperwork about any serious or on-going medical condition
  • Your completed family emergency plan, complete with family and emergency contact information.

You should also keep

  • Extra cash–in small denominations
  • Maps of the area (you should dust off that Tom Tom–the actual book)
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

A couple of things I do: I keep glow sticks in my night stand (and not for late night raves in my bedroom) for a quick source of light in the event of a power outage, and I have extra clothes by my bed in case I need to run out! Lastly, it is also a good idea to memorize a phone number of a family or friend outside of the state you are in. I also carry a small emergency preparedness kit in my car too. For more information, visit: https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/index.asp

Anything I missed? Comment below.

 

 

 

 

The Shocking Truth

Electricity. Our faithful friend and worst enemy. I have always been fascinated by electricity, its intensity, how it works, how its harnessed, what it can do. Electricity is one of those things that we enjoy, yet not many of us understand it. Although I may not be an expert on electrical safety, I do know one thing…water and electricity can be a deadly combination.

 

 

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Distracted Driving. How many of us are guilty of it, but do we really think about the consequences? These videos from AT&T really drove (no pun intended) the message to me that distracted driving is real, and has real consequences.

 

The power of storytelling

I don’t know about you, but I love a good story. Well told stories capture your imagination and take you places perhaps you have never been. It’s no surprise that most learning (before the age of the internet) happened by word of mouth.

Safety is one of those topics that can be taught in many different ways and different styles depending on the audience. I choose to teach safety by telling stories. Please enjoy this blog, and share a story. Because, who doesn’t love a good story, especially one that will keep you safe!