October is National Fire Prevention Month and is a great time to make fire prevention a topic all around your organization. Safety training refreshers for staff, emergency procedure review, exit route planning, activities for children and emergency drills can be tied into the theme and strengthen your facility’s level of preparedness. For more information on fire prevention activity ideas contact your local fire department to foster a strong relationship or look HERE.
Driver behavior contributes to 94% of all traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meaning nearly all crashes are preventable. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has launched its free comprehensive online toolkit to help prevent incidents and for employers to plan ahead for Drive Safely Work Week 2016. The October workplace campaign looks to improve the safety of employees and communities. Materials are available to help raise awareness and encourage employees to minimize risks on the road. Read more HERE.
26,000 fingers are amputated or broken in door accidents every year according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A study published by the American College of Emergency Physicians states that children younger than 5 years had the highest rate of finger amputations treated in hospital emergency rooms. Almost 75% of these amputations in young children resulted from their finger(s) getting caught, jammed, or crushed in a doorway during the opening or closing of a door. Youth-serving organizations and child care centers should review their facilities to see if these injuries can be prevented. Many organizations have found that the installation of products such as Pinch-Not and Fingersafe door safety products can help keep small fingers safe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions and to help ensure the health and safety of young athletes. The Heads Up initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion for coaches, parents and athletes. A concussion is an injury that changes how the cells in the brain normally work. The potential for concussions is greatest in athletic environments where collisions are common. Concussions can occur, however in any organized or unorganized sport or recreational activity. As many as 3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the United States each year.
An emergency care plan should be prepared for all participants in programming that have food allergies. The Food Allergy Research & Education Center (FARE) recommends using their Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan, which outlines recommended treatment in case of an allergic reaction, is signed by a physician and includes emergency contact information. This document presents critical information including allergen(s), symptoms and treatment instructions in an easy-to-follow format—critical in an anaphylactic emergency. The document also allows the user to upload a photo. The plan is also available in Spanish. The plan should be used for youth and adults enrolled in day, resident and family camp programs as well as child care, afterschool and any other program where the organization assumes the responsibility for an individual’s care.
Every year, some of the most common calls received on the American Camp Association (ACA) Camp Crisis Hotline pertain to communicable diseases at summer camps. The potential for the spread of communicable diseases at camp means that camps must continue to pay diligent attention to control strategies. Norovirus is a fairly common issue for summer programs. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that, while Norovirus is often called the “Cruise Ship” virus, it is more often spread by food service workers and casually at meals. One great way to help prevent the spread of Norovirus and other diseases is regular handwashing. Handwashing by food workers is essential; other staff and campers should also wash their hands prior to each meal. Sanitizers and/or washing stations should be available at your dining facilities. Other tips on preventing the spread of communicable diseases are available from the ACA article: “Ten Promising Practices of a Healthy Camp”. More camp safety resources are available in the Online Resource Library.
Thunderstorms can occur at any time of year, however the warm, humid conditions of the summer make the development of thunderstorms a greater risk. Thunderstorms may occur singly, in clusters or in lines. The most severe thunderstorms can affect one location for an extended period of time. Thunderstorms produce lightning and lightning strikes can be fatal. Lightning kills more than 70 people and injures at least 300 others each year in the United States according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The WeatherBug mobile app can be useful for outdoor activities since is utilizes a network of reporting stations and can alert users to proximate lightning activity. “Lightning Safety When Working Outdoors” is a new resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that provides information about lightning hazards and protective measures that can be taken to ensure safety. Read more HERE. More information on emergency preparedness, including how to respond to proximate lightning activity, is available in the Online Resource Library.