Think Safety

Safety Tips

Safe Driving

Safe Driving – It’s Your Call

Many of the 15 million wireless phones in Canada are used in motor vehicles. With a cell phone in the car you can call for help or report a dangerous situation; Canadians use wireless phones to call 9-1-1 over six million times annually.  If you drive with a cell phone, avoid unnecessary calls and always make the driving task your top priority.

Please follow these few basic safety tips so that YOU CAN ARRIVE ALIVE!

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel.

Buckle your seat-belt and place all ten fingers on the steering wheel. Wrap them firmly around it, positioned at “10 and 2 o’clock” and keep them there while you drive.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road.

Learn how to operate your phone without looking at it. Memorize the location of all the controls, so you can press the buttons you need without ever taking your eyes off the road.

Use a Hands-Free Model.

A hands-free unit lets you keep both hands on the wheel while you talk on the phone. Attach the microphone to the visor just above your line of vision, so you can keep your eyes on the road. You can then talk on the phone as if you were talking to a passenger.

Use Speed Dialling.

Program frequently called numbers and your local emergency number into the speed dial feature of your phone for easy, one-touch dialling.  When available, use auto answer or voice activated dialling.

Never Dial While Driving.

If you must dial manually, do so only when stopped. Pull off the road, or better yet have a passenger dial for you.

Take a Message.

Let your voice mail pick up your calls in tricky driving situations. It’s easy to retrieve your messages later on.

Know When to Stop Talking.

Keep conversations brief so you can concentrate on your driving. If a long discussion is required, if the topic is Stressful or emotional, or if driving becomes hazardous, end your call and continue when you’re not in traffic.

Keep the Phone in its Holder.

Make sure your phone is securely in its holder when you are not using it. That way it won’t pop out and distract you when you are driving.

Don’t Take Notes While Driving.

If you need to write something down pull over in a safe location.

Drive Defensively.

Being in the right will not save you from a crash. You must be prepared for the unsafe actions of other motorists or from poor driving conditions.

You’ll survive a missed phone call; you might not survive a collision!


Cell Phone Car Collision Stats

♦ 1 in 20 car collisions are linked to cell phones, that’s approximately 25 % of all accidents in the USA!

♦ You are 4 times more likely to cause a car accident while using a cell phone!

♦ There are approx. 10 million cell phones in use by Canadians. That’s about a 1/3 of our population.


Cold Temperatures

PROPER CLOTHING

It’s that time of year once again when the thermometer dips well below freezing and we bundle up in multiple layers to stay toasty warm. Of course, there is an alternative to that warm winter vacation or simply staying indoors throughout those cold months.• Have your child dress in layers. Layers can be added or taken off as the temperature changes.

• Cover heads with a warm, close-fitting hat that protects the ear lobes.

• A tubular neck warmer should be used instead of a scarf, but if a scarf must be used, make sure it is tucked into the jacket to avoid strangulation.  Remove all cords and drawstrings from under the chin.

• Be aware of the wind chill factor. Wind greatly speeds up the process of body heat loss.

• Remove wet clothes and shoes as soon as possible to avoid additional chilling.

Warm Winter Vacations

Each year thousands of Saskatchewan residents will migrate to warmer climates either in Canada or the United States. Many will also take warm cruises or visit sunny sand beaches. Where ever your winter vacation might take you… be prepared.

• Leave contact numbers for family and friends back home.

• Plan ahead and know if there are any travel or health advisories for the area you want to visit.

Visit the Government of Canada website (www.travelhealth.gc.ca) for all the latest updates.

• Pack along essential identification, extra medication and a list of emergency contact numbers.

• Make sure you have someone check your home regularly for potential damage. Nothing worse than returning to find someone has broken in or the water pipes broke!

Don’t forget the SUNSCREEN!


Infants in infant carriers should not be dressed in thick clothing or multiple layers. Instead, place warm blankets over the infant after he or she has been secured tightly in the seat. This makes it easier to regulate his or her temperature to avoid overheating (a risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and ensures there is no extra padding between the infant and harness. The extra padding would compress in a crash and cause the straps to become loose, possibly leading to injuries.


Safety in the Outdoors

Saskatchewan’s parks, forests and wilderness areas attract hikers, campers, backpackers, climbers, canoeists, ATV riders, hunters and others who seek adventure or just want to enjoy nature

Expect the Unexpected—Before you set out, try to imagine what conditions you might face.   How would you survive if something goes wrong?  Even on a short trip, you might need to spend the night—and the weather could deteriorate.  How would you get help if you became lost or injured?

Find out about the area you plan to explore.  Bring a good map, and check the weather forecast.  Tell others of your intended route and timetable.  Never travel alone and always stay with your group.  Wear the proper clothes and footwear.  You’ll also need enough water and food.

Whenever you go hiking, hunting or fishing, take along something to protect you from cold, rain or wind.  A waterproof reflective survival blanket is ideal; it’s cheap, reusable, highly functional, and takes very little space in your pack.  As well, bring along a whistle so you can let others know your location, and a flashlight in case you are still on the trail when the sun goes down.

If you get into trouble, early detection can mean the difference between a safe return and a life threatening situation.  Anyone who likes to venture into the wilderness, whether on foot, by water or on a vehicle such as an ATV, should invest in a first aid kit adapted to the wilderness.  Take a wilderness first aid course too!

Make yourself Easy to Find—when you head into the wilds, bring a map, GPS (Global Positioning System) and mobile phone.  A GPS, used in conjunction with your map, should enable you to find your way out.

As soon as you realize you are lost or need help, STOP!  Staying in one place makes you easier to find.  In case of a serious injury, build a shelter and wait for rescuers. Trying to transport an injured person may lead to exhaustion or further injury.  If you are stranded because of a broken-down vehicle, such as an ATV or aircraft, it is usually best to stay where you are.  Large objects are easier to spot than a lone hiker.

If you need to signal, move to higher ground.  Aerial flares and signal mirrors can attract attention.  Once help is on the way, smoke flares, whistles and distress flags can help rescuers identify your exact position and keep them on course.

Beware of bears—Saskatchewan is known for bears.  However, confronting a bear in the wild can be deadly.


Safety Code for ATV Riders

– Ride off-road ONLY!  NEVER on public roads

– Know your Owner’s Manual

– Wear your helmet

– Protect your eyes and body

– Check the ATV before you ride

– Ride with others—NEVER alone

– Carry NO passengers

– Always supervise youngsters

– Keep noise levels low

– Ride sober—NO alcohol or drugs

– Lend your ATV to skilled riders only

– Ride within your skill

– Respect riding area rules


Summertime

School’s out, pools are open and people across the country are looking for fun ways to cool down as summer temperatures heat up. As you head to the beach, to the pool, or to the mountains for a camping vacation, Hutch Ambulance Service encourages you and your family to keep safety in mind!

Sun Safety Tips

Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing. Light colours will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.

Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Take regular breaks. When engaged in physical activity on warm days. Take timeout to find a cool place. If you recognize that you, or someone else, is showing the signals of a heat-related illness, stop activity and find a cool place. Remember, have fun, but stay cool!


Water Safety Tips

Learn to swim. Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.

Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.

Read and obey all rules and posted signs.

Children or inexperienced swimmers should take precautions, such as wearing an approved personal flotation device (PFD) when around the water.

Watch out for the dangerous “too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.

Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth charges, obstructions and where the entry and exit points are located.

Enter headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.

Know how to prevent, recognize, and respond to emergencies.

West Nile

Summer’s Here, and so is the West Nile Virus!

Summer’s here and it is more important than ever to protect yourself from pesky mosquito bites. Not only are bites uncomfortable, but the mosquito that bites you may also give you West Nile virus.  West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.   The chances of getting West Nile virus from an infected mosquito are low. While anyone can become infected with West Nile virus, the risk of severe illness increases with age. Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites!

The signs/symptoms that you may be infected with the virus:

• Headaches
• Body aches
• Prolonged fever
• Fatigue
• Nausea/Vomiting
• Stiff Neck
• Confusion
• Loss of coordination
• Muscle weakness
• Paralysis

Any of these symptoms have the potential to develop into more serious medical conditions such as: Meningitis or Encephalitis.

If you are experiencing a rapid onset of one or more of these sign/symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.


Fight the Bite – Protect Yourself

• Ensure all doors and windows fit properly and are equipped with tight fitting, fine mesh screen.
• Minimize outdoor activity during sunrise and sunset when mosquitoes are most active.
• Equip baby carriages and strollers with fine mesh netting to protect infants.
• Use insect repellent on ankles, wrists, neck and ears, avoiding areas around the eyes, nose and
mouth.
• When going outdoors, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other approved ingredients.


Clean up and ruin a mosquito’s love life

The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to clean up areas where they like to breed.

• Drain standing water regularly (twice a week) from items such as; pool covers, saucers under flower pots, recycle bins, garbage cans, etc.
• Remove old unused items from around your property. (i.e., old tires, which have a tendency to collect water.)
• Change the water in wading pools, bird baths, pet bowls and livestock watering tanks twice a week.
• Cover rain barrels with screens.
• Clean out eaves troughs regularly to prevent clogs that can trap water.
• Purchase an aerator or ornamental pond. This will keep the surface water moving which will make the water inhospitable to mosquito larvae.


Destroy ALL the Mosquitoes “Love Nests” in Your Yard!

Top ten mosquito “Love Nests”:

1. Bird baths
2. Old tires
3. Unused containers
4. Flower pot saucers
5. Swimming pool covers
6. Wading pools
7. Clogged gutters and eaves troughs
8. Clogged drainage ditches
9. Small containers like cans or bottle tops
10. Unused children’s toys or vehicle

Halloween

Everyone wants to have a safe and happy Halloween for themselves, their guests and their children. Using safety tips and common sense can help you make the most of your Halloween season and make it as enjoyable for your kids as it is for you.  Anytime a child has an accident it’s tragic. The last thing you want is for your child to be hurt on a holiday, it would forever live in the minds of the child and the family.

There are many ways to keep your child safe at Halloween, when they are more prone for accidents and injuries. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year sometimes makes them forget to be careful. Simple common sense can do a lot to stop any tragedies from happening.

ADULTS

• Make your child eat dinner before setting out
• Young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult
• If you purchase a costume ensure it is of flame-retardant material
• Know the routes your children will be taking
• Look at all candy before consuming any and throw out anything suspect

TRICK-OR-TREATERS

• Carry a flashlight
• Walk, don’t run
• Stay on sidewalks
• Obey traffic signals
• Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground
• Approach only houses that are lit
• If your parents are not at home, know where they will be in case of an emergency
• Stay in familiar neighbourhoods

HOMEOWNERS

• Make sure your yard is clear of any loose debris such as ladders, flower pots or hoses that can trip the young ones
• Pets get frightened during Halloween. Ensure they remain indoors away from little trick-or-treaters
• Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers or erasers
• Battery powered jack o’lantern are preferable to a real flame

Kids love Halloween! They get to dress up and get free candy. What a perfect holiday.  Give your kids some precious Halloween memories that they’ll have for life. Remember, they will one day carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families.


On Halloween the thing
You must do
Is pretend that nothing
Can frighten you
And if something scares you
And you want to run
Just let on
Like it’s Halloween Fun.
Scaring Up The Safety For Halloween

Heart Disease

What is heart disease?

Your heart is a muscle that gets energy from blood carrying oxygen and nutrients. Having a constant supply of blood keeps your heart working properly. Most people think of heart disease as one condition. But in fact, heart disease is a group of conditions affecting the structure and functions of the heart and has many root causes. Coronary artery disease, for example, develops when a combination of fatty materials, calcium and scar tissue (called plaque) builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your heart (coronary arteries). The plaque build-up narrows the arteries and prevents the heart from getting enough blood.

Heart disease is preventable and manageable.

Your best defense is controlling the risk factors that could lead to coronary artery disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, there are treatments to help you manage your illness. You can further reduce your risk by considering these heart-healthy steps:

• Be smoke-free.
• Be physically active.
• Know and control your blood pressure.
• Eat a healthy diet that is lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fat.
• Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
• Manage your diabetes.
• Limit alcohol use.
• Reduce stress.
• Visit your doctor regularly and follow your doctor’s advice.


Heart attack warning signs

Thousands of Canadians die from heart attacks every year because they don’t receive medical treatment quickly enough. Learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack so you can react quickly to save a life.

Chest Discomfort Other Body Discomfort Shortness of Breath Sweating Nausea Light Headed

• Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Light-headedness

If you are experiencing any of these signs, you should:

CALL 9-1-1 or activate the Site Emergency Medical Team – SAFETY HUTCH INC, or have someone call for you. Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone at all times.
• Stop all activity and sit or lie down, in whatever position is most comfortable.
• If you take nitroglycerin, take your normal dosage.

• If you are experiencing chest pain, chew and swallow one adult 325 mg tablet or two 80 mg tablets of ASA (acetylsalicylic acid, commonly referred to as Aspirin®). Pain medicines such as acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (commonly known as Advil®) do not work the same way as ASA (Aspirin) and therefore will not help in the emergency situation described above.
• Rest comfortably and wait for an ambulance with emergency medical personnel to arrive.


Heart disease prevention

Risk factors you can do something about:

• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• High blood cholesterol
• Diabetes
• Being overweight
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Physical inactivity
• Smoking
• Stress

Risk factors you cannot control:

• Age
• Gender
• Family History
• Ethnicity
• History of stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack)


CPR and emergency care

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency causing death if not treated immediately. Most cardiac arrests occur in homes and public places. If someone has collapsed and is unresponsive, you may be able to help save a life by calling 9-1-1 or your Site Emergency Medical Team – SAFETY HUTCH INC, and performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) if one is available.

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. Cardiac refers to the heart. Arrest means stop. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.

Cardiac arrest is not the same as heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is slowed or stopped because of a blockage. In the case of a heart attack, the heart continues to beat.

Cardiac arrest may have a variety of causes including heart disease, drowning, stroke, electrocution, suffocation, drug overdose or injury.

Signs of a cardiac arrest include:

• sudden collapse
• sudden unresponsiveness to touch or sound and
• abnormal or no breathing. CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is an emergency procedure that can restore blood flow to someone suffering cardiac arrest, keeping the victim alive until advanced medical care arrives.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a device that can check heart rhythms and deliver an electrical shock to restore its natural rhythms when needed.

When the heart stops beating in cardiac arrest, it no longer pumps blood to the body. The brain and organs can be seriously damaged without oxygen and nutrients from blood and the person can die within minutes if not treated immediately. CPR can help maintain blood flow and ventilation in a victim of cardiac arrest for a short period.

Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) such as ventricular fibrillation cause most cardiac arrests. Using an AED can restore the heart’s normal rhythm in the event of cardiac arrest.

What can you do?

Most cardiac arrests occur in homes and public places, and many are witnessed by a family member, co-worker or friend. The survival rate of cardiac arrest outside a hospital is very low.  Performing CPR and using an AED before Emergency Medical Services arrive can increase the chance of survival by up to 75%.  AEDs are safe and easy to use.  SAFETY HUTCH INC urges anyone in close contact with those at high-risk of cardiac arrest to become trained in the use of AEDs.

If you are with an adult who has a cardiac arrest:

Yell for help

• Tell someone to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number and get an AED (if one is available).
• If you are alone, call 9-1-1 and get an AED (if one is available).

Check breathing

• If the person isn’t breathing or is only gasping, give CPR.

Push hard and push fast

• Use an AED as soon as it arrives by turning it on and following the prompts.
• Keep pushing until the person starts to breathe or move or someone with more advanced training takes over.


Be prepared and trained because you never know when you could make a difference in someone’s life. Contact SAFETY HUTCH for further information.