Keep your home and yourself ready and prepared for emergencies!
As vacation time sets in, days fill with activities and enjoyment that the warm weather and freedom from a rigid school schedule brings. Hiking trips, barbeques, campfires, and outdoor play become the norm. Along with more outdoor activity, comes a greater possibility of accidents and injuries – it’s just a normal part of living a healthy, active life. While, we can’t anticipate every calamity coming down the road, and we certainly don’t want to waste precious time living in fear, there are some basic things we can do to keep ourselves and our families safe.
A little forethought, a lot more fun
Remember the saying “Prevention is better than cure”? Especially when it comes to enjoying the vacation times, simple things like putting safety locks on cabinets can keep inquisitive kids from turning the house upside down while you’re busy grilling another round of burgers. Speaking of BBQs, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on that fire, just in case. Keep a water source near by, just in case. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are also must haves for every home.
For households fortunate enough to own a swimming pool, having someone trained in water rescue present whenever the pool is occupied, together with floating devices is essential! Even the smallest pools require supervision when little one are around.
As summer heat swells, power outages happen unexpectedly, making it wise to have portable lights readily available.
Be ready, come what may
Despite the best precautions, the unexpected can happen. When an accident does occur, it’s vital to be able to respond both quickly and effectively. Basic first-aid knowledge, along with some basic tools, can make a huge difference until the professionals come, (if they’re needed at all).
Top tip: Take advantage of a slower summer schedule and consider signing up a refresher first-aid course – if you have teenagers, you can make it a family activity.
Make sure to have a list of emergency contacts listed and visible near the home phone or hung on the fridge.
Probably the most valuable resource in any home, at any time of year, is a well-stocked first aid kit.
Here are some essentials that everyone should consider having, both at home, work, and the car.
- Bandages (gauze and adhesive, pressure), skin cleaning wipes
- Anti-bacterial / hydrogen peroxide creams for open wounds
- Wound closure strips, nitrile gloves, micropore tape, universal shears
- Ice packs and heat packs for bumps and bruises
- Burn gels for both heat and over-exposure to the sun (Best treatment here is prevention! Hats and sunblock people!)
- For insect bites or stings, calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream for topical treatment.Oral antihistamines like Allegra Allergy or Claritin.
- Nonprescription pain relievers as may be needed (Tyelonol, ibuprofen), or OTC treatments for backaches, tummy aches, diarrhea or constipation
- Hydration tablets.
Just as vital, keep your inventory of prescription medicines up-to-date. This is especially important for drugs that have immediate effects or short half-lives once taken. For example:
- Insulin injections for diabetics (missed doses can lead to hyperglycemic shock and possibly diabetic ketoacidosis)
- Clonidine treatment for high blood pressure (missed doses can cause rebound hypertension)
- Propranolol and other beta-blockers for high blood pressure (can lead to elevated heartbeat and even a heart attack)
- Benzodiazepines for anxiety symptoms and panic attacks (sudden withdrawal can lead to confusion, delirium, delusions and hallucinations).
Another thing, make sure to understand what’s written on those product labels in the medicine cabinet, be it your sunblock, mosquito repellent, or those colorful vitamins. If you have any questions, ask your friendly pharmacist for help.
Know your limits, and who to turn to.
Whilst minor incidents can usually be dealt with at home, there may be occasions when professional assistance is necessary. In such cases, be prepared for emergencies by having a list of essential contact numbers at your disposal. In the US, the main emergency service number is 911, mental health crisis number 988. Make sure you have the number for your local hospital and a local poison control center written in clear sight as well.
Farewell, and happy summer memories!
Vacations are a time for enjoyment and making memories. With the right amount of preparation and safety, you’ve got a great shot at making those memories uniformly positive. Should you have any questions or require further advice on safety this summer, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We wish you a safe and enjoyable summer season.