As Summer is quickly approaching it’s nearly time for road trips, adventures, vacations, and explorations. While you’re out having fun here’s a few health and safety considerations for enjoying the great outdoors:
1. Remember your sunscreen. It’s easy to let this one go and it’s super easy to take a few minutes to make it happen. Believe it or not, a lot of youngsters nowadays don’t even know how to apply sunscreen! If you’re a parent, take a few minutes and role model using sunblock to help protect yourself in the present moment and for the long run.
2. If you’re swimming in the ocean, beware of rip currents. Over a 100 people die each year due to rip current related drownings, which is more than lightning strikes, sharks, and tornadoes combined. Don’t fight against them and remember that the strength of a rip current will weaken as you get further away from shore. Escape a rip current by swimming sideways to the rip current, parallel to the shore. If you can’t escape it that way, remain calm, float and tread water, and then ride the waves back in, swimming at an angle away from the rip current and towards shore.
3. If you’re in a group undergoing strenuous activity, take everyone’s ability level into account before finalizing your plans. If the group is large enough, you may want to consider looking for an outing that has different routes or ways of challenging people who are more active and fit.
4. Carry an emergency or fist aid kit wherever you go. Here’s a few items to include: emergency blanket, waterproof matches or lighter, sterile gauze, latex-free gloves, trauma shears, athletic tape, moleskin (or another blister treatment option), band aids, and a small dose of biodegradeable soap. Most backcountry accidents (abrasions, small cuts, blisters, and sprains) can be treated with these items.
Furthermore, if your an avid outdoorsman or woman, consider taking a wilderness first aid class to enhance youre first aid knowledge. Classes typically last two days and can be found through many local REI stores, Red Cross, and other wilderness medicine organizations such as WMI or SOLO.
At VERGING DYNAMICS, we typically focus on construction and north slope incident and accident prevention through behavior based safety programs. However, our mission is to make a difference in the lives of others, knowing that health safety is an internal attitude towards life. Life happens to us whether we’re ready or not, on or off the clock. As Summer approaches visit us next month for more tips on backcountry and wilderness safety as you ramp up for your playcations across the country. Have fun and stay safe out there!