You can’t miss the public announcements, social media posts, and posters all over town. Yes, the face mask. Even though the evidence and research are forever changing, this item has become a new part of our new norm. Before you leave the house you do your check to ensure that you have everything you need for the day and any new items that are required for your safety.
Even though most people agree that the more we all practice these new protocols, they can cause a lot of stress to a lot of people. With new changes, the increase in our mental wellbeing is being pushed to the limits daily. How do we find a balance between our new norm and our mental wellbeing?
Everyone is being put to the test. Will this be forever or just for right now. For some of us it can be a difficult choice and an even harder one when our choices are being taken away and legislations enforced. Even though we know that this is for the benefit of those who are within the high-risk category, it can be a hard change in mindset.
These changes could be hard to embrace. There was a time when similar guidelines were put into place: NO Shoes, NO Shirt, NO Service… Even though this never became a by-law there was a time where people wanted to go shopping with no shoes or no shirt. One day we will be looking back at this and telling our kids or grandkids that there was a time when we could go out to the store without a mask or who knows maybe we will be telling them that there was a period of time that we had to wear a face mask.
To minimize anxiety and stress, take it one day at a time. Practice wearing a face mask at home, for a short period of time, this way you’ll get used to the feeling. Control your breathing, take deep slow breaths. Find the right mask that’s right for you. There are many masks out there on the market. Depending on the situation you might have to wear a mask that adheres to legislative code. Other times you can wear a mask that could even be homemade. Having a different mindset around why one might be hesitant to wear a face mask. The unknown can be frightening.
The one thing that always gets me is when I’m out in public and I see someone wear a mask that’s not on properly or being taken off the wrong way! Education is key.
Spending a day at the beach sounds like pure bliss. But like anything in life there are hazards that we need to be aware of. We need to be able to prevent injuries from happening and to keep our family or ourselves safe while enjoying a beautiful and blissful day at the beach. Being aware, preventing and how to handle emergency as they arise is something we do with little though. Keeping those that we care about safe while having fun is an important part of life and sometimes, we do it without much thought.
Some key hazards to be aware of when at the beach:
1. The waves and the under tow - there are numerous hazards that surround the water. Even the strongest swimmers can find themselves in danger. If your down at the beach keeping a watchful eye not only on the little ones but whomever you go to the beach with. Being caught in an under tow can take anyone by surprise
2. Seashells that wash up - they are lovely to look at and some of them are even beautiful to pick up. But there are some of them that can have really sharp edges that could cause a nasty cut
3. Bluebottles and other jelly fish - Even though they might look interesting, but some types can deliver a nasty sting. Being aware of what type of season they could be found or what type of storm/winds could wash them a shore.
4. Crowded areas - When there are a lot of people on the beach, one can get sidetracked when you should be watching a loved one or child in the ocean. Drownings are more likely to occur when there are lots of people around. It’s easy to lose someone in a crowd of people.
5. Sun - It’s all fun and games till someone gets burned. Forgetting to put sunscreen on or reapplying sunscreen could leave a nasty burn. The other hazard about being out in the sun is the risk of dehydration.
6. Sand - Sand castles and digging your feet in to the warm sand can be lots of fun. Hot sand can cause burns to the bottom of your feet. When kids are playing with sand, they could be tossing around might end up in someone’s eye. Or when shaking out beach towels you want to ensure that it’s not towards anyone else being in the way. This could lead to sand in the eyes
7. Beach toys – When setting up at the beach to play volleyball or any other game where your tossing a ball or object you want to ensure that there aren’t any people around that could be hit in the head. As a lot of beach toys could be made of a hard material they could deliver a nasty blow to the head.
8. Glass and other broken items – Unfortunately there are a lot of broken glass or sharp objects that either wash up on the beach or that get left behind after a beach party or gathering. Looking where you are walking or digging to prevent cuts
9. Crabs – They are not fun to step on or to play with. They might look cute but will defend themselves by pinching and clinging on to your skin
10. Nighttime – The beach and ocean look lovely at night with the reflection of the moon shining and reflecting off it. It might be hard to see some of the hazards that was visible during the day. The ocean can be unpredictable, and you can’t see the swell or undertow. And if you’re swept away or drown it could make it hard to be noticed. A lot of the sea creatures become active at night and you might not want to step on them or become mistaken for food.
I’ve had cold hands before and thought I knew what it meant to have frost bite. But little did I know. There is one thing to see what the signs and symptoms within a book or by googling what they are. But until you have experienced the agony and pain it’s hard to describe what the feel truly is.
Not to long ago I have at an outdoor event. I did all the important safety checks
Yet what I didn’t factor in was the amount of time that will be spent outside. Yes, I was wearing gloves, they were great for being able to move items around and to pick stuff up. But they were not great for the weather even though it was mild it was still cold. There was a breeze, with minimal shelter. While trying to keep warm I was probably doing the worst thing I could. I would ball my hands up and breath warm moist air on to my fingers. Doing that over many hours was a contributing factor.
By the time we had to pack up my hands were frozen, and my fingers were so numb. It took a good 30 minutes and lots of pain. It was a pain that I have not felt ever. After having my fingers in water for a good 10 minutes when the feelings started to return to my fingers. The burning and stinging is something I do not wish to repeat. Days following my frost bitten experience my fingers got cold twice as fast as they normally would being exposed to the cold temperatures.
How could this have been avoided. As we know prevention is key, especially when it comes to environmental illness. For a start it would have helped if I had warmer weather appropriate mitts. Having hot paws in my mitts to keep my hands and fingers nice and warm. Not breathing warm moist air on my fingers. Being prepared and having a good back-up plan for the time that will be spent outside plus a few extra hours as plans might end up changing.
Move over poison ivy there is a new poisonous plant in town that is out to torment your little ones. Over the last few years we have seen this little white cluster of flowers. This plant is part of the carrot and parsnip family. Wild Parsnip has an oil that can cause burns, rashes or blisters to a person’s skin when that area is exposed to sun light. When you are out and about its easy to spot the plant, here are some thing to look for:
What to do if you come into contact with wild parsnip. Wash the affected area with soap and water. Protect the invected area from the sun to prevent burns. As the plant desensitizes your skin. If you are exposed to the plant that can affect the face, bottom of hands, bottom of feet or sensitive areas you should seek medical care immediately.
It feels amazing being able to enjoy the lovely weather outside. It’s so important to prevent heat related emergencies. Some of the waring signs:
Prevention is key, being proactive is really important to prevent heat related emergencies. Drinking plenty of fluids to maintain your hydration level. Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. Take cover, seek out shade. Taking lots of breaks and monitor how you are feeling. Listen to your body.
As the warmer weather is upon us the snow has melted but the ground still hasn’t thought completely add that with the constant rainfall that we see in the early months of spring, the lakes, rivers and damn levels start to rise causing them to over flow. With nowhere for all the water to go and a build-up of water around houses we stand a chance for flooding. Are you prepared if there is a flood by your house or within your community? Over the years we have seen many flooding, the effects can last for weeks to years as communities start to re build.
It’s important that as we can’t compete or fully predict mother nature we be prepared and do some prevention planning.
The Canadian Red Cross provides some great tips on how to plan and deal with floods.
Looking for emergency preparedness kits look no further. We sell Red Cross Emergency Preparedness kits. They range from a single person to a large family.
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Starting a new career, changing careers or choosing a career path after graduation can be scary and anxiety provoking. But being prepared by having the right First Aid and CPR/AED training can help give you some piece of mind that you have an important part of the needed requirements. Here is a list of some career paths and the Level of training that is suggested or required:
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This is something that as instructors we teach as first aid participants we learn about. But have we ever stopped and noticed that when we are in a crowd of people and something is not “normal” how many stops to take charge or find out why?
I was recently at an event with lots of other people. A couple of us noticed that there was a smell that was not “normal” a chemical smell. First thought was there being lots of people and employees someone will look into what’s going on. As the day passed I brought it to someone’s attention in passing but failed to follow up later on to see if everything was ok. That thought stayed with me throughout the day “there are lots of people and employees someone else will follow up”.
The next day the smell was there again. And it boggled me all these people and employees, how come nothing is being done. That’s it I thought, and I made the enquire for the right department to investigate and followed up later that day. (The smell was gone soon after).
The couple of days played over in my mind, how come with so many people and staff around did it take almost 2 days before this was looked into. One simple answer… Bystander effect. When there are crowds, large or small we automatically assume that someone else will take charge.
My last thoughts on how we can change this is if you see, smell or hear something that’s not the norm to the situation that you are in, don’t be afraid to step up and take charge (remember to only act within in your set skills, and don’t cause harm).