Enjoying the great outdoors safely|
Posted 7/31/2012 Updated 7/31/2012
by Tech. Sgt. James Fountain
17th Training Wing Safety
7/31/2012 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Camping
Fresh air, clear water and birdsong. Over the past century, more and more people have headed into the great outdoors for rest, relaxation, adventure and restoration. In the past five years alone, more than one-third of the adults in the United States have gone on a camping trip. No matter what level of camping comfort you enjoy, there are always risks and hazards. On average, there are more than 30,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms each year and doctors treat an additional 75,000 camping-related injuries per year.
There is a long list of considerations, but here are some initial thoughts that can lead to other questions that should be answered prior to leaving for the camping trip, many of which can be answered online.
· Travel easy to the campsite
· Check the weather forecast for the area
· Pack appropriate clothing
· Bring enough food (and food containers)
· Cooking the food
· Know how to light the propane stove
· What animals are prevalent in the area
· What to do if faced with a wild animal
· Set boundaries for the children
· First aid kit packed
And never take a barbecue into a tent to try and keep warm. The carbon monoxide can be fatal.
Powered and unpowered tools and equipment can cause serious injury. Limit distractions, use chemicals and equipment properly, and be aware of hazards to lower your risk for injury. Being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness. The first rule is: Know your limits in the heat. Some other safety tips when maintaining your lawn include, but are not limited to:
· Try to use a mower with a control that stops the mower from moving forward if the handle is let go. Never tape the handle down to keep the mower running.
· Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
· Make sure to wear the correct shoes. Do not wear sandals or sneakers, and do not go barefoot.
· Prevent injuries from flying objects, like stones or toys, by inspecting the lawn and picking up objects.
· Always wear eye and hearing protection.
· Make sure children are away from the area being mowed.
· Start and refuel mowers outdoors, not in a garage or shed. Mowers should be refueled with the motor turned off and cool.
· Make sure the blade settings are changed by an adult, with the mower off and the spark plug removed or disconnected.
· Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind the mower before mowing in reverse.
· Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
· Never allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers
· Follow instructions and warning labels on chemicals, lawn and garden equipment.
· Make sure equipment is working properly.
· Sharpen tools carefully.
· Keep harmful chemicals, tools, and equipment out of children's reach
· If you're outside in hot weather for most of the day you'll need to make an effort to drink more fluids.
· Avoid drinking liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, especially in the heat. These actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
· Take breaks often. Try to rest in shaded areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover. Stop working if you experience breathlessness or muscle soreness.
· Pay attention to signs of heat-related illness, including extremely high body temperature, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness. · Watch people who are at higher risk for heat-related illness, including infants and children up to four years of age; people 65 years of age or older; people who are overweight; people who push themselves too hard during work or exercise; and people who are physically ill or who take certain medications (i.e. for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation).
· Eat healthy foods to help keep you energized.
For more information visit http://www.campsafe.org/campsafe.htm, and http://ntsi.com/quick-links/safety-articles/lawn-mower-safety/