Posts Tagged 'emergency'

Oh deer, we have a big problem here

2 deer crossing road in front of car

Edited image. State Farm, Flickr. CC License.

I often joke with my hunter husband that he should bring me to deer camp, because I have a keen sense of deer presence in my periphery. So far I have avoided a deer collisions myself, but my husband and approximately 50,000 other Michiganders each year have not been as lucky. According to the most recent report from the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition, there were 45,690 deer vehicle crashes last year in Michigan, with most crashes (1,750) occurring in Oakland County. Although deer-vehicle collisions occur year round, 42 percent occurred in fall when deer mating takes place.

My husband’s story aligns well with those statistics; he was on his way to our sons’ school Halloween parties when a buck chasing a doe hit his Dodge Ram. My husband later told me that he heard something loud hitting the car, and when he looked at his side view mirror to see what happened, he noticed the mirror was gone! He had no idea what happened until he pulled over and saw both deer.

As I said earlier, my husband is a hunter and couldn’t let the 200 pounds of fresh venison go to waste, so pursuant to Michigan law, he obtained a salvage tag from the police officer and had both deer processed. Luckily, neither he nor our daughter was injured in the collision, but she was in a car seat that needed to be replaced based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. For more information on replacing a car seat in a crash, read this article.

It’s very important to plan ahead what you would do should a deer cross your path. This is especially critical to review with your teen drivers so they have your instruction fresh on their minds. You can use this video as a good introduction to get the conversation started.

When drivers panic, they tend to swerve and end up striking a tree or another vehicle. That type of deer-related crash results in the most death and injuries. There is a saying, “Don’t veer for deer”, which reminds motorists what not to do for this very reason. The Michigan Deer Crash Coalition (MDCC) offers the following safety tips in the event a deer suddenly jumps in your way:

  • Don’t swerve!
  • Brake firmly.
  • Hold onto the steering wheel with both hands.
  • Come to a controlled stop.
  • Steer your vehicle well off the roadway

Other tips

  • Most deer-related traffic collisions occur at dusk and dawn when deer are more active.
  • Deer tend to travel in groups, so if you see one, expect more.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and avoid distractions such as texting. Having a quick reaction time is imperative!
  • Motorcyclists should be extra cautious. Last year six people were killed in Michigan, and all were on a motorcycle.
  • Motorcycle riders are advised to wear protective gear (including a helmet), cover the breaks to reduce reaction time, use high beam headlights, and stagger riders when in group formation to lessen the risk to others if one rider is hit.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

Infant and Child CPR Tips

Every parent should take a CPR class. It can’t hurt to take a class and get certified in Infant and Child CPR by the American Heart Association. You’ll get to see these techniques performed in person and ask the instructor any questions. And someday you may save a life! 

Shout and tap.

Decide whether CPR is necessary. Call out your child’s name and gently tap him on the shoulder. If there is no response and the baby isn’t breathing (or not breathing normally), position the infant on his back to begin CPR. 

Remember to “Take a CAB”.

Performing CPR on a baby comes down to these three steps.

C = Circulation

1. Place the baby on his back on a firm, flat surface, such as the floor or table.
2. Place two fingers of one hand just below an imaginary horizontal line between baby’s nipples.
3. Give 30 chest compressions. Hard and fast! Depth should be 1½ inches to circulate the blood.

A = Airway

After 30 compressions, gently tip the head back one hand and lift his chin slightly with the other.

B = Breathing

1. Cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
2. Give a gentle puff of air in baby’s mouth, wait one second, and then give a second puff of air.
3. Give two breaths after every 30 chest compressions.

Do the CAB steps 5 times (30 chest compression to two breaths) = 2 minutes. At the end of every 2 minutes, assess the baby. If there is still no movement or breathing, continue to repeat the CAB steps until help arrives.

Call 911.

If there’s someone else at home with you, have her call for help immediately. If you’re alone, you can start CPR. If after two minutes there is still no response, call 911. Once you give the emergency operator your info, continue to administer CPR until help arrives.

– Michelle Enerson, RNC, is the NICU Program Coordinator for the Beaumont Parenting Program and a certified Basic Life Support Instructor.

5 Important Numbers to Plug in Your Teen’s Phone Today

A teenage couple using cell phones

Many teens have cell phones, and if not a phone, some other portal to the Internet. These are five numbers that should be made available to every teen simply by adding them to the contact list. Some of these topics are extremely heavy, so it’s ideal to discuss what to do in conjunction with dialing or sharing these numbers.

1. Poison Control: (800) 222-1222

This is a great number to have for teens who babysit or even just watch younger siblings. However, poison control isn’t just for babies. Some topics that may impact teens include drug or alcohol use, improper use of over-the-counter or prescription medication, teen trends including the “cinnamon challenge”, side effects from energy drinks, carbon monoxide poisoning, eye or skin exposure to a chemical, insect or animal bites, poison ivy, mixing cleaners and food poisoning.

Parent message: Let your kids know that it’s OK to talk to you if they’re concerned about a friend’s, or their own, drinking or drug use. Also discuss when calling Poison Control is appropriate, and when to dial 911 instead.

2. NoBLE/Common Ground Bullying Hotline: (855) UR-NOBLE (855-876-6253)

Beaumont Health’s NoBLE (No Bullying Live Empowered) program has a 24/7 bullying hotline operated by Common Ground, a non-profit crisis intervention agency. In addition to the hotline, NoBLE has additional resources available to help support kids affected by bullying.

Parent message: Talk to your kids about bullying, including why it’s important to not be a bully or a bully bystander. Let them know to talk to you if they are being bullied, or if they witness bullying of one of their peers.

3. Love is Respect, a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (866) 331-9474

The statistics for teen dating violence is shocking. According to loveisrespect.org, “One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence”. Teens often have little experience in relationships and aren’t always able to identify when behavior is considered “abuse”.

Parent message: Make sure to let your children know that they can talk with you about personal things and that you won’t overreact. If they believe you can handle problems together, they may feel more inclined to talk to you about behavior that makes them uncomfortable. Visit the Love is Respect site and review the warning signs of abuse together so they will know if things are getting dangerous.

4. National Eating Disorder Association: (800) 931-2237

Having access to the Internet can lead those suffering with eating disorders to the wrong kind of “support” by finding those who enable this disease.

If you type certain eating disorder “code words” into the Instagram search features, a warning pops up advising of possible graphic content. It gives the option to click “learn more” and you’ll be directed to an Instagram page with information about eating disorders and links where to get help.

If you do the same search on Pinterest, a banner message appears with the message: “Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices; they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. For treatment referrals, information, and support, you can always contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 or
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org”.

The National Institute of Heath reports that eating disorders frequently begin in the teen years and that girls are at a 2½ times greater risk.

Parent message: Make healthy body image a family priority. Be aware of the signs of each different eating disorder listed here. Two newer eating disorders include Diabulemia, a disorder specific to those with Type 1 Diabetes, and Orthorexia Nervosa, which occurs when healthy eating becomes an obsession.

5. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-8255

Chances are your teen has heard about, or known someone who has committed suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people age 10–24. Unfortunately, there’s a huge stigma attached to suicide, and it isn’t openly discussed. Often family and friends didn’t realize their loved one was suffering.

Parent message: Talk to your teen about suicide. It’s an extremely uncomfortable topic to discuss, but it’s very important to establish an open dialogue. Discuss the warning signs. Let them know that they can talk to you about anything, including thoughts of hurting themselves or concern for friends exhibiting these behaviors. Instruct your teen that it’s imperative to tell you right away if anyone they know talks about committing suicide, even if your child thinks they’re joking or exaggerating.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

Disaster Preparedness: Extreme Weather

Photo of severe snowstorm

Wikimedia Commons. CC License.

After the “Polar Vortex” this winter and recent mass flooding, many Michiganders have a new appreciation for disaster preparedness. Michigan’s most common potential disaster situations include thunderstorms, power outages, tornadoes and extreme winter temperatures. This special series will offer a few suggestions on how to make sure you and your family are ready.

There are already rumors of a rough winter, but we still have time to plan ahead. Here are some tips to get through an extreme winter.

  • Make sure to bundle up! This blog post from January talks in depth about avoiding hypothermia while outdoors.
  • Stock up on winter apparel and snow-clearing items right away! Last year some of these items were unavailable deep into the season.
  • Locate your home’s water shut off valve in case you have a pipe burst. Knowing where to shut off the water can help minimize the cost of the water damage.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts. Have a professional inspect your roof to see if it’s ready for winter.
  • If you are elderly, disabled or have a medical condition that requires you to avoid heavy exercise, consider signing up for a snow removal service.
  • Have your vehicles inspected to make sure you are safe to drive in snow and ice conditions. Always keep the tank at least halfway full.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car including several blankets, ice scraper, cell phone charger, snow shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, hand warmers, water and snack bars, flares, a first aid kit with essential medication, tow chain, kitty litter (for traction), jumper cables, whistle to call for help, lock de-icer, reflective vest, and winter clothing items such as boots and snow pants.
  • Other vehicles can lose control and hit you while you are outside, so it’s advised to stay in your vehicle and call for help. If you must leave the vehicle, put on your reflective vest and activate your hazard lights and road flares.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

Disaster Preparedness: Power Failure

Photo of electrical workers fixing power lines.

Wikimedia Commons. CC License.

After the “Polar Vortex” this winter and recent mass flooding, many Michiganders have a new appreciation for disaster preparedness. Michigan’s most common potential disaster situations include thunderstorms, power outages, tornadoes and extreme winter temperatures. This special series will offer a few suggestions on how to make sure you and your family are ready.

It is important to be prepared ahead of time for an extended power outage. Here are a few things to consider if you find yourself without power.

  • Report the outage on your cell phone. Most companies will offer an estimated restoration time, which can help you plan ahead.
  • Create a “Lights Out Kit” for short term power loss. It should have at least one flashlight per person, extra flashlight batteries, a battery operated radio, battery cell phone chargers, glow-in-the-dark sticks for kids, extra water and snacks. If you need to leave your home, it’s advised to have a “go bag” for each family member. This isn’t something you want to prepare in the dark!
  • Most cordless home phones will be useless without power. Having at least one landline with a cord connection is advised.
  • The CDC suggests keeping these items ready at all times.
  • Tap water may be unsafe to drink, so use bottled water until you are sure the water is safe. It’s suggested to store one gallon of water per family member, per day, for these situations.
  • Know when to seek alternative shelter. We all know there is no place like home, but extreme heat or cold can cause dangerous situations. It’s best to begin to plan early with family and friends, or investigate temporary hotel lodging.
  • If you have a gas powered generator, never run it in the house or even the garage due to potential carbon monoxide poisoning. A generator must be run completely outdoors where it can properly ventilate. Charcoal grills can also cause carbon monoxide poising and should never be used indoors for cooking or heating purposes.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have a battery back-up and replace the battery at least twice a year.
  • Food is typically safe for about four hours during a power outage. It’s advised to keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. For more specific information on food safety, refer to this chart.
  • If you find a downed power line, call 911 and keep others away from the area until help arrives.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

Disaster Preparedness: Tornado Safety

Photo of large, close up tornado

Unaltered photo. Paul McEnany, Flickr. CC License.

After the “Polar Vortex” this winter and recent mass flooding, many Michiganders have a new appreciation for disaster preparedness. Michigan’s most common potential disaster situations include thunderstorms, power outages, tornadoes and extreme winter temperatures. This special series will offer a few suggestions on how to make sure you and your family are ready.

Each year over 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States, causing about 60 deaths per year. It’s estimated that wind from tornadoes can reach up to 200 miles per hour, with most injuries and fatalities occurring from flying debris. A tornado can happen at any time, but most occur in spring and summer, often during the day between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Here is what you need to know to keep you and your family safe from tornadoes.

  • Sign up for weather text alerts to notify you if you are asleep or outdoors away from the TV and radio. I use the free American Red Cross tornado app .
  • “Tornado Watch” means that weather conditions are capable of producing a tornado.
  • “Tornado Warning” means a tornado has been sighted; this is time to take cover! The average warning time from until touchdown is 13 minutes, so move fast!
  • If you have a basement, gather the family there. If there’s not a basement, go to a first floor room away from windows, such a closet or bathroom.
  • Mobile homes don’t offer safe protection during a tornado. It’s important to seek alternative shelter early so you avoid driving when a tornado has been sighted.
  • If you’re in a car, seek shelter if possible or drive to avoid the tornado’s path.
  • When outdoors without shelter, lay flat in a ditch, cover your head and hang on to something sturdy if possible.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

Disaster Preparedness: Thunderstorm Safety

Photo of lightning bolts

After the “Polar Vortex” this winter and recent mass flooding, many Michiganders have a new appreciation for disaster preparedness. Michigan’s most common potential disaster situations include thunderstorms, power outages, tornadoes and extreme winter temperatures. This special series will offer a few suggestions on how to make sure you and your family are ready.

A thunderstorm can be beautiful to watch from afar, but it can certainly create devastating aftermath. A severe thunderstorm, which is defined by the American Red Cross as producing hail of at least 1 inch in diameter or wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour, can cause flooding, high winds, power outages and lightning injuries. As of Sept. 7, 2014, there have been 23 lightning-related deaths in the United States this year alone.

Here are some things to remember to stay safe in a thunderstorm:

  • If you’re swimming, get out of the water. Do not return until at least 30 minutes have passed since the last thunder rumble.
  • If outdoors, avoid trees and metal objects such as tractors and golf clubs.
  • Seek indoor shelter as soon as you are notified of the presence of a thunderstorm. Avoid sitting by doors and windows.
  • Do not touch items that are plugged into electrical outlets. Also, do not use any indoor plumbing items that can conduct electricity until the storm has passed.
  • If flooding has occurred, do not swim or play in it! Flood water can contain sewage as well as hidden dangers that could cut or injure you.
  • If you don’t already have flood coverage, check out the National Flood Insurance Program website for tips and advice to get your home covered.
  • Driving through flooded streets is extremely dangerous. It only takes 6 inches of water to completely lose control of the vehicle. Driving through large bodies of water could also cause vehicle damage, creating dangerous situations in the future.
  • If you notice a downed power line, call 911 immediately to report it. Stay away and prevent others from getting near the line or anything near or touching it.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers resources on its website, including emergency supply checklists. There are also games that make the lesson fun and not scary for children.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

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