City of Plantation Podcast

Episode 17 - Summertime Safety Tips

June 19, 2020 City of Plantation Episode 17
City of Plantation Podcast
Episode 17 - Summertime Safety Tips
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to the City of Plantation Podcast. In this episode, we talk about summertime safety practices regarding pool and general water safety for children and adults, as well as, best practices to avoid heat-related injuries. This Podcast is aimed at keeping the residents of Plantation informed of events and important information happening throughout our city. Please subscribe to this podcast, as we will be producing new episodes on a regular basis.

Episode Details:
Host: BC Cary Blanchard and Acting DC Ezra Lubow
Producer: Acting EMS Division Chief Ezra Lubow
Music: Oakwood Station
Images: City of Plantation

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the city of plantations podcast. I am Carrie Blanchard, battalion chief of public affairs for the plantation fire department. Thank you for tuning in our podcast is designed to keep you up to date on all the latest happenings and activities in about and around the city of plantation on our episodes. We talked directly with the leaders decision makers and the movers and shakers we'll make plantation the great city that it is

Speaker 2:

On this episode of the city of plantations podcast. We're going to be talking about tips regarding summertime issues. Uh , so you could call this our summertime messaging for the residents of plantation and Carrie and I are honored to have our very own Caitlin muffins with us today who is not only our community outreach coordinator, but she is also a certified lifeguard, a certified swim instructor and a certified pool water safety specialist or something like that. I guess you could say. So when you become a lifeguard and a swim instructor. Awesome. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for having me. So I want to kind of start a little different today. I want to start with one question. If you had one single message to give to our residents and our listeners about swim pool, water safety, what would that one message be?

Speaker 3:

Every child should learn how to swim, get him into some lessons as soon as you can. Um , starting off at six months old, they can start going into some lessons doing mommy and me classes, you know, just be proactive.

Speaker 2:

So you think overwhelmingly that is the most bang for the buck. Basically get kids learning how to swim early. Yes. Very good. So talk to us a little bit about , um, some of the other things besides just swim instruction. Well, I guess we can also talk about swim instruction. Like what resources are there out there? I'm a parent and I have a two year old and I want my two year old to start swimming or maybe even a one year old. Where do I go? Where do I find the resources for that?

Speaker 3:

You can definitely go to swim central, which is provided by Broward County. They have a lot of resources, even. Um, the USA swimming. Um, I used to be a swimmer. I swam all through middle school, elementary, middle school and high school and did some college as a professional swimmer. And you can go on those websites and their advocate all about , uh , pull safety, water safety, and everything.

Speaker 2:

So that would be a good starting point. Great starting point for good besides swim instruction. What are some other things that parents can do to make bodies of water and backyard pools and lakes safer for their children?

Speaker 3:

Well, one keeping, you know, eye on your children, because one second that they're in the next second they can be, be gone. So that's really important, especially around pools. You should have a fence. Um, you can get meshed fences and there's even , um , fences where they lay over the pool with . It's just like an it's a net , um , pull alarms , uh , alarms on the door , um , making sure your , uh, the dog doors have locks on them. So the kids don't crawl out , uh, with technology nowadays, they even have a device that you can put at your pool and if it makes a wave or a splash, any type of ripple, the alarms go off and they notify you that something's in the water, you know, excuse me, Caitlin . I know that you said that pool fences and things like that, but I guess the key to that is to actually use them. Yes . A lot of people know what's required by law for people to have them, but a lot of people it's inconvenient and cumbersome, so they don't use them. So I think we need to stress the importance of actually turning it on and putting the fence up and locking the fence or children do what we do. And they , they kind of see how you open the gate. So if it's not locked properly, defeats the purpose. Yes . And it defeats the purpose of even having one, you know, it takes 20 seconds for a child to drown, you know, that's, it, it takes an average adult, 60 seconds to drown. You know, if you take that one extra second millisecond, whatever that your child's not gonna , you know, drown, it's very important.

Speaker 2:

And you know, as we're talking about this, I'm thinking, you know, Carrie Kaitlin , what do we tell all of our people when we're talking about what they should do during time change, what should they do in their house?

Speaker 3:

I'll check their battery, hit , check your batteries, check smoke detectors.

Speaker 2:

So I think, right, that's the same philosophy with any electronic pool devices or alarms is make sure the batteries are charged. Make sure that they're ready to go. Awesome. Just to put into perspective what we're talking about after birth defects in the United States, Johnny is the number one cause of death for children between the ages of one and four. Uh , that's pretty significant. And I know from , uh , an EMS division perspective at the fire department, that every summer we see, unfortunately we see some drownings in our city and most of them are in backyard pools where, you know , the child fell in and no one noticed , uh, we've had one or two in the canals and the lakes and some of our , uh, communities or neighborhoods. So , uh , I think we need to be very aware of that. On top of the resource that Katelyn mentioned, the American Academy of pediatrics is also a very good resource. We actually printed out some infographics. They have a large selection of infographics that give a lot of information. So that would be another source. And that website is www.aap.org. And anybody can just go on there and look at it, talking about drownings. There's just a couple of things I wanted to, to bring up from a medical perspective. We have drownings, which are usually seen as conventional drowning. Someone falls into water, they're submerged. They inhale a large volume of water, stop breathing death and see shortly after like Katelyn mentioned, it can happen very, very quickly. We also have , uh , atypical drownings and we refer to those as submersion injuries. Those come in two types, two categories. We have our dry drowning and our secondary drowning. And our Drudge drowning is usually when a small amount of water enters the mouth or the nasal cavity. It can create spasms of the airway. Those spasms can seal off the airway and make it impossible to breathe. And individuals can actually die from that medical situation. The secondary drownings are more longterm . So this would be an individual who fell into the water and inhaled a small amount of water and was pulled from the water. And then that water created inflammation and swelling in the lungs, reducing the lungs capability to exchange oxygen and make that whole process happen. So the point that , uh , that I think we need to touch on Katelyn and Carrie , is that any type of submersion in a pool where rescue is necessary? Necessitates what?

Speaker 3:

Transport? Yeah. I would definitely medical care from a physician or professional because there's after effects. It's not just that the moment that child may appear fine or an adult, anybody, they may be appear to be fine, but they need treatment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And they need to be assessed in a medical facility where chest X rays can be done. A physician can assess them. Their oxygen levels can be monitored. Right. Katelyn , you agree?

Speaker 3:

Yes. I agree. Totally. Because as I'll be in the lifeguard , you only have basic skills. You don't have the resources where a rescue can take them to the hospital or their moms take it to the doctor to get a full workup, to make sure they're okay. We don't have an X area machine or anything that goes over .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Right. No, no portable unit there at the poolside or that's in the city budget. So a couple of points to talk about if a child does need to be pulled out of the pool and what type of signs and symptoms parents can look for to determine if that child is in distress. So the , the first thing is that physically having to remove a child from Nepal, right. Automatically that's a medical emergency, nine 11 should be initiated if at the very least to have a field assessment done in determine what the condition of the child is . Parents can look for coughing. They can look for increased work of breathing in children. Sometimes that can be elusive. So what we're looking for is a telltale signs of respiratory distress in children would be nasal flaring or grunting it's. Those are very common symptoms from respiratory distress, sleepiness, forgetfulness change of behavior , uh , and throwing up can be a sign of stress as well. Now, some of these signs that I've mentioned, right. Kids have all the time. So what we're talking about is in conjunction with needing to be rescued out of a pool, not just without that. Right, right, right. Okay. And , um, so we talked about swim lessons. We talked about some devices, we talked about supervision. Caitlin , do you want to expand on supervision and really what that means? Not just in , uh , uh, in the home, but also out and about

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Also about, you know, summertime beaches, try to swim where there's lifeguards, you know, be careful, look at the flags, you know, make sure there's no rip currents and everything, you know, you don't want it to be too crazy. Especially if you have a child who's one, not a strong swimmer or two does not know how to swim, put a life jacket on them. You know, when you get a life jacket, you want to look for the UL stamp on there. And it's done by it's tested by the coast guard. And I know you've been a Coastie , you know, I'm very big on life jackets. My four year old, she has a life jacket. I'm very like, definitely about that. I know that you're talking about the life jackets. I know a lot of people put the little butterfly things on there , all the water wings, the water wings. What's the story with that. And I don't believe those are approved. I, I dislike them so much. They do not help children, especially, you know , being in sunny, South Florida, with the sun and everything you put sunblock on your, you know, your kids and it, once they get into the water, it gets slippery. And once it gets slippery, those water wings can go to their wrist . And when they get to their wrist, they can go down and kids don't have that upper body strength yet. You know , even though they seem tough, they don't. And then trying to pull themselves out of the water, you know, it's hard for them, you know, that can also cause drowning with those water wings. So I do not recommend them whatsoever. I always tell a parent life jacket, UL symbol, that way it's tested in everything.

Speaker 2:

Right. And boating. Right? I mean, so I'll talk, I'll put on my long time ago, hat and say that when you're out in the boat, make sure that the children are all in life vest , which is the law. Anyway, it's a requirement. Make sure that you have an eye on them. So they're not falling overboard. Make sure that they're not bow riding, right. Bow riding , which we all love to do for children is illegal and come result in a fine if the coast guard sees that occurring. So keep that in mind. But boating safety definitely in South Florida, so many, and it's beautiful out and people want to get out there. And , and I don't blame them . I want to circle back for one second. Cause I think we talked about swim lessons, but I think maybe we can expand on that because for really, really young children, they're not learning how to swim .

Speaker 3:

No, they're learning how to survive in case they ever fallen into a pool. Um, there is a technique that some instructors are using the , at are called turn cake , reach where you pull the child in, you show them how to turn around, kick to the wall and reach for the wall and pull themselves out. And also the log roll where if they fall in, they roll over and they float and I've had a child float for five minutes by themselves, obviously there , but you know, and also during those classes , um, we have them even get into their normal clothes. If they're at their grandmother's house or a friend's house, just anywhere, there's a pool. Or if they're at a party, you know, they know what to do. Right . So that's very important. And once they progress and they get stronger and what , and all that, they can finally become stronger. Swimmers, you know, my sister, I taught her how to swim and she was five years old swimming , um, Olympic lengths of the pool. Right. So

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think I sing the song. I'm a little turd or lying on my back. I think I sang that to my children when they were learning how to float

Speaker 3:

Between go twinkle little star. Oh yes.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. Awesome. So you guys, what else? What other consideration ? Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead, Carrie .

Speaker 4:

I just wanted to mention that. Um, I know that we're talking about recreation stuff with beaches and, but I just want to circle back to the fact that there are bodies of water all around us. And ultimately it's about supervision. The kids can get away from us at any moment, just turn around and they're doing something. So you gotta be aware that there's lakes and canals. We're just surrounded by water. The pool is on the most part. It should be easy enough if you put a pool fence, but you know, we have canals behind our houses or lakes. So we've got to make sure that we protect them from that. And in talking about supervision, you know, we have to have people that are competent and I, I know it sounds harsh, but if you're on your phone and you're looking at Facebook, you cannot be watching a child that is swimming or walking around the body of water. So you want to make sure that you are actually physically watching the child at all times and learn CPR. I cannot stress that enough. We need to learn CPR because bad things do happen. And the better your chance of saving someone is with CPR until paramedics can arrive.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. What I also tell parents and also the children is that I get in the pool. First. I tell them, I said, you don't go in the pool until your mother or your father tell you it's okay to, or myself to swim instructor tell you it's okay. If you get in the water before we're going to sit down and we're going to wait five, and then we're going to try it again. You know, I'm a very big believer on that. You wait until a parent goes in, build some discipline for them. Yes. Big time, big discipline. And you know, also, you know, talking about bodies of water, even at home, you know, besides if you , if you don't have a pool of kids in the bathtub and you know, you need to watch them in the bathtub, I get it. My daughter loves to be a mermaid in the bathtub. You know, I hear clunk in the cling in , and I'm sitting right there, but you know, but if I walk away and I hear clunky and clinging , I'm thinking she's still playing, but what happens is she knocked her head, you know, be careful how you fill the bathtub and everything, but watch, you got to keep your eyes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I got to keep your eyes on them . Can't allow yourself to be distracted. We're all, you know, we live in a day and age where we're, there are tons of distractions a lot more than years ago, and it's easy to get a phone call, get a text, take your eyes off your children. And unfortunately that's when tragedy can strike. So that's a very, very good point. All right . Anything else about water safety, swimming, pool safety. Now , what other , uh, what other things are we concerned about over the summertime heatstroke injuries or any injuries, injuries? Right. The big thing with heat injuries. I think the biggest thing, and I'm gonna let Carrie kind of expand on this a little bit, but the big thing is that it really all boils down to staying hydrated. If you maintain your level of hydration and take into account the amount of sweat that you're going to be expelling because of the heat out, you really need to replenish that. And if you don't, you're going to be susceptible to heat emergencies or heat injuries. One of the things to consider specifically about South Florida is that normal cooling mechanism where we sweat air comes over your skin. It evaporates, it cools your skin down, which cools your core temperature down is that process has a hard time above 60% humidity, right? And right now where we're looking at afternoon storms where like in the eighties or low nineties. So, you know, that evaporation process is going to be slow to occur. You're going to stay hot. Your core temperature is going to increase. And if we're not hydrating and staying on top of that, we could have some problems. So Carrie , talk us through the different types of heat injuries that, that we're looking at. Like as a continuum.

Speaker 4:

Well, this starts with heat cramps. That's like the first level. Um , usually when it starts, when you're dehydrated clues cramps in the stomach arms and your leg muscles, it comes from a depletion of salt and fluids in the body. You can, you can drink water or electrolytes to replenish. The main thing is to stop what you're doing right to cool off. If you can. Um , if you're exercising, if you're, you know , cutting the grass, working, whatever you're doing, stop what you're doing. You want to put yourself, if you can, into a cool area, air condition of possible , um , you want to stretch the affected muscles and if possible cool off before you go back to doing what you were doing. Um, and from there, it can progress. It's called heat exhaustion. This is obviously the symptoms are worse. Includes weakness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting and fainting. Again, as always, you want to move to a cool area. That's the first thing you want to stop what you're doing and move to a cool area, remove your tight clothing. And again, fluids, electrolytes, water. If that's all you have, that's fine. You want to apply cooling measures such as a fan or a cooling towel or something like that. Water, if you can , if you can, and you definitely want to seek medical attention, right? At this point, it's , it's going a little too far at this point. And then finally, as heat stroke, which is the most severe, this people can die from this. People do die from this. It's an acute medical condition and you need to get treatment when your core temperature is above 104 degrees , uh, symptoms or nausea, seizures, confusion, and disorientation. Some people are unconscious or in a coma you'd want to call nine 11 . You definitely want right away. You want to monitor the core temperature and immersion in a cold bath, right ? Obviously remove the clothing, the ice packs, if possible, or a cooling towel or anything like that. What you want to do is bring down the body temperature,

Speaker 2:

Right? The internal core. Now you had mentioned electrolytes and , uh , what would that be? I mean, for me , um , um , you know, out there exercising or I'm out there cutting my lawn and I hear electrolytes, you know, what is that? So what would be a common

Speaker 4:

Gatorade? I would definitely recommend the low sugar type, but G Gatorade. PDLA I believe that pity leads marketing to adults now also used to be for kids, but, you know, replenishes your electrolytes also.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Yeah. So I mean that , that is a very good , uh , a good message to come across. Then the thing to keep in mind here too, is that , you know , a couple of points to add on top to avoid these heat injuries, keep in mind, dark clothing, attracts heat from the sun. So it's going to absorb heat and it's going to retain it. The sun, right? We have a sun index in South Florida because some days the sun is much more powerful than other days. So, you know, we want to think about that. And obviously if I were to think of any time where the heat and humidity and the sun all play a factor, it would be in that daily raining, sunshine, raining, sunshine. So right after it rains, there's a bunch of fluid underground. That's going to create humidity off the roads and the roadways in the sidewalks, that humidity is going to go up. The sun's going to come out and it's already, you know, it's 90 degrees to begin with. So , uh , that trifecta there is going to make you a lot more susceptible, fitness level can play a role age, can play a role , uh, hydration level, which Carrie talked about can play a role and preparing, right? So if I know that I'm going to go out and compete in a monster motor run , and I've never done that before, for the days before that race, I should be over hydrating. Right? And so we talk about how should I drink? Right? So here's a standard, it's not set in stone, but the average is 32 ounces of water a day. That that's the goal that we should all be striving for. You can monitor your hydration level. And I know this is kind of an awkward conversation, but by monitoring your urine output and looking at the color of your urine. So a very, very dark yellow, or even yellow, yellow urine can be indicative of dehydration, whereas a more , uh , light colored yellow to white is what we're looking for as a, as a optimal hydration, optimal hydration. Thank you. Very good. So , um, and then some other things are a high body, fat fever, medications and individuals with sickle cell trait can all be more susceptible to heat emergencies. And yeah, Carrie's making the motion to me. So I'm going to let her talk about it, but there's one more thing that happens in South Florida, especially along all the beaches and clubs and stuff like that. And that is yeah.

Speaker 3:

Consumption of alcohol increases the susceptibility to heat injuries. Right. And we do it and dehydration. And even if you're not in the sun the night before you go out drinking, and then the next day you're in the sun, you're just still not properly hydrated because it dehydrates you. Right?

Speaker 2:

So again, junk lots of water , uh , monitor your hydration level a little bit of pre-planning , right. Maybe don't go out at the hottest part of the day to do, to mow the lawn or to edge or do that type of stuff. And maybe wait till the evening or the early morning Kaitlin , what else do we need to think about here?

Speaker 3:

Being safe around the water, learn the rules. If someone's drowning and don't go in reaching go, that's a great point. Why don't you cover? I'm driving down the road. And I noticed someone fall into the canal besides calling nine one one, which should be the very first thing you do. What do I do after that? The best thing to do is if you don't see anything where you can throw it to them, where you can reach them in a safe distance, you never want to go in because when someone's panicking, panicking, and drowning, they're going to hold onto anything and everything. And they're going to pull you down with them cause they're panicking. Um, the safe thing to do is if you can't throw something to help them is keep an eye on them, keep an eye on them. Whenever, you know, EMS gets there , police, fire, they, you know, when they get there , you show them, you know, where they went down or you follow, you know, keep your eye on the person at all times. One of the tricks that we

Speaker 2:

Used to use in the coast guard to do man overboard, Joes , or even affect rescues with people in the water is as soon as we cited them , we would point at them and we would continue to point at them. And so that serves a couple of purposes. One, your finger turns into a visual reminder for you of where you saw them. So if they submerge, you're still kind of in a general vicinity and to anybody else who's showing up, she's you pointing and can focus in on that location. So, you know, that might be something that, that, you know, some of our people could utilize, but yeah, they're going into water is definitely, probably a no-no for the majority of people. Right? Unless you have specific training. Yes. Yeah . Alright . What else you guys would, what else do we need to talk about? I think there was one more thing you wanted to talk about, Carrie .

Speaker 4:

I just wanted to mention the cars, the high heat in cars it's been said before, but check the backseat . If you have your children there, don't put your animals in there and close the window thinking you're going to go in somewhere for five minutes, five minutes turns into 20 minutes and it doesn't even take that long. It just takes a few minutes. When in South Florida heat, the cars can easily reach 150 degrees. So definitely want to avoid that and checking the backseat is the best way to do it.

Speaker 2:

Right. And not to mention leaving your animals in a hot car with the AC on and a windows up is a crime in South Florida. So, all right . You guys, anything else we want to talk about? No , thank you . Alright . Well, thank you very much, Caitlin . Thanks for coming in and sharing your wisdom with us. We appreciate it. Thank you, Kaitlin . And you guys be safe and have a great day.

Speaker 4:

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