A simple thing can change your life--like tripping on a rug or slipping on a wet floor. If you fall you could break a bone, like thousands of older men and women do each year. A broken bone might not sound awful. But, for older people, a break can be the start of more serious problems.
Many things can cause a fall. Your eyesight, hearing, and reflexes might not be as sharp as they were when you were younger. Diabetes, heart disease, or problems with your thyroid, nerves, feet, or blood vessels can affect your balance. Some medicines can cause you to feel dizzy or sleepy, making you more likely to fall.
Don't let a fear of falling keep you from being active. Doing things like getting together with friends, going on Corvette trips, or being more active in the Corvette club helps you stay healthy. The good news is that there are simple ways you can prevent most falls.
* Stay physically active
* Have your eyes and hearing tested
* Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take
* Get enough sleep
* Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
* Stand up slowly
* Use a walking stick if you need help feeling steady or if your doctor tells you to use one
* Be very careful walking on wet or icy surfaces
* Wear non-skid, rubber soled, low-heeled shoes, or lace-up shoes with non-skid soles that fully support your feet
Jerry Mulick - Safety Chairman
Safe Lift for a Safe Back
How often do you lift something? Dozens of times a day? We are lifting things all day long, from a toothbrush in the morning to bags of groceries, small children, big heavy boxes and furniture. Lifting is such an integral part of everything we do that we tend to do it automatically, without thinking. And that''s when it can become a problem - suddenly we've lifted something and our back starts to hurt.
Lifting things incorrectly can cause a variety of injuries to our back and other parts of our body. Back strain, caused by overstretching certain muscles, is the most common type of injury. Lifting incorrectly can also cause a hernia. These types of injuries can be worse if we're not in good physical condition.
The best lifters in the world are small children. As adults we should emulate the techniques they use automatically. Watch any small child and you will see them:
Bend at the knees, they squat
Keep the head up, they squat
Keep the back straight they don't have the agility to bend and lift at the same time
Lift with their legs, they don't have a choice, with their weak arms
Hold the load close to their body, if it's too far away from their body, they can't get their arms around it
Avoid twisting , they fall
Find stable footing, they fall
Let you know when it's too heavy, they cry or call out for help
Safe lifting involves learning how our back works and using the right methods whenever we lift something larger than a toothbrush. There are several steps to take every time you are about to lift something:
Size up the load:Look it over, decide if you can handle it alone or need some help. Often we look at something that is questionable and lift it anyway, rather than appear weak to others. Keeping up the appearance that you are strong is not worth hurting your back.
Size up the area:Before you begin moving things make sure that there aren't any obstacles in the way. Make sure that you can make any turns without running into another object or stumbling over something on the floor.
Keep your back straight: Bend at the knees, not the waist. As we grow, we have a better sense of balance and forget to use our leg muscles to do the work. Bending at the waist will put strain on the back.
Get a good hold: Your grip has to be firm in order to move something efficiently. If you don't have a good hold on the item, it can slip out of your grasp and fall, damaging the item and possibly you as well. Using gloves will also help give you a better grip and keep hands safe.
Find stable footing: You will be able to keep your balance better and use your leg muscles more effectively. These muscles are stronger than your back muscles.
Lift close to the body: Don't try to lift something that is away from your body. You won't be able to get a good grip on it. Reaching may strain your back.
Avoid twisting: Use your feet to change directions. Always move with your whole body. Twisting your upper body to move an object will put additional stress on your back.
Teamwork: It's easier and faster to have a helper in moving things. Be sure to discuss how you're going to lift, and what direction you're going in, and make sure that there are no obstacles. Lift, carry, and lower the object in unison. If you're losing your grip, warn your partner and put the load down, reposition yourselves, and then continue. A moment's pause may save dropping or injury.
A back injury, besides being very painful, can leave you incapacitated for weeks and may even cause permanent damage. Follow the steps for safe lifting, and you will be carrying things for years to come!
Jerry Mulick - Safety Chairman
Taking Care of Bug Bites
TAKING CARE OF BUG BITES
Most insect bites and stings are not serious,but some people may have an allergic reaction and sometimes, diseases can spread by insect bites. If bitten or stung, follow the tips below:
IF BITTEN OR STUNG
If bitten by a mosquito, try not to scratch. Scratching irritates the bite and may cause infection. Contact the doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and suspect West Nile virus.
Remove ticks with tweezers as soon as they are found. Grab them as close to the skin as possible and pull the tick up and out.
See a doctor if symptoms of Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever appear. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, aches and fatigue. There may also be a bull's-eye rash around the site of the bite. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include fever, aches, nausea and vomiting.
If stung by a honeybee, do not pull the stinger out. Honeybee stingers have a small hook at the end. They will eventually fall out on their own.
If stung by a wasp or hornet, leave the area immediately. These insects can sting repeatedly. Gently scrape the stinger off using the edge of a credit card or your fingernail. You might squeeze more venom into the skin if you use tweezers.
Bee, wasp and hornet stings may feel hot and itch. A red bump or swelling may appear where the sting was. Treat bee and wasp stings by washing the area with soap and water, then applying cold water or ice.
If there appears to be an allergic reaction to a sting--hives, nausea, fever or trouble breathing--go to the emergency room.
If bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, go to the emergency room.
Jerry Mulick - Safety Chairman
Exposure to sunlight is good for you. It prevents vitamin D deficiency in the body. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of diseases, hormonal imbalances, depression, osteoporosis, and even some forms of cancer. Sun exposure also has its downside, as it is linked to skin cancer. So enjoy some time in the sun --and use some form of sun protection.
TYPES OF SUN PROTECTION
DIET - You can boost your internal resistance to some sun damage by changing what you eat. Antioxidant-rich foods and the supplement astaxanthin, for example, will boost your natural resistance to sunburn.
SUNSCREEN - The best sunscreen products are broad-spectrum, perfumefree, and mineral-based with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 but not higher than 50. Avoid sprays.
AVOIDANCE - Limiting time in the sun is important even when using other forms of sun protection
HOW TO APPLY SUNSCREEN
Apply sunscreen generously, making sure you cover all exposed areas especially your face, nose, ears, feet, hands and the back of your knees, and rub it in well.
Put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors so it has time to absorb into the skin.
Use sunscreen any time you spend time outdoors. Remember that you can get sunburn even on cloudy days because up to 80% of the suns UV rays can get through the clouds. Also, UV rays can bounce back from water, sand, snow, and concrete, so make sure you and your children are protected.
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating or drying off with a towel.
Use aloe vera plant or aloe vera plant based lotions.
Drink water or 100% fruit juice to replace lost fluids.
Run cool water over the burn.
Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide some relief for painful sunburns.
Medicated lotions can be used with a doctor's approval.
Stay out of the sun until the sunburn is fully healed.
Jerry Mulick - Safety Chairman
Safety in Driving
Unchecked emotions can lead to aggressive driving and even road rage. Here are some tips to identify dangerous habits and how to prevent them.
Speeding, weaving, tailgating
Changing lanes without signaling
Cutting in front of someone and then slowing down
Running a red light
Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
Cursing and making rude or obscene gestures
Ramming or sideswiping another vehicle
Forcing a driver off the road
Monitor your driving habits and always try to be a better driver
Don't offend: Don't intentionally force another driver to brake or turn in response to your driving.
Be tolerant and forgiving: Don't take it personally if the driver of a vehicle is tailgating or cuts you off. The other driver may just be having a bad day.
DO NOT RESPOND
Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver, don't make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and call 911 if you believe you're in danger.
Drive safe out there!
Ed Harms - Safety Chairman
Being in a caravan doesn’t increase your safety on the road, it can increase your risk. Here are some important tips…
Keep a safe interval, depending on conditions, without dropping back. (Recommended interval is 3 seconds) Remember, you have a line of cars that will have to rush to catch up when the leader picks up the pace if you’re behind. This causes an unsafe “whiplash” effect.
Let a metal car pass and/or get in the line when they want to. Other cars on the road can be very discouraged or challenged by a long caravan and we can’t control other drivers. Safety first!
Don’t “follow the leader” if conditions don’t lend themselves to a safe move for you. Instead, wait until it is safe to follow; remember, you can always get back into the caravan further up…we’ll let you in!
Although we enjoy “pedal to the metal” when traveling alone, a string of Corvettes makes a great target and the sheer number of cars might dictate a slower speed. This is especially true in congested areas/towns.
When appropriate, we’ll “play”, especially on back roads, but you should drive at your comfort level keeping interval in mind.
It is courteous to change positions in a caravan from time to time. It is much easier to be right behind the leader than at the end of the line, so give everyone a turn. Be aware of the cars just in front of you and behind you so you can report if they have a problem.
Help the caboose; they have a huge responsibility to keep the caravan safe. The tighter a caravan rides, remembering safe intervals, the less difficult it is to keep everyone together.
When we come in towns and have a 4-lane road with stoplights, it is helpful to take both lanes. After the light, merge back into one line.
When the leader indicates they are going to change lanes and you are near the back of the caravan, move over when it is safe; this makes it easier for all the cars in front of you to change lanes.
If you need/want to leave the caravan for any reason, notify the leader and caboose first…perhaps it’s time for everyone to take a break. We won’t worry if we know why you left and you can catch up later.
Keep your FRS radio on channel 11-0 for directions and safety warnings.
Put your parking/road lights on to increase visibility.
Ed Harms - Safety Chairman
Defensive driving takes on a whole new importance this time of year.
Potholes pose a real danger to your tires, your rims and your suspension It can be an expensive proposition. Keeping tires properly inflated can help ward off damage.
Another real danger is zigzagging to miss the pothole. If you don’t take the time to look before you move you can cross into another lane, or worse, hit another vehicle. It can happen very fast.
Even more unpredictable is the other drivers on the road. They may swerve to avoid a pothole and go right into your lane. So be very careful out there and keep your eyes on the road. Especially this time of the year.
Ed Harms - Safety Chairman
Heart Attacks in Women
It’s very important for women to be aware that the symptoms they experience may not be anything like men.
Men may have a sudden stabbing pain in the chest and cold sweats, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor. Women may experience something totally different. Below is the story of one woman who experienced a heart attack without any previous symptoms.
--- I had a heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior exertion and NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life.
A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion but hadn't’t had a bite since about 5:00 PM. After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my spine gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my breast bone.
This fascinating process traveled into my throat and branched out into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself, Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!
I got up and started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, if this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help.
I walked slowly into the next room and dialed 911. I told her I thought I was having a heart attack. She said she was sending the paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.
I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness. I don't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital. I did not wake up again until the Cardiologist had threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 stints to hold open my right coronary artery.
I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and the fire station and hospital are only minutes away from my home. My Dr. was ready to go and got going on restarting my heart which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and installing the stents.
This is what I learned firsthand and every woman needs to know:
1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body. Many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING unpleasant happens that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!
2. Note I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can, take an aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
- Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on the road.
- Do NOT have someone else drive you – they will panic.
- Do NOT call your doctor. He can’t get to you and won’t have the equipment he needs. The paramedics will call him for you.
3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep.
Special Note…You can use Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant to call 911 for you!
Let's be careful and be aware. The more you know, the better chance you have of survival.