School’s out: Summer water safety and other tips and news | #schoolsaftey

School’s out: Summer water safety and other tips and news

When the sun glistens on the water, safety is easy to forget, but things can go wrong very quickly and quietly.

When the sun glistens on the water, safety is easy to forget, but things can go wrong very quickly and quietly.

Remember the following:

  • • Swimming lessons improve everyone’s water competency. Good swimming skills translate into better safety in the water.
  • • Use “layers of protection” to reduce risk: fence off pools and open water, wear life jackets, and supervise children while they’re around water, especially when they’re swimming.
  • • When boating, everyone (yes, even strong-swimming adults) should wear life vests. A good personal flotation device (PFD) will keep a person’s head above water even if they lose consciousness.
  • • Know what to do in a water emergency, including safely helping someone in trouble in the water, and how to administer CPR.

You can get more water safety tips here.

Emergency communications exercise

Hello? Anybody there?

More than 30,000 radio operators participated in the nationwide Amateur Radio Field Day on the weekend of June 24. Twenty of them were on Vashon, working from the Vashon Maury Island Radio Club trailer, parked in a big field. Members of the Ham Club are a key component of the island’s disaster response capability, also known as the Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS).

The ACS team supports the Vashon Emergency Operations Center, Medical Reserve Corps, and Community Emergency Response Team.

The annual Field Day — still going strong after 90 years — is considered the world’s largest emergency communications exercise. All operations are conducted on emergency generator power, conditions that might exist after a major earthquake or other types of disasters.

Gadget moment: How will you open that can?

You are prepared with days of food stored for an emergency, right? Congratulations. Good work. But could you open that can of beans or tuna? Unless your food stash includes only cans with pull-tab tops, be sure to put a manual (not electric) can opener in your emergency kit.

Millions still have no sense of taste or smell

A newly published, massive survey of medical records shows the lingering effects of COVID on patients’ senses of smell and taste.

About 60% of patients reported losses in smell or taste, and about one-fourth did not immediately recover the two senses. The peer-reviewed study was published in The Laryngoscope journal. It was conducted by researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and analyzed the medical records of 30,000 patients.

One of the study authors, Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, estimates that up to six million people in the U.S. still have degraded senses of smell and taste.

COVID risk level: basic

The VashonBePrepared risk level tool takes into account incomplete reporting of home testing results. Since the risk level tool was launched, it has primarily been based on the reliably accurate COVID hospitalization rates. Some other factors are also evaluated, including COVID virus levels in wastewater in our region.

At the basic risk level, wear an N95 mask indoors in public if you have been exposed to COVID, are at risk for health or other reasons, or live or spend time with someone at high risk.

Keep vaccinations up to date, including boosters. Maintain good ventilation at home and at work. Avoid those with suspected or confirmed COVID. If exposed to COVID, wear a mask in public and avoid contact with those at high risk for 10 days.

Always home-test if you have symptoms. If you test positive, isolate for at least five days and until you test negative. If you are immunocompromised, discuss additional prevention actions with your healthcare provider.

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