Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: May 28, 2014



 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about staying safe in and on the water and the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season forecast. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

 

Although swimming is a physical activity that offers numerous health benefits, pools and other recreational water venues are also places where germs can be spread and injuries can happen. Recreational water illnesses – or RWIs – are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs/spas, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers or oceans. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent recreational water illnesses:

  • Don't swim when you have diarrhea.

  • Shower with soap before you start swimming.

  • Take a rinse shower before you get back into the water.

  • Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes and be sure to check diapers every 30-60 minutes.

  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.

The Fairfax County Health Department also encourages you to learn about preventing recreational water injuries, such as drowning and slips, trips and falls that can occur in or around the water. Learn more at fairfaxcounty.gov/hd.

 

The sun, water and wind also can make for a great day to go cruising along a river, lake or bay in a boat. For many individuals and families this is a favorite summer pastime. It can be safe, as well as fun, if the fundamental rules of boating are understood and observed. The National Safety Council recommends the following tips for recreational boaters:

  • Don't drink and boat. Boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. The "designated driver" system doesn't work in boating. Everyone is at risk because the boat's motion, coupled with alcohol, increases the chances of losing balance and falling overboard.
  • Everyone on the boat should wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device – PFD – or life jacket. A PFD is the best protection against drowning

  • Check the weather and water conditions before leaving the shore. If it looks like storms are brewing or the water is very choppy, wait for another day to go boating.

  • Limit the number of passengers in a small boat. Don't exceed the limit allowed by the boat's capacity plate. Keep in mind the size and weight of each person -- equal distribution of weight will limit the possibility of capsizing.

  • Use the "one-third rule" in fuel management. Use one-third of the fuel to go, one-third to get back, and keep one-third in reserve.

  • Always tell someone where you will be boating, when you will be back, what your boat looks like and other identifying information.

Recreational boating is second only to highway transportation in the number of fatalities that occur each year. Alcohol is involved in most of these accidents. To ensure that you are following safe boating procedures, sign-up for a boating safety course.

In its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season. The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. For the six-month hurricane season, beginning June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 2 major hurricanes – category 3, 4 or 5. Learn more about hurricanes and how to prepare at fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency.

Finally, be sure to subscribe to the emergency information blog at fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog.

That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.


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