Facing a Mass Shooting and the keys to your safety

As of November 5th, the United States has suffered 307 mass shooting incidents in 2017.  Which, sadly, translates to nearly 1 mass shooting per day.  In 2016, the total number of mass shootings in the US was 483.

While there is not an official definition of what makes a shooting become a mass shooting, The F.B.I. defines a “mass killing” as the killing of three or more people in a public place but also defines a “mass murderer” as someone who has killed four or more people in the same location.

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As we mourn the wounds our country is facing, we must also find our own courage and strength to not live in fear and allow these incidents to harm our quality of life. While the most obvious way to avoid a mass shooting is to avoid going to crowded or popular events that would force us to live in our own prisons and even still not fully protect us from the possibility of workplace incidents.

Many Americans are fighting for stricter gun laws or changes within our government to better our chances at safety.  If you feel driven to join this fight, we encourage you to check out this simple guide on ways you can reach out to the government and demand change!

As we move toward the peek season of travel, special events, and larger crowds in public places we must not allow fear to cripple us, but we must also learn how to be prepared for danger.

Situational awareness is a key element to your safety at any time and any place.  This will not just help you detect the possibility of a mass shooting, but also help you identify stalkers and other threats.  Most of us aren’t even clear on just what situational awareness is, but to speak in a language we all understand it is much like what you see the professionals doing in spy films or actions films.  Think James Bond.  How was he always so prepared? Situational awareness is the answer.  (For tips on developing your situational awareness, check out this blog.)

As a business that focuses on security and safety, Close Range Safety Training Academy wants to share with you some tips that could save your life should you ever be faced with a mass shooting situation:

  • As you will learn from developing situational awareness, knowing the exits of your location is critical at all times.  Many emergency situations require your need to make a fast exit so this is key any time you go somewhere.  Locate the normal exits and emergency exists as soon as you arrive to an unfamiliar place. 
  • When terror begins – take action! Do not take a moment to devise a plan.  Every second counts. The first 5 seconds of a mass shooting are preeminent in your chances of avoiding injury.  If you have studied these tips below and and have familiarized yourself with the exits, you can do this!
  • RUN! Fear can be paralyzing, but do not allow that! Muster all of your courage in an instant and run for it! A moving target is harder to hit and a crowd running creates mass confusion for the shooter so take everyone you can with you and just run for the nearest exit out of the shooter’s range.
    If your shoes are slowing you down, take them off quickly and keep running.
    Do not stagger your run or attempt any tricks that you think will help you.  Reality is, your best bet is a direct dart to the easiest exit.
    If there are obstacles, such as columns, you can dart behind on your run and only if you feel this is necessary than use them to your advantage but just do your best to move quickly and out of range.
  • Do not worry about your belongings.  Run immediately means just that and your purse or phone are unimportant.  Focus on your safety and nothing more.  Every second counts.
  • If you can’t run, HIDE! If there is no way to escape the crisis, find a good hidingSofiaHulten3.jpg place but don’t get yourself trapped.
    If you run into a room, close and lock the door and blockade that door with any furniture you can move in front of it.  Turn off the lights so the room appears vacant.
    If there is a window you can escape from, do your best to do so.  If you cannot escape from the window, try to signal to people outside for help.  Do not fear jumping from a window if it is a second story or lower.  The injuries of cuts, bruises and possibly broken bones is still better than the alternative.
    If you cannot escape to a close room, find ways to hide behind furniture or in a closet.
    Remember that interior walls generally can not withstand bullets so when hiding also stay close to the ground.
  • Find cover when there’s no escaping. Much like you learned in a tornado or earthquake drill in school, find heavy furniture or equipment to hide behind, under or inside of.  Stay close to the ground and do whatever you can to take cover, but do not trap yourself – make sure you are able to dart from this spot easily if you can do so should the shooter be distracted for any reason.
  • Be as quiet as possible.  If you have your cell phone, silence it. If you are in a group whisper and move softly.  Prevent making noise that draws attention to you as best as you possibly can.
    If there is equipment in the room that makes noise such as printers, radios or anything that makes noise – turn them off!
    If you are with children do your best to comfort them while making clear to them that silence is key.
    Silence can be hard, but it is of the utmost importance.
  • Call 9-1-1 once you’re in a safe space. If at all possible call 9-1-1 from a land line if you are still in the building where the shooting is taking place.  Calling from a land line enables their system to track you faster than calling from a cell phone, but if you cannot use a land line then use a cell phone.
  • Lie down and play dead. If you know there’s no escape and nowhere to hide or a way to defend yourself, fall to the floor and pretend your are dead. This has saved many lives in such attacks.
  • Fight when there’s no alternative. Focus on finding weapons of any sort to help you fight.  In an office, grab the scissors or a stapler or anything you can use to stab, pack a stronger punch or hurl at the shooter’s head. If people are with you, have everyone grab items they can use. The more people fighting, the better the chances of winning the fight.
    Channel your survival instinct and use your adrenaline rush to your advantage.
    Most people who are shot can survive a gunshot, especially if you are a moving target and do not allow the shooter to take good aim at you.
    When there’s no alternative, fighting is your best chance for survival.
    Aim at the shooters head when you are throwing objects toward him/her.
    Create havoc by throwing as much as you can while taking shelter between throws.  Do whatever it takes to slow the shooter down, cripple him/her and possibly cause them to drop the gun.
    If you are with others, determine you are fighting as a group and go for it.
  • When law enforcement arrives do not run toward them. Usually the first group of law enforcement that arrives on a shooting scene is there to locate and deal with the shooter and not the victims. Do not leave your hiding spot and do not get in their way.
    hqdefault.jpgWhen you see that you can move in police presence, move slowly with your arms in the air and your fingers spread to show you are not a threat.  Keep this position until they are clear you are not a threat.
    Move in the direction where the police made entry. Do not stop to speak to them.  In fact, if it is safe to do so, run in that direction while keeping your arms raised.
    Obey police instructions and do so without delay or questions.
    Wait for them to question you and at that time provide the best, detailed statement you can.

On average, a mass shooting incident lasts a maximum of 10 minutes.  Keep your composure, keep your wits about you, and stay focused on this advice and how you can apply it to your situation.

We hope that you will never have to face this terror nor anyone you love, but as a team that puts safety first we want you to do the same.  If you feel this information was helpful, please share it with your loved ones.  If you have a suggestion or something to add, please comment. Together we can do this and save a lives!

 

 

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Diabetes: Understanding, Preventing and Treating

Many see the arrival of November as the beginning of the Holiday Season, but did you also know November is Diabetes Awareness Month? While many months herald awareness for important issues, diabetes is one of the most overlooked issues in the United States because it isn’t viewed as a comparable threat to things like cancer or abuse and it has no outward signs.  But, diabetes is a silent killer that nearly 30 million Americans are fighting every day.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With diabetes, your body is either unable to naturally produce insulin or process it properly.  This depends on which type of diabetes you have.
With “Type 1 Diabetes” your body does not make insulin whereas with “Type 2 Diabetes” your body does not make or use insulin well.  There is also “Pre-Diabetes” which means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having pre-diabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this illness.  Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious health conditions threatening to damage your vision, kidneys, and nerves as well as increasing your risk for stroke or heart disease.  In serious cases people have had to have limbs removed as a result of diabetes wreaking havoc on their body.  
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Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs.

Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to bring the glucose in. If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you more hungry and tired than usual.
Frequent Urinating and frequent thirst. The average person usually has to urinate between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more because your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. Because you’re urinating so frequently, you can get very thirsty needing to rehydrate more than the average person. Another side effect of frequent urination and dehydration is that you may experience dry mouth often and have dry skin.  These two issues, though they may seem minor, can be another sign that you may have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Deteriorating vision. This is a serious red flag that also stems from the changing fluid levels in your body.  Because your eyes are surrounded in fluid, the lenses can change shape and cause your vision to blur.
Slow healing wounds. If cuts or scrapes heal slower than the average person, this could be a sign that you have nerve damage caused by the effects of high blood sugar slowing down your blood flow making it harder for your body to naturally heal wounds.
Pain or numbness in limbs. This is a more serious sign that your blood flow has slowed and is not circulating to your nerves at a normal pace.
Other noteworthy symptoms are fluctuating weight and nausea or vomiting. It is a myth that weight gain is the only weight change that occurs with diabetes.  While weight gain is a reason for alarm, weight loss also is a sign that you may have diabetes due to your body seeking stored energy wherever it can take from.  Unplanned or unexplained fluctuation in weight is something that requires medical attention and can be a definite indicator of diabetes. Also, when your body resorts to burning fat or muscle to build energy it can create “ketones” which can make your stomach feel sick.  (For a better understanding of ketones and the dangers of diabetic ketoacidosis visit this link: Web MD – Diabetic Ketoacidosis.)

Diabetes Prevention

The first step to prevention is to get tested for diabetes regularly.  This can be done during your basic annual check ups, but should be done as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the above described symptoms.
There are different types of tests for diabetes depending on your symptoms (or lack thereof).  Even if you do not have symptoms, if you are over age 45 it is recommended that you get tested. When you spot diabetes early on you can avoid nerve damage, heart conditions and other damages caused by untreated diabetes.
Comparison-of-Diabetes-Tests-Chart.jpgChanging your lifestyle can prevent diabetes.  Here are some great suggestions to help you discover what changes you need to make:
1) Exercise! Research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes. The greatest benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.
2) Eat more fiber and whole grain foods. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts help reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control. Studies show that whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try making at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.
3) Maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Participants in one large medical study who lost a modest amount of weight and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent. Don’t jump on diet fads though. Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other diet fads may help you lose weight initially but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known. By excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, make variety and portion control part of your healthy diet.
4) Get tested! If any members of your immediate family have diabetes or pre-diabetes, if you have any of the symptoms described above, or if you are over age 45 get tested today and annually or more frequently depending on the results.

Diabetes Treatment and Control

Diabetes is a serious disease that you cannot treat on your own. Your doctor will help you find a treatment plan suited for your diabetes.  Depending on your level of diabetes, you may also need other medical professionals on your diabetes treatment team, including a foot doctor, nutritionist, eye doctor, and a diabetes specialist (called an endocrinologist).

Treatment for diabetes requires keeping close watch over your blood sugar levels (and keeping them at a goal set by your doctor) with a combination of medications, healthy diet and exercise. By paying close attention to your diet and  following your doctors’ orders you can minimize or avoid dangerous and rapid changing blood sugar levels, which can require quick changes in medication dosages, especially insulin.

There are several medications and preventatives available for diabetes.  If you discover you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, be sure to talk to your doctor about all available options and what is best for you.  Take your medications as prescribed and keep detailed notes about the effects they may have on you to provide to your doctor each visit.  Keeping the lines of communication open with your doctor is very important when fighting diabetes.  Never stop taking a prescribed medication or stop following a strict diet your doctor has advised simply because you are feeling better.

The types of diabetes described in this blog only scratch the surface of information you need to know if you are diabetic or think you may be. It is urgent that you see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis, treatment and regular care.  This blog is written to hopefully help those who may be questioning their health or learning when to start getting tested. Because November is Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to recognize the disease and risks involved and to share this awareness with our readers who may have concerns for themselves or a loved one.  Diabetes is one of the leading natural killers among Americans today.  Together, we can change that!3.jpg

Making Sense of Maintaining Healthy Senses

Most humans are born with five senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.  Those who are not, generally have stronger senses to support the absent sense (for example, those who are blind have more efficient hearing to help them obtain a better idea of their surroundings).  We begin to learn about our senses even before begin to walk and later are taught about them in elementary school.  No matter how important our senses are, though, it’s easy to take them for granted because they are such a basic part of our lives.

Your senses are the first key to your safety.  Your sense of smell can alert you to a fire, your sense of touch can alert you to hot surfaces to avoid burns, your hearing lets you know if a vehicle is speeding up behind you, your vision can spot danger even to your left or right and so much more!

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Here are some key elements to help you get the most of your senses!

SIGHT:

  • Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Do not wear eyewear that can block your peripheral vision.
  • Wear protective eyewear whenever you are exposed to UV rays or bright light.
  • Have your vision checked regularly by an optometrist.
  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes.
  • Follow the proper prescription instructions for contact lenses or eye glasses.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever working in elements such as welding, building, or any environment that could blow dust or particles into your eyes.
  • Avoid tobacco use.
  • Eat healthy – Fruits, Green leafy vegetables, and fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids are best.
  • Give your eyes proper rest – If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing; Every 20 minutes look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds (Known as “The 20-20-20 Rule”).

HEARING:

  • Avoid loud levels of equipment noise, music, vehicles etc by wearing ear plugs.
  • STOP using cotton swabs to clean your ears! A little bit of wax in your ears is not only normal, but it’s also important. The ears are self-cleaning organs, and wax stops dust and other harmful particles from entering the canal. Plus, inserting anything inside your ear canals risks damaging sensitive organs like your ear drum.
  • Keep your ears dry.  Excess moisture can allow bacteria to enter and attack the ear canal. This can cause swimmer’s ear or other types of ear infections, which can be dangerous for your hearing ability. Be sure you gently towel-dry your ears after bathing or swimming. If you can feel water in the ear, tilt your head to the side and tug lightly on the ear lobe to coax the water out.
  • Discuss your medications with your physician.  Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, can sometimes contribute to hearing loss.
  • Stress and anxiety have been linked to both temporary and permanent tinnitus (a phantom ringing in the ears). High levels of stress fills your body with adrenaline to help you either fight or flee from danger. This pressure and stress can travel up into your inner ear and contribute to tinnitus symptoms.
  • Cardio exercises like walking, running, or cycling gets the blood pumping to all parts of your body, including the ears. This helps the ears’ internal parts stay healthy and working to their maximum potential.
  • Ask your primary care physician to incorporate hearing screenings into your regular checkups. Because hearing loss develops gradually, it’s also recommended that you have annual hearing consultations with a hearing healthcare professional.

SMELL:

  • If you experience a diminished or absent sense of smell, see your physician to be checked for a disorder called anosmia which is usually a result of head trauma or damage to your frontal lobes.
  • Be sure to only use nasal sprays and similar products that are medically approved by the FDA and be sure to blow your nose regularly to keep your nerve receptors free from obstructions.
  • Avoid extensive exposure to bad smells.  Extended periods of inhaling a bad smell can cause permanent damage to your sense of smell.  If you must be exposed to a bad smell for a long period, be sure to wear a protective mask.
  • Do not ignore your sense of smell when it alerts you that something isn’t quite right. url.jpgSmelling provides a warning for toxic fumes, smoke, leaking natural gas, spoiled food, and dangerous environments.
  • Wear your seatbelt! A common cause of loss of smell is automobile accidents, even low-speed crashes. Any impact can shift the brain within your skull, tearing delicate nerve fibers that connect your nose to your brain.
  • Get a little exercise in each day. Go for a brisk, 10-minute walk or run. Our sense of smell is higher after exercise. Researchers suspect it might be related to additional moisture in the nose.
  • Hundreds of medications affect taste and smell.  Make a list of your medications and talk to your doctor about possible side effects if you’re concerned about losing your sense of smell.
  • Long-term smoking can even permanently damage the olfactory (a.k.a., sniffing) nerves in the back of your nose.  If you are a smoker and are experiencing loss of smell, this could be the cause.

TASTE:

  • Serve food that looks like it tastes. If you’re serving fish, keep it looking like a fish. Your sense of taste is stronger if your brain can connect what you’re eating with how it looks.
  • Drink a glass of water every hour or so. Dry mouth — whether due to medication or simply dehydration — can adversely affect your sense of taste.
  • Add zinc to your life through your diet and/or supplements.  Zinc deficiencies contribute to loss of taste as well as smell.
  • Tobacco use directly contributes to loss of taste by damaging your taste buds.  If you are a long term smoker experiencing loss of taste, this could be the cause.
  • Chew your food thoroughly and slowly. This releases more flavor and extends the time that the food lingers in your mouth so it spends more time in contact with your taste buds.
  • Reset your taste for sugar and salt by cutting them out for at least a week. Processed foods have so much sugar and salt that you’ll practically stop tasting them if you eat these foods often.
  • Avoid very hot foods and fluids. They can damage your taste buds.
  • Note that your sense of taste and smell work together.  The advise given for your sense of smell works with your taste as well, just as this advice for your taste works with your sense of smell.

TOUCH:

  • The sense of touch is vulnerable to the effects of age. The touch sense steadily deteriorates as we get older.  Starting around the age of 18, every year we lose around one percent of our tactile sense.
  • Myelin, the natural insulation that coats your fast-conducting nerve fibers (in touch) and makes them project quickly to the brain, breaks down so the information gets to your brain more slowly.  Maintaining a diet high in Omega 3 Fatty acids helps your body battle against the breakdown of Myelin.
  • Part of the reason that elderly people are so prone to falls is that they are getting less tactile information from the soles of their feet. One of the ways for the elderly to combat falling is actually to go barefoot so that they have a better sense of the ground.
  • The sense of touch also helps to alert people to injuries they have incurred. The sensation of pain helps to alert people to physically traumatic stimuli so that they can rectify the problem. Do not ignore pain when you feel it!
  • Take care of your liver because it filters the agents dangerous to your nerve endings as well as many other systems in your body that keep you well.  Damaged nerve endings directly result in losing one’s sense of touch.  One of the best ways to protect your liver is to avoid excessive alcohol intake.
  • Often lack of proper blood supply causes demyelination, a condition that can in cases of heart attack, suffocation, drug overdose or carbon monoxide poisoning.  If you are experiencing a diminished sense of touch, have your blood tested by your physician.
  • As always, what you eat directly effects your senses.  Your sense of touch is harmed by a large intake of saturated fats and refined sugar as well as not eating a substantial amount of essential fatty acids, vegetables, fruits and vitamin C.
  • Exercise stimulates a strong influence in general body functions, helps the brain to be well oxygenated and releases tension which directly effects your sense of touch.
  • Water is a great conductor of electrical impulses so your diet should not miss at least 2 liters of pure water per day.
  • Toxins, such as cigarette smoke, directly damage your nerves over extended exposure.  It’s best to avoid smoking and second hand smoke.

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Protecting and maintaining function of your senses is essential to your safety and well being.  Following these tips will help you enable your senses to operate properly for many years to come.  These tips are not only important to the condition of your senses but also key elements to maintaining better health.

Follow our blog for more health & safety tips and stay well with us!

 

Halloween Safety Tips – no Tricks, only Treats!

Dressing in costume and dancing around bonfires to ward off the unwanted spirits and preparing their harvest for winter amidst celebrations was what the Celtic people called Samhain which later transitioned into the holiday we all know and love – Halloween.
While we all love to celebrate Halloween today, we must remember to put the safety of our children first.  As one of the most popular holidays for children to enjoy, there are some crucial tips to remember to ensure your child has a safe and happy Halloween experience.
Let’s start with costume tips:
  • Choose your child’s costume wisely by looking for a label that indicates flame-resistance on any costumes, wigs, and headpieces you purchase. If you’re making the costume yourself, examine the fabric content and talk the salesperson to help you choose the least flammable material.
  • Hypoallergenic, non-toxic face paint is a better choice than a mask, which may obscure your child’s vision and hinder breathing ability.
  • Be sure to avoid oversized costumes and shoes that can trip your child.
  • Select light or bright colored costumes when possible. This makes it easier for drivers to spot trick-or-treaters. For costumes that have to be dark, attach reflective kids-halloween-costumes.jpgtape to the costume for visibility. A few strips on the back, front, and goodie bag should do the trick.
  • Ensure your child’s emergency information (name, number, and address) are somewhere on his clothes or on a bracelet if you’re not going to be with him/her.
  • Choose accessories that are smooth and flexible. Look for swords, knives, and other accessories that don’t look too realistic or have sharp ends or points.
Let’s make sure those treats aren’t tricks!
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Yes, some will want to begin immediately so please be sure they are aware that waiting is part of the process.
  • The signs of candy that has been tampered with or could be dangerous are as follows:
    An unusual appearance or discoloration
    Tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers
    Spoiled or unwrapped items
    Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them.
  • Tell children not to accept — and, especially, not to eat–anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  • Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies and small toys.
  • Remember, when it doubt THROW IT OUT! (If you have questions about possibly tainted candy you can also contact the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 or your local police department for assistance.
While Trick-or-treating, remember the following:
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
promo292884444.pngIf you are out and about on the night these little gremlins are trick-or-treating, please remember to be extra cautious while driving and keep your eyes peeled for children darting out from between vehicles or in odd places that aren’t crosswalks.
If you decide to stay in and offer treats to children, be sure the path to your doorway is well lit and clear of any trip hazards.  Also, if you have pets, be sure they are secured in a safe place to avoid escape during this active time which may be stressful to them.
And, lastly, if you wish to enjoy some adult Halloween Festivities be sure that you too are dressed appropriately if you are walking in dark areas.  If you are driving to Halloween festivities, be sure to avoid alcohol or make arrangements for a designated driver instead. 
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween,
Your friends at Close Range Safety Training Academy

 

Why a good night’s sleep is more important than you think!

Sleep plays a valuable role in good health and well-being throughout your life. During sleep, your body is working to conserve healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times supports your mental and physical health, quality of life, and safety.  The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as an accident caused by your inability to focus), or it can harm you over time. Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems as well as affect how well you are able to pay attention, react, work, and get along with others.

Here are just a few ways sleep affects you:

  • Proper sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills.
    While sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day by building new ways to help you learn and remember information. A good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether you’re learning a new job, a new skill, or working on a new project, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills.
  • With proper rest you are more able to pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.
    Not only does lack of proper sleep effect your learning and creativity, but it also harms your ability to make wise decisions and pay attention which is damaging for day to day activities such as driving.
    Lack of sleep also may lead to short term memory lapses called “microsleep”. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you’re normally awake. For example, when you enter a room and forget why.  Many link this type of incident to aging but it is actually due to lack of proper sleep which happens to become more common as you get older. Microsleep can disrupt your work by causing you to forget important tasks among other issues. Also, this type of lapse inconfusionchaos.jpg awareness is shown to be a cause of many vehicle accidents.
  • Sleep deprivation has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.
    Without restful sleep, people may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. Snap decisions are often made when we lack rest which result in negative outcomes from accidents to being convinced we are too miserable to continue fighting through the day.
  • Sleep depravation is extremely harmful to your body’s health as well as your mind’s.
    Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and obesity to name a few issues.Sleep helps you maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. When you don’t get enough sleep, your hormone levels fluctuate which can make you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.
    Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.
    Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy.  Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections, colds or allergies.
  • Recurring or intense headaches are usually caused by lack of rest. 
    In a large study of migraine sufferers, half said sleep disturbances contributed to their headaches. And those who slept only six hours a night on average had more frequent and more severe headaches than those who slept longer.

Getting enough quality sleep helps you function well throughout your day.  Everyone’s insomnia-man-400x266.jpgindividual sleep needs vary. In general, most healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness and need an average of eight hours of sleep a night.

 

Some people aren’t aware of the risks of sleep deficiency. In fact, they may not even realize that they’re sleep deficient. Even with limited or poor-quality sleep, they may still think that they can function well.

What are some things that cause us to lose valuable sleep time?

  • Stress
    Common triggers include work related pressures, family problems, illnesses or dealing with a difficult situation in your personal life.  Usually the sleep problem disappears when the stressful situation passes. However, if short-term sleep problems such as insomnia aren’t managed properly from the beginning, they can persist long after the original stress has passed.
  • Food and Drink before bedtime
    Drinking alcoholic, sugary or caffeinated beverages after 6pm can effect your sleep as well as eating a heavy meal, sugary or spicy snacks after 6pm.
  • Too much activity within 2 hours of your bedtime can prevent your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. 
    For example, exercising in the evening or working on a project into the night will make you subconsciously prepare to stay more active for a longer period and leave you tossing and turning while you’re trying to sleep.  Your thoughts may or may not be directly related to the activity you were doing as you toss and turn, but are still a direct result of your previous activity.
  • Nicotine
    The intake of nicotine through tobacco smoking and smokeless tobacco within 2 hours before your bedtime will inhibit your ability to have restful sleep.
  • Interruptions and disruptions
    Environmental factors can play a huge role in some people’s ability to sleep.  Some people are considered “light sleepers” who are effected by even dim lighting or the sound of a breeze outside keeping them awake.  If the person next to you snores or the bed is not comfortable, this type of disruption creates difficulties sleeping as well. Or, obviously, when we are jarred awake by a loud noise or similar, this can rob many of hours of sleep while trying to recover and calm ourselves from the sudden event.

 

Sleep deficiency is not only harmful on a personal level, but it also can cause large-scale damage. Studies have shown sleep deficiency has played a role in human errors linked to tragic accidents.  While some of the items described above cannot be avoided, it is highly recommended you find a way to obtain proper sleep customized for your lifestyle as well as the basics.  So, to reiterate a few items discussed above and also add some new;
Here are some useful tips to help you get a better night’s rest:

  • If you are stressed, practice yoga, mediation or other relaxation methods that you are comfortable with before going to bed
  • Avoid eating, smoking or extreme activities after 6pm if at all possible. And avoid drinking anything other than water in this time frame as well.
  • If you are light and/or sound sensitive, use a sleep mask and/or ear plugs to help mask environmental disruptors from ruining your sleep.
  • Daily exercise is excellent for your well being for many reasons including enabling you to get better rest at night.  Just be sure your exercise is done earlier in the day to avoid restlessness later in the evening.
  • Maintaining a regular bed time is extremely helpful in maintaining proper rest.  Studies have shown that the average person needs 8 hours of sleep, so calculate your bed time around that period.

SB.jpgIn closing, sleep deprivation can be a miserable and harmful experience for you and those in your circle.  While it’s not necessarily easy to manage, we hope you have found some helpful information in this blog to manage your sleep habits and get more rest. If you found this blog useful, be sure to follow us for safety tips and more helpful information and share our blog with your friends.  If you have a health or safety topic you’d like to see covered in our blog, let us know!

Sweet Dreams,
Close Range Safety Training Academy

 

Today is National Grandparents Day! Show them you care by keeping them safe and loved!

Happy-Grandparents-Day-Photo.jpgA recent study conducted for the National Institute of Aging found that about 22 percent of elderly Americans age 71 and older face challenges of declining mental or physical health. This could mean elders are going through subtle changes that make them vulnerable to scams or more susceptible to accidents. Safety both in and out of home is a top priority for our grandparents and there are many simple safety steps that will reduce the risk of accidents and dangers.

GENERAL HOME SAFETY

The following home safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Consider a medical alert system for your loved one(top 10 Systems described and ranked: here).
  • Place a light weight fire extinguisher and smoke detectors on every floor of their home and be sure to check these items regularly.  Fire Extinguishers expire over time and be sure to regularly test smoke detectors (to learn more about fire safety products click: here).
  • Teach elderly loved ones to always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Many of us can be taken off balance when we rise too fast.  A change of behavior can prevent dizziness or falling by taking our time, and making sure to have your balance. Work with your loved ones to improve this action.
  • If your grandparent is using a cane, walker or aid to walk be sure it has been medically approved by his/her physician.
  • Remove or tack down all scatter rugs in his/her household as they are trip hazards.
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
  • Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
  • Wipe up spills promptly.
  • Let your loved ones know to avoid standing on ladders or chairs and to call on you or an assistant if they need help reaching something.
  • Install sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house, or, if necessary, purchase a stairlift.
  • Install proper lighting throughout the household that illuminates without glare and make sure that pathways are equipped with timed night lights that will aid them in maneuvering after dark to the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
  • Make sure that staircase steps should have a non-slip surface.

BATHROOM SAFETY

  • Be sure to leave a light on in his/her bathroom at night or a motion sensitive light that will turn on when they enter the bathroom.
  • Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of the bath/shower stall and on the sides of the toilet.
  • Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
  • To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.

KITCHEN SAFETY

  • Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
  • Illuminate work areas.
  • Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.
  • Store sharp knives in a rack.
  • Use a kettle with an automatic shut-off.
  • Store heavier objects at waist level.
  • Store hazardous items separate from food.
  • Make sure food is rotated regularly and check expiration dates.

DRUG SAFETY

  • Review your loved one’s medicines frequently with his/her doctor or pharmacist to be sure they are being taken properly, still needed or if any changes need to be made.
  • Make sure medicines are clearly labeled by name, use, and instructions.
  • Dispose of any old or used medicines.
  • Have medication dispensed in a bubble pack or convenient dispenser for easy access.
  • Check with his/her doctor or pharmacist before mixing non-prescription drugs and prescription drugs.

PERSONAL SAFETY

  • Teach your grandparents to never provide any personal information to callers and, instead, retrieve a name and call back number to provide to you so that you can verify if unusual calls are valid or scams.
  • Make sure your loved ones are aware of the dangers of the internet and the important steps necessary to avoid scams (to learn more about internet safety and dangerous scams click: here).
  • Be sure your grandmother knows to never leave her purse unattended in her car, home or when in public as well as to never carry any cash, credit cards, social security card or valuables in a purse that could be easily snatched. She should know that if anyone is trying to attack her and grab her purse to just drop it and let them have it.
  • For the safety of your loved ones as well as yourself, it is always best to carry your wallet or any cash in a front pocket, never in a rear pocket.
  • Because the elderly are easy targets for home break ins/theft – they should avoid having large amounts of cash or valuables at home.
  • For the safety of both yourself and your loved ones, be sure to tear up or shred all personal and financial information; never just throw it into the trash.
  • Make arrangements to have Social Security checks direct-deposited to your loved one’s bank account.

These safety tips are valuable at any age, but particularly valuable for our susceptible loved ones who are elderly.  Show them you love them by taking the time to teach them about the dangers of internet use, running errands alone in public places and items in their household which have the potential to cause harm.

And, most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate them today and every day.  Tomorrow is promised to no one so enjoy their wisdom and give them thanks for your life and their love TODAY!

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Have a Safe & Happy Labor Day Weekend

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Today Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers throughout the nation annually celebrating the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

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Throughout the year Close Range Safety Training Academy shares health and safety tips useful to our readers for all occasions.  Labor Day is, of course, no exception – so we’d like to send you some important refreshers on how to keep this holiday and any festive occasion both safe and fun for you and your loved ones!

If you’re celebrating outdoors, remember that it’s going to be a hot and sunny weekend so be sure to wear sunscreen and avoid heat related illness such as heatstroke. In our blog “Keep Summer Fun & Safe“, there are several tips to help you and your loved ones avoid the dangers of UV rays and our blog “Beat the Heat” discusses the dangers of exposure to extreme heat and how to play it safe!

Outdoor parties require planning to ensure a safe and good time is had by all! We shared the best way to plan your outdoor party in our blog “Backyard Bash Safety” at the beginning of this summer and we hope you have found it useful.  Even if you aren’t hosting a party, you can use the great tips in this blog as a guest too! And, it is even more important to keep safety in mind when there is a swimming pool on the property.  If youfamily-bbq2-768x512.jpg have a swimming pool or will be attending a party that has one, you want to be sure to read our blog “Swimming Safety for Children” and keep in mind that these rules can also apply to adults!

And before you fire up that grill, be sure you know the best ways to prepare your meat and grill by reading “Grilling Safety Tips” blog.

Sometimes, though, the best thing to do on a holiday weekend is to take a road trip or mini-vacation with your family! It’s a great time to bond, see and learn new things and enjoy your loved ones.  Statistics from the National Safety Council show that Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest holidays on the freeways and highways of the US.

HERE ARE 5 IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN TAKING A ROAD TRIP:
CR-Cars-Hero-Road-tripping-families-Sienna-06-16.jpg1) Make sure your vehicle is in proper condition prior to hitting the road – check your lights, fluids, belts, hoses, breaks, and the condition of your tires and battery beforehand. If you are not sure what to check, seek professional help.
2) Plan your route ahead of time by checking weather and traffic conditions along your path. Be sure to bring a map because even though technology and GPS systems are very helpful there are occasions when the signal is lost or unavailable.
3) Follow the posted speed limits and remember congestion on the roads may mean you’ll have to travel below posted limits. Drive smart and avoid road rage and distracted driving.  If you encounter wet weather on your journey, use the tips in our blog “Driving in the Driving Rain” to stay safe.
4) Be sure you are well rested before going on a long drive and even if you want to push through, if your body tells you you are tired respect it and take a break!
5) Be prepared for emergencies by packing a first aid kit, water and medications in your vehicle.

And, if you do plan to get away for a few days, be sure to
Secure your home properly with these 5 important tips:
1) Avoid posting you will be/are away on social media – this is basically advertising your home is vacant.
2) Make sure all locks on doors and windows are secured before you exit.
3) Have someone you trust collect your mail and newspapers in your absence so these items do not pile up outside your home indicating you are away.
4) Have timers on your lights so that they turn off/on at the regular times you would use them – giving the impression you are there.
5) Never leave keys hidden outdoors for people to find or for your house-sitter to be seen accessing.

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Remember that Labor Day is not only a long weekend for you to enjoy, but also the time of year Americans celebrate the hard work that you and your fellow citizens do! Stay humble and stay grateful for your privilege to work in this great country we call home by treating those who serve you the way you want to be treated when you are at work!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend,
Your friends at Close Range Safety Training Academy

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