Ergonomics: Important to your Work Day & Every day!

According to the US Department of Labor, musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs account for about one-third of all injury and illness costs of U.S. businesses. MSDs are health issues that affect our movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.) In recent years, research has focused on establishing the links between physical activity and health, largely overlooking the important distinction between sitting and physical activity. The opportunities for long term sitting in modern times, such as sitting in a car or sitting at a desk, are unavoidable. Statistics prove the average adult spends 50–70% of their day in seated positions.
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Here are some valuable tips to incorporate ergonomics into your workday:

  • Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will suffer
  • Manage your head position by keeping the weight of your head directly above its base of support (neck). Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward.
  • Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and use good posture while seated to balance your body weight evenly. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching.
  • Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top edge of the screen at your eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck. Because lap top computers do not allow to arrange the keyboard and monitor this way, try to avoid using a lap top for an extended period. Also, be sure to rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking away from computer screens to view objects at a distance.
  • Do not crunch a phone between your neck and shoulder! Try to use a headset or speaker phone if need your hands free for other activities while on a call. Repeating the abnormal position of tilting your head toward your should can do permanent damage to your neck as well as creating other uncomfortable issues.
  • Your feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower your chair.
  • Stay hydrated and active throughout the day by drinking the daily allowance for your weight in water and taking breaks form long term sitting (and repetitive activities) by doing some ergonomic stretching activities.getty_rf_photo_of_office_workers_doing_stretches_at_night.jpgRemember to stay healthy outside of the office as well by staying active on your time off with continued stretching activities, staying hydrated and enjoying your free time.  Apply more ergonomic tips to your household chores and other activities to keep your body fit!

 

Safeguarding Your Summer: Backyard Bash Safety 🏡 🎉

With summertime upon us, many are considering yard parties.  Fun in the sun, grilling, outdoor sports, and swimming all sound grand this time of year and that’s because it is grand!

Most outdoor parties come and go without a hitch, but unfortunately accidents do happen.  With that in mind, here are some simple ways to avoid accidents and host a worry free backyard bash:

  • outdoor-entertaining.jpgThoroughly inspect your yard for any things that could be a danger such as wasp nests, standing water (mosquito breeding grounds),anthills, holes, trip hazards, rotting trees or limbs that could fall, rusting equipment, low hanging electrical wires, or anything you can see as a danger – particularly to small children or adults who may be under the influence. (It’s a party, there will be alcohol!) Remove the hazards, cover them or flag them with reflective materials.
  • Be sure moving vehicles are away from your guests.  If possible, have a pedestrian entry to your party distanced from the parking.
  • Be prepared to accommodate children if your party is family friendly.  There’s more to this than just saying it’s ok to bring your children because once they are there if they are not occupied they will be underfoot and more likely to have or cause accidents.  Consider the age ranges and have play areas set up for little ones and some outdoor sports for the teens.  Be sure there are no choking hazards with any of the toys you provide.  Perhaps, ask guests in advance, what they recommend for their children or suggest their children bring their own entertainment to share.
  • Food safety is key to avoiding a party gone wrong! If your outdoor fun includes grilling hamburgers, play it safe by handling raw ground beef carefully. First, be sure you keep the meat cold (40 degrees F or less) until it is cooked. Second, cook ground beef to a safe temperature of 160 degrees F so that bacteria such as E. coli are killed. Poultry products, including ground poultry, should always be cooked to at least 165 °F internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer; leftovers should be refrigerated no more than two hours after cooking. When preparing food, never use the same dish for raw meats and foods that will not be cooked. Don’t let perishable food sit out while swimming or during other activities. If the temperature is above 90 degrees F, food is not safe to sit out longer than one hour! Keep hands and all utensils clean when preparing food.  To learn more about grilling safely, check out our previous blog about Backyard Grilling Tips.
  • Be responsible with alcoholic beverages.  Adult beverages go hand in hand with adults partying and there’s nothing wrong with that, but as a host there are certain precautions you should take to prevent any incidents caused by alcohol.  First and foremost you want to make sure none of your guests get behind the wheel after heavy drinking. Of course, it’s best to prevent heavy drinking if you are able.  Some easy ways to do that are;
    Make food more easily available than alcohol.  When your guests have a full tummy it slows the effects of alcohol and when alcohol isn’t right at the forefront of the party guests will likely drink less.
    Have a bartender or someone in charge of serving the drinks so that guests won’t be able to overpour the alcohol or consume it at a faster rate.
    To learn more about hosting a party with alcohol as well as being a guest who likes to consume alcohol, check out our Holiday Party Safety Blog!
  • If you have a swimming pool on your property, be aware of the dangers and kids-at-swimming-pool.jpghow you can prevent accidents. Prior to your party, make sure you have adequate anti-entrapment drain covers for your pool.  During your party, have a designated adult who knows how to swim watching over swimming pool activity at all times. Do not allow people who have consumed a lot of alcohol in or close to the pool.  If at all possible, have someone at your party who has been CPR/First Aid trained.  Learn more about swimming pool safety not just for your party, but for year round safety on the pool safety website.
  • Is your pet ready to party? Pet safety at parties is easy to overlook. Of course you want to include your pet in the festivities, but it’s important to honestly assess your pet before adding him or her to the guest list. If your pet is aggressive in any way, overly excitable, or very shy, he or she may not be a good guest at the party and may be better off at the sitters for the day.  Also, consider if any of your guests have allergies to pet dander.  And, lastly, consider if your beloved pet can avoid eating the wrong things at a party.  With so many guests and so many plates of food surrounding, your pet may snatch a bite of something you would never give him/her under normal circumstances or your guests may think it’s fun to give him/her some of the food available.  Some food that we humans enjoy is toxic to our furry friends, so be sure that if your pet is wandering around your party someone is 51dhlAusXTL._SL500_.jpgwatching over him/her carefully to be sure no dangerous food is gobbled up.
  • A first aid kit is always important to have on hand in any household, but most especially when the number of people on your property is larger than usual. To learn how to build a first aid kit for you home (as well as your for your vehicle) and for other helpful first aid information visit the Healthy Essentials Website.
  • Earthquakes happen! Obviously your party would be the worst time for one, but it’s always best to be prepared! If you and your quests should be outdoors in the event of an earthquake, remember to Move away from buildings, structures and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops. When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave and go to an open space away from damaged areas. If you are trapped, do not move around just call out for help so others at the party can locate you and assist.  Be prepared to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in the likely event of aftershocks.  Once safe, monitor local news reports for emergency information and instructions.  To learn more about earthquake safety and preparedness, please be sure to check out our earthquake safety blog for insightful information about preparedness and safety before, during an after an earthquake.

189f930fba5525b43a8a6d61fe82d65dThe best way to enjoy a party is safely.  Being prepared for emergencies and using preventative tactics is the easiest way to ensure a safe but great time for you and your guests.

Close Range Safety Training Academy shares helpful blogs about your safety and health regularly and we’d love for you to follow our blog! We look forward to you having a safe, healthy and happy celebration and life!

 

Safeguard Your Home with These Organizational Tips for a Secure 2017

Among all the resolutions we make for a new year, keeping a safe home for our loved ones and ourselves should be a priority. These simple tips will help prevent accidents that occur every day in homes across America.  

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Many of us tend to forget recommended seasonal responsibilities, but often want to start fresh and more organized in the new year. It’s easy to overlook basic household items so reminders are always a great way to refresh your memory. We recommend you print this list of tips and refer to it every three months to keep your home safe and happy in the new year.

  • Verify that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have new batteries.
  • Change any outside lights that have burned out.
  • Look around for anything broken — and fix it or get rid of it!
  • Review all medications and discard anything that is out of date.
  • Verify that your fire extinguisher(s) is up to date and working; replace if necessary.
  • Prevent fires by removing any empty air fresheners that are used in electrical sockets.
  • Review your Family Escape Plan with all family members (including the furry ones)— might be a good idea to practice it too.  Include at least 2 ways to escape from each room and define a specific meeting place outside.
  • Update your first aid kit with any missing items.  Be sure to have bandages, gloves, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic treatment, a cold pack, disposable bags, and a first aid manual.
  • Are there any trip hazards in your home? Move cables, electrical cords and similar items out of the way by placing them inside your walls, against your baseboards or under your carpet.
  • Check your home for mold (in and around your bathtubs, underneath your faucets, and your attic and basement) – if you locate mold, contact a professional service to have it removed.
  • Check your home for rodents or droppings (in cabinets, closets, attics and basements).  Not only are rodents a burden, but their droppings can be toxic to the air you breathe.
  • Your air quality also depends on your furnace and air conditioning filters as well as the ducts that circulate the air throughout your home – be sure to check the condition of these important items and make necessary replacements.
  • Verify that all your computers have up-to-date anti-virus and identity theft protection software active.
  • If there are small children in your household, make sure all dangerous items (such as chemical cleaning supplies) are in child proof/locked cabinets.
  • Make sure windows are locked when not opened and when opened be sure a screen is in place to protect you from outdoor rodents from entering your home and to protect small children and animals from escaping
  • Also, if you use blinds on your windows did you know the cords can cause strangulation in small children and pets? Be sure the cords are tied and placed out of reach.

The National Safety Council reminds us to be certain you update your safety plan and make sure all of your safety equipment is functioning seasonally. 


Be sure to follow us for more safety tips and information throughout the year! 

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⛔ Don’t Invite a Burglar into Your Home for the Holidays! ⛔

 

Are you unknowingly enticing potential thieves to damage your property or break into your home?

While you want your home to be a welcoming environment for family and friends, you might be surprised how common habits might be inviting to criminals, too.

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Whether you are going away for the Holiday Season or simply going to work, you can deter burglars from choosing your home with these tips:

Make It a Point to Keep Everything Locked Up

While you probably lock your vehicle and the main points of entry into your home, you may overlook locking your windows, fence gates, garage or garden shed from time to time. An unlocked gate allows a thief access to your backyard, away from the view of your neighbors. Once inside your yard, a thief has more freedom to peer through windows and patio doors. Access to garages and garden sheds also gives a thief more tools to use to break into your home. For example, a ladder in your backyard could make it much easier for a criminal to enter your home from the second story—where windows are more likely to be unlocked. Tools such as drills, hammers, and crowbars are also kept in many sheds and garages and can be used to break windows and open doors. Even if a thief is unable to get into your home, your backyard likely has valuable items such as a barbeque grill or bicycle.

Maintain Your Landscape

The way in which your home is landscaped and maintained affects your risk for theft. For example, large, untrimmed shrubs and bushes can give criminals a place to hide—especially at night. Be sure to keep hedges and bushes cut back so that the majority of your yard can be easily seen from a number of vantage points. On the other hand, shrubs and bushes can deter theft as well. Thieves are less likely to attempt to break into windows with landscaping underneath. Small bushes can provide an obstruction to otherwise easily accessible windows.

Light Up Your Property

Hiding under the cloak of darkness makes sneaking around someone’s home much easier. Keep your home’s exterior well illuminated with motion sensor lighting. This type of lighting can be easily found in hardware stores or ordered online. Because the lights are activated by movement, you don’t have to worry about lights staying on night and day. If you choose to install motion sensor lights, make sure they illuminate your backyard, the sides of your property, and driveways or pathways. When installing this type of lighting, the higher the light is mounted the better, so that criminals cannot reach them to damage them.

Consider Using a Security Alarm

Security systems come with a variety of features to suit almost any budget. From basic systems that sound off loud alerts when an armed point of entry or window is breached to high-tech systems that allow for surveillance from a tablet or smart phone, there is likely a system that offers the best features for your needs. Not only is the loud sound of a security alarm a major deterrent, many systems alert your local police department that your security has been compromised in some way. Furthermore, signage such as picket signs and window or door decals from your security system company can deter criminals as well. Many homeowners and renters insurance policies offer discounts for homes armed with security systems.

Be Mindful of Your Trash

Even what you throw away for curbside pickup can make you a target for theft. Perhaps you took advantage of Black Friday deals after Thanksgiving and scored a great price on a large  flat-screen television. After unpacking a television, gaming console, or computer, many people leave the boxes at the curb for recycling or trash pickup. Unfortunately, most packaging for expensive electronics shows pictures, brand names and specifications of the products in plain view. Placing boxes at the curb makes your home a target for thieves looking for electronics to steal. When unpacking electronics, break down the boxes and packaging instead and place them in black trash bags.

Make your home look occupied

When you will be away for a long time, set timers on lights in your house to turn off/on at the normal times you would use them when you are home. Timers are sold at hardware stores or online for usually under $20 each. Also, be sure to have someone collect your mail, news papers, packages or any items that are normally delivered to your home. A pile of items at your front door or in your mailbox indicates you are away.

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Other Precautions

  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number, phone number, or birthdate with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group and work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.

We wish you safe travels this season and a very Happy Holiday!

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🍗🍗🍗The Day You’ve Been Waiting for is Almost Here! Don’t Spend it in the Emergency Room…

In the last 30 years it has been documented that Thanksgiving and the weekend that follows bring the largest annual amount of emergency room visits in the United States.  While most professionals state there is no exact reason for this coincidence and most issues patients are facing are common issues, it is a phenomenon that patients and hospitals alike wish could be avoided.

The preparation and mass consumption of a rich variety of food can send people to the emergency room for minor issues such as a cut thumb while turkey carving. Moderate and Major ailments and emergencies can also occur including gastrointestinal pain, sugar consumption issues, heart attacks and many others.

Dr. Corey Slovis, chairman of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says the emergency department at Vanderbilt sees more patients coming in with chest pain on Thanksgiving afternoon and evening than on other days. “Some people consuming massive amounts of food are not in good shape to begin with,” he says. Overeating at a meal also can be a risk for some, as an excess of salt can be dangerous for people with conditions like congestive heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. “We see the effects of overindulgence,” Slovis says. “If people have heart disease, it can cause heart attacks.”

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Food preparation can result in emergency department visits. A common incident, according to Slovis, is people accidentally cutting their fingers and hands with a carving knife. Other times, people might get burned while trying to deep fry a turkey. The CDC cautions about proper care of food to avoid food-borne illnesses. The agency estimates that food-borne diseases each year cause roughly 1 in 6 Americans, or 48 million people, to get sick each year, hospitalizing 128,000 and killing 3,000. Bacterial contamination is high with any raw meat, says the American College of Emergency Physicians, and some food can make people sick if not heated properly or refrigerated afterward.

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To learn more about safe and proper food handling and preparation, please visit the website for: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Members of the American College of Emergency Physicians say another common emergency department visit involves injuries from people playing football, or doing anything athletic, when they aren’t used to such activity.

The holidays also can bring about mental health issues in addition to physical ones. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64% of people diagnosed with a mental illness report that the holidays make their conditions worse, increasing symptoms such as sadness, loss, fatigue and frustration.

And, of course, there are always issues with long distance driving.  Nationwide, nearly 90 percent of holiday travelers this year will journey by car between Wednesday and Sunday. This represents the highest volume seen since 2007 and the third-highest since tracking by AAA began in 2000. Thanksgiving in recent years has been the deadliest holiday for road travelers.  In 2012, 416 people died in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday, which is defined as lasting from Wednesday to Monday, according to the most recent available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of The majority of victims who died – 60 % were not wearing seat belts, and 42 % were killed in crashes involving a drunken driver.

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Here are 5 ways for you and your loved ones to avoid that crowded ER Waiting Room and enjoy your quality time together:

  1. Know your dietary limits!  Does your health require dietary guidelines that need to be followed? While we all want to give in to seasonal treats, some of us simply cannot afford to.  Do not cheat on any restrictions your physician has provided you for your own health! If possible, let the host know in advance of your restrictions or bring food items within your approved diet.
  2. Know your physical limits! If you’re not an athletic individual or you don’t exercise on a regular basis, do not overextend yourself in any physical activities such as back yard football. If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving celebration at your home, be sure to offer less physical activities such as horseshoes or charades!
  3. Safe handling of food is a must! Without proper care in the preparation and handling of your holiday eats, your entire party could end up in the emergency room! Learn the important steps in food handling and preparation by visiting the CDC’s food safety webpage here:  https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/groups/consumers.html
  4. Smart and Safe Driving is a must! Remember thousands of holiday travelers will be on the same freeways as you between November 23rd-27th this year (and every year that number increases).  Many drivers will be tired from eating a big feast and family activities while others may be intoxicated after celebrating more than they are used to.  We urge you not to drink and drive by having a designated driver, using a professional transportation service, or eating plenty to sober up after drinks. Avoid driving when you are extremely tired.  History shows us that people are generally sleepy after a large Thanksgiving meal, so be sure to get proper rest before getting behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, not everyone will follow these important driving suggestions so be sure that you and all of your passengers wear your seatbelts!
  5. Remember your loved ones who are ill.  Be sure to have foods available to supplement the dietary needs of your guests who have special needs.  Labeling your foods is a great way to advise your guests what items they may need to avoid.  But, don’t forget physical illness is not the only illness some people suffer.  People with mental illness suffer in silence. So, be sure to take a moment to reach out to everyone you love and let them know they are in your thoughts.  Sometimes, just a brief moment of showing you care to someone who feels alone makes an incredible impact on their day.  Encourage those who are alone to celebrate with you.  Just by opening your door and your heart you could save a life!

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Have a Safe & Happy Halloween With These Safety Tips

When Walking

Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

Look left, right and left again when crossing

Put electronic devices down and keep heads up to pay attention to you and your children’s safety.

Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and walk on sidewalks or paths.

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.

If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

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Keep Costumes Safe

Decorating costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 

When selecting a costume, make sure the costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

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Drive Safely

Slowing down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited and may move in unpredictable ways.

Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to see and be seen from greater distances. Common trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Don’t Be Tricked by Bad Treats

Follow these important tips to keep children safe from dangerous treats: 

Snacking: Children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach. Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their loot before they eat any of it.

Safe treats: Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

Food Allergies: If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Do not allow the child to eat any home-baked goods he or she may have received.

Choking hazards: If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

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Gun Safety Starts at Home

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Civilian gun ownership has become a hot button topic in recent times.  Owning a gun requires extreme responsibility regardless of if you have a gun for your job, to protect your home, for hunting or sport.

If you have a gun or are considering purchasing a gun, it is important that you know how to use it properly.  The correct handling of a gun is not something to take lightly and requires professional training.  Without attending specialized gun training and practice at a proficient shooting range you put not only yourself at risk but also those around you.

Statistics are showing a continued rise in death and injury due to gun shots in the USA at an shocking rate of nearly 100 deaths per day and over 200 injuries per day.  Of these numbers, an alarming 15% is accidental due to lack of knowledge and improper storage.

Aside from proper training, proper storage is also incredibly important.  An estimated 2 million US households have loaded guns inside and many of these households also have children.  Storing guns out of the reach of children is imperative. Some simple and safe ways to store your firearms are:

  • keep unloaded firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case
  • use a gun locking device
  • store ammunition separate from firearms; and double-check firearms to confirm they are unloaded when storing/removing them from storage.geob.jpg

Additionally, parents should educate their children about gun safety.  Gun violence in movies, on television and in video games has caught their attention.  They need to understand not to go looking around for guns, to STOP and tell an adult if a gun is found, and even if a gun looks like a toy, not to touch it.

Another disturbing statistic is that over 20% of the daily gunshot deaths/injuries in America are the result of suicide (or attempted suicide).  Multiple research studies show that firearm ownership correlates with suicide rates. This is likely because firearms are more lethal than nearly every other means of suicide attempt.  If you are depressed or are taking new medication to treat depression and you own a gun, please cautiously remove the gun from your property to be safely stored elsewhere or disposed of.  If you believe someone you love is suicidal and you know they own a gun, please speak with them about removal or contact your local police department for advice. If you would like to learn more about safely storing your gun while you are battling the clinical illness of depression please contact your local police department to learn the proper procedures for storing a gun that you own outside of your property.  Studies have shown that depression is a common factor among most assailants in mass shootings. Many times the shooter is far removed from their true selves and in the throws of clinical depression (which is often triggered by sudden life changes or medications and completely out of the ordinary for the assailant’s normal behavior).  (Learn 10 ways to identify depression here)

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If you or someone in your presence is ever shot, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Even if a bullet only scratches the surface of flesh it can still do harm! When a bullet strikes a person all of the bullet’s kinetic energy must be transferred to the target and when that happens the energy of the bullet is not only visible by torn flesh of the bullet hole but energy is also dissipated creating a cavity that expands, deforms tissues, and contracts all within a fraction of a second. Thus the damage a bullet imparts is much greater than the visible evidence on the outside of the body. It takes the care of physicians – specifically emergency physicians – to determine whether or not a person who is shot is going to need emergency surgery.  To reiterate, call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible when tending to a bullet wound and If the wound is bleeding you should attempt to apply a trauma bandage and control the bleeding through pressure. Keep the wound clean and protected and have the victim lie down and keep them calm until help arrives. If you’re a gun owner concerned about the possibility of a gunshot wound you should put together a first aid kit that includes trauma gear.