Swimming safety tips, not only for holidays Swimming safety tips, not only for holidays

2016-12-15 06:02

THE festive season has arrived. Take note of the following emergency tips issued by KZN EMS.

They are handy, not only during the holidays, but for every day of the year as accidents occur at any time.

• Caller’s name and phone number.

• Gender or patient (male or female).

• Age of patient.

• Current medical emergency of patient,

• Relevant medical history.

• Correct address or pick up point of patient (identifiable land marking, school, shop, tavern, etc.).

An appeal is made to the community to assist us by:

• Preventing hoax (prank) calls to the emergency call centre.

• Providing clear and accurate directions and location. KZN EMS would appreciate someone to direct the ambulance in areas where there are no street names and house numbers.

• Providing correct contact numbers as this allows the emergency call centre to keep the caller updated.

• If other transport arrangements for the patient have been made or the patient’s condition improves and an ambulance is no longer required, please inform the emergency call centre and cancel your request for an ambulance. The numbers are 10177 (toll free) or 112 (free from a cellphone).

The holiday season is extra ordinarily busy for KZN EMS. “Sadly many of the tragedies and incidents that our paramedics and hospital staff have to deal with over this festive season are preventable,” said KZN EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie.

“We would like to ask the assistance from drivers, that when they see emergency vehicles responding they move over and allow the emergency vehicles to pass quickly and easy. We also ask that motorist don’t drive in the emergency lane when there is traffic congestion.”

Prevention of road crashes:

• Never exceed the speed limit and only drive as fast as the driving conditions allow, which may be below the posted speed limit.

• Make sure there is enough distance between vehicles to stop your vehicle if there is an emergency.

• Don’t overload with passengers or cargo. This alters the vehicles centre of gravity and handling dynamics and increases stress on vehicle components which can cause critical failures like brake failure, suspension damage and blow outs.

• Do not drive when you’re tired. If you’re going on a long trip plan to stop along the way at least every 200km or two hours, even if you’re not yet feeling tired.

Drowning:

Drowning is the in the top five of causes of fatalities in children and is the most preventable cause of death in children under the age of five. Sadly many victims are adults and the below advice is relevant for everyone.

• Do not swim alone.

• Never go into deep water unless you are an experienced swimmer.

• Swim where lifeguards are on duty.

• Bathers are urged to swim within designated bathing areas, marked with red and yellow flagged beacons, while lifeguards are on duty.

• Swimming at night is dangerous.

• Keep a lookout for your friends. If you’re a good swimmer, but your friends aren’t, make sure they know their limits, and keep an eye on them in the water.

• Don’t drink alcohol (or use drugs) before or while swimming.

• Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not entrust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask for permission to go near water.

• If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

• Always keep swimming pools covered with a safety net or cover.

• Be wise and remember, water is dangerous – even if you know how to swim.

• Unless you’re a strong swimmer and very confident, don’t enter the water to rescue someone as many times would be rescuers have become drowning victims.

“If there is an emergency call for assistance as soon as possible as the sooner a person receives medical care, the greater the victims chances of survival.

This is regardless of the nature of the emergency,” said McKenzie.

- Supplied.

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