Whether you’re heading to the neighborhood pool or to your own backyard oasis, make sure you’re water competent this summer before diving in.
As drowning is the leading cause of death for children, it’s important to improve your family’s water competency to have an enjoyable, safe summer. The below tips from the American Red Cross can help prevent water dangers and help you respond quicker to water emergencies.
- Know your physical and medical limitations
- Never swim alone
- Swim sober
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest
- Know how to call for help
Learn Swimming Safety Skills
- Enter water that is over your head, then return to the surface
- Float or tread water for one minute
- Swim a minimum of 25 yards
- Exit the water
- Watch children or weaker swimmers closely
- Know the signs of drowning
- Safely assist drowning persons- “reach or throw, don’t go”
- Perform CPR and first-aid
IEMS wishes everyone a safe, fun summer and reminds Hoosiers to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency. To learn more about water safety through the American Red Cross website.
The greatest spectacle in racing is back and Indianapolis EMS (IEMS) reminds Hoosiers watching the Indy 500 in person to enjoy the race responsibly and safely this year. Before heading to the track, make sure you’re prepared for a day in the sun and follow all health and safety guidelines set forth by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Beat the Heat
We understand you’re excited to be back at the track after a year off, but make sure you take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk heat exhaustion or too much sun exposure. Here are some helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC).
- Stay hydrated– Water is the best beverage of choice to help reduce dehydration while outside for extended time periods.
- Make your own shade– while you may not be able to watch the race under the shade, you can make your own through the use of an umbrella or wide brimmed hat.
- Choose the right clothing– Long-sleeved shirts, long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. While wearing this type of clothing may not be practical for race day, try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection.
- Hats– wearing a wide brimmed hat helps protect your face, ears and neck. If wearing a baseball cap, make sure you’re protecting your ears and next with sunscreen. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.
- Sunglasses– Eyewear helps protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection.
- Sunscreen– Put on broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher before you go outside. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. And remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options.
Adhere to all Health and Safety Guidelines
We’re all #INThisTogether and it’s important to follow all health and safety guidelines set forth by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to keep all spectators, employees and racers safe. This year, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are requiring the following from all spectators:
- Mask Up– Visitors over the age of four will be required to wear a face covering at all times. Complimentary masks will be available for those entering the venue.
- Social Distance– Maintain a safe, social distance between you and other spectators; especially in historically crowded areas such as restrooms, concession stands, and gates.
Interested in learning more about what to expect during race day? Visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website at https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/planyourvisit/indy-500
If enjoying an alcoholic beverage during the race it’s important to remember the sun can intensify the effects alcohol can have on your body. Remember to not over indulge in alcoholic beverages while out in the sun. Finally, buzzed driving is drunk driving. If you feel different, you’ll drive different. Make sure you have a sober, designated driver to drive home after the race if necessary.
IEMS is excited to be back at the track this year, but wants all spectators to enjoy the race safely this year. Make sure to follow the above safety tips to help ensure a fun and safe race weekend!
IEMS encourages individuals to properly dispose prescription drugs
Over the past several years, the state of Indiana has seen an increase in the abuse of opioids and controlled substances resulting in overdoses. In 2021 alone, Indianapolis EMS has treated over 640 opioid overdose cases. That’s an average of 7 cases each day in Marion County alone.
According to the Indiana Attorney General, the opioid crisis and accidental overdoses in Indiana has caused more Hoosier deaths than vehicle collisions. IEMS wants to keep our community safe and help the fight against the opioid epidemic by providing information for detecting addiction early and disposing of medicine properly.
Know the Signs
Early detection of addiction can help save your life or the life of a loved one. While knowing the signs of addiction early does not replace professional treatment, it can help you identify a problem and be the first step in seeking out help. The Indiana Attorney General offers the below as signs to look out for possible addiction.
- Taking more than prescribed
- Running out of prescriptions too soon
- Mixing pills and alcohol
- Appearance of intoxication, hyperactivity, or loss of energy/interest
- Seeking prescriptions for more than one injury or with multiple doctors
- Abnormal behaviors, hostility, withdrawal, or sudden personality changes
- Poor decision making, such as secrecy or defiance
- Stealing, forging, or selling prescriptions
Disposing of Medicine Properly
You can also help prevent opioid overdoses by properly storing medications in your home and disposing of unused or expired prescriptions using the below methods suggested by the Indiana Attorney General:
- Indiana has several permanent throughout Indiana
- Contact your city or county government’s solid waste management district
- Ask if here is an available drug take-back program
- Counties may hold household hazardous waste collection days
Household Disposal Steps
Protecting the environment is also important when disposing of medications.
· DON’T flush expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs down the toilet or
drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.
· DO return unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs to a drug take-back location.
· The below steps are helpful if a drug take-back location is unavailable:
Photo courtesy of Indiana Attorney General
Have more questions about drug take-back locations or helping reduce opioid overdoses throughout Indiana, please visit https://www.in.gov/bitterpill/.
While the number of reported positive COVID-19 cases are declining in Indiana, it’s important to continue practicing social distancing. As St. Patrick’s Day approaches and our city hosts the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament this month, you may be inclined to go out with friends or host a party of your own. Before heading out or cheering on your team follow the below tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for celebrating safely.
Tips for Social Distancing
- Know Before You Go: Before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities.
- Prepare for Transportation: Consider social distancing options for safe travel. When using rideshares or taxis, avoid pooled rides with multiple passengers and sit in the back seat of larger vehicles so you can remain at least 6 feet away from the driver.
- Choose Safe Social Activities: It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household. Follow these steps to stay safe if you will be participating in personal and social activities outside of your home.
- Keep Distance at Events and Gatherings: It is safest to avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. If you are in a crowded space, try to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and wear a mask. Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 6 feet of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.
For more information about COVID-19 guidelines please visit the CDC website at or the Indiana State Department of Health online at ..