WEBINAR: Recognizing Emergencies in Recreation

WEBINAR: Recognizing Emergencies in Recreation


Hi everyone and welcome to our webinar where
we will be talking about recognizing emergencies in recreation. Anytime
families send their little ones to participate in the programs or
activities you offer, they have peace of mind that you and your staff ensure
safety is the number one priority. So, no matter what program you’re responsible
for, it’s always important to prepare for the unexpected as much as possible.
My name is Michelle and I’m the Marketing Manager here at ePACT. I’ll be your host
and presenter as we explore the types of emergencies that can occur in recreation
organizations and the ways that you can best prepare for them ahead of time. So,
before we get started though I always like to share a little bit about ePACT
Network in case anyone listening isn’t familiar with what we do here.
ePACT is an online emergency network that helps recreation organizations move
information that’s usually collected on paper medical forums waivers and
consents into a secure cloud-based system. This helps recreation organizations everywhere meet legislative requirements
around the collection and management of sensitive personal health information
and it also provides authorized users with secure access to critical
information when it’s needed the most. If you’d like to learn more at any time
you can visit our website at www.epactnetwork.com or you can connect with
us directly by email or phone and I will share our contact information at the end
of the presentation with you. So let’s get started! When we send our little
ones to camp in the spring, summer, fall, or even the winter, or if we sign our
families up to enjoy local rec facilities we’re always sure to keep
safety top of mind. This is a really important factor for families and
recreation staff to consider for any program and ensuring that we’re all
aware of potential dangers and emergencies means that we can all do our
part to prepare, to plan, and to respond accordingly. So a few things to be
mindful of. The first one – physical activities. Camps and sports programs
are really fantastic ways for kids of all ages to connect with one another and to
keep everyone active throughout the year. It’s really important to prepare for all
types of physical activities so that the right precautions are taken and if
necessary the right safety equipment is provided and used properly. So think
things like horseback riding we’re going to make sure that participants are
wearing helmets and that they’re getting the proper guidance once they’re riding
their horses or something like wall-climbing where you’re going to want
to make sure obviously helmets again but there’s proper rope equipment and
safety equipment there spotters and kids are wearing the right shoes. All so that they
can focus on enjoying the activity or program as safely as possible. And
depending on the activities as well you might also want to make sure your staff
is certified for things like archery or life-saving which are really specific
certifications so you can be confident that your participants enjoy that extra
level of safety. Next would be more general injuries and as kids interact with one another they can get playful and they can get rambunctious pretty
easily, so while it’s a challenge to get all of the possible scenarios that can
occur it’s really good to be prepared in general as a program leader. So things
like first-aid kits and training are obviously always a must for anyone
running rec programs and it’s also important for staff to understand how to
respond to various allergies or specific medication requirements that may be
outside the scope of general training. So being aware of the different types of
allergies, what the solutions are should there be an allergic reaction, the
different types of medication, how to use an asthma inhaler or how to help a child
use an asthma inhaler rather. And also as the adult or adults in charge, don’t be
afraid to calm kids down and help them reset into a safe and fun environment
because when everyone acts safely there’s definitely less of an opportunity for
injuries to occur. Next is a focus on allergies and food sensitivities.
While seasonal allergies can be a challenge for participants attending
spring and summer camps, especially those in outdoor environments where they’re
exposed to grass and pollen and bugs and a lot more things that can impact an
allergy, children and adults generally can suffer from a wide range of
allergies overall. So think food sensitivities, insect stings, medication allergies, or even environmental changes can all have
an impact. And so it’s important for staff to know as much about an
individual’s allergy requirements as possible ahead of time so that they can
prepare with additional medication, additional training, and know how to
respond in the case of a reaction. So for example if you have to keep an EpiPen on
hand, making sure that all of your staff know how to use it if they have to
administer it to a child who’s suffering from a reaction and it might also be a
really good idea to encourage parents as well to have
conversations with our kids and make sure that children of a certain age are
also aware and know how to use any specific equipment or medication that
they might need to deal with an allergic reaction, because the more people that
know the better. It’s also an idea to make sure that families have a simple
and straightforward way to provide those details. So the details about the
different types of allergies, the severity, the treatment, and so that they
can change them as needed. When it comes to young participants, allergies can come and go – they can develop, they can disappear, so keeping
that information as accurate and up-to-date as possible is a really big
help for your staff. And the same goes for any food sensitivities or other
allergies that can lead to a medical emergency. If your rec department
offers swim programs, swimming pool related injuries are definitely
something to be aware of. We know with kids getting to enjoy time in the water
they should always be supervised both in and out of the pool and staff should be
aware of the varied levels of swimming competence between participants as well
and accommodate those as as they need to. Obviously I don’t need to tell you that
staff should be properly trained in First Aid, CPR, and lifesaving as well,
and you might want to have additional items too. While we’re calling this
swimming pool related injuries, this could also be some open water issues as
well and so making sure that there’s additional certifications for things
like that too. And making sure that those staff know how to respond to an incident
quickly and effectively. Kids also should take a little bit of ownership in their
behavior around the pool, encouraged to make sure that they are calm and
collected on the pool deck – no pushing one another, and definitely no running. And
that they should know to always get an adult in the event of an emergency. So if
you have a lifeguard on duty, if you have a water watcher on duty, and that they
know that they can go to that person but if they’re not available to
always head for an adult and ask for assistance anytime they need it. Heat stroke or sunburn. This is
especially prevalent in spring and summer camps where kids tend to spend more
time outdoors enjoying their activities and it’s up to staff to ensure
that kids stay hydrated by encouraging them to take regular water breaks while
outside, providing them with access to water whether it’s a cooler
full of water bottles or something like a water fountain nearby, and to stop any
strenuous activity if necessary. Kids can get pretty hot while they’re
running around and having fun anyways but in the case of direct sunlight
making sure that they take regular rest breaks and also making sure
that they have access to a shaded area as well, whether it’s you know a
naturally provided one under the trees, if you’re carrying an umbrella
or having an indoor space that you guys can take some relief in. And staff should
also ensure that sunscreen is applied regularly. Every department will have its
own waivers and consents when it comes to applying sunscreen, whether program
staff can do it or if participants are required to do it themselves but either
way just keeping that up regularly and more so if swimming is involved because
even waterproof sunscreen needs to be replaced regularly throughout the day,
and again all working to prevent sunburn. Bug bites and rashes. That’s one
of the biggest downsides to being outdoors and so if your kids are in a
camp or they’re taking part in an activity to the outside, especially in
the spring and summer months (probably more so at the summer) it can lead to
them being that much more exposed to bugs that bite. And while they can be
more annoying than anything else, in some cases they’re cause for allergic reactions
and staff should be really well equipped with not just bug spray as a preventive
measure, but any medication or equipment to assist those participants who might
have an allergic reaction, whether they are aware of an allergy ahead of time or
that becomes the moment that they discover it. And so again going back to
the idea idea of maintaining EpiPens on hand and also everybody knowing how to
use one when they have to use it as well. And of course, illness. This can strike at
any time. This is possibly the most unpredictable emergency in recreation
and many camps or programs have procedures in place to prevent kids who
have had recent illnesses from attending a program or a camp where they can
potentially transmit germs and infections to others, and as a parent, if
you know your child has been unwell it might be an idea to help them consider
keeping their kids at home to save others from getting sick as well. But of
course there are occasions where children’s get sick while attending a
camp or program, in the middle of an activity, and it can be a challenge to
predict when those are going to happen or even prevent it from happening at all. Kids spend a lot of time very close together especially on overnight camp – they’re sharing cabins and bunks and they’re enjoying all of their activities
together, so it’s really important to have processes in place to prevent the
quick spread of things like colds or flu, and ensure that a few participants as
possible get sick. So the camp experience is a positive one where kids get to learn while having fun, create new memories, and experience new things, so
making sure that you’re as well prepared as possible for any potential illness,
emergency, or accident, means that you can focus on ensuring
kids have a positive program experience, which is one that they’ll remember
for years to come. I hope you found our webinar topic useful and that you
have a few ideas to share with your fellow staff so that you can work
together to continue to keep safety top of mind. If you have any questions or
you’d like to learn more about how a packs can support your rec organization
you can visit our website at www.epactnetwork.com or you can reach out to our
sales team by phone or email at your convenience. Thanks for listening and
we’ll see you again soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *