According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 783 bicyclists were killed in 2017, with the majority of accidents occurring in larger cities and towns, as opposed to more rural areas. A large percentage of these accidents involved motor vehicles. Simple, common-sense measures can ensure that you are able to enjoy cycling without becoming involved in an accident.
Cycling is an enjoyable activity either alone, or with friends and family. Some folks compete in races, while some enjoying cycling because it can be easier on joints while still providing all of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Many enjoy cycling with friends and/or family as a way to spend time together while staying active. Regardless of which category you fall into or where you choose to cycle, (on the road, bike path, sidewalks in your city or town, or just around your neighborhood) it is important to remain vigilant, take appropriate safety measures and maintain equipment to prevent accidents from occurring.
The single most important measure you can take is to always wear a properly fitted helmet. Middle-age bicyclers encompass the largest number of cyclists to be injured or killed. Wearing a helmet is the best way to prevent a head injury, should an accident occur. In the United States, all helmets must meet the standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The National Highway Traffic Administration offers the following information when shopping for a properly fitted helmet:
Adequate preparation is another element of bicycle safety. Check your equipment to make sure that it is functional, i.e. – adequate amount of air in the tires and checking that the brakes work. Ensure that shoelaces are secured so as to not become entangled in the bicycle’s wheel spokes or chain and never biking while wearing sandals/flip flops. When possible, planning a route that typically has less traffic and slower speed limits is a good idea. Of course, there is always the option of cycling on a designated bike path, which obviates the danger associated with motor vehicles.
Once out on the road, it is imperative to follow the rules of the road, which include:
For those who choose to cycle on a sidewalk or bike path rather than on the roadway, the same tips regarding the rules of the road apply, but there are some additional safety tips which are specific to cycling on a sidewalk or bike path:
The above safety measures may appear to be catered specifically to adults, however, they remain applicable to children. When purchasing a bicycle for your child, it is important to bring your child along so as to ensure that the bicycle is the right fit, including the child being able to touch the ground while sitting on the bicycle seat. Most sporting goods stores have professionals who can assist you in selecting the proper bicycle fit for your child.
Riding with your child until they are comfortable enough to ride on their own and riding on sidewalks whenever possible are two important safety measures. Studies shown that most children are not able to judge speed and distance appropriately enough to safely cycle on their own until age 10. Of course, every child is unique and you shouldn’t allow your child to cycle on their own until you feel comfortable that they are able to make safe judgments and decisions while cycling. Again, ensuring proper maintenance of the bicycle is of utmost importance. Teach your child to inspect the tires, as well as the brakes on the bicycle.
Once again, a helmet should be worn at all times. According to the organization Safe Kids Worldwide, wearing a bicycle helmet may reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45%. Unfortunately, studies have shown that less than half of children 14 and under regularly wear bike helmets.
Finding the right size helmet is hands-down the most important component of bicycle safety, as discussed. Once again, make certain that the helmet conforms to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards. The helmet should be in a level position on top of the head and should not be able to move forward, backward, or side to side. Make sure that your child understands the importance of always buckling the helmet strap. Safe Kids Worldwide recommends the following:
Finally, as well all know, children learn from the behavior of adults. Make sure that you consistently practice bicycle safety and your children will follow suit.
Cycling can be a fun, enjoyable, heart-healthy activity both individually or as a group, including friends and family. However, safety measures must be taken to guard against accidents and serious injury. Utilizing the above tips is a good start on the way to becoming a safe and informed cyclist. Your local sports stores and specialty bike shops should be able to help you in purchasing the correct bicycle for your needs as well as fit you for a helmet. In addition, there are many resources which provide more in-depth detailed information, including:
The Bruen Rescue Squad is proud to partner with the American Red Cross and be a part of all they do for our community, our country and around the world.
Our blood drive is important to patients in need, but the collection and distribution of blood is just a small part of all the Red Cross does.
The enormity of what the Red Cross accomplishes every day is astounding and this is one of the reasons we chose them as one of our core community outreach partners.
From a blood supply standpoint:
At the Bruen Rescue Squad, we are proud to hold blood drives in partnership with the Red Cross, giving us all an opportunity to make a difference.
Our next drive is coming up on Saturday August 10. We still 8am – 12pm open appointment slots to fill.
There are many ways you can help, but most importantly we hope you come out to donate. If you can’t donate, please consider joining volunteer team or help spread the work by promoting our drive on social media.
Thank you for making the Bruen Rescue Squad such a success. Let’s make an impact on Saturday and add it to our list of great accomplishments.
Schedule an appointment today by using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To book an appointment online, visit this page and type in your zip code or sponsor code BRUEN.
Donors can save up to 15 minutes by using RapidPass® to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online.
For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.
You can also share our facebook event page with your friends and family.
The Fourth of July is a time for friends and family to get together for barbecues, cooling off by the ocean, lake, or pool and watching your local firework displays. Unfortunately, there will always be folks who prefer to purchase their own devicesand create their own shows at home. Laws vary according to state and individual counties regarding purchasing and utilizing fireworks for individual purposes. Should you desire to purchase your own fireworks for home use, be sure to first check with your local town or municipality to ascertain what your local laws are regarding the purchase and possession of fireworks.
The best practice when it comes to firework safety is simply to leave the fireworks displays up to the professionals. Fireworks are explosives and must be treated with caution. The National Safety Council advises that the majority of fireworks accidents and/or deaths are the result of untrained individuals using professional-grade and/or homemade fireworks.
While the majority of accidents are the result of the use of professional-grade fireworks, the use of perfectly legal devices by children and young adults come in at a close second. Children and young adults should never be allowed unattended around fireworks, sparklers, bottle rockets, poppers, or any type of device which may ignite and cause burns or bodily injury.
After consulting your state and local laws, if you wish to possess and utilize your own fireworks, be sure to review any safety instructions and follow all instructions carefully and with due diligence. Never allow pets around devices. Do not discharge devices in small areas, near brush or foliage, near propane or oxygen tanks, or any other objects which may explode when exposed to heat or flame. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher and/or water (or whatever liquid or material the device instructions indicate based on the composition of the individual device) on hand to mitigate any situations in which devices discharge early, inappropriately, or too close to flammable objects.
More information on fireworks safety can be found on the National Safety Council’s website by visiting https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/summer/fireworks and by contacting your local authorities to get information regarding individual applicable laws.
With the right information and by following simple, common-sense measures, your Fourth of July can be a fun, enjoyable and most of all, safe, celebration for all.
Check out this great infographic from VFIS:
Summer has finally arrived! Warm weather and sunshine are synonymous with long afternoons spent by the pool. Whether you frequent a community pool or just have to walk out the door to your backyard, there are a few tips you should keep in mind in order to keep everyone safe and able to enjoy a break from the heat.
Following the above simple safety tips can help you to enjoy your summer while keeping yourself, your family, friends and neighbors safe.
May is national stroke month and it's important to realize the link between your blood pressure and reducing the risks of a stroke. There are many benefits of taking your blood pressure regularly. If you already have high blood pressure, you can track your readings from day to day and monitor diet and exercise, both of which aid in maintaining a healthy pressure. If you do not have high blood pressure, monitoring your pressure regularly will help you detect any changes that may indicate the need to see your doctor.
It is extremely important to keep your blood pressure within normal limits. The American Heart Association defines hypertension as any blood pressure greater than 120 systolic (the top number) and 80 diastolic (the bottom number). Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure in the blood vessels caused by your heart beating and hypertension indicates that your heart is working harder than it should. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is important to help you avoid serious health problems including heart attack and stroke. (Signs of a stroke)
There are modifiable and non-modifiable factors that can affect your blood pressure. Non-modifiable factors include genetics, which unfortunately we can’t do much to change. Modifiable factors refer to diet and exercise and learning ways to change the modifiable factors can help you to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Exercise is perhaps the most important component in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week can be beneficial to health and wellness. This means that you should aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day of the week. Exercise like a 30-minute brisk walk every day can have a positive effect on your heart health and overall wellness. Many people feel that they just don’t have the time to achieve the 30-minute goal, but there are many ways that you can sneak physical activity into your daily routine, such as:
Finding an activity that you like to do such as walking with friends, or taking a bike ride can make exercising more enjoyable and therefore making you more likely do it. Something as simple as a regular brisk walking can achieve the same benefits as other forms of exercise. The greater the duration, length and intensity of walking, the more benefit. So, remember, to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, talk with your Doctor and:
Spring has sprung!
And that means it’s time to hit the road…
Whether you’re a runner, a cyclist, or both, as you’re lacing up your sneakers to go for a run or hit the road on your bicycle, remember some important safety tips that can keep you out of harm’s way and allow you to enjoy your outdoor activities.
If you’re heading out for an early morning (or twilight) run, a few tips to keep in mind:
For those who prefer cycling, some rules to keep you safe:
Whatever activity you choose this spring, use common-sense, take safety measures and be cautious to ensure that you stay safe in your pursuit of health and wellness.
Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, that's once every 40 seconds! Stroke is the #2 cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability.
Learn to B.E. F.A.S.T.
You can help spot the signs of a stroke. Remember, time is brain! The sooner you can recognize that something is wrong and call 911, the better chance of survival is. Science is making great strides, however there's a limited window for treatment with certain clot-busting drugs.
Reduce your risk factors...
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes are all leading causes of stroke. 1 in 3 adults have at least one of these preventable risk factors that are linked to causing stroke and heart disease. Sedentary lifestyles can also increase the risks.
Have you heard the phrase, "Sitting is the new smoking?" For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as a brisk walk, each week. Learn more about healthy living with these resources.
Having a Heart Healthy Holiday
During winter months, negative or close to zero temperatures can lead to health risks including worsening of possible cardiovascular risks. The cold weather places additional stress on the body such as increasing heart rate to manage strong temperature fluctuations, specifically preventing the body from cooling. These strong temperature fluctuations are unfavorable for hearth health.
Things to keep in mind:
Cardiovascular disease has many contributing factors and if you have multiple risk factors it can enhance the detrimental effects on the body when compared to only having one risk factor. Good nutrition can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing as many risk factors as possible. Lifestyle changes in nutrition choices have a very significant impact on reducing cardiovascular risk factors.
Tips for taking care of your heart in winter
The most vulnerable people
Those most vulnerable are those who suffer from a cardio-cerebrovascular pathology such as arterial hypertension , heart failure, a history of myocardial infarction, stroke, angina pectoris, revascularization coronary or arterial (stent, bypass), or heart valve disease. Those who suffer from heart rhythm disorders are also at higher risk. People over the age of 70 must be supervised because after a certain age, the body’s ability to adapt to temperature variations decreases. This applies to both negative temperatures and day-to-day temperature variations. You should also know that the wind increases the feeling of cold and its harmful effects on health.
We recommend consulting with your primary care physician or cardiologist at the onset of any symptom or sensation that someone with known cardiovascular disease may perceive as out of the ordinary.
When in doubt, call 911 – That’s what we’re here for.
Winter driving can be challenging, especially for new drivers or those not familiar with our lovely Northeast winters. Around 30% of hospitalizations and injuries from accidents and injuries occur due to adverse winter driving conditions, rain and fog.
It is essential that during the winter season we have the vehicle ready for any unforeseen event that may occur. The following are essential tips for driving safely this winter:
Driving according to the type of adverse weather