Anaphylactic Shock- Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Anaphylactic Shock: Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

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Anaphylactic Shock- Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – suddenly his or her child’s throat begins to swell and the child can’t breath.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life threatening allergic reaction. For some, it can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen, and it can vary in its severity. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “the most common triggers for anaphylaxis … are medicines, food and insect stings.”

Understanding Anaphylaxis

Not all of those who have allergies will experience anaphylactic shock. This severe reaction happens when an over-release of chemicals puts the person into shock. It is treated with an injection of epinephrine, which is available by prescription to those who have experienced anaphylaxis before.

Anaphylactic shock is particularly concerning for those who care for children because a child may not yet know he is allergic to something, and therefore, he would not be carrying an auto-injector of epinephrine, also known as an Epi-Pen.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

When an individual is experiencing anaphylactic shock, it is essential to act immediately. In order to do so, one must be able to identify the symptoms of anaphylaxis:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives or swelling
  • Tightness of the throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Feeling of doom
  • Cardiac arrest

However, children may not be able to articulate those symptoms as clearly as adults. Children are more likely to say thing such as my tongue feels heavy, my mouth itches, there’s something stuck in my throat, or my chest hurts.

Treating Anaphylaxis

In our first aid classes, we teach students how to identify anaphylactic shock, administer a dose of epinephrine if it is available, and call for help. If a person is experiencing an allergic reaction, it is essential to get medical assistance immediately. Even if the person’s symptoms subside after receiving epinephrine, they must be seen by a doctor, as a secondary reaction can occur hours later.

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From child swim lessons to first aid classes, we provide training all year long. We know how important it is for you and your family to know what to do in the event of an emergency. To enroll in any of our Health & Safety Courses, visit us online.

Do Babysitters Need to Know CPR

Should My Babysitter Know CPR?

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Do Babysitters Need to Know CPR

Many people call themselves babysitters, but what does that really mean? Babysitters, nannies, childcare specialists – there are many titles that describe the role of an individual who cares for your child when you are away. However, there is no standardization for the skills required to be classified by any of those titles.

Regardless of whether it’s the high school student from down the road or a live-in au pair, the individual who is tasked with caring for your child should have certain skills to keep your child safe, such as CPR and first aid training.

American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course

For babysitters between the ages of 11 and 15, the American Red Cross has developed a class to provide youth who are planning to babysit with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly give care to children and infants. The primary goals of the training is to help participants develop leadership skills and learn about developing a babysitting business. The training includes instruction on keeping themselves and others safe, helping children behave, and the basics of childcare and first aid. Sign up for an American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course online.

CPR for Babysitters

For babysitters who spend extended periods of time with children, it is important to learn more comprehensive skills, including CPR and more in-depth first aid. Performing CPR on children and infants is different than on adults, and babysitters should understand how a child’s age and size plays into the method of CPR.

For babysitters who need more advanced skills, Premier offers the American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program to help participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing, and first aid emergencies. The primary goals of this program are to teach skills that babysitters need to know to give immediate care to a suddenly injured or ill person until more advanced medical personnel arrive and take over. This program offers a choice of first aid, CPR, and AED courses to meet the various training needs of babysitters and other audiences. Sign up for an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program online.

Where to Take Babysitter Training Courses

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From swim lessons for children to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.

To learn more about the Top Reasons CPR Education Is Important For Your Family, visit our blog or sign up for our Newsletter!

Performing First Aid: When is Consent Implied?

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When witnessing a medical emergency, many of us have the instinct to rush to provide assistance.  However, some people are hesitant to assist because they fear of the legal implications of helping someone who may or may not want to be helped.  Therefore, it is important to understand the concept of consent.

There is a general assumption that everyone who appears to need help actually wants it, but that is not always true.  In order to provide someone with first aid or medical care, he or she needs to provide permission or consent.  After all, physically touching someone who does not want to be touched can be considered assault or battery.

Types of Consent

In the medical field, there are two types of consent: expressed and implied.  Expressed consent is communicated either verbally or in written form.  Simply put, the victim tells you it is okay to provide assistance.  In this case, the victim must be able to understand the situation and communicate clearly in order to provide expressed consent.

When an individual is unable to provide expressed consent, the rescuer must rely on implied consent.  Implied consent happens when the rescuer is unable to communicate with the victim.  This most often happens because the victim is unconscious, but may also be a result of intoxication, language barriers, mental disorder, or age.  With implied consent, there is an assumption that the victim would ask for help if he or she could.

Who Can Consent?

If a victim is not impaired, a rescuer must receive expressed consent before physically touching a victim.  This is important for all first aid providers, but it is essential for medical professionals and first responders, including our lifeguards and swim coaches.  If a victim isn’t able to provide expressed consent, the rescuer may rely on implied consent.

Safety is always paramount when providing first aid assistance to someone in need.  Never put yourself in harm’s way to provide help to someone who won’t take it.  In all medical emergency scenarios, calling 9-1-1 should be the first step.  Additionally, it is essential to always use personal protective equipment, such as gloves and a breathing barrier, to protect yourself.

Learning Lifesaving Skills

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills.  From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.

We know how important it is for you and your family to know what to do in the event of an emergency.  While younger children should be taught how to call for help, older children can enroll in CPR classes alongside their parents.  Click here to learn more or enroll in CPR classes today!

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Embracing the Season for Giving Thanks

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With the arrival of the Thanksgiving holiday, most of us are enjoying the process of identifying all the blessings in our lives.  From happy families to the roofs over our heads, the possibilities for gratitude are endless.

In staying true to the holiday, the team at Premier Aquatics Services wanted to share some of the things we are thankful for this year.

The Premier Team:  Many work environments have colleagues, but at Premier, we are blessed to work each day with friends.  Every one of our staff members understands the value of a team, and together, we get to enjoy each day of work.

Giggles, Cheers, Smiles, and Accomplishments:  Whether through our swim team programs or our swim lessons, we get to be a part of joyful moments for both children and adults.  With each achievement, we get to hear our favorite sounds – the giggles and cheers of success – and see our favorite sights – accomplished smiles and laughter.

Happy Families and Individuals:  On a daily basis, it amazes us to see how many happy people walk through our doors.  To say we value our clients would be such an understatement; we are thankful to work with some of the best individuals Southern California has to offer.

Teaching Lifesaving Skills:  Through our health and safety classes, we teach our clients skills that can save lives.  Four of our clients (that we know of) have used those skills to directly save someone else’s life.  We are unbelievably grateful to be able to share those skills and contribute to the wellbeing of our community.

Doing What We Love:  Somewhere along the line, someone said it’s not work if you love what you’re doing.  Our company is driven by passion, and while some days may seem longer than others, we get to do what we love everyday.

Doing MORE of What We Love:  This year has brought significant opportunity for Premier Aquatics Services; we feel truly blessed to be expanding our services in the upcoming year, so we can address more of our community’s needs.

From our “family” to yours, the entire team at Premier Aquatics Services wishes you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

The Benefits Of Having An AED In The Workplace

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“Clear!”  We’ve all seen the dramatic hospital situation on television or in the movies when a doctor shocks a patient’s heart back into rhythm.  However, what happens when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 890 deaths from coronary heart disease happen outside of the hospital each day.  They report that between 2001 and 2002, there were 1216 deaths from heart attack, 354 from electric shock, and 267 from asphyxia inside the workplace, and up to 60% of those victims could have been saved if an automated external defibrillator (AED) was readily available.

What is an AED?

An AED is a portable device that can check a victim’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart.  In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, this shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume.

AEDs have a built-in computer that reads and analyzes a victim’s heart rate through adhesive electrodes.  After calculating whether defibrillation is necessary, the computer’s electronic voice may tell the rescuer to press the shock button on the AED.  On the other hand, the computer may discover that defibrillation is not necessary, in which case certain AEDs will provide live corrective CPR feedback as needed.

Why is an AED Important?

According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with more than 350,000 cases each year; defibrillation is the only effective treatment.

It is estimated that the chance of survival is reduced by 8-10% for each passing minute without treatment. Keeping in mind that the average response time for first responders after 9-1-1 is called is between 8 and 10 minutes, proximity to an AED can truly mean the difference between life and death.

Who Can Use an AED?

AEDs are so valuable in our society because nearly any adult can be trained to properly use them.  They are specifically designed to be used by non-medical personnel, including police, fire fighters, security guards, life guards, athletic trainers, and other lay rescuers.  Ultimately, “the Red Cross believes that all Americans should be within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.”

Where to Purchase an AED?

Premier Aquatic Services is a proud vendor of the Zoll AED Plus and other great Zoll products. The AED Plus is the first and only full-rescue AED that provides Real CPR Help® for rate and depth of chest compressions. With real-time feedback, the rescuer can provide the best manual CPR possible in a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The AED Plus also guides rescuers through the complete Chain of Survival helping all SCA victims, not just those who need a shock.  View a demo of the Zoll AED Plus.

Where to Get Properly Trained?

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills.  From child swim lessons to American Red Cross AED classes, we provide training all year long.

We know how important it is for you and your family to know what to do in the event of an emergency.  While younger children should be taught how to call for help, older teenagers and adults can enroll in AED classes alongside their parents.  Click here to learn more or enroll in AED training classes today!

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The Benefits of Swimming for Special Needs Children

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Swimming has a myriad of benefits for all children, but learning to swim is particularly beneficial for children with special needs. Generally speaking, there are three major goals for a swim program designed for special needs children:

  1. Boosting physical activity levels
  2. Developing self-confidence
  3. Teaching a life saving skill

Physical Benefits of Learning to Swim

For children of any ability level, the pool can be a fun and relaxing environment to exercise their bodies.  With each kick or stroke, water resistance helps to build muscle tone and strength.  Even more important for children with disabilities, the process of learning to swim helps with balance, coordination, and the development of motor skills.  As children learn to float and then move through the water, they are isolating muscle groups and learning how to coordinate different motions in order to achieve a physical goal.

Additionally, for special needs children with movement restrictions, the pool can help improve range of motion.  Buoyancy reduces the child’s body weight by 80%, providing an environment for restriction-free (or at least restriction-less) movement.

Emotional Benefits of Learning to Swim

There is nothing more rewarding than the look on a child’s face when he or she is thinking, “I did it!”  Two of the primary goals of any childhood swim program are to develop self-confidence and build self-esteem.  Many children experience an exponential sense of achievement when learning to swim because, as they learn new skills, they continue to explore their boundaries and discover new abilities.

Additionally, swim lessons designed for special needs children work through a progression that is ultimately aimed at getting the child to function in a group of other high-functioning special needs children.  With each stage of the progression, children are exposed to new social interactions, and they benefit from a cohesive team environment.

Safety Benefits of Learning to Swim

According to the National Autism Association, drowning is among the leading causes of death for children with autism.  This is because of three common autistic characteristics: wandering, fascination with the water, and a lack of understanding of danger.  Across the board, children with special needs have a higher risk of drowning.  Teaching children to swim can mean the difference between life and death if they find themselves accidentally in the water.  It is the best way to protect your child.

Additionally, while learning to swim, children also develop better spatial awareness as they use reference points and explore water depth.  Increased spatial awareness, along with the physical balance that naturally develops, can help keep a special needs child from falling into the water in the first place.

Premier Aquatics Services Swim Lessons

At Premier Aquatics Services, all of our instructors are dedicated to the wellbeing of each student.  We use effective techniques to teach children of all ability levels, so each child can enjoy all of the physical, emotional, and safety benefits.  To learn more about the impact of swim lessons on childhood mental development, read our post: Can Swim Lessons Make Your Child Smarter.

Premier Aquatics Services is currently enrolling winter classes and private lessons for all age groups. Click here to learn more about the Premier Aquatic’s year-round swim lesson programs.

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Developing A Family Emergency Response Plan

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No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster striking their home or community, but the reality is that it could happen.  Families can minimize the fear and uncertainty and increase the chances that each family member remains safe by developing a family emergency response plan.

There are three important questions to consider when thinking about your family’s emergency response plan:

  • How would your family contact one another if a disaster were to strike?
  • How would each family member get to a safe place?
  • How would different emergency situations change the plan?

Communication During a Disaster

Family members aren’t always together when an emergency arises, so it is important to consider how family members will get in touch with one another.  In this day and age, we rely so heavily on technology, but it isn’t uncommon for local phone lines to be damaged.  Therefore, a more in-depth plan should be developed.

Identify an out of town contact.  It is important to identify a trusted and easily reached family or friend who lives out of town, who can be the central point of contact in the event of an emergency.  A person who lives out of town is less likely to also be affected by the emergency.  Additionally, local phone lines often get jammed, making long distance communication easier.

Teach texting.  While text messaging is commonplace for many of us, it may not be second nature for everyone in your family.  When phone lines are jammed, it is more likely that text messages will go through, so be sure everyone knows how to send and receive text messages.

Create a contact card.  While having important phone numbers stored in our cell phones is an important step, it is also important to have these numbers handwritten and stored in a central place in the home as well as in wallets, purses, or backpacks.  The FEMA website offers a convenient template to help you gather all of the important information.

Safety and Evacuation Plans

Disasters can happen on different scales.  For example, the evacuation plan for a house fire is different from that of a tsunami warning.  Therefore, when developing a family emergency response plan, it is important to consider the different potential circumstances.  On their website, the American Red Cross discusses different types of emergencies in more detail.

Establish meeting places.  Talk with your family and agree upon meeting places outside your home (such as the mailbox or neighbor’s house), outside your neighborhood (such as a school or place of worship), and outside of town (such as a family member’s house or a school commonly used as an American Red Cross shelter).  Then, discuss how to decide which meeting place would be the right place to go.

Determine escape routes from each room.  In developing your plan, go room to room and establish the two best escape routes from each.  Whether your family is faced with a fire or an earthquake, the primary exits may not be passable.

Plan what to do if you must evacuate.  Make sure everyone in the family knows where the emergency kit is located, and assign two family members to be in charge of putting it in the vehicle. Map out multiple evacuation routes, and practice driving those routes twice a year.  Think about alternate routes as you drive, in case your planned roads are impassable.

Special considerations.  Be sure to take into account special considerations such as elderly family members, those with disabilities, and pet care.

Other Ways to Be Prepared

In addition to creating a family emergency response plan, you can make sure your family is prepared by installing fire and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, building emergency kits, teaching household members how to use fire extinguishers and turn off utilities, and taking first aid and CPR classes.

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills.  From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.  Click here to learn more or enroll in CPR classes today!

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The Benefits Of Incorporating Swim Training For Young Athletes

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Regardless of the primary sport interest, young athletes are always looking for ways to boost their performance levels and hone their skills.  They train harder and experiment with diet changes, but often hit a plateau that is hard to overcome.

Blending traditional training programs with new activities to expand an athlete’s skillset is not a new concept.  For example, we have all heard of the football players who turn to ballet lessons to become lighter on their feet.  One of the best kept training secrets, however, is the pool.  Incorporating swimming into your training program provides countless benefits and can give you an edge over your competition.

A Balanced Body

Swimming builds lean, long, and strong muscles, while weight training develops shorter, dense muscle groups.  Blending the two types of training will give your body a balanced strength and increased joint flexibility.  With each stroke, you expand your range of motion through the shoulder joint, torso, and hips.  For athletes who require rotational motion, such as throwing, this increased flexibility will certainly up your game.

A Strong Core

We all know that swimming is a total body workout; however, how many of us really understand what that means.  By incorporating both the upper and lower body through fluid movements, you not only work the large and small muscle groups in those areas, but you also strengthen the entire core because it is key for stabilizing your body throughout the continuous motion.  Whether you are headed back to the court or the field after your swim, your newfound core strength will give you heightened agility and a better overall performance.

Increase Lung Capacity

Not only will swim training help athletes hold their breath, the key to swimming is breath control.  The most successful athletes are able to effectively recover their heart rate after a sudden spike, such as after a full sprint down the field.  Swimming requires athletes to learn to control their breath because they are performing cardiovascular exercise in an environment with limited oxygen.  Once you take this skill into the oxygen-limitless atmosphere of a court or field, you won’t be able to ignore the benefits.

Injury Prevention

Especially for young athletes who have a beautiful sense of invincibility, it is important to allow your body to recover from high-impact training.  But when you are working towards a new goal, building rest time into your program can be difficult.  In comparison to high-impact sports, swim training can protect the joints and muscles easier because of the body’s buoyancy in water.  This allows you to have all the benefits of a workout without the damaging impact associated with many land sports.  Of course, it is still important to listen to your body and let your muscles recover appropriately.

Reduce Recovery Time

Every athlete knows that most endurance sports, such as running and cycling, can lead to a build up of lactic acid in the muscles.  Swimming, especially in a heated pool, after an intense workout flushes the muscle-tightening toxins and shortens muscle recovery time.

Premier Aquatics Services – Your Swim Training Partners

As a young athlete, it is essential to protect your body while building your base of skills and developing your strength.  By alternating pool workouts with your regular training, you’ll benefit from an increased range of motion, strengthened alternative muscles that support those primarily worked on the field, and a greater overall fitness.

At Premier Aquatics Services, we support our local athletes by providing year-round access to swim facilities, coaches, and lessons.  We are dedicated to teaching effective swim techniques, so athletes can boost their performance levels safely and effectively.  To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register classes, visit our aquatic services page.

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Acting F.A.S.T. – Learning To Recognize The Signs Of A Stroke

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In nearly every emergency, victims are racing against time to get help; this is no different for someone who suffers from a stroke.  The American Heart Association places strokes as the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, estimating that an American suffers from a stroke about every 40 seconds.  By learning the signs of a stroke and getting help to those who need it faster, we can dramatically decease the terrifying statistics.

Similar to how a heart attack affects the heart, a stroke occurs when the brain cannot get blood and oxygen due to a blocked or burst blood vessel.  When this occurs, the brain cells begin to die, often resulting in disability or death.

F.A.S.T. – Recognize the Major Symptoms of a Stroke

FAST doesn’t just describe the speed at which you should act, it is a simple acronym to help you remember the major signs of a stroke.  By calling 9-1-1 immediately, you can help reduce the impact a person may experience from a stroke and potentially save his or her life.

F – FACE DROOPING:  Does one side of the face feel numb or droop?  Ask the person to smile.  If their smile is uneven, call for help.

A – ARM WEAKNESS:  Is one arm weak, tingly, or numb?  As the person to lift both arms.  If one arm drifts downward, call for help.

S – SPEECH DIFFICULTY:  Is speech slurred?  Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?  Are basic words being used incorrectly?  Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, such as “the sky is blue.”  If they do not repeat the sentence correctly, call for help.

T – TIME TO CALL 9-1-1:  Regardless of whether they symptoms go away, if someone shows any of these signs of a stroke, it is time to call 9-1-1 and get them to a hospital immediately.  Make note of the time of the first symptom, as it is very important and can affect treatment decisions.

Additional Signs of a Stroke

In addition to the major symptoms, as listed above, there are some additional symptoms to look out for, including sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the leg, arm, or face
  • Confusion or trouble understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

The more educated we become about recognizing the signs of a stroke, the higher the likelihood of getting a stroke victim help before it’s too late.  At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with essential lifesaving skills.  From childhood swim lessons to American Red Cross Health and Safety Classes, we provide trainings all year long.

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Top Reasons CPR Education Is Important For Your Family

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Four out of five sudden cardiac arrests happen at home, according to the American Heart Association. With nearly 383,000 sudden cardiac arrests happening outside of a hospital each year, that’s a scary statistic.

What’s even worse is that nearly 70% of American bystanders feel helpless in the event of a cardiac arrest emergency because they either don’t know CPR or have let their training significantly lapse.

What Is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving medical technique that is useful in many emergencies where someone’s breathing or heartbeat have stopped, including heart attack and drowning. CPR is a combination of chest compressions and breathing assistance ideally administered while awaiting the arrival of emergency professionals.

Why Learn CPR?

No one ever wants to be in a situation where CPR is necessary, but the unfortunate reality is that many of us will be faced with such a situation. We have the ability to learn the skills to take care of one another and make a significant difference in the survival rate of someone who is experiencing a medical emergency.

Here are some of the biggest reasons to learn CPR:

  • 88% of cardiac arrests happen in the home.
  • Many heart attacks and cardiac arrest situations come with few obvious warning signs.
  • Drowning is the leading cause of death from an unintentional injury for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
  • It can only take one minute for a child to drown.
  • Effective CPR administered immediately after cardiac arrest can double or triple the chances of survival, but only about 32% of victims receive bystander CPR.

Statistically speaking, if you are faced with a cardiac arrest emergency, it will likely be in your home.

Where To Learn CPR?

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.

We know how important it is for you and your family to know what to do in the event of an emergency. While younger children should be taught how to call for help, older children can enroll in CPR classes alongside their parents. Click here to learn more or enroll in CPR classes today!

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