Posted on 16 August 2011 by admin
From BSA Health & Safety alerts:
As summertime swimming activities continue and youth become more comfortable in the water, it’s not uncommon for their water games to become more challenging and competitive. For qualified supervisors of Safe Swim Defense activities, for parents watching their children in the water, and for youth participants themselves, hyperventilation has been cited as a factor in numerous drowning incidents.
Breathing is triggered by a buildup of carbon dioxide rather than the depletion of oxygen. Holding your breath is an important stage in learning to swim, and the ability to swim underwater is an important skill for snorkeling and lifesaving. However, repeated deep and rapid breathing, or hyperventilation, before underwater swimming can result in a loss of consciousness by delaying the urge to breathe.
Contestants in underwater swimming events may be especially prone to this danger because, under the stress and excitement of competition, they may ignore their own built-in urge to breathe. In such cases, the swimmer may have little or no warning that he or she is about to pass out.
Caution anyone who is obviously breathing heavier than normal before they swim underwater. Because of concerns with hyperventilation, competitive underwater swimming events are not permitted in Scouting.
Source: Aquatics Safety: Hyperventilation
Posted on 27 August 2009 by Dan
The National Council has released a Health and Safety Alert about Winter Sports Safety and Helmets.
This is the complete alert:
While it is the end of August and school is just beginning, we would like to advise you of a change to the Winter Sports Safety section of the Guide to Safe Scouting,
In the past, Section 3 stated that “Suitable clothing for the activity and environment should be worn at all times, and equipment should include gloves and helmets when appropriate.”
Based upon the review of General Liability claims history, along with a recommendation by the Risk Management Advisory Panel (two Scout executives from each region), and input from the Health and Safety Support Committee, the following change has been made to the Guide to Safe Scouting.
“Appropriate personal protective equipment is required for all activities. This includes the recommended use of helmets for all participants engaged in winter sports such as sledding and other sliding devices. The use of helmets is required for the following activities: downhill skiing, snowboarding, and operation of snowmobiles (full-face helmets).”
You are encouraged to post this on your unit, district and council web sites, put a link to Scouting Safely on your web site, and publish this in your newsletter.
We would like to remind you that when you engage in winter sports, please only use designated areas where rocks, tree stumps, and other potential obstacles have been identified and marked, cleared away, shielded, or buffered in some way.
Source: National Council Scouting Safely