EDISON BLOG

Archive: October 2017

Hiking Safety Tips


Hiking is a wonderful activity offering countless benefits for its participants, and above all else, is free! According to the American Hiking Society, Those who engage in aerobic exercises, such as hiking, enjoy increased cardiorespiratory fitness, improved muscle strength, better sleep quality, lower risk of depression and most importantly, the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature. However, there are inherent safety risks for those that hike, so heed the following precautions to have a safe, and fun experience on the trails.

Follow the rules of the trail

In many state and national parks, hiking trails will be marked with signs to brief you on any potential dangers in the area, including wildlife, sharp declines or inclines, and hazardous rock formations to look out for. heed any warnings and follow the rules posted on these signs to ensure your safety on the trails. Also, you should follow the unwritten rules of trail etiquette as a courtesy to fellow hikers on the trial.

Select proper footwear

Your shoes are the single most important piece of equipment to consider when going for a hike. Proper hiking shoes or boots will help you get the most out of your hiking experience because they provide traction to keep you safe while ascending or descending mountains, offer waterproofing to keep your feet dry while crossing rivers or creeks, and provide necessary support to avoid injuries. On the same token, improper footwear can wreak havoc on your hike and cause injuries, blisters, and discomfort.

Listen to your body

When hiking, it is extremely important you pay attention to how your body feels. At the first sign of discomfort, you should stop and address it because when you are out on a trail, there are no medical care providers to help you. If your legs are aching, take a break and rest. If you have a headache, stop for a sip of water and a snack. If you have foot pain, stop and check to see if you have a blister. It is crucial that you address any injuries as early as possible, because this can help stop them in their tracks before they get worse.

Carry a first aid kit

On a hiking trail in the backcountry, a first aid kit can be the difference between a minor cut that can cause a small set back and a serious infection that can derail your entire trip. A first aid kit is your only line of defense against injuries in the wild, so make sure that you have one packed in case you face any medical emergencies, major or minor. A proper first aid kit should include moleskin to treat blisters, bandages for cuts and wounds, antiseptic towelettes and antibiotic ointment, at the very least.

Bring ample food and water

Having adequate food and water is essential for a successful hike. Your body burns more calories than normal when traversing uphill trails, and hiking at an incline can dehydrate the body. To maintain high bodily function, bring more than enough food and water, as well as a way to purify water if you run out. A wrong turn on the hiking trail or a simple injury can extend the length of your trip, and having extra food and water can prove to be a lifesaver. 


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Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

 

 
No matter how young or old, Halloween night is one of the best nights of the year for some people because of a tradition called “trick-or-treating”. This tradition can be very fun, but also dangerous, since some people are out for the tricks instead of the treats. Take a look at these vital trick-or-treating tips before you take your children out this year:
 
Plan a route in advance: Most people walk very long paths for trick-or-treating. To avoid getting lost or taking an unnecessary route, plan in advance so you know exactly where you’re going. It’s best to choose safe neighborhoods such as gated communities (if you know someone who lives there) with security driving around. Some communities even get together to plan and decorate for Halloween, to make it fun and exciting for the kids.
 
Wear comfortable shoes: Heels might be a must-have for a princess costume, but after walking several blocks, you may end up carrying your child back home with a case of sore feet. It is important to dress comfortably so the night can be enjoyed, rather than regretted.  Be sure all shoelaces are double tied to avoid tripping in the dark.
 
Avoid dark clothing: Your children should be dressed either in bright colors, or wear something reflective to avoid being injured. When accompanying your children, carry a flashlight to help light the path, as well as to help you with your headcount (which should be done at least once on every new block). It is very common for children to wander away, or even follow the wrong family because of a costume mix-up. If your child is dressed the same as another child, be sure to call them by their names after they get their candy to make sure you are leading the right child back to you.
 
Check your child’s candy: This is a MUST for all parents or guardians. You should not allow your child to eat their candy unless it has been inspected first. Remember, these treats are coming from dozens of strangers who you may not have ever met before. Throw away any candy which has been opened or not in its original wrapper. Avoid letting your child eat home-made treats such as candy apples or chocolate covered pretzels unless they came from a family member or close friend.
 
We hope you will take these suggestions into consideration to make this Halloween a happy and safe one. Enjoy! 



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Most Dangerous Animals in Florida


 
The state of Florida possesses many different types of ecosystems and a humid, warm climate throughout the year, it is a natural landing spot for a great variety of animals. As summer draws to a close and the weather cools, you will surely spend more time outdoors and it is important to recognize animals which pose a threat to you, and how to protect yourself in the event that you encounter them.

Spiders

Although spiders are tiny in size, they can pose a huge risk to your health if bitten by them. Florida is renowned for two of its most venomous spiders, the Brown Recluse Spider and the more famous Black Widow. The Brown Recluse prefers to hide in dark, covered spaces its bite injects venom which deteriorates human flesh if not treated. The Black Widow has an easily-recognizable red pattern on its back and likewise, has a venomous bite. Thankfully, there is an antivenom available to treat bites from both spiders which can be managed if treated quickly.

Snakes

In Florida, there a few snakes to watch out for when spending time outdoors. Although snakes are not typically aggressive and feed only on small rodents, they are known to bite humans if they feel threatened by accidentally encroaching on their territory. Burmese pythons, coral snakes, and copperheads are all snakes to look out for, but water moccasins are the most dangerous because of their venomous bite and because they live on in fresh water and on land, posing danger to fisherman on the sides of waterways such as canals and rivers.

Alligators

Florida is famous for its alligators, which are known to have the strongest bite of any animal in the world. These massive reptiles live in fresh water and are adept at blending in with their surroundings, making them difficult to spot. If you encounter one, be sure to keep a safe distance and avoid any sudden movements which can be deemed as predatorial by the alligator. Fortunately, alligators typically avoid humans as much as they can when faced by them.

Marine Animals

While many beachgoers are reluctant to enter the waters of our Florida beaches because of the prospect of sharks, there are many other marine animals posing a greater risk to them. Shark encounters are extremely rare for Florida beaches; however, it is more likely you will encounter a jellyfish or Portuguese Man-o-War. Both animals float on the surface of the waters and are transparent, making them hard to spot. These animals have stinging tentacles that can cause severe pain to humans if they are stung, and require immediate medical attention. It is in your best interest to heed the dangerous marine life flags, which notify visitors to stay out of the water because jellyfish or Man-o-Wars are present.

Although Florida does contain some dangerous animals, enjoy all the beautiful outdoor adventures our great state has to offer. If you are able to identify some of these animals and know how to reduce the chance of encountering them, you will have a safer, and more enjoyable time outdoors. 


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