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Recreational and Outdoor Safety

One of the joys of life is participating in recreational or sporting activities. To reduce stress, improve cardiovascular conditioning, and promote our own personal spirituality, some people find that there is nothing more satisfying than being outdoors. Regardless of the season there are risks if personal alertness is not maintained. Heat-or cold-related emergencies are always a potential problem.

In addition to the emergencies created by extreme heat or cold, many other injuries can result from involvement in recreational activities. Some of the more common injuries include blisters, bruises, sprains, muscle cramps, nosebleeds, wounds, and sunburns.

The list of outdoor recreational activities is almost inexhaustible, as is the potential for the unexpected to happen. As you prepare to engage in outdoor or recreational activities, it is important to be familiar with the safety rules of your endeavor, have safe and appropriate equipment for the activity, and maintain an attitude of alertness to potentially dangerous situations. Although not all-inclusive, the following rules will help keep you safe in a variety of recreational settings:

- Seek training and instruction from certified or respected instructors.

- Purchase appropriate safety equipment for the activity. Make sure the eyes and head are properly protected.

- Make sure all equipment is in proper operating order.

- Obey the laws related to your recreational pursuit.

- Begin any activity slowly, and do not attempt advanced skills or actions until you are experienced enough to meet the necessary skill level.

- Stay aware of weather conditions. Always prepare for the worst possible weather.

- Never use alcohol when engaged in a dangerous recreational endeavor or during extremely hot or cold conditions. Alcohol increases the likelihood of emergency situations.

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