TO: DDS Regional Directors, STS Director, CTH Coordinators, and Private Providers
FROM: Daniel A. Micari, Director, Quality Management Services, and Doreen McGrath, MN, RN, Director of Health and Clinical Services
DATE: July 21, 2011
RE: Seasonal Advisory - Health & Safety

Seasonal Advisory

This Health Bulletin is a reminder of the risks associated with the summer season and warm weather conditions to ensure that particular attention is given to the health and wellness of individuals during summer activities.

Please ensure that any agency policies and procedures, protocols or guidelines related to the areas below are reviewed and highlighted for all who support DDS consumers.

  • Exposure to extreme heat, ensuring adequate hydration
  • Exposure to extreme heat, including precautions and treatment for heat exhaustion and heat stroke (especially for people who are hypersensitive due to medications or who are non-ambulatory)
  • Extreme danger of unattended individuals in vehicles
  • Exposure to sun, paying particular attention to individuals' medical conditions and medications and ambulatory abilities
  • Water safety - individuals must receive adequate supervision based on their capabilities and any health related factors, such as seizures, medications, or allergies. Water related activities include the following: lakes and ponds, water parks, boating and fishing, oceans, and both community and home pools. Refer to DDS Policy #I.E.PO.001 and DDS Procedure I.PR.E.001. DDS regions and private agencies will establish appropriate written guidelines for aquatic programs.
  • Food/diet related issues - concerns involve compliance with individual diets including the need for special food consistencies such as ground or puree. Please remind and re-inservice as necessary all appropriate staff of the importance of strict adherence to individualized diets, especially those involving special food consistencies. Compliance to specialized diets during summer outings (e.g., picnics, fishing trips, attending camp, eating in restaurants, etc.) is essential for individuals' health and safety.
  • Potential insect exposure
  • Appropriate supervision of individuals in amusement parks, fairs, carnivals and recreational areas.
  • Precautions around outdoor cooking including open charcoal fires and gas grills; and
  • Lightening and severe weather precautions

Please disseminate to all public and private service providers including residential, day, CTHs and summer camps.

Thank you for your attention to these important matters.

cc: Health Service Directors/STS Medical Director