Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Easiest Way To Cover Safe Swim Defense Part G: Personal Health Review (Part 2)

For the first post of the "personal health review" principle in the SSD program we covered information forming a basic level introduction to the "Personal Health Review" principle and then gave examples of medical conditions that could depending on the situation require you as the qualified supervisor to adjust plans to ensure the adequate safety of all participants. That means that not just youth have to provide a health history but any adult going on the outing too must have a health history form completed & signed by the appropriate individuals. Because the health history form requires a detailed explanation that will be covered in a post later on after examining some of the major health conditions that can put youth at increased risk. Finally at the end of the post we discussed how and why their should be differences while presenting to a group of scouts or scouters. Group appropriate discussions are used based on the level of experience of the group, what the group is capable of learning, the items that must be covered because they are the vital points of the principles of SSD, and lastly making sure you as a supervisor emphasize the material in the SSD principles that are of particular importance to the aquatic activity your Scouts or unit are participating in.

Since the review of what has bee covered so far is complete we now need to get to the specific purpose of this new post which is giving the official language used to summarize the point and then giving the full official text as found in the "Aquatics Supervision Manual". After the official wording and explanation has been shown to you as the readers it will bring us to the last topic of this post which is to cover the specific medical conditions that are vitally important to mention because of the increased hazards to that member's health when participating in aquatic activities. So without a further waste of time its time to give the official text version for the summary point from the "Aquatics Supervision Manual" which is worded and stated as follows:
"A complete health history is required of all participants as evidence of fitness for swimming activities."
Well thats the summary of this second principle of SSD, so after looking at this it may seem simple enough or won't be the hardest part of the SSD principles to put into action but the problem is that in reality because of the increased level of involvement that is required of each parent of a youth member in the Troop it tends to be the one point thats mis-interpreted, only partially followed and put into action, or as the worse case the principle maybe briefly mentioned but no other action is taken which more or less comes down to the fact that you as the supervisor failed to take the principle seriously or to even think about or care about it at all. A summary of the principle is a good starting place but in order to ensure the point is getting across to you and your intended audience a detailed written version should be read through. As this is the next step the full official text from the "Aquatics Supervision Manual" is described and stated as:
"A complete health history is required of all participants as evidence of fitness for swimming activities. Forms for minors must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Participants should be asked to relate any recent incidents of illness or injury just prior to the activity. Supervision and protection should be adjusted to anticipate any potential risks associated with individual health conditions. For significant health conditions, the adult supervisor should required an examination by a physician and consult with the parent, guardian, or caregiver for appropriate precautions."
Well for me that definitely sounded like and was just a complicated full length summary that is almost just as bad as trying to read and understand legal documents or documents that are official in nature. Complicated or not we as supervisors still have to know what it means, what its asking, what action we are supposed to take, and finally how to implement what actions or steps that are required to fully execute what this principle was intended to cover. Giving this official full version of the official text is different than just giving that one sentence summary because even though the summary sums up what is the most important their are still other major items to considered when looking through and actively putting into practice what you are training our youth to do. Remember this is definitely not the time to use this saying which is:
"Do As I Say; Not As I Do"
Many of you as parents are going to say that parents as adults are entitled to this type of privilege our the people that are furthest from knowing the actually truth. Saying this is not only offensive in regards to someones intelligence but its also straight-forward lie. As parents we can do whatever we want to our kids unless it is considered abusive in nature but when it comes to working with your kids and other parents kids their a simple idea that has to be followed which is:
"Treat the youth with respect but be sure to ensure that the rules are being followed as expected when involved in that particular activity and in return in general the youth members will show and give you the respect you deserve as well."
For me thats the way I think adults and parents should treat the youth of this generation but Im no parent and have never had that level of responsibility but from what I have seen & heard is that if both parties respect each other the relationship will grow and stay positive in nature. Obviously this isn't perfect or fool-proof but the point is that their are certain ways to interact and behave when it comes to your own children while for other youth you should understand the difference in expectations. Before I go on and on and on about treatment of youth using fair and appropriate standards lets get back to the main focus of the post. During this post we given the official wording but its now time to give a list of the important health issues that can pose a greater level of risk to the person while most definitely including the several different conditions that are covered on the online SSD training. In addition their are a few more medical issues that will be covered in detail and so the list of conditions includes:
  1. Epilepsy
  2. Allergies
  3. Asthma
  4. Diabetes
  5. Developmental Disorders
  6. Physical Disabilities that result in impaired movement or conditions that can pose a greater risk to that particular person
  7. Eye problems
  8. Neurological Problems
  9. Other Health Conditions
Well so now it should be obvious that this section devoted to this particular principle of SSD is going to take a fair amount of time to cover in order to do a reasonable job of explaining concerns and items/steps that can be taken in order to make the activity safer in order for a more diverse group of people to maximize the number of youth and adults that can participate in the program. Beyond those conditions towards the end their is a need to discuss temporary medical issues or conditions that must be taken into account & finally how to most effectively use and get the most information from the health forms that are filled out and turned in. Remember that according to fully follow the SSD principles and the G2SS Annual Health History forms must be filled out completely. 

Well thats it for now, more or less we have finished all of the introductory material or information that is covered by this SSD principle, so I guess its time to finish the post and then next SSD series post will be carefully examining the important details of the "Personal Health Review or "Medical" principle of SSD. Thanks for your patience and please continue to read, comment, give feedback, and share with as many fellow Scouts and Scouters as possible.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1316, Troop 1616(aka 669), Troop 125
Tustumena District/ Denali District/ Eklutna District, Great Alaska Council
NSJ '05 Youth Participant NSJ '10 Subcamp 7 Youth Staff NSJ '13 Subcamp Staff
WSJ '07 Youth Participant WSJ '11 International Service Team(IST)
Eagle Scout OA Brotherhood Honor Big Horn Denver Area Council NYLT QM Philmont AA '08

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

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