Monday, May 18, 2015

Mowing Safety

 
Every year more than 600 children undergo amputations as a result of lawn mower accidents. The Amputee Coalition is committed to raising awareness about this issue in order to help prevent further injuries. According to Susan Stout, President and CEO of the Amputee Coalition, “In 2015, we want to see the number of accidents greatly reduced by increasing public awareness of lawn mower safety.  Every spring, we hear the same stories in the news: People lose limbs from lawn mower accidents. Follow our simple safety rules, and you can prevent these life-changing accidents.”
 
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics are shocking. Each year, 800 children are run over by riding mowers or small tractors and more than 600 of those incidents result in amputation; 75 people are killed, and 20,000 injured; one in five deaths involves a child. For children under age 10, lawn mower accidents rank as the biggest cause of major limb loss.  Respecting the lawn mower as a powerful piece of equipment and paying attention to basic safety protocols will eliminate these unnecessary injuries.

The Amputee Coalition is committed to preventing limb loss whenever possible. Heeding safety precautions when operating lawn mowers will minimize the risk of injury to the operator and those nearby (including children playing).  We encourage everybody to learn about the risks associated with lawn mowers and operate the machines in a safe manner.
 
Recommended safety precautions are listed below.  A printable copy of this check list, which the Amputee Coalition recommends be posted adjacent to the lawnmower, can be found below.
2015 MOWING SAFETY CHECKLIST
The Amputee Coalition offers these safety guidelines:
  1. First and foremost: Keep your children indoors and do not allow other children to play nearby while you are mowing.
  2. Never allow children to play on a lawn mower, even if it is turned off.
  3. Never allow a child to ride on a riding lawn mower with you.
Before starting your lawn mower, use this simple Amputee Coalition checklist based on information from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Keep this checklist in your garage or near your mowing equipment. It only takes a minute to prevent disaster.
BEFORE MOWING
_____  Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
_____  Wear shoes, not sandals.      
_____  Use eye and hearing protection.
_____  Start and refuel mowers outdoors, never in a garage.
_____  Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
_____  Blade settings – ADULTS ONLY!
WHILE MOWING
_____ FOR PUSH MOWERS: Only use mowers with automatic shut-off abilities, such as those with a control that stops motion when the handle is released.
_____ FOR RIDING MOWERS: Make sure your riding mower’s safety feature includes an automatic shut-off when the rider is not in the seat.
_____ Don’t mow in reverse.
AFTER MOWING
_____ Turn off lawn mower completely. Do not remove the grass catcher or unclog the discharge chute unless the lawn mower is off.
Parents: Explain the dangers of lawn mowers and their safe operation. Follow these simple precautions and set a good example for children.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Updates



Nearly two hundred people attended the Amputee Coalition's LLED in Washington, DC, on May 2. Presented through a partnership with Challenged Athletes Foundation and Ossur, amputees with all levels of limb loss and from all walks of life participated. The sense of community felt in the George Washington University gymnasium was palpable as the community bonded through education and shared experiences. Photos from the event are posted on our Instagram page. If you couldn't make the LLED in DC, don't despair!  We are hosting LLED events in Columbus, OH, on September 19th and in Portland, OR, on October 24th. Check out our website for more information about these events.  (Don't forget about National Conference, the most highly anticipated event in the limb loss community, which is scheduled from July 23-25 in Tucson, Arizona!)



The Amputee Coalition staff and community volunteers work hard to tailor each LLED to the community, striking a balance between providing pertinent educational programming and adapted recreation opportunities that are available in the community. Amputee Coalition events are not the only place to try various adapted recreation activities. From adaptive fishing to amusement parks, we have all of the resources necessary to become involved in a variety of activities.  Be sure to check back often as we constantly update our resources on our website.



Exhibitor spaces for National Conference are filling quickly. For those interested in exhibiting in our exhibition hall, we encourage you to act quickly as we are limited to 96 spaces. Exhibitor information is available on our website or you can contact Dan (Dan@amputee-coalition.org) for information. 



We posted another job this week on our website.  In addition to the Peer Support and Youth Camp Coordinator and the Peer Support and Youth and Family Programs Manager positions highlighted in last week's blog, we are also hiring for a Resource Specialist.  Full job descriptions as well as application information can be found on our website



Our website is constantly being updated, and we encourage all readers to check back often for the most up to date information, resources and opportunities.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Opportunities Abound.

Are you passionate about helping the limb loss community? Are you looking for a rewarding career where you can make a difference? Are you intrinsically motivated and a team player? If you answered yes, we encourage you to take a look at our recently posted employment opportunities.

 
The Amputee Coalition staff is excited to welcome new members to our team of dedicated and talented employees. We are currently hiring for two open positions: a Peer Support and Youth and Family Programs Manager as well as a Peer Support and Youth Camp Coordinator.  Full job descriptions, as well as instructions for applying, can be found on our Web site. Please continue to check our employment page in the coming weeks for additional opportunities with the Amputee Coalition.

 
This Saturday (May 2), we are hosting one of our Limb Loss Education Days (LLED) in Washington DC in conjunction with Ossur and Challenged Athletes Foundation. If you live in the region, please join us on the George Washington University campus in the Lerner Health and Wellness Center starting at 9:00 am for our informative seminars. In the afternoon Ossur and CAF present their highly acclaimed mobility clinic featuring world renowned Physical Therapist, Bob Gailey.  Pre-registration is not required but it is requested so that we can figure an accurate lunch count. This is the first of three LLED events for the year. More information about our Columbus, OH and Portland, OR events can be found here.

 
Just a reminder that early-bird registration for National Conference ends on May 31st. After May 31st, the registration fee defaults to the regular pricing.  85% of the room block for the Amputee Coalition at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort has already been reserved, so we encourage attendees to make their reservations now.  More information about conference, including the updated preliminary program, is available on our Web site

Friday, April 24, 2015

Show Your Mettle~

The Amputee Coalition's Show Your Mettle event, scheduled for tomorrow, April 25th, is already breaking records. To date we have over 1,000 participants and have received hundreds of photo submissions. Our event page has become a testament that life after limb loss is limitless!


Limb Loss Awareness Month, and specifically Show Your Mettle, has become a movement that is surpassing the confines of social media. Participation has already exceeded our previous records by 30% and is growing rapidly.  Individuals from across the country and around the world are declaring solidarity through their participation in this cyber-based event.  The limb loss community is uniting behind the effort, contributing to an inspiring montage of life with limb loss.  


Because of the Show Your Mettle campaign, those who are timid and uncomfortable about their limb loss are realizing that they are not alone. Amputees who have been masking their limb loss, or have retreated from life, are now mustering the courage to venture back into their communities. Jane from Indiana posted her photo and wrote the following caption. "This is the first time I'm leaving the house since my accident. I've been to afraid to see people since I lost my leg, but seeing all of these photos showed me that I'm not alone. I went to the mall, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but for me it was. I was so nervous but I did it! Thank you for sharing your photos and stories. I am proud to be part of this supportive community."  


The Amputee Coalition is proud to spearhead this empowering movement. Please join us on our Show Your Mettle event page, and be sure to post your photos tomorrow.  Happy Show Your Mettle Day!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Becoming Involved


We are halfway through Limb Loss Awareness Month, but rest assured there is still plenty of time to become involved.  Our Show Your Mettle movement on Facebook and Twitter has already surpassed previous records, and we encourage anybody who has not yet posted a photo to join the fun. Show Your Mettle Day is April 25th, but photos are being posted on the event page throughout this month.  You can post these photos here.


In addition to our social media campaigns, volunteers across the country have taken this opportunity to reach out into their local communities to educate others about living with limb loss. Speaking to local school classes, Scout troops or other civic groups is an enjoyable way to help spread the message that life after limb loss can be limitless. The Amputee Coalition maintains the largest repository of information and resources concerning living well with limb loss, and we invite those seeking information for presentations to visit our Web site or to call our Resource Center at 888-267-5669.


Hosting a fundraiser for the Amputee Coalition is another way that the community is rallying behind Limb Loss Awareness Month.  The Amputee Coalition is the leading national organization serving the limb loss community. We rely upon donations in order to continue to provide quality programming, advocacy and information for the limb loss community. Across the country individuals have partnered with the Amputee Coalition to host benefit walks, comedy shows, music performances and bake sales. There is still time to host a benefit. We have a step-by-step guide available on our website  or feel free to email Melinda Park our Development Manger (mpark@amputee-coalition.org) for assistance.


Another avenue for involvement involves advocacy. We encourage everybody to take this opportunity to contact their local and state representatives to bring attention to limb loss issues. We have a wealth of information, as well as talking points, on our website. Signing and sharing the one limb per life petition is a quick way to show your support for those living with limb loss. 



Our Web site  also boasts numerous opportunities to participate in research. All studies listed have been thoroughly vetted by our Scientific & Medical Advisory Committee, so you can rest assured that the studies maintain high efficacy standards. Participating in research is a fantastic way to honor and to contribute to the limb loss community.  


Whatever your preferred avenue, the Amputee Coalition encourages everybody in the community to become involved. Limb Loss Awareness Month is an opportunity to gain traction on issues important to the community, but its success is dependent upon participation.  Remember to "Show Your Mettle" throughout the month of April, but especially on Saturday, April 25.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Register Early

The Amputee Coalition National Conference is just a few months away. Hosted at the beautiful JW Marriott Star Pass Resort & Spa in Tuscon, AZ, from July 23-25, National Conference is the premiere event for the amputee community. Whether you are a new to limb loss or have years of experience, National Conference offers educational and networking opportunities for the limb loss community and their families/caregivers.
 
Our dedicated staff and Education & Conference Committee have been busy planning this highly anticipated event, ensuring that all facets of limb loss are represented in the programming. Although it is still in fluid form, the preliminary program is now available online.  Great care was taken with the development of the program, and we are proud to offer seminars, opportunities, and experiences for all levels of amputation. 
 
For those interested in participating in the gait analysis, amputee sport and performance, and bilateral above-knee mobility clinics, registration is available  by filling out the online form. Please note that the gait analysis clinic is now full and all requests will be included in a wait list. There will be limited opportunities to register on site, so early registration is recommended to ensure that your spot is reserved.  The Amputee Coalition makes every effort to guarantee that all individuals who want to participate have the opportunity, but securing your slot early is recommended.
 
The Amputee Coalition has reserved all of the ADA compliant rooms at the resort, and they will be allocated based upon medical necessity. In order to request an accessible room, it must be reserved through the Amputee Coalition room block which also provides a reduced rate for the community.  If you require an accessible room, we recommend making your reservations as soon as possible.
 
If you haven't yet registered for Conference, we encourage you to register today. Early registration helps our planning committee with their efforts to provide quality programming for all participants, and gives you a discount on your registration through May 31, 2015. Information about National Conference is available on our website and is updated regularly, so check back often. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Limb Loss Awareness Month is HERE!

The Amputee Coalition is the premiere national organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the limb loss community. With over 500 amputations every single day in the country, raising awareness about issues pertinent to this growing community is paramount to our mission of reaching out to and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention. In 2012 we declared April to be Limb Loss Awareness Month.  Since that time, the movement has gained momentum and traction among the community, professionals in the field and legislators. 

Community support is key to the success behind Limb Loss Awareness Month.  We are asking all individuals to "Show Their Mettle." During the month of April, we are encouraging all living with limb loss (who feel comfortable) to post a photo of wearing your prosthesis, or just living your lives if you do not use an assistive device, on our Show Your Mettle for Limb Loss Awareness Month event page on Facebook or on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #ShowYourMettle #AmputeeCoalition. Together, we hope to create a mosaic of photos to show the world that life after the loss of a limb can be fulfilling and enjoyable.

Although the movement carries through the month of April, the last Saturday is traditionally Show Your Mettle Day.  This year, on April 25th, we are encouraging individuals to take the opportunity to proudly wear and show their prosthetic devices on this day. The concept is simple – to show your “mettle,” the ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way, by showing your “metal” prosthetic device or wheelchair.

In addition to Show Your Mettle, we are requesting the community to take advantage of the momentum by hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Amputee Coalition.  We have a fundraiser kit available on our website and are always available to help. Hosting or participating in a fundraiser is not only a great way to become involved but a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community.

To close out Limb Loss Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition is partnering with Ă–ssur and the Challenged Athletes Foundation to hold a Limb Loss Education Day/Mobility Clinic in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2015. Check here for information regarding the event. If you live in the Washington DC area we hope to see you at this educational and fun event!

The Amputee Coalition is honored to spearhead Limb Loss Awareness month on behalf of the over 2 million people living with limb loss in this country.