Sandy Pines Beach

By Steve Deyarmond

Water Safety

Drowning is often a preventable death. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional traumatic death in children ages 1-4. The second-ranked cause of unintentional trauma death in children ages 5-9 years old. The 5th ranked cause of death in children ages 10-14.

It only takes a few seconds for a child to fall into the water and drown. Drowning is a quiet event and not like projected on television as a splashing and yelling event. Instinctive drowning response is a human response which may have some distress of flailing in which the victim is busy trying to keep their mouth above water and is unable to yell for help. Drowning is often not recognized, and the victim sinks below the water in 20 to 60 seconds.

Recognize Instinctive Drowning response:
• The drowning victim will be silent because they will not have enough air to use for making sound. All their focus will go toward breathing.
• The victim will not be moving much. They may appear to be standing upright and bobbing up for air.
• Their arms will be fanned out on the side of their bodies because they are essentially trying to push the water down to keep their mouth above the water.
• Drowning victims typically go underwater after displaying these signs for 20 to 60 seconds.
• Children commonly drown within 25 yards of their parents.

Please supervise youth when around a water source. Do not rely on other children to watch siblings. Siblings are also enjoying the water and can be distracted. Do not rely on staff or others to watch over the safety of your child. The best
observation is by a parent. Do not let electronic devices or reading materials distract you. Your priority should be the child that is near a water source.

If you are boating or kayaking, wear a properly fitted life jacket. Having a personal flotation device on board the watercraft fails to save the person that is not wearing the PFD. Personal flotations devices are not just for youth. Automatic inflatable life vests are available for adults that do not want to feel restricted by wearing a common life vest.

Am I Having a Heart Attack?

It is not uncommon for persons to wait several hours with chest pain before calling for help. Most think that the pain will go away, or others think that it is indigestion or a muscle cramp. If the event is truly a cardiac problem, waiting can cause additional irreversible heart damage or death. Any chest pain should be taken seriously and 911 should be called.

Some common symptoms are:
• Chest pressure or pain
• Diaphoretic, cold sweats or clammy skin
• Shortness of Breath
• Nausea
• Feeling weak, lightheaded, or dizzy
• Neck, jaw, shoulder, or arm pain

It is not abnormal for a person having a heart attack to be in denial and even ask family members not to call for help. If you are a family member that is concerned about someone having a heart attack, please call 911 and then security 616 896 9006. How can you be assured that you are not having a heart attack? Going to an emergency room and being evaluated. Preferably transported by ambulance that can provide treatment and medications while in route.

Who Do I Call When I Have An Emergency?

• For Fire, a Medical emergency or for police call 911 and then call security 616 896-9006.
• To get immediate help, please provide your name, phase and site number.
• Stay on the line with the Allegan County 911 operator until the operator tells you to hang up.
• Failing to provide information will cause a delayed response.

Golf Cart Accidents

A common cause of golf cart accidents is turning sharply ejecting passengers and/or rolling over. Quick turns with the passenger not prepared, or horseplay, is a common factor in individuals being ejected from a golf cart. All ages have the
potential to be ejected or injured. Being ejected from a golf cart has the potential for a high potential for traumatic brain injuries and fatalities. The driver of the golf cart has the steering wheel to hold onto. The passengers rarely have any
means to hold onto. Most golf carts do not have seat belts and most golf carts can easily tip over if not properly driven. Lifted carts have a higher center of gravity and narrow wheelbase and are more subject to rollovers than carts with a lower center of gravity. With the lack of seatbelts to protect occupants of the golf cart, and lack of a safety envelope provided in autos, a golf cart rollover has the capability to cause great bodily harm and injury. Body impacts with the pavement caused by rollovers or ejections can end in skeletal, head, or other blunt trauma. Head trauma is a leading cause of fatalities with golf cart accidents. The misconception that slow moving golf carts are safe, and the treatment of a golf cart as a toy is a dangerous thought, with serious implications.

The driver of a golf cart makes a difference. Inexperienced drivers of golf carts such as guests may try to operate a golf cart in a manner that may be thought of as a fun and as a recreational toy. Park youth that have grown up in the Sandy Pines culture of operating and observing golf carts, at least have a concept and knowledge of the bad that will happen when the golf cart operation is not respected and driven unsafe. Guests that come for the weekend or a day fail to recognize the dangers of doing careless acts resulting in accidents. Know who is driving your golf cart and limit its operation to people that can operate the golf cart properly.

The drivers and passengers on the golf cart make a difference. Youth with parent’s onboard drive properly. Parental/adult supervision and direction works. We have a very good population of youth that operate golf carts appropriately and do so very well without having the onboard adult parent sitting next to them. We have the third group however, that are a bit more risk takers, and without adult supervision drive carelessly and do things on a golf cart that would not be acceptable by most adults. This third group is a minority in the park, but has the capacity to injure themselves, passengers, pedestrians, and cause property damage. People refer to some of these activities as kids having fun. The fun stops and becomes serious when a person is injured as a passenger or pedestrian and hospital bills and litigation occurs. Golf cart fatalities occur and are in the news each summer. Remember that as an owner of a golf cart and/or parent of a minor child, it is most likely that you will be held accountable for actions of the youth or the driver of the golf cart. Litigation and money are one aspect of consequences, but loss of life or a lifelong disability, is a far greater loss. Know and provide direction of who you want to operate your golf cart and instill in the operators/drivers of what your expectations are.

Distracted driving. Cell phones, passengers and horseplay with other carts can cause accidents. If your attention is not on your surroundings and affixed to something other than the road, your safety, as well as others on the road, is compromised. Golf carts weigh between 500 and 1,100 lbs. on average, and in addition, add the weight of the passengers. Golf carts are a massive projectile driving down the roadway
that if not driven in an attentive manner have the capability to cause damage, injury, or death. Put down the cell phone when driving or pull over and stop to take a call. If passengers are doing unsafe actions the driver should not tolerate the action and stop the cart. Standing on the golf cart, chasing after a golf cart to jump onto, or jumping off a golf cart while in motion, attaching to a golf cart other than on the seats properly seated should not be tolerated by the driver. Again, the owner and the parent/guardian should address these issues to person(s) that they permit to drive/operate their golf cart.

Operate with a park golf cart license or driving permit/license. Sandy Pines requires that youth have a Sandy Pines golf cart permit, or a State issued driver’s license to operate a golf cart.
Please do not let unlicensed or persons without a Sandy Pines golf cart permit to operate your golf cart. Sandy Pines has a program for youth 12 yrs. and older to obtain a golf cart drivers permit. Youth do very well at succeeding in passing and learning with parents. It is irresponsible and negligent in letting youth operate a golf cart without any training or adult guidance.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are under the influence of any substance that has an impact upon your ability to operate a golf cart you should not operate any type of vehicle including a golf cart.

Each day we have many persons that operate a golf cart within our park. We have been fortunate not to have a golf cart accident involving a fatality. We have had golf cart accidents with cuts, abrasions, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries in the past. We have had accidents and ejections that had the potential for fatalities. We have had persons hospitalized for days because of ejections and rollover accidents. Please watch over young children and their stability, location, seating, and security when seated. Please do your part to express your expectations to youth/ persons operating your golf cart. Determine who you want to drive your golf cart and verbally express this to family members and guests. Ensure that persons operating your golf cart has a golf cart permit or State issued driver’s license. Don’t drive and don’t permit others to driver your golf cart while under the influence of alcohol or drugs that impair your ability to operate a vehicle or golf cart.

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