Recognize The Signs of Heat Illness

We’re right in the middle of summer, which means hot temperatures and humidity. Even if you do everything you can to stay cool, heat illness can still happen. That’s why it is so important to know the signs of heat illnesses so that if you’re getting sick, you can take the proper measures before it gets too serious. We’ve outlined the symptoms you need to be aware of to stay safe in hot temperatures.

There are three different types of heat illnesses, and certain risk factors can make you more susceptible to any of them. Certain medications can increase your chances of heat illness, so if you’re on prescriptions it might be wise to check with your doctor. Obesity can affect your body’s ability to cool itself, so take extra care if your weight has been a problem for you. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the heat index, as higher humidity makes it harder to keep cool.

The first of the heat illnesses to pay attention to would be heat cramps. This is the least severe of heat illnesses you can experience. With heat cramps, you will experience muscle cramping and spasms due to sweating in high temperatures or due to heavy exercise. The symptoms are easy to notice. Muscles will become hard and tense, and you will have very painful cramps, typically in your calves. Your skin may also become flushed or moist. If you notice these symptoms, it is important that you move somewhere cool and take a break from your route. Gently stretch the muscles that are cramping and if possible, change clothes. Heat cramps usually do not require medical attention, but it’s a good idea to get in touch with your supervisor to seek advisement.

The next, more serious illness is heat exhaustion. This occurs due to a lack of water and salt in the body, meaning the body is unable to cool itself. Cramping will likely occur with this, but there’s more than that. When one is experiencing heat exhaustion they will likely be faced with nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, and general weakness. You may become confused and dizzy. If this goes untreated it can lead to heat stroke, so it is important to take first aid measures immediately. First, get somewhere cool as quickly as you can. Excess clothing should be removed and you will need to take in fluids, preferably sports drinks. But if you don’t start to feel better, you need to get to the emergency rooms.

And of course, the most dangerous heat illness you can face is heat stroke. This means the body’s system is unable to provide heat regulation because it is overwhelmed. If you are experiencing the following symptoms you need to call 911 immediately. Your skin will feel warm and dry. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, and fatigue can all be present. You will have a fever of 104 degrees or more, and you will likely have a rapid heart rate. You may also experience convulsions and even a loss of consciousness. But you don’t want to wait for all of these symptoms before getting to a hospital. If you experience confusion, anxiety, a changed heartbeat, a rise in body temperature, a decrease or sharp increase in sweating, or convulsions, call 911 immediately. And if any of your other symptoms are not alleviated by moving somewhere cool, get to a hospital because heat stroke could be on its way.

Heat illness is nothing to mess around with. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe.

Keep Cool With Postal Accessories

Summer is here and heat waves are starting across the country. While summer uniforms are important for staying cool, there’s more you can do to stay cool if you’re willing to spend a bit of your own money. Shop beyond Postal shorts, caps, and shirts to get the extras you’ll love.

Staying cool in summer can be tough. The bright sun, hot temperatures, and humidity are all working against you. There’s only so much you can do to combat this when you are away from air conditioning. These four products are simple, but extremely helpful when it comes to staying cool during those hot summer months.

Neck Cooling Wrap

Keeping your neck cool can go a long way in helping keep the rest of you cool. This neck cooling wrap works much better than a regular cloth. It can help to keep you cool for up to 72 hours without needing to be chilled. This lightweight wrap is made from 100% cotton. All you have to do is chill it in water or in the freezer before you head out to work.

This blue wrap’s color scheme allows it to easily mesh with the rest of your uniform. The wrap is thin, so you don’t have to deal with bulkiness the way you might have to with a typical cloth. This item is easy to transport, easy to use, and will easily keep you cooler throughout the day.

Bottle Clip

Staying hydrated while on your route is extremely important. If you are a rural letter carrier, you can’t only rely on keeping water in your vehicle. In fact, we recommend that letter carriers keep water with them at all times. That’s where this bottle clip comes in handy. It easily slides behind your belt so you can keep water with you at all times.

From here you can put the nozzle of your water bottle into the slot and push it forward to get a tight lock. This keeps your water secure so it won’t fall off as you walk. Keeping a bottle of cold water with you can do wonders for helping you stay cool.

Bandanna for Carrier Route

If you want more than a cooling wrap for your neck, this bandanna is perfect for you. This cooling bandana can be worn by itself or under your hat to keep your head cool and comfortable throughout your route. How it works is simple; just soak this bandana for 7-9 minutes and you’ll have a bandana that is cool for up to 72 hours.

Wearing this cooling bandana will keep you cool and reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and other heat related illnesses. This small, comfortable bandana, like the neck cooling wrap, is easy to transport and use, making it a great option for the summer.

USPS Bandana

This economic bandana is not designed to stay cool all day, but it will still help you keep cool while you work in the hot sun. This simple bandana measures 22” x 22”. Wear it while on your route to shield you from the sun. Keeping the sun off of your head can go a remarkably long way when it comes to keeping you cool.

The Postal logo is imprinted in the corner of the bandana, making it fit in perfectly with the rest of your USPS uniform. The white color also won’t soak in the sun’s rays!

Tips For New Letter Carriers

Maybe you’ve just been hired as a full time letter carrier, or maybe you’re starting off as a CCA. No matter the circumstance, starting a new job is always stressful, especially when you’re carrying the mail. We’ve got some tips for new employees that will help you get situated at your new job.

Stick with it. The job is going to be much harder than you are expecting. You will be faced with high expectations, bad weather, rude customers, dogs, confusing routes, and more. It would be easy to give up, but if you stick with the job, you will eventually get used to all of these things. You’ll learn how to deal with the weather and dogs, ignore rude customers, and your routes will become less confusing. This is something that simply comes from experience.

Don’t complain. If you are new to the work, it is likely you will want to complain quite a lot, about how exhausting the job is, the dogs you have to watch for, and the weather. But your new co-workers have gone through it all before, and deal with it on a daily basis. Just remember this was part of the package when you accepted the job. Having a good attitude about it can make your time working much more pleasant.

Take extra care when delivering in darkness. There are many dangers that come with night delivery, and you will likely face them. The most dangerous thing you have to watch out for is injury due to a lack of visibility. This may be because you fail to see obstacles or obstacles, such as vehicles, fail to see you. Be very careful when walking across lawns, on stairs, and in the street. While attacks on letter carriers are not common, criminal activity is more likely to occur at night, so be cautious.

Take extra care if you work in an area with high crime. An attack on you would be a federal offense. Just because you work in a high crime area doesn’t mean you are going to be attacked. But you could be targeted for mail, packages, or even your vehicle. Park your vehicle in a high traffic area, and keep it locked. Just keep your eyes open for suspicious behavior. Don’t be afraid to report it if you feel unsafe.

Remember you do not have to deliver the mail if it is not safe. If there is ice on the stairs, a loose dog running around, or other hazardous conditions, you should not risk injury to deliver the mail. Fill out the appropriate paperwork to indicate the problem.

Take care of yourself in all types of weather. We’re sure you’ve already looked for advice about delivering mail in the rain or snow, but don’t forget about other types of weather. Working in the sun all day doesn’t have the potential to lead only to sunburn, but skin cancer. Take care to apply sunscreen, and take other precautions as necessary to stay safe in all types of conditions.

These are just a few tips to help prepare you for your new career. We hope that we’re able to help, and that you find the job to be fulfilling and rewarding!

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Bites

You’ve of course been warned about the danger of dog bites while on the job, but since National Dog Bite Awareness Week has just passed, we thought we’d give you some facts and tips about dealing with dogs.

The first thing to remember while you’re out working is that any dog is capable of biting. Maybe it’s a tiny, furry puppy, a large, angry dog, or a dog that has been friendly with you before. Never forget that any dog can bite, and so be wary whenever you see dogs on your route.

The next thing to keep in mind is that no matter the injury, it needs to be reported and you need to be checked out. Maybe the dog barely nicked your skin, and maybe it actually attacked you. No matter the case, you have to be safe and get the bite looked at. Thousands of people are bitten by dogs each year, though luckily only a small amount of those people die because of it. Be safe, and get the bite checked if you get one.

Of course the goal is to not get any dog bites, so how do you do this? Well you’ll want to stay away from any dogs you see. Be aware. Listen for any unusual growling. Keep an eye on fences in yards. Even dogs on leashes can be dangerous so be sure to be cautious.

If a dog does start to approach, stay still and quiet. Running away or yelling is only going to rile the dog up. Back away slowly and keep an eye on the dog to see if it follows. If it attacks, your best defense is to fend it off with your mail satchel. Keep it between you and the dog as much as you can. You can of course use dog repellant, but try to get the bag in front of you first. It gives more protection in case you miss the dog.

And if the dog does get you on the ground, protect your head and neck. Curling into a ball gives the dog less places to bite.

Don’t forget that if you feel threatened by a dog on a property, you do not have to deliver the mail to said property. The owner of the dog can pick up mail at the post office until it is guaranteed the dog is kept somewhere where it cannot attack. If the dog is regularly unleashed, you can even stop delivering to the area altogether. Your safety is your top priority.

6,755 postal employees were attacked by dogs this year. That number has continued to rise throughout the years, making it even more important now to stay vigilant.  If you’re still worried about dog bites, check to see if there’s any training in your area, or ask your supervisor and other letter carriers for additional tips.

If you want something with you in case of an attack, check out our letter carrier safety products on our website!

Our Favorite Rain Gear

April is just around the corner, meaning a lot of rain while out on your routes. Today we’re featuring our favorite rain gear that will help keep you dry!

Our first choice is the Postal Rainwear 42” Long Coat.

This long coat is designed to keep more of your body dry than a standard jacket or parka. Use a detachable hood so you can easily remove it when the rain slows down. This coat also features reflective postal ribbons, so you can stay seen and safe even in the pouring rain. This coat is easy to put on and remove, so you can even leave it in your vehicle until you need it.

If you don’t want such a long garment, you may like the Postal Rainwear Lined Parka.

The parka keeps less of you dry, but can be less cumbersome to wear than a long coat. It features a zipper front along with snap closures to keep you extra warm and dry on chilly, wet days. Like our long coat, it is designed with reflective postal ribbons to increase your safety. This parka also has an attached roll-up hood, so there’s no need to attach or detach anything to keep your head dry.

If you choose to stick with a shorter coat, you may want Postal Rainwear Trousers.

Not only will these trousers keep you dry, they’ll keep you comfortable. They are made with an elastic waistband, fly front, take up snaps on the waist, AND slash openings on the sides so they can slip over shoes with ease. Like our other rain gear, these trousers feature postal reflective ribbons. Pairing these with the right jacket will keep you as dry as possible on your route.

One of our absolute favorites is the Postal Rainwear 35” Long Cape.

This cape keeps the rain off not only you, but your mail. Simply slip this on, attach it to your coat, and keep your mail safe and dry inside. This is the perfect item to keep in your vehicle for impromptu rain showers, since it is a simple addition to your uniform. The reflective postal ribbon is on this cape as well. It’s a favorite among letter carriers for rainy conditions!

The last item we’re featuring is the Postal Rainwear Detachable Hood.

This item, like all the rain gear we’ve featured here today, is certified by the United States Navy Clothing and Textile Facility. You can snap it onto raincoats so you have a rain repellent hood whenever you need it. The sizing is universal, so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect one for your head. This is a great addition to our other rain gear items to keep you extra dry.

Ice Safety

Winter isn’t quite over yet, and as temperatures start to warm up you may actually start to see more ice while on your route due to freezing rain. Slipping and falling can cause serious injury, especially if you fall on stairs or while on the road. We have some tips that will help you stay safe while trekking across ice.

Wear the appropriate footwear for ice. This may mean investing in the right shoes, or paying for ice cleats for extra safety while walking. If the soles or heels of your shoes are smooth, you need new ones for icy conditions.

Stick to sidewalks. It’s not uncommon to take shortcuts across lawns, but doing so when there’s snow and ice can lead to injury. You have no way of knowing what obstacles, including ice, are hidden under the snow.

Watch where you are stepping, not the mail. Being distracted for a few seconds can result in a painful fall.

If you are walking on ice, take short, small steps and move slowly, almost like you are shuffling. If you’re moving too fast it’s easy to lose your balance and have your foot slip out from under you.

Walk so you’re slightly bent forward, and try to keep your center of gravity as fully on your feet as possible.

Always hold on to a railing if one is available when climbing stairs. It will keep you steady on your way up.

Be careful when exiting or entering your vehicle. Use the car as support when you step either in or out.

Watch out for black ice. Any surface that appears wet can be black ice during the winter months, so approach with caution.

Follow these tips to stay as safe as possible during winter!

Warm Your Hands and Head

We’re right in the middle of winter, and it’s clear that keeping warm is important. Having a warm, reliable coat of some kind is usually the first thing on people’s minds, but there are other body parts you have to keep in mind as well. Your head and your hands can quickly and easily get cold, which can make the rest of you feel cold pretty quickly as well.

To keep your hands warm in winter, you need good gloves. These gloves should generally be thick, waterproof, and lined for warmth. For cold days you’ll want hats that cover the ears snugly, so no wind can get to them. We want to feature some of our best hats and gloves that will keep you warm for the rest of winter.

Postal Thinsulate Winter Gloves

This form fitting glove is lined with insulation for extra warmth on those cold winter days. The waterproof bladder keeps the water out and your hands dry. These gloves are designed with a sewn-in pocket for hand warmers so you can stay extra toasty. The fleece cuff keeps the wind and water out. This is a great glove for cold, snowy conditions.

 

Winter Trooper Cap

Keep your ears warm with this fur-lined Trooper cap! The fur is sure to keep you toasty through the snow and wind. This cap is designed with ear flaps that can be used for added warmth on those very cold days. The cap features the USPS insignia patch on the front, making you easily identifiable while on your route. You can be sure you’re getting the quality you expect, as it is made here in the USA.

 

WaterProof Winter Gloves

These gloves are specifically designed for cold, wet, wintery conditions. These gloves have triple layer technology to keep your hands warm, dry, and comfortable. They are 100% waterproof and windproof to keep the cold out, while the micro-fleece liner keeps warmth in. This is the perfect all-purpose winter work glove!

 

Postal Hat with Facemask

This knit postal hat will keep you warm in cold conditions. It comes with an attached face mask which can be tucked away or pulled down to keep the wind off your face. This hat features the USPS insignia patch on the front of the hat to make you easily identifiable. Get a quality hat you can count on when you invest in this union made product!

 

Lake Effect Waterproof Gloves

Use these Lake Effect Waterproof gloves to keep your hands dry and comfortable even in the wettest conditions. They feature Hydroblok, which is a breathable but waterproof membrane inside the durable woven shell. These gloves have superior gripping and Thinsulation insulation to keep the gloves soft and warm.

 

 

These products are sure to keep your head and hands warm, dry, and comfortable this winter. Stay warm out there!

Fight Back Against Holiday Stress

While the holidays are touted as a magical, special time of year, in reality most people have a difficult time enjoying the holidays due to stress. And never has that been truer than it is for USPS employees. It is the busiest time of year for mail and packages, and that can lead to many overwhelming feelings.

While you can’t stop the job from being stressful, there are ways you can fight back against the stress from your job and the holidays so you can actually take some time to enjoy them.

Changing your attitude is the biggest step you can take to manage holiday stress. This is because a lot of the stress felt during the holiday season is manufactured. Instead of thinking about the shopping you have to do, the food you have to cook, and the family you have to visit (all between your long hours at work), think about what makes the holidays magical. Think about the look on your friend’s and family’s faces when they open that gift. Think about time around the dinner table with family. When you do this, you bring positive images to your head, versus negative.

Stay healthy. It’s easy to skip the gym or break a diet during the holidays. We’re not saying you should skip a holiday event because it is normally your gym time, or stay away from the office holiday potluck, but be mindful of your health. Exercise reduces anxiety. Plus, if you regularly exercise healthy habits, dropping them can cause guilt and extra stress.

Let yourself say no. It can be hard to say no to plans when they are offered to you. We’re all guilty of checking our schedules, finding that yes, we have one single day free, and making plans with others. While being social can reduce stress, being too social can lead to you becoming overwhelmed, and can make your plans feel like a chore, instead of fun.

Stick to a budget. It’s very easy to go overboard during the holidays, but going overboard is going to add a lot of stress. Look at your finances and determine how much you can afford to spend on food, presents, and decorations. Your sister doesn’t “need” you to spend $100 on her. Making gifts is a great way to save money. If you stay on budget, worrying about paying your credit card bill won’t be in the back of your mind for the rest of the month.

Take some time to yourself to relax. This includes your friends, family, and significant other. Take a relaxing bath. Read a book. Go for a walk. Take some time to be alone with your thoughts and alone with an activity you enjoy. It allows your mind to settle and will help reduce that stress.

We understand how the stress of the holidays can pile up with the stress of your career. The USPS delivers millions of letters and packages, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the consumerism of the holiday. That only makes it more important to enjoy the things that really matter, which is time to enjoy yourself, and time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays from all of us at MyPostalUniforms.com.

Get Your Free 2017 Uniforms Catalog

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The MyPostalUniforms.com 2017 uniforms catalog is now available both online and in print format. Ordering a uniforms catalog is a quick, free way to get information about uniform purchasing to USPS employees.

Our new catalog is filled with products for all facets of the USPS, so you can rest assured that no matter the position, this catalog will have the uniforms all USPS employees need.

Here’s a breakdown of what you will find in our catalog.

Page 1-13 Letter/Carrier + Motor Vehicle Operator. In these pages you will find hats, shirts, pants and shorts, accessories, outerwear, and more

Page 16-23 Retail Operations. In this section window clerks will find all the uniform items they need to do their jobs such as shirts, pants, accessories, sweaters, and much more.

Page 25-29 Work Clothes. Shirts, pants, and outerwear are just a few of the products you will find in this section of the catalog.

Page 30-44 Footwear. You’ll be blown away by our wide range of footwear products. From boots and shoes to insoles and socks, we have it all.

Page 45-49 Gloves Whether you need a waterproof, windproof glove to protect you in winter or a simple utility glove, we can deliver.

Page 53-64 and 66-87 all contain non-reimbursable specialties, some for carriers and some for vehicles. Here you’ll find pins and aprons, straps and cooling cloths, safety vests and postal flags, and much, much more.

That’s just the bare bones of our catalog. This outline doesn’t include some of our smaller sections, such as stamps or CCA uniforms. You can view it online or click here to request your free copy of our 2017 uniforms catalog!

Our Five Favorite Fall Outerwear Products

Fall means it’s time to put away those shorts and start donning that outerwear to help combat the chill of the season. If you’re still looking for that perfect outerwear item, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a list of our favorite fall outerwear products to help you find the perfect items for the season.

  1. Postal Jacket with Zip-Out Linern1026555b

This jacket comes with a zip-out liner, making it great for those finicky fall temperatures. The insulated liner provides you with warmth for those chilly days, and can easily be removed as temperatures climb throughout the day. Reflective material is woven on each pocket as well as across the back to make letter carriers easier to see in dark and rainy conditions. This versatile jacket is made right here in the USA, so you can be sure you’re receiving a quality product.

  1. Thinsulate Postal Jacket with Zip-Out Linern1026555

Are you looking for a jacket you can use as you get closer to winter? Like the first jacket we mentioned, this USPS jacket also features a zip-out liner. The difference is that this insulated liner provides you with more warmth, making this a great option for November when the threat of an early snow looms. This jacket also features reflective materials on the pockets and back for letter carrier safety, and is also made right here in the USA.

  1. Postal Vestn1026552d

Invest in a product that is made in the USA and approved by the USPS. This insulated postal vest is perfect for cooling temperatures. It will keep you warm but give your arms plenty of freedom to move without being weighed down by fabric. To keep letter carriers safe, reflective material is woven into the pocket trim as well as across the back of the vest. Vest comes in both regular and long options.

  1. Postal Heavyweight Jacket/Linern1027785e

This USPS heavyweight jacket/liner is great for all types of weather. The insulated outershell will keep you warm, but it is also breathable, so you won’t feel stifled by the fabric. The outershell is made from water repellant polyester so you’ll stay dry during autumn rain. There’s plenty of fleece lining to keep you from getting chilly. Jacket is made right here in the USA, so you can rest assured this durable product is made to last.

  1. Postal Windbreakern1026554b

USA made, USPS certified…this postal windbreaker is sure to be an excellent choice for fall weather. It will keep you dry from the chilly fall rains, and keep you comfortable despite the cool autumn wind. This windbreaker resists both water and stains. It is designed with reflective material on both pockets to make you easier to spot. Use it for fall this year, then pull it back out for rainy spring conditions next year!

These five items are all excellent choices when it comes to outerwear for fall. If you’ve not quite found what you’re looking for, take some time to browse our full selection of outerwear.

Enjoy fall while you can, because winter is just around the corner!




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