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Practical tips for keeping young drivers safe

Drivers’ education, graduated licensing systems and teen-driving programs provide youth important information and the opportunity to practice safe driving.

(ARA) — With the growing use of cell phones and text messaging, it’s not surprising that risky and distracted driving are the main causes of teen motor vehicle accidents. A 2009 Pew survey estimates that 26 percent of all American teens have texted while driving, and 43 percent have talked on a cell phone while driving. Today’s teen drivers face an increasing number of risks and distractions, making safe driving habits more important than ever. At the same time, teen driving laws are evolving, and fewer public schools across the country can afford to offer

drivers’ education. Many community organizations and even large businesses have stepped in to proactively help teens learn the importance of practicing safe driving skills. For example, UPS, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and UPS NASCAR driver David Ragan are partnering for the second consecutive year to present UPS Road Code, a comprehensive safe driving course, based on UPS’s own driver training programs, to help teach teens across the nation the importance of safe driving and defensive driving skills. “When I’m on the race track, I’m surrounded by

about 40 other cars while driving sometimes more than 150 mph. I can’t afford any distractions,” says Ragan, UPS Road Code spokesperson. “Defensive driving is a priority for me on and off the track, and I think there needs to be greater education for American teenagers on what it means to be a safe driver.” A teen’s first priority while driving should be to pay attention to the highway. Some helpful tips for keeping their eyes on the road include: • Give enough distance between your vehicle and PLEASE SEE TEENS, PAGE 15






Don’t let fall asthma triggers spoil your child’s fun (ARA) — Fall means back-to-school, cooler weather — and an increase in asthma attacks. In fact, childhood asthma statistics show that children with asthma are nearly twice as likely to visit the emergency department when school starts as at other times of the year. That’s largely because autumn allergens and viral infections can unleash childhood asthma symptoms. A chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes difficulty in breathing, asthma affects more than 23 million Americans, including 7 million children. It is the most common chronic illness in childhood, leading to 12.8

million missed school days each year. And most people don’t outgrow asthma — it accounts for 10.1 million lost work days. “Many people end up in the emergency room because they are unaware they or their children suffer from asthma, or they know they have asthma but don’t have it under control,� says Dr. James Sublett, an allergist and chairman of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s (ACAAI) public relations committee. “Asthma can be life-threatening, and although it’s not curable, there are a number of asthma treatment options.� Suspect you or your child

might have asthma? The ACAAI suggests the following tips for breathing easy this fall: • Get tested, get help: Allergists are specially trained to diagnose and treat asthma. In fact, research shows that asthma sufferers referred to an allergist experienced 76 percent fewer emergency room visits than those not treated by an asthma specialist. Visit to take an asthma relief self-test, read about patients who have their asthma under control and find an allergist near you. • Get treatment: You PLEASE SEE TRIGGERS, PAGE 11

Whether during a game of tag at recess, a sprint down the sidelines in a soccer game or a fall fun run, exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. Be prepared with a quick relief inhaler.

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What you should know before you choose a home fire sprinkler system (ARA) — Most people have never stopped to consider the various options available for home fire sprinkler systems. That’s because, until now, most homes were not protected by a residential sprinkler system. In response to growing concerns about fatalities caused by household fires, as well as enhanced education regarding the effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems, building codes are changing to prompt an increase in the number of homes having sprinklers. January 2011 is when the new code takes effect requiring that single-family homes constructed after that time contain sprinklers (although each state has the option to adopt the code on its own timeline). As a result, homeowners who never gave a second thought to fire sprinklers are now faced with critical decisions. “It’s important to realize that not all fire sprinkler systems are the same,” says Matthew Kuwatch of BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems. “Although the general operation of a sprinkler head being activated by the presence of a fire is similar, the overall performance and capabilities of the material in the system vary greatly. That’s why it’s important to take the time to research all options in order to choose the right solution for your family.” Decisions need to be made relative to both the

design of the system, as well as the piping material. A vast majority of homes today have what is called a stand-alone system. This means the fire sprinkler system operates independently of the home’s plumbing system. The other design option for homeowners is a multipurpose system which, as the name implies, combines the fire sprinkler and plumbing systems. Despite the fact that multipurpose systems have been on the market for many years, only some areas of the country currently allow the installation of a multipurpose system as a result of concerns regarding the system’s long-term reliability and problems with insufficient water flow. Another important decision is the selection of the material used for the pipe and fittings in the system. For residential fire sprinkler systems, four materials are approved for use — steel, copper, CPVC and PEX. Historically, steel and copper systems were installed. But escalating material costs and problems with corrosion have opened the door for newer, more reliable technologies. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, better known as CPVC, which has been used successfully in fire protection applications under the BlazeMaster brand name for more than 25 years, is the most specified non-metallic fire sprinkler piping material in the world today. Com-

In response to growing concerns about fatalities caused by household fires, as well as enhanced education regarding the effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems, building codes are changing to prompt an increase in the number of homes having sprinklers. pared to metallic systems, it offers a number of benefits, including immunity to corrosion, ease of installation and reduced costs. Its overall cost also compares favorably with cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), another non-metallic material approved for fire sprinkler systems, although only in multipurpose designs. Recent cost studies have confirmed that the installation of a BlazeMaster CPVC fire sprinkler system, in particular, results in the least expensive option for homeowners. The larger

internal diameter (bore size) of CPVC pipe delivers increased water flow and superior hydraulics. Because PEX pipe has a smaller bore size, homeowners often have to pay more to buy larger pipe in order to meet minimum flow requirements. Or, they may need to add a pump, which also increases the overall cost of the system. With something as important as life safety, however, cost is hopefully not the only consideration when choosing one fire sprinkler system over another. Overall safety

performance tops the list of criteria for most homeowners. The superior safety performance of CPVC over PEX is one more reason why the thermoplastic is so popular. Specifically, CPVC will not sustain combustion. It stops burning as soon as the ignition source is removed. PEX, on the other hand, will continue to burn — and drip — long after the flame has been removed, possibly contributing to the severity of the fire. In addition, thirdparty test results prove that the smoke generated from CPVC is no more toxic than

that from traditional building materials, such as wood. If you are getting ready to build a new home, chances are that you have spent considerable time comparing your options for aesthetic items such as cabinets, carpeting and lighting fixtures. Choosing the right fire sprinkler system deserves at least the same amount of deliberation and shopping for the sake of your family’s safety. To learn more about your options, visit or





Help keep tweens and teens healthy with up-to-date vaccinations (ARA) — Vaccinations are not just for younger children. Even though kids may have received their recommended vaccinations when they were younger, they still may need additional vaccines as adolescents. To help protect preteens and teens from serious diseases and keep them healthy for school, talk with their health care provider and make sure their vaccinations are up to date. In addition, their school nurse is a great resource for

general health and immunization information. In a recent conversation about immunizations, Sandi Delack from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) provided answers to some important questions: Q. What vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens? A. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends: • Tetanus, diphtheria

and pertussis (whooping cough): Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccines) is a single booster vaccine that helps to protect against all three diseases. Experts recommend that adolescents receive a single dose of this vaccine at 11 to 12 years if they have completed the childhood diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and whole cell pertussis (DTP)/diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccination series and have

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not received a tetanus and diphtheria toxoid (Td). Persons aged 13 through 18 years who have not received Tdap should receive a dose. • Human papillomavirus: HPV vaccine helps protect against certain types of the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Experts recommend that girls get this set of three vaccines at age 11 or 12 years. Catch-up vaccination is also recommended in girls 13 through 18 years. Boys between ages 9 through

18 years may choose to get this set of three vaccines to prevent genital warts. • Meningococcal: MCV4 helps protect against meningococcal disease (meningitis). Experts recommend that adolescents get a single dose of this vaccine at age 11 or 12 years. • Influenza (flu) and H1N1 Influenza (swine flu): The influenza vaccine for the 2010-2011 influenza season helps to protect against influenza (also known as the “flu”), including the H1N1 strain

of influenza that caused the recent pandemic. The CDC recommends that preteens/ teens get the flu vaccine yearly. If not required for school attendance in your state, additional vaccines to be discussed with your health care provider or school nurse include those for chicken pox; measles, mumps, rubella; pneumococcal disease; polio; Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Q. What happens if my preteen or teen misses his or her vaccines?

’10 EMERGENCY HANDBOOK A. There are many reasons why preteens and teens may miss getting the recommended vaccinations on time, including moving to a new state, switching health care providers or the vaccine may have been unavailable when they were younger. Whatever the reason, it is not too late for your preteen or teen to catch up on missed vaccines. Talk to your health care provider or school nurse to ensure your preteen or teen is up-to-date on recommended vaccines for their age group and caught up on any missed vaccines. Q. Does my preteen or teen need to get vaccinated again if he or she was vaccinated as a child? A. There are many times throughout your child’s life

where it is recommended he or she receives additional vaccinations to help protect them from contagious diseases. Even though preteens and teens may have received the recommended immunizations when they were younger, protection from some vaccines may decline, leaving them at risk for infection from certain diseases. For example, the whooping cough vaccination wears off five to 10 years after the completion of childhood vaccination, so a booster vaccine is recommended. Q. Where can I find more information about preteen/teen immunization? A. The CDC recommended vaccination schedule can


be found at In addition to your health care provider, your child’s school nurse is a great resource to learn more about recommended immunizations. Your school nurse has access to the most up-to-date information on immunization recommendations and school immunization requirements. They can also discuss other questions or concerns regarding your preteen’s or teen’s health. After all, the goal of the school nurse is to help keep students healthy so they can succeed in school.



GlaxoSmithKline has provided funding, editorial and other assistance to the National Association of School Nurses for this campaign.

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Ten simple ways to make your home safe for every generation who lives in it (ARA) — Most of us start life depending on our parents to take care of us. But as they age, chances are the roles will reverse. And, whether you provide additional help in their own homes — or move aging parents into your home — how do you prepare to meet the new needs of aging adults? Luckily, there are many simple, quick, affordable — and even stylish and savvy — updates that can make homes much safer

and more enjoyable for you, your family and your parents. • Both kids and older adults have reduced reflexes and balance. Spruce up the look of your home — and avoid tripping hazards — by removing clutter and items you no longer use (especially obstacles in walkways). • Showers can be an enjoyable and luxurious part of anyone’s day — if they are safe. While you probably don’t want to ren-

ovate the shower, simple additions of bath safety products can make it safer and more enjoyable. Start by adding rubber grips to the bottom of the shower to avoid slick surfaces. Next, take a seat with a comfortable shower chair and enjoy a shower massage with a multi-function hand held showerhead. Products like the Home Care by Moen shower chair and handheld shower with innovative palm feature are ideal choices at affordable prices




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to add safety, style and spa enjoyment to the shower. • Eco-friendly adjustments not only can make you feel good about preserving natural resources for your family, they can also help lower energy costs (ideal for tight budgets). Simple steps can include replacing standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, insulating doors and windows and swapping faucets and showerheads with new water-saving Wa-

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terSense-labeled models. • In the course of a day, you grip many objects — from cups and pens, to door knobs and faucet handles. Swapping out door knobs or faucets with knobs for lever-handle models can make these everyday tasks a bit easier — especially for smaller or arthritic hands. • For any age, stairs are a falling hazard in homes — whether it’s one step or 20. To increase safety, add hand

rails or decorative hand grips in high-traffic doorways where there may be a step, such as the garage or front entry. Home Care by Moen offers attractivelooking 9-inch grips that install easily and blend in with your decor. • Your home is your safe haven ... so make sure it is protected. In the bathroom where slick surfaces can be falling hazards, add functional — yet fashionable — grab bars from Home Care by Moen.

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And, in case of unforeseen falls or other home accidents, home security systems can give you peace of mind to know that fire-, medical- or emergencyresponse is available for you and your loved ones at the touch of a button. • Did you also know that by age 60 the average person requires 15 times more lighting than when they were 10 years old? Brighten up the home with additional reading lamps in bedrooms and family rooms, undercabinet task lighting in the kitchen, motion-sensor lights near entrances and nightlights in hallways. • According to the Home Safety Council, falls are the leading cause (66 percent) of all nonfatal home injuries. To help you — or your

loved ones — avoid becoming a statistic, remove throw rugs or ensure that they have a non-slip backing to provide more firm footing. • With busy lifestyles, it’s tough to keep up landscaping. Making a few modifications to the yard can help ease the burden. Replace large grassy areas that require frequent mowing with rock gardens or mulch beds. Additionally, choose drought-resistant perennial plants and shrubs to save time and money on watering — and ensure you don’t have to plant new each spring. • Are the washer and dryer in the basement? Are the bedroom and bathroom upstairs? Since stairs can be difficult to navigate for children or aging parents, having all

’10 EMERGENCY HANDBOOK the necessities on one floor is ideal. While it may not be in the budget to move everything to the main floor now, gradually start getting ready by wiring a closet or small room for the laundry — or planning to expand a half bath to a full bath. With a few minor updates, you can breathe easier knowing your home is safer for your loved ones — both young and old. For more information on safety products from Home Care by Moen, visit www.moen. com/homecare. Showers can be an enjoyable and luxurious part of anyone’s day — if they are safe. While you probably don’t want to renovate the shower, simple additions of bath safety products can make it safer and more enjoyable.

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Keeping children with diabetes safe at school

Diabetes management is 24/7 for children and parents dealing with the disease; diabetes doesn’t take a break during school hours.

(ARA) — School is supposed to be a safe haven for children, a healthy place where they can learn and grow. Every school year, millions of American children go through our school systems safely and securely. But children with diabetes face a unique set of safety challenges in the classroom. Diabetes affects about 200,000 children in the United States. Diabetes management is 24/7 for children and parents dealing with the disease; diabetes doesn’t take a break during school hours. Keeping a child with diabetes safe at school requires a collaborative effort among parents, doctors and other diabetes health care professionals, school nurses, teachers and administrators, the American Diabetes Association (Association) points out in its Safe at School Campaign. There are schools across the coun-

try where excellent plans are in place to provide the care that children with diabetes need to thrive at school. Yet not all schools are easing the way for children with diabetes. For example, in California an appeals court recently ruled that state law prohibits school employees who are not nurses from volunteering to help children with diabetes by administering needed insulin. With only one nurse for every 2,700 students in the state, many children with diabetes will not get insulin when they need it — and their health and academic progress will suffer as a result. “We are very upset with the California ruling because it harms children, and are trying to get it overturned,” says Daniel Kohrman, chair of the Association’s legal advocacy subcommittee. “Diabetes experts from parents to the doctors and nurses who care for children

with diabetes to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all agree that non-medical school personnel can — and should — be trained to administer insulin.” To address barriers to essential diabetes care at school — such as the one in California — the association created its Safe at School Campaign. The Campaign is dedicated to protecting the rights of children nationwide who face discrimination at school because of their diabetes, and provides parents and educators with guidance on how to help children with diabetes stay medically safe at school. “It’s vital that, as students go back to school, they know they will be in a medically safe environment that affords them the same educational opportunities as other students,” says Dr. Larry Deeb, former association president and the Safe at School

Working Group’s co-chairman. The association works to protect children through a four-step process of education, negotiation, and — when needed — litigation and legislation. For example, a recently enacted law in Florida ended a practice in which students with diabetes in Jacksonville were being segregated into a few schools rather than providing care closer to home, while a new law in New Jersey empowers teachers, coaches and others to provide emergency care to students who are experiencing life-threatening low blood glucose and allows students who are able to do so to self-manage their disease. To get help from the association, to read more about ADA’s Safe at School Campaign or to join the fight to stop diabetes in your community, go to or call (800) DIABETES.

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TRIGGERS, FROM PAGE THREE can treat asthma in a number of ways, including medication that may be taken daily for long-term control and inhalers that can be used to give quick relief when symptoms flare. Often, allergies trigger asthma. To help keep allergies in check, immunotherapy, also called allergy shots, may help. An allergist can help you determine what you’re allergic to and suggest treatments. • Avoid sniffling, sneezing and wheezing: Kids share lockers, desks — and germs. Viral respiratory infections are widespread this time of year and are the leading cause of severe

asthma attacks. If you or your child suffers from asthma, do everything you can to avoid colds and other illnesses, including washing your hands frequently and getting a flu shot. • Prepare before working up a sweat: Whether during a game of tag at recess, a sprint down the sidelines in a soccer game or a fall fun run, exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. Be prepared with a quick relief inhaler. • Beware the weather: Fall is known for fluctuating weather conditions. Changes, such as cold, extreme dryness, wetness or wind, can trigger or worsen asthma. • Look out for new triggers: The start of the school year brings exposure to potential new asthma



triggers. Chalk dust, moldy carpeting and the class pet hamster all can be triggers for an asthmatic child. Millions also suffer from hay fever caused by ragweed which is blooming and blowing around in the fall. If your child has asthma, tell the teacher what symptoms to look for and discuss what to do. Your allergist can help you develop an asthma action plan to share with teachers and coaches to make sure your child is safe. To learn more about how to protect your child from allergies and asthma, or to find an allergist visit www.

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Whatever it takes‌ In today’s society, it is widely considered “coolâ€? for the younger generation to reply “whateverâ€? when they don’t like being given stern advice. However, when it comes to education, drugs and drug use, “whateverâ€? is not the answer. Each of us are accountable for our own actions. Don’t let drugs ruin your life, be a productive citizen and provider. Picture yourselves in a room all alone, surrounded by doors, all of which are open. Then imagine a door closing each time you fail to heed stern advice, use drugs, or skip school. Now, what if each of these were doors of opportunity? Eventually, they will all close and you will be left alone to make your own way in life with limited opportunity.



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Tips for back-to-school safety (ARA) — The back-toschool season can be both an exciting and anxious time. As a parent, you can teach your child a few lessons, and take a few precautions yourself, to put your mind at ease when children leave home to go back to the classroom. From the lunch container you buy to teaching your child about playground safety, you can do a lot to prevent your child from falling ill or getting hurt. “Parents need not worry about sending their children back to school. By doing a few little things to ensure your child’s safety, you’ll

put your worries to rest and allow yourself to have a fun and stress-free start to the school year,â€? says Dorothy Drago, child product safety expert and author of “From Crib to Kindergarten: The Essential Child Safety Guide.â€? Drago offers the following tips to consider as your child goes back to school: • Food safety: When packing a lunch for your child, make sure you keep items that need to be cold (like cheese or yogurt) at the proper temperature by storing them in an insulated container. Products that keep foods and beverages

at the proper temperature for longer, like the Thermos FUNtainer series that includes both insulated beverage bottles and food jars, inhibit the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria. • Transportation safety: Make sure to check with the school on approved walking or biking routes. Many schools are making efforts to communicate with parents about this issue to encourage active lifestyles, while also keeping kids safe. If you are buying a new bike helmet for your child before school, make sure it fits correctly and refer to the

helmet wearing instructions to ensure the safest ride. If you bike with your kids, wear a helmet to set a good example. Also, remember that safely crossing the street is not always such an easy task for children. Find out if the school has crossing guards on your child’s route to school. • Product safety: Make sure any products, from art supplies to lunch boxes, are certified under the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). “Independent testing results like the CPSIA-required compliance certificates are a smart and easy way for

parents to validate that the products they purchase meet current safety regulations and standards,� says Drago. This information should be available on the product’s packaging or detailed on the company’s website. For example, Thermos, the leading manufacturer of lunch storage products, makes it easier for parents to find this CPSIA certification information for their products. By visiting www. parents can view the results of these critical compliance tests. • Playground safety: Playgrounds are fun areas

for kids of all ages but they can be dangerous. Take a look at how much protective surfacing is under equipment. There should be at least nine inches of mulch, and it should be replenished or re-spread as needed to ensure that the depth is maintained. Encourage kids to play with the existing play structures and to never add jump ropes or other toys because they may introduce a strangulation risk. With these safety issues talked about and taken care of, nothing should stand in the way of a great start to the school year for you and your child.

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TEENS, FROM PAGE TWO the vehicle in front of you to allow you a view of all your surroundings. A driver should be able to see the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you. • Identify “stale” green lights — a light the driver did not see turn green — and prepare to stop if it turns red before you reach it. • Be observant and expect other drivers to do unpredictable things while driving around you, such as speeding and changing lanes. • Use your signals, lights and horn to communicate with other drivers on the road.

• Establish cushion space by delaying your start from an intersection by three seconds after the vehicle in front of you has moved. • Check your mirrors every five to eight seconds because hazards that can cause an accident aren’t always in front of you. Learning the risks and consequences of driving, plus hands-on experience behind the wheel, is essential to improve driving among teens. Drivers’ education, graduated licensing systems and teendriving programs provide youth important information and the opportunity to practice safe driving. More teen safe-driving tips from UPS Road Code can be found online at

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Is your home under-protected from fire and CO poisoning? (ARA) — Just when you think you’re safe, a recent nationwide survey has uncovered that a majority of American homes are dangerously under-protected when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Even those equipped with smoke and CO alarms are at risk according to the study, which revealed that twothirds of U.S. households are not in compliance with the national recommendation for the number of smoke alarms set by the National

Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Even more alarming is the 90 percent of homes that do not meet the recommendation for number of carbon monoxide detectors, including 40 percent that report having zero working carbon monoxide detectors. “These statistics confirm what we’ve feared for years — that far too many homes in this country are not as well protected as they should be against the dangers of fire and CO,” says

Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert, a leader in residential fire and CO detection devices. “What’s more troubling is that many people don’t realize that their families are at risk.” Despite the low number of NFPA-compliant homes, nine out of 10 respondents to the survey reported feeling “certain” their homes are adequately equipped with smoke alarms, and 62 percent reported the same for CO alarms.

“There is a clear and concerning lack of awareness among homeowners regarding the number of alarms required to fully protect a home and its residents,” adds Hanson. The current recommendation by the NFPA (www. is to have at least one CO alarm on each level and one in or near every bedroom or sleeping area. For smoke alarms, homes should have one installed at the top of each staircase and one in every bedroom

or sleeping area. To put this into perspective, the average-sized home in America — a two-story, three bedroom house — would need a minimum of four smoke alarms and five carbon monoxide alarms to comply with NFPA guidelines. In addition to installing the recommended number of alarms, The Home Safety Council ( suggests implementing the following precautions at home to help

protect against fire and CO poisoning: • Regularly test smoke and CO alarms: regular maintenance is just as important as having the correct number of alarms. Be sure to test alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year. Smoke alarm units should be replaced every 10 years and CO alarms every five years. These are simple tasks, but vitally important when it comes to home safety. • Plan and practice a fire safety drill: identify

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exits and if necessary, equip second-floor rooms with escape ladders. Practice actually going through the motions, and finally, identify a meeting place outside so everyone is accounted for. â&#x20AC;˘ Add a â&#x20AC;&#x153;networkâ&#x20AC;? of smoke alarms: Many homeowners may not realize there are alarm networks available for home use, which are wirelessly connected and â&#x20AC;&#x153;talkâ&#x20AC;? to one another to alert to a fire in a different room. First Alert ONELINK alarms are connected, and if one alarm goes off, all alarms sound and can â&#x20AC;&#x153;tellâ&#x20AC;? homeowners the location of the fire. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each year nearly 3,000 Americans die from home fires and CO poisoning claims another 450 lives,â&#x20AC;? says Hanson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is to bring these numbers down

by continually educating consumers about the dangers of fire and CO and teaching them how to protect themselves, their families and their homes.â&#x20AC;? For those in need of new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, a wide variety of innovative products are available with an assortment of features to meet different needs. First Alert products range from combination smoke and CO units to smoke alarms with escape lights, along with basic battery-powered products. These smoke and CO alarms are available at national retailers or for at www. For more information and a complete home safety checklist, visit www.

â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10 EMERGENCY HANDBOOK


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Far too many homes in this country are not as well protected as they should be against the dangers of fire and CO,â&#x20AC;? says Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert.


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Road safety: 10 tips to keep you safe on your bike (ARA) — Bicycling for fun, exercise and to commute to work is exploding throughout the United States. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans biking to work has increased 43 percent between 2000 and 2008. As the popularity of biking rises, an increasing number of cities and states are taking notice, creating new bicycleonly trails, designing commuter routes for bicyclers, and reviewing and creating new laws and regulations in support of bicyclers. While bicycling is fun for all ages, provides immense health benefits, reduces commuting costs and is good for the environment, it also comes with its risks— primarily when cyclists use the

same roads as cars. As more cyclists hit the roads, the odds of a collision with an automobile, or even other riders and pedestrians, increases, especially in urban areas. Here are some tips from, a leading online source of legal information, about what all bicycle riders need to know: • Know your bicycle laws. Many states have specific laws pertaining to operating a bicycle, including laws involving helmets and the use of lights and other safety devices on a bicycle. Cyclists also should become familiar with laws involving the interaction between bicyclists and motor vehicle operators — for example, regulations involving the safe passing of bicyclists by an au-

tomobile or motorcycle driver. While some states have enacted bicycle-specific laws — such as riding through red lights when no cross traffic is present — that are designed to protect bicycle riders, it’s important for bicyclists to realize that when car meets bicycle, the car usually wins. • Don’t be distracted. Bicyclists need to be focused riders while they are sharing the road. The use of iPod devices and cell phones can distract riders from the road. • Wear a helmet. In response to the alarming rate of bicycle-related deaths caused by trauma to the head, a growing number of states are mandating helmet use, especially among riders 16 and younger. In 2008, 91 percent of the cyclists killed

were not wearing a bicycle helmet. • Don’t drink. Drinking is never safe with any vehicle, and this includes biking. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23 percent of the cyclists killed in 2008 were drunk. • Prevent collisions. Bicyclists should take preventive steps to avoid collisions with motor vehicles. For example, at an intersection, always make eye contact with nearby drivers. If they don’t respond, wave to the driver until you get their attention. When passing parked cars, always ride a few feet away from the open door zone. • Be seen. Besides a bicycle helmet, it’s essential

for bicyclists to wear bright clothing with reflective strips or zones to be better seen by car drivers. In addition, cyclists should equip their bikes with front and rear lights and reflectors to enhance visibility during low-light conditions. Cyclists should always carry some sort of identification with emergency phone numbers in the event they’re injured and are unable to call for help on their own. • Let them know you’re coming. A cyclist has every right to be on the road and it is a pedestrian’s responsibility to make sure they are also obeying traffic laws and being safe. Avoid surprising pedestrians and other cyclists by yelling to them before passing, or ringing a bell on blind curves and corners.

• When a bicyclist is hit. In some states automobile drivers are automatically presumed to be at fault if they strike a bicyclist. However, that may be overturned by evidence of fault on the part of the bicyclist; for example, if the bicyclist was riding at night without a headlight, no reflective gear, etc. When a bicyclist hits a pedestrian or another biker, it’s the responsibility of the biker to remain at the scene and wait until medical attention arrives, if necessary. • Biker insurance. Thousands of bicycle riders are injured every year. If you have auto or home insurance, check with your insurance agent to see if that same PLEASE SEE BIKE SAFETY, PAGE 22

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A healthy start to the school year: tips for parents if your child has a chronic condition (ARA) — From buying new supplies to soothing first-day jitters, parents have a lot to do to get their kids ready for the new school year. And if your child has a chronic disease, the start of school may feel especially stressful. Eric, a nurse and father of two sons with hemophilia — a disease in which a person’s blood doesn’t clot properly — says his family’s back-to-school experience isn’t all that different from everyone else’s. But to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible, he recommends taking these extra steps:

• Make sure the school can reach you at all times. It’s not enough for the school to have just one or two phone numbers; make sure the office staff has home, work, mobile and e-mail contact information for both parents and emergency backups. • Talk to your employer about your situation. For Eric, his sons’ illnesses mean he occasionally has to visit their school and inject them with a dose of medication. If your employer understands your child’s illness, he or she may be more flexible if you need to leave work suddenly or adjust

your regular hours once school begins. • Get to know the school nurse and office staff. It’s important for school staff to know how to react if a complication arises with your child. Eric’s sons’ school doesn’t have a nurse, so he makes sure the office staff knows exactly what to do if one of his children has a complaint. • Educate your child’s teachers. It’s critical for teachers to know when to send a child to the nurse, when to call the parents and how to diffuse potential teasing from other students. Eric often taps into his lo-

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cal hemophilia awareness group for reading materials and DVDs that he can share with his sons’ teachers. • Encourage the school to treat your child like any other student. Above all, Eric wants his sons to be treated like any other 7- and 10-year-old boys. While safety always comes first, his goal is for them to be active, independent and spirited — and that’s not possible if they’re sitting on the sidelines or receiving special treatment from teachers or staff. Ask for accommodations, but only when necessary. It’s important to have a

thorough understanding of school policies and feel empowered to ask for an exception if it’s necessary to your child’s health. For example, if your child can’t carry a heavy backpack, it may be easier for him to use a rolling suitcase, which many schools prohibit. Talk to school administrators if a situation like this arises. Recognize that every child is different. Even among children with the same condition, there are several variables — how the child feels about his disease, how frequent and severe his symptoms are and even whether he wants other kids

to know about his illness. Make sure the school understands and respects your child’s individual situation. • Educate and empower your child about his disease. It’s important for your child to know his body and illness so he can act responsibly in any situation. Eric’s sons attend local camps and seminars to better understand their hemophilia and this knowledge helps keep them safe and confident during the school day. • Don’t let the disease take control. Eric’s family’s PLEASE SEE CHRONIC, PAGE 22


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(ARA) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Germs and bacteria are everywhere, including the place you strive to keep the cleanest: your home. To shield against germs, consumers are spending more than $1 billion annually on antimicrobial products, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of viruses like H1N1 and other household germs, consumers are taking every precaution necessary to keep themselves and their families healthy, and that starts at home,â&#x20AC;? says Jackie Cooper, senior director of marketing and communications for Eureka. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With consum-

ers looking for products that will help keep the germs and bacteria at bay, there are now many options available to create a healthy living space.â&#x20AC;? Cooper suggests the following tips to achieve a clean and germ-free home: â&#x20AC;˘ Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let them in. Many germs and bacteria make their way into your home by tagging along with you. Once in the house, these microorganisms have a nice, safe place to grow and multiply. Cut germs off at the door by keeping antimicrobial wipes or hand sanitizers near the entrances to your home. This way you -

and your guests - can fight bacteria on the spot. â&#x20AC;˘ Vacuum often. Tackle the germs that already have been tracked into your home by using a vacuum with a bacteriafighting solution to not only suck up dust and dirt, but prevent bacteria from growing in or on the vacuum as well. Eurekaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FilterAir vacuum is treated with On-Guard Antimicrobial which inhibits the growth of bacteria on the brushroll and in specific parts of the dust cup. Areas treated with On-Guard include the filter basket and dirt tube within the dust cup assem-


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’10 EMERGENCY HANDBOOK bly. The vacuum’s sealed HEPA filtration system also removes 99.97 percent of dust, dander and other allergens as they pass through the filter. Be sure to change your vacuum filter and bag regularly to reduce the number of allergens and other particles released back into the air. If these items are not changed regularly, the vacuum’s performance can be compromised and dirty air can be expelled back into your home. Filtrete antimicrobial accessories feature Ultra-Fresh to provide advanced protection from odor-causing bacteria in the vacuum’s bag or filter, while providing superior filtration for the home. This also protects against unpleasant odor and stain-

causing microbial growth to keep bags and filters cleaner and fresher. • Beware of the kitchen and bathroom. Don’t forget that germs also like to hang out in places like the kitchen sink where pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli can be found. Although well-intentioned, the kitchen sponge you use to clean is only helping to spread those germs throughout your kitchen. To kill germs on the sponge, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends microwaving it on full power for one minute. To protect your hands from germs, keep bacteria fighting soap such as Lysol Antimicrobial Soap near the sink to use when work-


ing in the kitchen. • Another popular germ hangout is the bathroom where they can be found in toilets, showers and sinks. One simple step to cut back on germs in the bathroom is to make good use of the toilet lid. When a toilet is flushed, spray can land up to several feet away from the actual toilet, allowing viruses and bacteria to land on items such as a toothbrush or hand towel. Take a few extra seconds before flushing to close the lid and trap harmful bacteria inside. For more information on Eureka’s FilterAir vacuum visit www.eureka. com. For more information on Filtrete’s antimicrobial filters and vacuum bags visit

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policy will provide insurance coverage in the event you are riding your bicycle and are in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle driver, pedestrian or another bicycle rider. â&#x20AC;˘ Road rage happens. Bike often enough and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll eventually encounter an angry driver. As the biker, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your job to live to ride another day, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in your best interest to avoid a confrontation and instead remember the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license plate number and report the driver, especially if you suspect the driver is under the influence. To learn about the law and for more tips about the aftermath of a bicycling accident, go to

philosophy is that hemophilia is just a challenge they have to manage â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t define their family or dictate their decisions. He wants other families to know that even if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dealing with an illness of any kind, it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop them from having an education, careers or relationships, just like anyone else. Remember, every school has different policies related to child health, particularly when it comes to administering medicine. Be sure to talk to your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school staff about any other steps you may need to take to keep him safe. To learn more about hemophilia, visit

Besides a bicycle helmet, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential for bicyclists to wear bright clothing with reflective strips or zones to be better seen by car drivers.

Above all, a father wants his sons to be treated like any other boy. While safety always comes first, his goal is for them to be active, independent and spirited.


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Support designed specifically for women can prevent injuries (ARA) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bodies are built differently than menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bodies. This means that womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoes, pants and even womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s socks are constructed to fit womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique proportions. However, when it comes to braces and supports, women have classically been forced to make do with equipment made to fit men. For women, men-centric equipment can be both uncomfortable and ineffective, and can fail to deliver the necessary support that women need. Additionally, braces and supports meant for men can be bulky and unflattering. Many women choose to go without rather than use braces and supports that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fit correctly. Companies such as Wellgate for Women are leading the fight to make women-

specific ankle, knee and wrist supports available. A variety of knee supports are now designed specifically for women. Because they are made for women, not only do they fit better, but they are also more comfortable and flattering to a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body. For instance, Wellgateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Slimfit Ankle Support is designed to easily slip into a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoe. There are no seams protruding under the foot and no bunching in the elastic support around the ankle itself, making them perfect for high heels. Wellgateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lineup even includes the only knee brace made to fit plussized women â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Wellgate UltraLite Knee Support. Megan Barclay, a New York City physical therapist, offers five ways women can help prevent injuries:

â&#x20AC;˘ Brace your ankles to prevent sprains. Ankle sprains occur when a ligament is stretched or torn. Women are more susceptible to ankle injuries, as they have narrower feet than men, and their heels â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in particular â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are narrower compared to the front of the foot. Women who favor high-heeled shoes must be especially careful. The higher the heel, the more unstable the ankle is likely to be. â&#x20AC;˘ Support your knees when you go running, dancing, waterskiing or even just walking around. Women are up to four times more likely to suffer tears of the anterior cruciate ligament in their knees. â&#x20AC;˘ Use protection when typing, texting, tweeting or playing video games.

Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. The modern age is full of repetitive wrist activities that can certainly add up over time. Using a wrist brace at work or at home can help keep pressure off your wrists and let you stay in touch and reduce the risk of injury. â&#x20AC;˘ Use a support that fits, especially if you suffer from arthritis or other joint problems. Women are 41 percent more likely than men to suffer from arthritis, in addition to many other muscle and joint problems as they age. Physical therapy and exercise help to alleviate arthritis symptoms, and a brace that fits the contours of the female body helps women to exercise more safely. â&#x20AC;˘ Get gear made for

women. Why use equipment made for men when womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equipment is so readily available? Braces and supports made for women are as close as your local Walmart. Properly proportioned equipment can make a huge difference. For instance, womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hips are on average much wider than menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hips and women simply have different proportions all around. Make sure to wear apparel and equipment that takes this into consideration. Men would certainly never wear equipment built for women, so why would you use equipment made for men? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women may have different needs than men, but they have the same demands when it comes to quality, durability, and strength in their equipment,â&#x20AC;? says Barclay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women never stop moving, and they

ARA need braces and supports that never stop supporting them.â&#x20AC;? For more information on products that specifically support women, visit www.

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Dispatch-SpecialSection-EmergencyHandbook-Sunday, September 26, 2010