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Posts Tagged ‘safety’

tired-hikers-249683_1280During the summer months, it can be difficult to stay calm, cool, and collected as the temperature and humidity rise. It is important to be aware of the ways to keep ourselves safe in the heat. By following safety tips and being proactive, we can avoid serious illness such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and hyperthermia.

  • Plan ahead. Whether you are swimming, having a cook-out, going the zoo or amusement park, canoeing, hiking, camping, going to the beach, or simply lying in a hammock in your backyard, it is important to be prepared as you are planning for the sun-filled days of summer.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Not a water fan?  Add some fruit (fresh or frozen) to your bottle and enjoy the refreshing taste.  Did you know that at most public places (including restaurants, zoos, and theme parks) where fountain beverages are sold, you can usually get a free cup of water?
  • Avoid alcoholic and carbonated beveragesAlcoholic and carbonated beverages will actually dehydrate you, rather than hydrate you.
  • Pack a cooler.  By bringing healthier foods with you and taking time to sit and eat or snack, you are more likely to stop, rest, and refuel your body. Fruits and vegetables are naturally high in water content and will help you stay hydrated. A bonus is that you will help stay within your budget by not purchasing higher priced foods and beverages.
  • Choose your clothing wisely. Loose fitting clothes that are lighter in color will help to keep you cool.
  • Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening. Avoid strenuous activities during the midday hours (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.) when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Stay Sun Safe.  Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sun screen that is at least SPF 15.  Choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Seek shade.  Taking time to find the shady spot or by sitting under a sport or pop-up tent can help to lower your body temperature.

Move to a cool location, sit or lie down, apply cold wet cloths to your body, and sip water if you notice any of the following signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness,
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Changes in pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting (please contact a health professional if vomiting does not stop)
  • Fainting

Enjoy your summer.  Stay cool and safe!

Written by: Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Hardin County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ross County.

Sources:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html

Summer Stress, Safe Tactics for Ag Today, July 2015 Andy Bauer, Ohio AgrAbility Educational Program Coordinator, https://agsafety.osu.edu/newsletter/ag-safety-stat/july-2015/injury-prevention/summer-stress

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services https://www.cdc.gov/media/subtopic/matte/pdf/CDCSummerSafety.pdf

National Institutes of Health, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hyperthermia.

Healthy Beverage Guidelines, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks-full-story/

Photo Credits: https://pixabay.com/en/tired-hikers-resting-place-rest-249683/

 

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thunder stormDo you know what to do in a tornado, thunderstorm, fire or flood?  How about your children?  What if you are not home?  Do you have an emergency plan?  These are some difficult questions.  Now is a good time to start teaching your children how to be prepared.

The first step in developing a severe weather safety plan for your family is to determine the potential weather risks for your area. Once the potential hazards are identified, you can begin your plan. This should include:

  • Where to meet. Select a place in your home and practice with the children before a storm comes. If your family is forced from your home, determine an alternate meeting place, such as a school, community center or fire station. Share this information with caregivers as well.
  • Put together a safety and survival kit. You will want to include such things as water, nonperishable food, battery operated radio, flashlight, batteries, and blankets. The National Weather Service provides a detailed list of items you need.
  • Make a “safe place bag” with some items that can console a worried child. Things such as a toy or two, coloring books, a favorite stuffed animal, a couple books, and a battery operated radio/CD player.
  • Determine how you receive weather warnings and track the storm. Purchasing a battery operated weather radio will allow you to monitor the storm.
  • Establish some form of communication. While cell phones are the most likely way to reach loved ones, you also need to consider what to do if cell phone towers are damaged and not functioning.

Research tells us children that come from secure homes and families will be more prepared to tolerate any stressors, including severe weather.  Knowledge and understanding reduces fear, so empowering your children with a plan to react will help help them in a stressful time.  Begin at an early age to talk to children about weather.  Educate them about storms, dispel myths, and discuss reasonable safety measures.  Develop a family weather plan.  It will help them feel more in control and less helpless.

Written by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Janet Wasko Myers, Program Assistant, Horticulture, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, myers.31@osu.edu

 

 

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When I was a young mother, the message that we received about keeping our babies safe as they slept was to have them sleep on their stomach. We also used crib bumper pads, small pillows, stuffed animals, and of course soft, fluffy blankets.

All of these recommendations have changed in the last few years. The message on safe sleep for a baby is as simple as ABC.baby in crib

A – ALONE! You should never share a bed with a baby nor take a nap on the couch or chair with the baby because you could roll too close or onto your baby, babies can get stuck between the mattress and the wall, headboard, footboard or other furniture or fall off of the bed. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in your room (within arm’s reach), but not in your bed.

B – BACK! Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to choke than those who sleep on their stomachs. Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back. It’s safer for your baby to wake up during the night on his back. If he or she is sleeping on their tummy and needs to take a deep breath they might not be able to move their head and the baby’s mouth or nose could be blocked and they could suffocate.

C – CRIB! Place your baby to sleep in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Sleep clothing like fitted, appropriate-sized sleepers and sleep sacks are safer for a baby than blankets. Many parents think their baby won’t be safe and warm without bumper pads, blankets, pillows and stuffed animals, but these items can be deadly. Babies can suffocate on any extra item in the crib.

Some other general guidelines for a happy healthy baby:

  • Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke around your baby.
  • Try using a pacifier at nap and bed time.
  • Give your baby some “tummy time” when he is awake and someone is watching. This helps avoid flat spots on baby’s head and helps develop neck muscles.
  • Infants should receive all recommended immunizations.

While much of this information is shared with new mothers and fathers, often a grandma or baby sitter hasn’t heard the new safety recommendations. Be sure and share these guidelines with anyone caring for your baby.

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Science Educator, OSU Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Wood County,  zies.1@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/infant%20safe%20sleep/SafeSleep_Brochure-TriFold-Print_5-6-14.ashx

http://columbus.gov/publichealth/programs/Safe-Sleep-for-Infants/Infant-Safe-Sleep/

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

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prom pic

It’s that time of year. Everyone is ready to celebrate. Proms, graduations, and other events mark the end of the school year. Memories of these wonderful occasions will be with our youth for the rest of their lives. These occasions are associated with a higher teen traffic death rate, often due to the increased temptations to participate in drinking activities. Be proactive with your child by having open conversations to increase their awareness to keep them SAFE!

Tips for Prom and Graduation Parties

graduation

Parents:

• Make sure your son/daughter has a plan for the evening and that you know the plan.
• Contact the parents of your teen’s date. Discuss the plans for the evening and plan to meet each other.
• Know who is driving to and from – if it’s a limo know the alcohol policy.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the risks of alcohol and drug use.
• Take stock of your alcohol in your home prior to the beginning of the night.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the school’s prom rules and your prom rules and the consequences of violating them.
• Always let your son/daughter know that you will be available to pick them up if they feel unsafe regardless of the circumstance.
• Communicate with other parents of your teen’s friends. Discuss the plans for the night and the need for locking up and inventorying all alcohol and prescription medication in advance.
• Have an escape plan for a bad situation. Define a code word or text message they can send to alert you to help them out of this situation. Be sure to reinforce with them it is alright to call you anytime.
• Set up times they are to call and check in. These may include when the prom is over, when arriving to an after prom destination, or before heading home.
• Remind your teen to keep you notified of any changes in the plan.
• Limit the number of teens in the car. The risk of teens getting into a car crash increases as the number of passengers increase.
• Stay up until your prom-goer returns home for the night and let them know you will be waiting up for them.

Teens:

• Keep yourself safe and remind your friends to keep safe.
• Have the number of trustworthy cabs programmed on your phone.
• Have emergency cash to pay for these rides.
• Be sure to have plenty of rest the night before the prom.
• Think through and talk with your friends about pressure situations. Have a plan to handle them ahead of time.
• Consider going for breakfast, bowling or seeing a midnight movie after your prom. These are fun activities and none of them involve alcohol or illegal substances.
• Have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
• Eat a good breakfast and lunch the day of these activities to keep your energy level up.
• Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone else.
• Drive on well-lit roads and be sure the vehicle you are driving is well maintained and has a full tank of gas.
• Never ride with someone who is fatigued or impaired in any way.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Know the warning signs for alcohol or drug overdose and call 911 immediately is you see someone exhibiting them.
• At all times, know where you are and where you are going. Make sure your parents know also.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable over any situation, something may not be right. Leave immediately.

Written by: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University, Extension Educator, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University, Extension Educator

Resource: Safety Awareness Officer, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department

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It’s flu season!   Best protection is handwashing.  Regular soap?   Or antibacterial soap?  Does antibacterial provide extra protection against getting sick?  soap on hands

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t sure antibacterial really makes any difference.  In fact, the FDA is proposing companies need to provide more evidence antibacterial soaps are more effective, than just washing with plain soap and water in preventing illnesses.  The FDA also wants more data on the safety of using antibacterial soaps.

Some of the chemical ingredients in antibacterial soaps are associated with risks that may outweigh any benefits.  Some ingredients may increase the bacterial resistance to antibiotics and cause hormonal changes in our bodies.

Many liquid soaps contain the chemical triclosan.  Although this chemical is not known to harm humans, it may change the way hormones work in our bodies, according to some animal studies.  Laboratory studies have shown concern with triclosan causing bacteria resistance to antibiotics.  One positive way triclosan is effective is in preventing gingivitis, when it has been added to toothpaste.  Thus, the FDA would like more studies and evidence triclosan is safe and effective.  The Environmental Protection Agency also has some concerns with triclosan and is collaborating with the FDA.

Adding to this concern is recent data indicates we are exposed to these chemical ingredients more than previously thought.  Thus, increasing our risks with regular use over time.

How do you Drug label on soapknow if your soap is antibacterial?  Most products are labeled with the word “antibacterial.” Look for a Drug Facts Label which is required on antibacterial soap or body wash.   You can also check the ingredients.   Cosmetics do not have to carry a Drug Facts Label, so you will need to check the ingredients.

Regular soap or antibacterial soap?  Try regular soap and remember to use warm water, rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinse well and dry.  Handwashing is a key to staying healthy.

Writer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

References:

United States Food and Drug Administration, [2013].  FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap, FDA Consumer Health Information, Available at http://www.fda.gov/consumer

WebMD, [2013].  Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know, WebMD, Available at http://www.webmd.com/fda/triclosan-what-consumers-should-know

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Has doing laundry become routine for you? If so, The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) encourages you to consider the importance of laundry safety, especially as it relates to the new single-load liquid laundry packets. As with all cleaning products, we should know that laundry detergents should be handled with care and stored out of reach and sight of children. The compact size and concentration of single-load packets has manufacturers joining together to emphasize the importance of safe practices to avoid harmful exposure to children and adults from this convenient, new product.laundry

The single-load packets should be handled and stored carefully to avoid harmful exposure to children, adults, or pets. These new products can be fascinating to children and a temptation they can’t resist playing with or eating. The concentrated detergent can be harmful if swallowed or exposed to the eyes, causing vomiting, wheezing, and chemical burns. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends following these safety practices:

• Do not let children handle laundry packets.
• Store out of sight and reach of children, if you don’t already have one consider adding a cupboard or shelf above your washer.
• Ensure re-closable bag or container is tightly sealed during storage.
• Store away from moisture – packets quickly dissolve upon contact with water, wet hands, or saliva.
• If the single-load liquid laundry packets become stuck together, do not pull them apart; throw them away.
• Do not cut, tear or puncture the single-load liquid laundry packets. They are designed to dissolve completely in the machine, even in cold water.
• As with other laundry products, keep packets in their original container with intact labels.
• Do not squeeze – packets can rupture, releasing contents into eyes.
• If you think a child has been exposed to a single-load liquid laundry packet, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
• Don’t forget these guidelines also relate to the similar packets used in dishwashers.

There are things you can do today – and everyday – to ensure your laundry routine is as safe as possible. Start right now by taking the KEY pledge to follow ACI’s simple steps to a safe laundry room and routine:

Keep single-load liquid laundry packets out of the reach of children
Educate your family and friends about the safe use and storage of these new laundry products
You serve a key role in laundry safety

Go to: http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/clean_living/take_the_pledge.aspx to take the ACI pledge and select to be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $2,500 grand prize to help makeover your laundry room!

Other resources from the ACI include:

Downloadable Laundry Room Safety Checklist:
http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/assets/1/Page/Laundry_Room_Checklist.pdf

Downloadable Safe Laundry Room Practices Poster:
http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/assets/1/Page/Safe_Laundry_Practices.pdf

Resources: American Cleaning Institute, http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/

Author: Polly Loy, Family & Consumer Science Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Belmont County, Buckeye Hills EERA, loy.1@osu.edu.
Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA, barlage.7@osu.edu.

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When the lights go out do Not open your refrigerator or freezer. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.  Plan ahead; keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer which can help you determine the safe zones! Make sure to look in at the zones of being safe for the freezer which is 0 °F or below and the refrigerator is at 40 °F or below before the power goes off. Freeze containers of water ahead of time for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers after the power is out. Place refrigerated items such a leftovers, milk and meats immediately into the freezer when the power goes out. Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.

Steps to follow after to keep you SAFE!

  • The refrigerator will keep food safe for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) and the door remains closed.
  • Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.
  • Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below  when checked with a food thermometer. Partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat.
  • If the power has been out for several days, check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer. If the appliance thermometer reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe to refreeze. If a thermometer has not been kept in the      freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals, the food is safe.
  • If you want an easy way to track if your freezer has been off long enough for food to thaw, place a couple ice cubes in a  plastic bag in the freezer. If you open the freezer and the ice cubes are melted or frozen together, then foods need to be checked for safety.
  • Never taste a food to determine its safety!

Resources:

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Preparing_for_Weather_Emergency/index.asp

USDA Food Safety.gov –http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/frozen_food.html

Ohioline: Attention Freezer Owners: In case of power outage Do Not Open! http://ohioline.osu.edu/home/freezer.html

Author: Marie Economos, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Trumbull County.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross & Vinton Counties.

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