Seasonal Safety Tips
Heat can kill! And it does not take a "killer heat wave" to do so. Temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous, especially when the humidity is high. Exceptionally hot weather can place a burden on the heart and blood vessels, which are key to the body's cooling system. This is known as "heat stress."
Who Is At Risk?
People over age 65 are more likely to die from heat-related causes than younger individuals. Your chances of experiencing heat stress are increased by:
- A weak or damaged heart
- Circulatory problems
- Infection or fever
- Drinking alcohol
- A previous stroke
- Skin disease/sunburn
Some medications may make you more susceptible to the heat. Please consult your physician if you are on any medication.
- Early warning signs of heat stress include:
- Physical and mental changes
- Lack of energy
- Mild discomfort
- Lack of appetite
Those symptoms listed above are mild signs of heat stress. Unless these symptoms persist, there is no need for alarm. More serious warning signs of heat stress include:
- Muscle cramps
- Throbbing headache
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Excessive weakness
- Severe mental changes
- Breathing problems
- Dry skin (no sweating)
If you experience any of these symptoms, call a doctor or seek medical attention immediately.
Beat the Heat
- Stay cool
Spend as much time as possible in cool surroundings --
- shopping mall
- senior center
- public library
- any police facility for temporary shelter
Slow down and take it easy
Relax and take it easy, especially at the beginning of the hot weather season when your body is less prepared for the heat.
If you have air conditioning, use it -- it may just save your life.
Fans for cooling
Fans can help cool you off, if they blow the hot air out of your room and draw in cool air. However, fans can actually harm you if they blow very hot air at you. This may cause your body temperature to rise.
Baths and showers
Cool baths and showers provide great, fast relief from the heat.
When in your home, wear as little as possible. Loose, lightweight,light-colored clothing is more comfortable in hot weather.
Drink plenty of liquids, but not alcohol
Don't trust your thirst. Drink twice as much as it takes to satisfy your thirst. But remember, alcohol actually dehydrates the body.
Watch what you eat
Avoid hot foods and heavy meals. They add heat to your body.
Watch Out for One Another
- Phone family and friends
Telephone your children or other relatives, friends, and neighbors to let them know how you feel.
- Check on your neighbors
Call and check on your friends and neighbors to make sure they are okay.
Plan Ahead and Be Ready
Discuss your "heat wave" plans with your children, other relatives, friends and neighbors. Be sure they know what you plan to do, where you might relocate if needed, and any medical condition or other concern you have regarding the heat.
If you have a medical condition that may be affected by high heat or humidity, be sure to seek advice from your doctor, especially regarding any medication you may take.
Halloween can and should be a day of fun for the children and families of our city who wish to take part in the custom of Trick-or-Treat. By practicing come basic safety tips, outlined on this page, you and your children can enjoy a safe and enjoyable Halloween!
Having the right costume is important to your children. Having the right type of costume should be a priority for you. Try to ensure that your children's costumes are light colored so that they are easily visible. If you have to use dark colors, place reflective tape in several parts of the costume -- across the back and on the front and sides to ensure that no matter what direction they are facing, your children can be seen.
Stay away from masks. Most masks will restrict a child's vision. A good, fun and inexpensive alternative is face paint. If you are taking a group of children trick-or-treating, have everyone meet at your home a half hour before you plan to leave so the children can paint each other's faces.
Young children should never trick-or-treat without an adult. If you can't accompany your children, make sure they go trick-or-treating with an adult or responsible young adult you know well. It's always safer to go out with a group of family and/or friends.
It makes sense to visit homes in your neighborhood and even trick-or-treat only at the residences you are familiar with. You should not enter a home to receive a treat: just stay on the porch or sidewalk outside the door. Also, never enter any abandoned building, deserted area or enclosed place. Tell your child never to approach cars or accept treats from persons in a car.
Some communities and community organizations host Halloween parties as a safe and fun alternative to trick-or-treating door-to-door.
Try to confine your trick-or-treating to the daylight hours. If you, as parents, work during the day and can only take your child out in the evening, limit your visits to homes with porch or outside lighting.
Allow your child to accept only treats that are wrapped. Be sure to throw away any fresh fruit, unwrapped candies, open candies and any treat that looks suspicious. When giving treats, consider small toys, non-toxic bubbles, or sugar-free treats. Remember, some children have to follow certain dietary restrictions which prohibit them from eating the traditional treats we offer on Halloween.
Walk, do not run! Always wait at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street! Cross the street at the corner and do not cut in between parked cars! Obey all traffic lights! If you are driving on Halloween, make sure to use extra caution and be alert for any children who may be on the street!
- Never use an extension cord with a space heater; it increases the risk of fire.
- A gas range or oven cannot be used to heat a living area; they can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide.
- Keep trash and combustible storage away from your furnace or other heating system; have your furnace checked regularly by a qualified expert.
- Do not attempt to thaw frozen pipes with an open flame; use hot water or warm towels. Keep windows and doors secure from cold drafts to protect inside pipes near walls; let water trickle slightly during bitter temperatures to reduce chances of frozen pipes.
- Dress warmly in layers; always wear a hat; keep clothing dry; mittens keep hands warmer than fingered gloves.
- Drink warm, non-alcoholic beverages; alcohol causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
- Avoid overexertion in cold weather; this adds strain on the heart.
- Be alert for the warning signs of frostbite; a momentary stinging pain followed by numbness. Do not rub the affected area; apply warm, moist towels; if skin begins turning blue-purple, go to a hospital emergency room.
- Hypothermia is when the body temperature falls below 98 degrees. Symptoms include un-controllable shivering, dilated pupils and mental confusion. Keep victim warm while seeking medical attention.
- Check on neighbors, friends and loved ones during a cold emergency. Make sure they have enough heat, food and other necessities.
This holiday season should be a time of great joy as we celebrate and share gifts with those close to us. Unfortunately, it can be a time when crime becomes more prevalent. These "Holiday Safety Tips" are offered to help make your holiday season a safe and happy one. Please take some time to read them and share them with your family and friends.
Be alert: Walk confidently, with your head up, and stay in well-lighted and well-traveled areas. Pay attention to people walking in front of and behind you. Pay particular attention when you are in crowded areas, such as buses and trains or malls and stores that are filled with other shoppers. Places with large crowds are favorites for thieves and pickpockets.
If you carry a purse, keep it in front of you and close to your body. You can do this by covering the flap or clasp with your hand or forearm. Never leave your purse in a shopping cart or on a counter while you pay for your purchases. When using public washrooms, use extreme caution--try to avoid putting your purse on hooks or door handles. Remember not to carry open-weave bags or purses without zippers or flaps. Those items are easy marks for pickpockets.
Keep your purse with you at all times. Keys should not be carried in your purse. In the event of a purse snatching, the thief will have your address and keys to your home. Keep your keys in your pocket if it is possible. If you carry a change purse or wallet, keep it in your front pants pocket or in the inside breast pocket of your coat. Always be alert when opening your purse or wallet.
Try to shop with friends or relatives. Not only is there safety in numbers, but shopping in a group will give you a chance to catch up on things and renew friendships.
Be discreet: Never carry large amounts of money. Whenever possible, use credit cards or checks instead of cash. When using credit cards, make sure that only one credit slip is printed with your charge card. Also, be sure to tear up any carbons that may be used to complete the transaction. Credit card fraud can ruin your holiday season.
Thieves and pickpockets are more likely to be attracted by expensive clothes and jewelry. When you are out doing your holiday shopping, dress comfortably and casually.
Secure your car: Cars can be an easy target for criminals. Park your car as close to your destination as possible and in a well-lighted area. When you do your shopping, remember to store your packages in the trunk of the car and not on the back seat. Also, if you take packages to the car but plant to return to the store or mall, drive your car to a new location within the parking lot. Criminals can be on the lookout for unsuspecting shoppers who sim ply drop their purchases into the trunk and then return to keep shopping.
When returning to your auto (or home), have your keys in your hand, ready to open the door. The few moments you save may keep you from becoming a crime victim. Before entering your vehicle, carefully check the front and rear seats and floors for anyone that may be hiding there. Lock your doors immediately after entering the vehicle.
Secure your home:
When you are out shopping, leave some lights on at home. You may also want to let a neighbor know that you will be out of the house for a short time, so they can watch your house for you. If you plan to be away for a longer period to visit friends or family over the holidays, make sure to tell a neighbor or friend who can keep an eye on your house. Have them check periodically to make sure packages that may have been delivered while you were gone aren't sitting on your porch.