Drive Safely in the Snow
Driving in the winter means changesin the way you drive. Snow, sleet and ice can lead to hazardous road conditions. Be sure your vehicle is prepared for the upcoing Winter season.
Avoid Strain while Shoveling
Shovelling snow can be a heavy task in many parts of Canada. Be sure to take these precautions to prevent unnecessary paind and suffering.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Choose fresh over cheap and dry. The fresher the tree, the less likely it will pose a fire hazard. Look for flexible needles that don’t break, and a trunk with sap.
Keep the water coming. The tree stand should contain a continuous source of water and be sturdy enough to resist toppling by kids or pets.
Don’t choke the cord. Attach only three maximum strings of lights to any one extension cord, then place cords along walls to prevent a tripping hazard. Never run them under rugs or carpets.
Trees don’t need warmth. Keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles and even a TV.
Not just any lights will do. Use low energy, safe lighting that’s been certified by a safety testing lab. Don’t use damaged or frayed cords.
Shut the lights off. Never leave the lights on overnight or when you leave the house. The same goes for any appliances not in use when you are home or away.
Don’t keep a dry tree around. Dispose of the tree at this point properly (outside). Don’t even keep it in the garage.
Artificial tree safety awareness. Artificial trees should be flame resistant and have a seal for an approved safety testing laboratory if the tree contains a built-in lighting set.
Death by artificial tree. If the tree is metal, never use electric lights, as they can charge the tree and lead to electrocution.
Watch out for Frostbite
Frostbite can happen very quickly. Be sure to always wear (or have available) warm gloves or mittens when you are outside (even if it feels mild). The first stages of Frostnip can occur without you even knowing it.
Be certain to check children frequently when they are playing outside to ensure their hands and toes (and face) are warm. Below are the signs and symptoms of the three stages of Frostbite:
Symptoms of frostbite
The symptoms of frostbite progress in three stages.
The colder the temperature and the longer the body is exposed to freezing conditions, the more advanced frostbite can become.
Early stage (frostnip)
During the early stage of frostbite, you'll experience pins and needles, throbbing or aching in the affected area. Your skin will become cold, numb and white, and you may feel a tingling sensation.
This stage of frostbite is known as frostnip, and it often affects people who live or work in cold climates. The extremities, such as the fingers, nose, ears and toes, are most commonly affected.
After these early signs of frostbite, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will cause more tissue damage. The affected area will feel hard and frozen.
When you're out of the cold and the tissue has thawed out, the skin will turn red and blister, which can be painful. There may also be swelling and itching.
This is known as superficial frostbite, because it affects the top layers of skin and tissue. The skin underneath the blisters is usually still intact, but treatment is needed to make sure there's no lasting
When exposure to the cold continues, frostbite becomes increasingly severe. The skin becomes white, blue or blotchy, and the tissue underneath feels hard and cold to touch.
Further damage may occur beneath the skin to tendons, muscles, nerves and bones. This is known as deep frostbite and requires urgent medical attention.
As the skin thaws, blood-filled blisters form and turn into thick black scabs. At this stage, it's likely that some tissue will die. This is known as tissue necrosis, and the affected tissue may have to be removed to
People with a history of severe frostbite often report further long-term effects of frostbite. These can include:
- increased sensitivity to cold
- numbness in the affected body parts, most commonly the fingers
- reduced sense of touch in the affected body parts
- persistent pain in the affected body parts
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide detectors save lives, but less than one-third of American homes have one installed. With December and January at the peak of CO poisonings, please review these tips:
• Replace the battery for your home’s CO detector each spring and fall
• Do not heat your home with a gas range or oven
• Never run a car or truck inside an attached garage
Because carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless it isn't always evident when it has become a problem in the home. Often people who have a mild to moderate problem will find they feel
sick while they spend time at home. They might feel a little better outside in the fresh air but will have re-occurring symptoms shortly after returning home. If other members of the family have
re-occurring bouts with flu-like symptoms while fuel-burning appliances are being used it may be time to have the house checked by a professional.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Besides having a professional come into your home to check your appliances a carbon monoxide detector can be used to keep a constant watch over the levels of carbon monoxide in the home
throughout the year.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning or other illnesses and carry a long-term health risk if left unattended. Some of the symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Mild nausea
- Mild headaches
Moderate levels of CO exposure can cause death if the following symptoms persist for a long measure of time.
High levels of CO can be fatal causing death within minutes.
There are immediate measures you can take to help those suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Get the victim into fresh air immediately.
- If you can not get the people out of the house, open all windows and doors immediately. Any combustion appliances should be turned off.
- Take those who were subjected to carbon monoxide to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible. A simple blood test will be able to determine if carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred.