The consequences of leaving kids or pets in hot cars, even for a minute, can be deadly. Each year, AAA along with Safe Kids works to prevent children and pets being left in hot cars by educating the public of the dangers.
According to data collected by Dr. Jan Null of San Francisco State University, 32 children died last year after being left in a car. 52 percent of those who died were left not on purpose, but by mistake.
“Many times we think we can run into a store and be out in 10 minutes with no problem, but in 10 minutes in the heat of the summer, your car’s interior temperature can rise 19 degrees above that of the outside air,” said Danial Karnes, AAA Oklahoma spokesman.
AAA urges parents and caregivers to put these simple tips to use to make sure no child is left in a vehicle this summer.
- Never leave a child unattended in a car, even for a minute, even if the windows are tinted or down. The same recommendation applies to pets and the elderly.
- Don’t allow children to play in an unlocked, parked vehicle and never leave car keys where children have access to them.
- Keep doors locked and windows closed at all times, even when the vehicle is in the garage or on a driveway.
- Make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Be certain no one is inadvertently left behind.
- When you first place a child in a car seat in the back seat of the car, also open the glove compartment door, flip down the passenger side visor or put a purse in the back seat. These actions can serve as visual reminders that a child is in the back seat. Even better, place your cell phone on the back seat, too.
- If you see a child alone in a locked, parked car, immediately call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.
A not-for-profit organization, AAA Oklahoma serves its 365,000 members across Oklahoma with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through its 45 retail branches, regional operations center and the Internet at www.AAA.com.
By Chuck Mai, AAA
Leaving on vacation? Good for you – have fun! But if you’re like me, the doubts start creeping in just after leaving home, just after I have passed that imaginary point of no return, when going back to the house is no longer a viable option.
Did I lock the front door? Did we turn off the coffee-maker? Is the dog inside or outside?
You think somebody will break in while we’re gone? Well, I can’t help you with the first three questions but here are a few tips to help you on number four.
Close and lock all house and garage windows and doors. Use slide locks on sliding glass doors.
Leave blinds and curtains in their normal position so that your house doesn’t have a closed-down, unlived-in look.
Resist the urge to discuss your trip with acquaintances or on social media sites.
Have a friend pick-up your mail or have the post office stop it. Same with newspapers.
Have a trusted friend or neighbor check on your house occasionally and tell them who to contact in case of emergency and what your contact info will be while you’re gone.
Set lights and radios on automatic on/off timers.
If you’ll be away for an extended period, arrange to have your lawn mowed.
Never leave keys under doormats, in flowerpots or in any of the usual “hiding places.”
Make sure your homeowner insurance policy is up-to-date.
Here’s a new one: burglars lately have been discovered locating potential targets at the airport by reading address information on luggage tags. If possible, use your business address or purchase tag covers to protect personal information.
Now, turn off the oven and the iron and get out there. Your vacation’s waiting.
There was a day when you couldn’t get me to say the word “retire.” I had too much going to even give it a thought. From the time I shut off the alarm and got out of bed until the time I turned out the lights at night, my life was set on “go.”
Through the years, there have been a few changes. Actually, there have been many. Some days, it feels like my get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went, as they say. Other days, I”m still going strong. Or at least, I really want it to be that way.
I recently took a class on retirement, just to see how I stood and what I might out to do to prepare for that day when I would be able to leave the fulltime job and shift at least some of my efforts from things I HAVE TO do to things I WANT TO do. Well, at least that’s’ the intention.
It was during that class that I realized I’m certainly not at that point yet. In fact, I’m not certain when I will be there. But at least now I have an idea as to what it will take to get me there. I also know there are many things to consider before I can make it happen.
I have to look at such things as …
* Finance — Where will it come from and how much will we have? Will my retirement account and our investments sustain us?
* Health — Will we able to get around well enough to remain independent?
* Insurance — What can we afford and what will it cover? Health, home and vehicle insurance are only part of that picture.
* Home — Can we maintain our home? There are always areas that need attention, from cleaning to repairs.
* Transportation — What are our options? Will we still be able to drive ourselves, or will we need assistance?
* Activity — A key point for most any retiree. It’s not just keeping the body active. You need to keep the mind sharp as long as possible.
These were just some of the key concerns. There are many more. Each individual’s situation is different.
Take a look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/RETIREMENT-OKLAHOMA to see areas a person looking ahead should be aware of before taking that plunge. Don’t forget also to look at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/MONEY-OKLAHOMA for more ideas on what you can do to prepare.
These and other topics in our “know it” library might be just what you need.
I certainly don’t envy anyone who HAS TO be out in this heat. Just the opposite. I feel for them. It’s miserable out there.
It’s also very dangerous. When the heat is this extreme, it can take only a few moments for you to get in trouble.
Forecasters say we MAY see highs of “only” around 100 later this week. But until you see it, just hope for it. Right now, we’re looking at 110-plus.
You’ve most likely seen numerous stories in print, online, or on TV about the dangers of extreme heat and exposure to the sun. I’ve said before that if you have access to a computer, you can go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA for some vital information and good advice on beating the heat.
As one caller noted today, even his large box fan wasn’t helping all that much because it was just moving the hot air around and blasting him with it. That happens if the fan is in a non-shaded area or where there is no avenue to circulate cooler air.
Pay attention to heat advisory messages you hear on the radio or on TV. All news media are trying to get the word out about how to stay safe, stay hydrated and check on shut-ins and others who have need of assistance.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross, American Red Cross, Central and Western Oklahoma Region, has put out a list of Cool Zones you can visit to stay cool during the heat.
If you or someone you know needs help, here are places you can go to. Print them off and keep them handy. They could be lifesavers.
In Oklahoma City: http://www.oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/OGE%20Cool%20Zones%206%2015%202012.pdf
Outside the metro area: http://www.oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/Cool%20Zones%20outside%20OKC%20area.pdf
For more help, call the Red Cross office at 228-9581.
I call it “being curious.” Some call it “being snoopy.” But I’ve always been interested in what’s on everyone’s mind. After all, that’s what people in my business are supposed to do: find out what people want to know about and give them as much information as you possibly can.
Sometimes, it’s easy. You can start with weather. Especially in Oklahoma, the weather plays a big part in most everything, from business to pleasure, from life to death. Weather is a factor.
You always can talk politics. This is an election year and, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape hearing or seeing someone voice an opinion on who is and who is not doing the right thing, who will or who will not win in the November general election, who ought to stay, who ought to go.
One of the most significant freedoms we have it the right to state our opinion, and the right to agree or disagree, whether you do or don’t want to hear it.
Now that the Thunder’s season has ended, there’s a break. Right? To a degree. There are still the Thunder players participating in the Olympics, which, by the way, is another topic that will be even bigger soon.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of the new football season. The predictions and expectations already are there.
Money always is an important topic, from how to make it to how to spend it, or how to save it. Add to that the cost of anything, which always seems to being heading upward. Who has money, who needs money and how to help those who don’t have enough to adequately survive also get attention.
Vehicles have been popular topics since the first ones were invented. You can expect that to continue until we don’t use them anymore.
Health matters — yours or those of someone else, how to avoid them and how to treat them — are important and often discussed.
Items relating to the military, particularly in a state like Oklahoma where it has such a presence, affect many people.
You also will read, see, or hear about such topics as children, pets, religion, travel, recreation and cultural events.
Plenty, huh? And there are many more.
Each of the topics mentioned above is in at least one of our “know it” topics. It may be a story, it could be a photo, or it might be in a topic’s resource material. Then again, it might be in more than one, sometimes several.
That’s why they are there: To give you information. And you can contribute as well by sending news releases, notes of praise, or other tidbits to the online communities.
Visit HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/ and look them over.
The extreme heat has set in and forecasters say it’s going to be around a while. So now is a good time to use caution and act appropriately with steps to battle heat-related situations.
EMSA officials have these words of advice:
* Remember, PRE-HYDRATION is key in preventing heat related illness. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks several hours prior to long exposure to the summer heat.
* Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat if working outdoors and take plenty of shade breaks.
Kids in Cars
There is no “safe” amount of time kids can be left in a hot car. How quickly a child becomes ill varies widely based on a number of conditions, including:
* The child’s hydration level to begin with the temperature in the car (which can vary based on car interior, temperature outdoors, whether there is shade, etc.)
* The child’s weight
* The child’s overall health (diabetes and other chronic medical conditions can make a child less able to tolerate the heat), and any medications the child may be taken.
The Centers for Disease Control presents these key points:
A heat advisory or warning has been issued. Now what do you do?
* Stay indoors and avoid extreme temperature changes. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
* If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
* Keep your electric fans running.
* Drink cool liquids often, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty, to help your body stay cool.
* Avoid alcoholic beverages, which dehydrate the body.
* During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
* Eat small, frequent meals. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
* Keep pets indoors; refill their water bowls frequently.
* If you must go out, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect the sun’s energy.
* Slow down, avoid strenuous outdoor activity. If you must engage in strenuous activity, limit exposure during mid-day hours.
* Cover all exposed skin with a high SPF sunscreen, and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
* Drink plenty of fluids.
* Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
* Continue drinking plenty of water.
* Never take a cool shower immediately after becoming overheated. You may cool too quickly and become ill, nauseous, or dizzy.
* Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.
These are just some of the ways you can combat extreme heat. For more information, go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA and click on the INFORMATION area in the header.
“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), Matt Patterson (email@example.com), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (email@example.com).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
The worst of it may still be to come, but the annual storm season has arrived in Oklahoma and the region. Are you prepared?
Thunderstorms Monday brought heavy rain, thunder, lightning, high winds and hail to parts of Oklahoma and Texas. But storms were stronger and more violent on Tuesday, when at least two tornadoes struck the Dallas area, causing damage.
On the heels of a mild, warm winter, Oklahoma got an early taste of summer, with temperatures climbing into the 80s as winter wound down, then into the 90s within the first week of spring.
A question on the minds of many Oklahomans and a hot topic of conversation is just how hot will it get this summer? With that comes the thought of how stormy will it be?
So can we prepare for warmer, potentially stormy weather? Absolutely, say weather forecasters and other climatological experts. To that end, we’re put together a package of resource information for just about any related topic you want.
Go to HTTP://KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA/TORNADO-STORM-HEAT-WAVE-INFORMATION and check out the facts, figures, guidelines and historical data on Oklahoma’s weather conditions.
You’ll find such topics as:
* Severe thunderstorms safety rules.
* Protective actions during a thunderstorm.
* What to do in a storm.
* How do thunderstorms form?
* Lightning safety.
* Keeping pets safe.
* Keeping yourself and your family safe.
* Surviving hail.
* Surviving high wind.
* Surviving high heat.
* Tornado facts.
* Myths about tornadoes.
And much, much more.
It’s all in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA. You can use the link above, or just click on the INFORMATION button.
It can help you stay informed and stay safe.
If you’re going to be on the road during the Thanksgiving holiday, do your part in making it a safe journey.
My friends in law enforcement and public safety remind everyone that Oklahoma roadways will be filled with travelers this week, before, on and after Thanksgiving. They urge extra precautions to keep drivers and passengers safe.
And remember, Thanksgiving starts the holiday season, when you’ll see more people traveling and more people visiting shopping centers and malls, as well as places to eat.
Any of those can lead to increased stress for the driver.
Officials in the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office advise taking a little time to make smart choices about your travel. Alice Collinsworth, OHSO communications manager.
Last year in Oklahoma, the Thanksgiving holiday period ran from 6 p.m. Wed., Nov. 24, to midnight Sunday, Nov. 28. During this time period, 546 crashes were reported. Six people were killed and 327 others were injured, said Alice Collinsworth, OHSO communications manager. Four of the six fatalities occurred in alcohol-related crashes, she said.
“Law enforcement officers across the state will be out in force during the holiday,” Collinsworth said. “They’ll be watching for drivers who are impaired, who are breaking the speed limit, or who are distracted, and they also will be enforcing seat belt laws. The goal is to save lives and to make sure everyone arrives safely at their holiday destination.”
OHSO also recommends taking these steps for safe travel:
* Make sure all children in your vehicle are placed in age-appropriate car seats and all adults are buckled up.
* If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement, or dial *55 from any cell phone to alert the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
* Plan ahead for inclement weather and make sure your vehicle has appropriate emergency equipment.
* Avoid distractions while driving, such as cell phones and electronic equipment.
* If alcohol is part of your Thanksgiving celebration, plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver.
AAA Oklahoma once again is offering Tipsy Tow services over Thanksgiving to motorists who have partied a bit too much and feel unsafe behind the wheel. The auto club will give the driver and one more person — plus the vehicle -– a free ride home.
AAA’s Tipsy Tow program, free to members and nonmembers alike, will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and will run until 2 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 28, in metropolitan Tulsa and Oklahoma City, as well as in Lawton, Shawnee, Enid, Muskogee and Bartlesville.
“Many motorists may think they are okay to drive but research shows that impairment starts with the first drink,” said Chuck Mai, AAA Oklahoma spokesman. “And remember, the first thing to go when you drink is judgment. After drinking, we tend to make less-than-smart decisions -– like going ahead and driving.”
To access Tipsy Tow, call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and ask for Tipsy Tow. There are just two restrictions: the tow must be within a 15-mile radius of point of pickup, and there is only one place AAA will take you and your car: home.
For information on Oklahoma road conditions, check The Oklahoman and/or NewsOK.com.
Holidays and winter days are just around the corner, and now’s a good time to make those last-minute preparations for colder weather.
If you haven’t already, there are some key repairs you should make, the experts say. Such as:
* If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned and inspected. A chimney sweep can remove built-up soot and creosote, which can lead to a chimney fire.
* Check the mortar for gaps and chips.
* Use a cap or screen on the top of the chimney to keep out birds and small animals. Fireplace experts say you should inspect the fireplace damper to make sure it opens and closes properly.
* Buy or cut up firewood and store it in a dry place, preferably away from the home exterior., call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
* Have a professional inspect your furnace. Clean the ducts.
* Change the furnace filters. If possible, have extras on hand.
* A programmable thermostate can help regulate temperatures better and save you money.
* If you have a hot-water radiator, have the valves bled. This is done by slightly opening them, then, when water appears, close them.
* Make sure all flammable material is removed from around the furnace.
* Check all doors and windows leading to the outside. Look for cracks and exposed areas around pipes. Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
* Replace cracked glass.
* If you have a basement, check for any water or gas leakes. You might want to protect window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
* Clean out gutters an downspouts.
* If necessary, add extra insulation in your attic and any other location that will accept it. Also be sure to inspect the roof and the flashing to avoid leaks.
* Check your foundation and seal up or cover any spaces where small animals could get under the house.
* Drain all outside hoses and disconnect them from the faucet, then cover the faucet.
* Know where your water cutoff is located.
These are just some preparations you can make. Learn more by going to http://knowit.newsok.com/severe-weather-oklahoma and checking the resources area.