Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared that winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors during winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

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Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults

The National Institute on Aging shared that if you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what’s happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

What Is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature colder than 95°F can cause many health problems, such as a heart attackkidney problemsliver damage, or worse.

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.

Keep Warm Inside

Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. In fact, hypothermia can happen to someone in a nursing home or group facility if the rooms are not kept warm enough. If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough.

People who are sick may have special problems keeping warm. Do not let it get too cold inside and dress warmly. Even if you keep your temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, your home or apartment may not be warm enough to keep you safe. This is a special problem if you live alone because there is no one else to feel the chilliness of the house or notice if you are having symptoms of hypothermia. Read more

Avoiding injury in the snow and ice

Dr. Diego Villacis, an orthopaedic surgeon with the Northshore Orthopaedic Institute in Evanston, shared with the Daily Herald Newspaper that

Like clockwork, Chicago winters usher in a deep freeze, usually with ice and snow.

While that’s not surprising, I am taken aback by how many ankle and wrist fractures I treat from people slipping and sliding. It’s only a ground-level fall, but if you are not careful you can really hurt yourself, especially on outdoor steps.

For those anxious to hit the slopes, here’s some sobering news: More than 246,000 people were treated at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms for injuries related to winter sports in 2015, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

• 88,000 injuries from snow skiing

• 61,000 injuries from snowboarding

• 50,000 injuries from ice skating

• 47,000 injuries from sledding, tobogganing, and snow tubing

Even the hardiest Midwesterners could use some tips (or reminders) about staying injury-free this winter, whether you’re skiing, shoveling or simply dashing out to get the mail. Read more

Lombard Police to host child seat inspection event

The Lombard Police Department is recognizing Child Passenger Safety Week by hosting a child safety seat check at the Lombard Police Department on Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Lombard Officers will check car seats for proper installation and advise parents, grandparents, and caregivers how to choose the right car seats and install them properly in their vehicles.

The event, part of Lombard’s participation in National Child Passenger Safety Week is free to the public. This event is one of 88 Illinois events sponsored by AAA, the Secretary of State, Illinois Department of Transportation and Village of Lombard.

The updated recommendations emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next type. For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local inspection station to ensure their child’s safety seat is used properly:

• Rear-Facing Seats: In the back seat from birth to the height and weight limit of the seat. Recommended up to 2 years old, but at a minimum age of 1 year old and 20 pounds.

• Forward-Facing Seats: In the back seat when the child has reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing seat to about age four and 40-65 pounds.

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Back to school driving safety reminders

The  Lombard Police Department shared that Lombard Schools are back in session and the Lombard Police Department is reminding residents about the laws regarding school zone speed limits, texting, and passing school buses.


  • School zone speeding or failure to yield to children in a crosswalk:  a first violation is a petty offense with a minimum fine of $150, a second or subsequent violation will result in a fine of $300.
  • Using a cell phone (unless hands free) or texting in a school zone: $120 fine unless the violator is involved in a traffic crash that causes great bodily harm (Class A Misdemeanor) or death (Class 4 Felony).
  • Passing a school bus: first offense will earn drivers a fine of $150 and a 3 month driver’s license suspension, and a second offense will result in a minimum $500 fine and a 1 year driver’s license suspension.

Additional safety tips from remind parents and drivers who are often in a hurry to drop off and pick up students during arrival and dismissal times, to stay alert and follow these tips:

  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods.
  • Comply with local school drop-off and pick-up procedures.
  • Avoid double parking or stopping on crosswalks. Double parking blocks visibility.
  • Avoid loading or unloading children at locations across the street from the school. This forces youngsters to unnecessarily cross busy streets—often mid-block rather than at a crosswalk.
  • Prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Drive with caution when you see yellow hazard warning lights are flashing on a moving or stopped bus.

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Skin care for athletes who train in the sun

Don’t Let Sunburn Ruin Your Summer Months

With the summer months heating up, you may be spending more time out in the sun. Whether you’re off to a beach getaway or just enjoying the outdoors, it’s easy to forget the importance of sun protection. In the event of sunburn, follow these tips from Men’s Healthfor some quick relief:

Stay Hydrated
Hydrating from within will be key to speeding the healing, which should take about a week. “If the skin barrier is disrupted, your skin may not be maintaining hydration as well as it would otherwise,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.

Your skin needs a topical fix to rehydrate, and aloe is the perfect sunburn-healer. You’ll want to avoid moisturizers that contain petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine, as petroleum products trap the heat in your skin (ouch) and the other two no-no ingredients can be irritants according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If you’re truly uncomfortable, an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream can help calm the burn and fight inflammation and itching.

Remember, using sunscreen with at least 30 SPF to begin with can help you avoid sunburn this summer. If you happen to experience sunburn, you can follow these tips to avoid having your bad sunburn ruin a great summer vacation.

Poor quality sunglasses may harm your eyes

Your choice of sunglasses can have a bigger impact on your eye health than you might realize.

Eye specialists are warning not to use poor quality UV sunglasses because they may harm your eyes and create long-term vision defects, The Nation reports.

Professor Dr Khalid Wahid says that sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear meant to prevent bright and high energy light from damaging or discomforting the eyes.

But, if you’re wearing a cheap pair that do not have polarization, UVA and UVB filters, it may result in eye irritation, tears, visual distortion, headaches, and blurred vision.

“Wearing full dark sunglasses will increase pressure on eyes and as a result the pupil opens up by half mm to 5 mm to catch the proper vision and which also allows dangerous UVA and UVB light rays into eyes which may damage them,” Dr. Wahid said.

How to keep your kids safe from injuries

Dr. Gregory Caronis shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper recently that although it may not seem like it today, warmer days of spring are ahead. And with warm thoughts on our minds, many adults look back fondly on childhood days filled with active games, playgrounds and the beginning of the spring sport season. While we often remember playing outdoors with friends until waning daylight signals that it’s time to go home, carefree days can also be marred with injuries that can leave a lasting impact on a child’s health and development.

Children keep us busy in my orthopedic office. Many of the patients I see are children who tend to be much more active than adults and more prone to injury.

In addition, as one of the orthopedic trauma surgeons at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., I am frequently on call when a child is injured. A good number of children we see suffer a fracture after falls from playground equipment or during play with friends. While the broken bone temporarily compromises a child’s lifestyle, they usually heal uneventfully with the proper treatment and care.

Still, certain basic steps can keep children safe. I would say that the greatest number of orthopedic injuries occur on playground equipment or with bike riding. Many of the injuries are bruises, but fractured arms and wrists are common, too.

Helmets – The importance of helmet utilization cannot be overemphasized — broken bones pale in comparison to the irreversible impact of a head injury. The helmet requirement should extend to any type of rolling sport. Scooters, skates and skateboards can all have the potential to cause a sudden fall with a significant amount of impact.

Playgrounds – The playground is fun but can be a dangerous place for children. Spring is the time we start seeing an increase in the number of playground injuries from a fall with an outstretched arm. Our body instinctively tries to break the fall, and we extend a hand forward. The impact frequently results in a fractured wrist. Close supervision of young children is important, as they may not have the physical skills required to safely navigate the equipment. Read more

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