Halloween Trick-Or-Treat Safety Tips

Trick or Treat

Halloween is a cherished tradition but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. There is no real “trick” to making Halloween a real treat for the entire family. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes. Many communities officially designate a “Beggars’ Night” and assign specific hours for trick-or-treat. Children and adults need to think about safety on this annual day of make-believe.

 

Have each child carry or wear something lit, such as a flashlight, glow bracelet or necklace, or flashing attire for visibility. Light-up shoes are also practical and ever-so-noticeable on a dark Halloween night.

Adults should plan out a route in advance and check it during the daylight for such obstacles as broken sidewalks (or no sidewalks), construction timber, or other obstacles that could trip up trick or treaters. Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods or areas.

Require well-fitting shoes to be worn; preferably sneakers. While adorable in the store as a costume accessory, kids planning to go trick or treat should wear sturdy shoes and not the princess high-heel, too-large boots, or other types of shoes often shown with costumes. Save those types of shoes for costume parties and not when a child is going trick or treat. Their feet–and most likely you who may end up carrying either the shoes or the child–will be thankful.

Avoid costumes that drag on the ground. While cute initially, costumes that drag can trip up little feet, get caught on bushes, and create a tussle that sometimes results in the child wanting to remove the costume. Remember, kids who trick or treat want to be costumed and comfortable.

With the thought of comfort, pick costumes that are bathroom-friendly as well. On this same subject, parents should pre-plan a bathroom stop along the way (a friends’ house will do and is a good time for a water break as well), or at a public facility if driving.

Be sure a child’s mask allows full visibility and breathing. Spiderman masks, for example, sometimes only have small eye slits and nothing for the nose or mouth. Parents should try on masks for size and not hesitate to cut out larger openings for a trick or treaters comfort. If possible, find a mask that “breathes” and is easy to put on and off. The types of mask that easily can slide up on the head and then pulled down are best.

Trick or treaters should walk, not run, and should never cut across lawns or driveways. Obstacles could exist that aren’t readily visible in the evening.

Only carry flexible props, such as knives, swords, ninja items, etc., that can’t cause injury if a kid accidentally falls. No play prop should resemble the real item; and consider leaving play weapons at home and not part of trick or treat night. Remember, some individuals are offended by seeing small children carry these items; and trick or treating should be a fun and positive experience for everyone.

Only trick or treat at houses that are lit. Residents who do not wish to be bothered by trick or treaters often leave off their lights as a sign; respect their preference by only going to houses that are lit.

Be sure kids don’t get over-heated and keep hydrated. Plan costumes according to weather; Be one of those creative parents who accessorizes jackets or thinks “cool comfort” for their kids.

Think “practical” over “cute” when picking a trick or treat goody bag or container. Some of seemingly-fun ones sold in stores are heavy – before any treats are added; others are too long and will drag the ground or have sharp edges that could scrape against tender skin. One of the best and simplest suggestions is have kids utilize a backpack to keep their hands free except for perhaps a flashlight.

Keep track of time and don’t trick or treat after posted times. That allows ample time for children to trick or treat, and by then, the excitement of the evening and the candy/treats means little ghouls will be tired, anyhow.

Feed your kids a healthy meal prior to going trick or treat. Your children will be happier, and it will help reduce the temptation of kids wanting to devour candy from the first trick or treat stop.

Children of any age should be accompanied by a parent, if possible. Tweens or young teens who still trick or treat may resist this notion; if they trick or treat without an adult, set firm rules and require a child to carry a cell phone that can be used in the event of an emergency. Older kids should know where they can go, what etiquette they must follow, safety rules, carry a flashlight or a lit device, and have an absolute deadline for returning home.

Purchased costumes should be made of flame-retardant material. Costumes should also be reflective of the local weather. Some parents overdress their kids so that they sweat and are uncomfortable in costumes that are very heavy or don’t “breathe.” Others freeze in skimpy costumes or those made of thin material. Trick or treating is for children; comfort and safety should come before a parent’s reluctance to have a child wear a coat over a costume.

Insist that your child goes to the bathroom BEFORE leaving the house. And, be considerate of your child’s bathroom needs by not choosing a costume that is difficult to get on and off in time to avoid last-minute bathroom needs, if at all possible.

Never allow children to eat candy before it is inspected. Any opened candy should be thrown away, and unless you personally know the families who make homemade goodies, it is recommended that you dispose of homemade treats. Immediately toss any items that are suspect in any way, and get rid of any treats that your kid doesn’t like (either through donation or throwing away). Some parents also put away some candy and save for later or set rules allowing kids to eat all they want for a designated period, then dispose of the rest.

 

Suggestions for residents/homeowners for making Halloween a fun night of trick or treat:

 Pick up objects in the yard, sidewalk, or driveway that could create safety issues and be sure any tools are safely put away. Check hoses, flower pots, and extension cords.

Think “trick or treat safety” when decorating. Safety experts recommend using plug-in or battery powered jack-o-lanterns instead of using a live candle. If you do opt for a live flame, make sure it is away from any possible exposure to trick or treaters costumes or where they will be walking or standing.

Keep your house well-lit and inviting, or if going for a spooky home theme, make sure trick-or-treaters know your house has a welcome-mat extended.

Be sure your pets are secured and put away, or appropriate arrangements are made. Some pets become frightened; others may become territorial or even aggressive. You don’t want your pets scaring trick or treaters any more than you want kids frightening your pets. Be especially careful with cats, who might dart out of open doors.

Carefully consider treats such as healthier food alternatives than candy. Non-sweet items like crackers, chips, raisins, or popcorn could receive thumbs up from parents. Some also give the “treat” to trick or treat by way of pencil, spider ring, glow in the dark decal, etc.

HalloweenSafetyTips

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AEP power line work across US 33/US 50, Columbus Rd to Stimson Ave, Wed, 10/29, expect delays throughout the day

Road Work Delays

On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, American Electric Power (AEP) will be stringing new power lines across US 33/US 50 in the section from Columbus Road to Stimson Avenue.

There will be lane closures in this section of US 33/US 50. Motorists can expect delays throughout most of the morning and afternoon.

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ODOT asphalt work on SR682 and W. Union St near Athens through Sun 10/26, significant delays, seek alternate routes!

ODOT Logo

The Ohio Department of Transportation ODOT has announced that motorists can expect delays through this weekend (Oct. 25-26) on SR 682 and SR 56 (W. Union St.) near Athens and The Plains. Motorists are advised to avoid the area during the paving project and use an alternative route.

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ODOT asphalt work on SR682 and W. Union St near Athens until 3PM 10/24, significant delays, seek alternate routes!

Drive-Safely

ODOT is performing asphalt work on SR 682 and W. Union St. Expect significant delays. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes. The work should be completed before 3PM today.

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ODH Activates Ebola Call Center Providing 24-hour answers to questions Ohioans have about Ebola 1-866-800-1404

ODH 24hr logo

The Ohio Department of Health is activating a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer Ohioans’ questions about Ebola and the recent events in Ohio in an effort to ensure Ohioans get accurate, timely information.

The number for Ohioans to call is 1-866-800-1404.

The call center, housed at the Ohio Department of Health, began operations at 6 p.m. today and will be staffed by public health nurses and other public health professionals, with infectious disease specialists available as needed.

“ODH’s call center will provide timely, accurate, credible information about Ebola and the state’s response,” said Dr.Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist and interim chief of the ODH Bureau of Prevention and Health Promotion. “While initially 24-hours-a-day, the call center hours may be changed as call volume indicates.”

Any change in the call center hours will be sent to the media.

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The 211 on Ebola Virus Disease from the World Health Organization (WHO)

ebola facts

(Source World Health Organization)

Key facts

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
  • The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
  • Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good

laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.

  • Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
  • There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.

Background

The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal.

The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

A separate, unrelated Ebola outbreak began in Boende, Equateur, an isolated part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The virus family Filoviridae includes 3 genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. There are 5 species that have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first 3, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014 west African outbreak belongs to the Zaire species.

Transmission

It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.

Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola.

People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids, including semen and breast milk, contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

Symptoms of Ebola virus disease

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

Diagnosis

It can be difficult to distinguish EVD from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis. Confirmation that symptoms are caused by Ebola virus infection are made using the following investigations:

  • antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • antigen-capture detection tests
  • serum neutralization test
  • reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
  • electron microscopy
  • virus isolation by cell culture.

Samples from patients are an extreme biohazard risk; laboratory testing on non-inactivated samples should be conducted under maximum biological containment conditions.

Treatment and vaccines

Supportive care-rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids- and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival. There is as yet no proven treatment available for EVD. However, a range of potential treatments including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. No licensed vaccines are available yet, but 2 potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing.

Prevention and control

Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation. Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Raising awareness of risk factors for Ebola infection and protective measures that individuals can take is an effective way to reduce human transmission. Risk reduction messaging should focus on several factors:

  • Reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat. Animals should be handled with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission from direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
  • Outbreak containment measures including prompt and safe burial of the dead, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Ebola, monitoring the health of contacts for 21 days, the importance of separating the healthy from the sick to prevent further spread, the importance of good hygiene and maintaining a clean environment.

Controlling infection in health-care settings:

Health-care workers should always take standard precautions when caring for patients, regardless of their presumed diagnosis. These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe burial practices.

Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding. When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with EBV, health-care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures).

Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from humans and animals for investigation of Ebola infection should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories.

Click on link to see information from the Ohio Department of Health – What you need to know about Ebola

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Athens Co Rd 19, Radford Rd CLOSED, Co Rd 10, Baker Rd to SR 56, Thu, 10/16, 8am to 12pm , please avoid this area

Athens Co Road Closed

The Athens County Engineer’s Office will be closing County Road 19, Radford Road between County Road 10, Baker Road and State Route 56, Thursday, October 16th, 8:00am to 12:00pm , weather permitting. The roadway is being closed for the removal of a large dead tree. Please avoid this area.

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Local Eagle Scout Produces Emergency Information Pamphlet to Help Citizens Contact Emergency Services Faster

N Egan AC EMA 911N Egan ACEMS

 

 

 

We’d like to congratulate local resident Nathan Egan on completing his recent Eagle Scout service project!

Nathan worked with Athens County EMS and Athens County 9-1-1 to develop a pamphlet that educates citizens on the best way to call for help in an emergency situation. The booklet discusses cell phone vs landline calls to 9-1-1, the need for the dispatcher to know a specific address where help is needed, calling when you are on the road or in a public place, and other ways to make sure emergency crews arrive in the fastest time possible. The booklet also contains a place to list the patient’s pertinent medical information such as allergies and history, as well as a separate list for current medications and dosages.

Nathan wanted to do a project of this nature to serve not just his local community, but get the word out to as many citizens as possible using internet downloads and multiple media sites. He will be distributing the printed pamphlets to all five Athens County EMS stations. He has distribution plans throughout Meigs County as well over the next few weeks.

Nathan Egan is 17 years old. He has been a boy scout for the past six years. He is a member of Troop #299 in Western Meigs County. Greg McCall is the scout master. He is currently at the rank of Life Scout and is completing the requirements to attain the rank of Eagle Scout this November.

Nathan is a senior at the Ohio Connections Academy and plans to attend college in the fall of 2015 for a degree in computer science. Nathan lives in Syracuse with his mother, Wendy Egan and in Haydenville with his father and step mother, Joe and Stephanie Egan. His father has been a full time paramedic for Athens County EMS (SEOEMS) for the past 21 years.

Athens County EMS and Athens County Emergency Management will have a .pdf file of Nathan’s pamphlet available their websites (www.AthensEMS.org & http://www.athensema.org) for free downloading.

Click Link for PDF Version – Tips to Save Time In An Emergency

Congratulations, Nathan, and thank you!

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ATHENS CO TORNADO WATCH UNTIL 9PM, TUE 10/7/14, WATCH FOR RAPIDLY CHANGING CONDITIONS, SEEK SHELTER IF NEEDED!

Tornado Watch

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR ATHENS COUNTY UNTIL 9PM TONIGHT, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014. WATCH FOR RAPIDLY CAHNGING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND BE PREPAIRED TO SEEK SHELTER IF NEEDED.

REMEMBER, A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO, LOCAL TV, RADIO OR YOUR CABLE TELEVISION PROVIDER FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS

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Driving Abilities Change as we Age, Learn How To Recognize and Discuss Changes in Your Older loved One’s Driving

Older Athens County Logo

Getting older does not necessarily mean a person’s driving days are over. But it is important to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones on the road. NHTSA offers free materials to help you learn more about how to recognize and discuss changes in your older loved one’s driving.

If you think you need to have a conversation with an older driver about his or her driving abilities, remember that many older drivers look at driving as a form of independence. Bringing up the subject of their driving abilities can make some drivers defensive. So, be prepared with your observations and questions, and – if necessary – provide possible transportation alternatives.

Answering the following questions may help you decide if you need to initiate a conversation with an older driver about driving safely:

  • Getting lost on routes that should be familiar?
  • Noticing new dents or scratches to the vehicle?
  • Receiving a ticket for a driving violation?
  • Experiencing a near miss or crash recently?
  • Being advised to limit/stop driving due to a health reason?
  • Overwhelmed by road signs and markings while driving?
  • Taking any medication that might affect driving safely?
  • Speeding or driving too slowly for no reason?
  • Suffering of any illnesses that may affect driving skills?
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