The biggest disaster threat to families isn’t floods or tornadoes; it’s fire. Last year, in this area the Red Cross responded to more than 1,300 home fires.
Home fires all too often end in tragedy. Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. The Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce that number by 25 percent. Volunteers are canvassing high fire-risk neighborhoods and installing smoke alarms and teaching residents how to make their fire escape plans.
We are also asking every family to take three steps to help minimize their risk:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and check them monthly by pressing the test button.
• Create a fire escape plan identifying two escape routes from every room of the home and a place a short distance outside of the home where family members can meet after escaping.
• Practice the escape plan at least twice a year, paying particular attention to children or older adults who may require extra time and care.
The Red Cross wants to help you get prepared. Visit us at www.redcross.org/homefires to learn more.
CEO, American Red Cross St. Louis Bi-State Chapter
February is American Heart Month. Increasing your awareness of the numerous national health observances can help prevent a variety of serious and sometimes life-threatening health problems for you and your loved ones like heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association (AHA) website offers a lot of helpful/healthful information to learn and share. Health topics and information on nutrition, physical activity, healthier kids, weight management, stress management, quitting smoking and workplace wellness are available for everyone at: http://tinyurl.com/2el8dgz. Feel free to learn and share. It can make the difference between a better quality life and death. Making small changes can have a big difference. The American Heart Association website discusses the effects of simple sugars and sweeteners on heart health. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/lou4fdb.
Locally, the Madison County Health Department (MCHD), located at 101 East Edwardsville Road, Wood River (in the old Wood River Township Hospital), has valuable help and resources on heart health for people of all ages with or without health insurance. According to the website, MCHD offers smoking cessation opportunities for residents and businesses through the Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities Grant and provides educational materials to individuals and community groups in presentations at community events. For more information, call Lisa Modrusic at (618) 296-6104. Additionally, the Illinois Tobacco Quitline (1-866-QUIT-YES or 1-866-784-8937) has nurses and respiratory therapists trained in the Mayo Clinic Model available to answer calls and live chats from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Be the leader for a healthy community! Learn and share important information about all national health observances listed at http://healthfinder.gov/nho/ so everyone can do their part to 1) improve their health, 2) educate the public about health risks, 3) organize health promotion events and campaigns and 4) get new ideas, information and resources on health topics important for everyone. For more information on American Heart Month, please contact the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, Texas, (800) 242-8721 or visit www.heart.org.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/, stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of adult disability. About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year. One American dies from a stroke every four minutes, on average. Stroke is a medical emergency. Everyone should know the signs and symptoms of stroke, and call 911 right away if you think someone might be having a stroke. Getting fast treatment is important to preventing death and disability from stroke. You may be able to prevent stroke or reduce your risk through healthy lifestyle changes. In addition, medication can reduce stroke risk for some people.
Some information adapted and reproduced as a courtesy from the source: 2015 National Health Observances, National Health Information Center, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.
Karl Adams, MSN, RN