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7/29/2011 @ 8:47:00 am by publicservantsrule.com

Under Age Drinking

Underage drinking is a major public health and safety problem in America today.  Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among youth in the America.  It is more common than tobacco and illegal drugs.  Alcohol use among those under the age of 21 may be illegal, those aged 12-21 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the U.S,   and Underage drinkers consume more alcohol during single drinking occasion than adults. In 2008 there were and estimated 190,000 emergency room visits by people under 21 for injuries and other alcohol related emergencies.

 

Reasons for teens to start drinking alcohol include, but are not limited to the following:

 

1.  Peer pressure; Young people want to fit in, socially with their peers.  They think that they have to drink alcohol to be a part of the popular crowd.

 

2. Parental and family influences; if a child’s parent/s drink he is more likely to drink alcohol himself.

 

3.  Boredom; Young people are more likely to experiment with alcohol if there aren’t more positive and constructive things to do in their lives.

 

4.  Depression, low self esteem, undiagnosed learning disabilities and/ mental health related disorders; Many young people who have these factors may not realize they have an actual medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated my a medical doctor or trained mental health professional, so they can be trying to self medicate.

 

5.  Advertising:  Alcohol ads can play a small role in influencing young people to drink.  However, research has mixed results in determining this factor.  More extensive studies need to be done to confirm or deny this one.

 

Consequences of underage drinking can include the following:

 

1.  Problems with grades, attendance and behavior in school.

 

2.  Problems with fighting and reduced participation in youth activities,

 

3.  Criminal records for assault, DWI etc.

 

4. Hangovers and illnesses.

 

5.  Unwanted, unplanned and unprotected sex, including rape and sexual assault.

 

6. Higher risks for suicide and homicide.

 

7.  Injuries and illnesses from falls, car crashes, burn drowning, and alcohol poisoning.

 

8.  Abuse of other drugs

 

9.  Changes in brain development that can cause life long problems.

 

 

Parents can contribute to the problem of underage drinking when they host parties in their homes and allow their children and their children’s friends drink alcohol.  They think that if the kids are doing it in a supervised home, that is better than doing it out on the street.  However kids who drink in their homes still leave and drive under the influence on alcohol.  They can still be sexually assaulted in the home.  They can still succumb to alcohol poisoning and a host of other consequences.  This practice is illegal in most of not all fifty states.  Penalties can, and do, vary from state to state.  Parents absolutely should NOT be doing this.

 

Prevention can include, but is not limited to the following:

 

1.  Education:  This can be done by parents, schools, religious institutions, and other community organizations.

 

2.  Providing safe, structured, and substance free activates for young people in your community.

 

3.  Stepping up enforcement of existing laws that are in place in all fifty states.

 

4.  Raising the price of alcohol.

 

 

As you can see, alcohol use among young people can be a serious problem, with serious consequences.  Parents, schools, and religious and community institutions can play a large role in the prevention of this problem.  That requires a team approach from all of the adults in a child’s life.  The prevention of this problem is a matter of life or death.  The life you may save may be that of your own child.

 

 

Sources:  C.D.C., and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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6/30/2011 @ 11:42:09 am by publicservantsrule.com

Know Your Surroundings

A great item of safety information to always keep in mind, is to beware of your surroundings at all times.  When you are out at shopping centers, malls etc. always keep a lookout for people following you, in the stores or in the parking lot.  Or look for strangers loitering in the lot.  If you don’t feel safe, go back into the store or mall, and ask for a security escort to your car, especially if you are alone.

 

Also when you are in a parking lot, or walking on city streets, keep an eye out for motor vehicle traffic.  Always look both ways when crossing a street and parking lots.  There can be may distracted drivers out there using cell phones, eating, drinking, applying makeup etc.  If they are distracted, they may not see you until it are too late.  Therefore, you must stay alert yourself.  Keep distractions to a minimum.  Limit or eliminate cell phone and iPod use while walking on city sidewalks or in parking lots.  You could be distracted enough to walk in front of cars and get hurt or killed.

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5/30/2011 @ 8:06:25 pm by publicservantsrule.com

Swimming Pool Safety

As the weather heats up for the summer, many public and private pools are opening up fir the summer.  We wish to pass on some valuable safety tips for the summer swimming season!

 

- Pools should have barriers or fences as least four feet high that completely surrounds the pool.  Fences should have no foot holds or hand holds or diamond shaped holds larger than 1.75” that would allow a child to climb over the fence.  They should also not contain vertical slats larger than 4” wide that would allow children to squeeze through the fence.  Fences should have a self locking gate.

 

- Never allow anyone to run around a pool.  People should walk any time they are around a pool.

 

- Never allow small children to play in or around a swimming pool with out strict adult supervision.

 

- All other people should swim with a buddy.  Never swim alone.

 

- Never allow the use of alcohol around a swimming pool.  It lowers inhibitions and judgment.

 

Take breaks for food, water and rest.  Swimming while tired is dangerous and more likely to cause drowning.

 

- Use plenty of waterproof sunscreen of SPF30 or higher.  Reapply every two hours.

 

With some common sense and knowledge of basic safety rules, you can stay safe and still have fun and a happy summer.

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4/29/2011 @ 8:49:40 pm by publicservantsrule.com

Motor Cycle Safety

Helmets for motorcycle riders save lives.  Twenty-seven states have some form of partial helmet law in place.  Twenty states and Washington DC have universal helmet laws in place.  Three have no helmet laws whatsoever.  Motorcycle riders should always check with their states or states they visit to determine what if any helmet laws exist.  In addition to following helmet laws, riders should also be aware of the following safety tips and use them.

 

  • Just like you should never drive a four-wheeled vehicle under the influence of alcohol or mind altering substances, you should never ride a motorcycle under the influence either.
  • Also never let friends ride under the influence.  Take their keys away and drive them home or call a taxi for the,
  • Wear protective clothing while riding.  It should cover the body and provide some injury protection.  Clothing should contain bright colors and reflective material to make it easier for other people to see you, especially at night.
  • Never tailgate.
  • Ride within your lane.
  • Always obey posted speed limits.
  • Use caution while traveling in inclement weather conditions, over gravel or other rough surfaces.

 

All in all, a little common sense, consideration for other drivers and riders, as well as respect and obedience for traffic safety laws can go along way to keeping you and others safe on the road.

 

 

Source:  CDC

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2/28/2011 @ 10:03:17 am by publicservantsrule.com

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Abuse of the 911 emergency systems can be a serious problem.  The 911 system is intended for serious emergencies only.  People call 911 for all kinds of different, and very trivial things these days.  There are people who call 911 to find out what time local fast food restaurants close.  The 911 system should only be used in real emergencies such as a motor vehicle collision, fire, crime in progress, or a medical emergency.

 

Abuse of the 911 system is illegal in many jurisdictions.  Penalties vary from state to state, county to county and city to city.  When you abuse the 911 system, it prevents the resources from getting to people who do have real and legitimate emergencies.  The delayed responses could result in permanent disabilities and/or even death.

 

If someone repeatedly calls 911 for trivial things he/she could very well have his/her address flagged in the 911 computers as a chronic nuisance caller.  Public safety personnel may not take their complaints seriously when they do have a real emergency.  These callers may be treated as”The Boy Who Called Wolf.”  This also goes for people who call 911 numerous times for the same medical emergency when nothing is actually wrong with them.  When this happens, people including emergency responders, don’t know if the person just trying to get attention again or there is a real problem may not be taken seriously.

 

Think before calling 911.  Only use the system for true emergencies.

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