Gunning Daily News

Red Cross Offers Tips to Keep Athletes Safe in Extreme Heat

August 8, 2011 5:05 pm

In the wake of recent student athlete deaths due to excessive heat, the American Red Cross recommends team officials, coaches and parents take steps to help ensure the safety of their players during extreme heat.

"Keeping athletes safe during extreme temperatures is as important as getting them ready for the upcoming season," says Dr. David Markenson, Chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. "One of the most important things athletes can do is stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids like water or sports drinks with electrolytes before, during and after practice—even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol," Markenson adds.

During the hot weather, team practices should be scheduled for early in the day and later in the evening to avoid exposing players to the hottest times of the day. Other steps teams, schools and parents should take to protect their athletes include:

• Allow athletes to get acclimated to the heat by reducing the intensity of practice until they are more accustomed to it.
• Make frequent, longer breaks a regular part of practice. About every 20 minutes stop for fluids and try to keep the athletes in the shade if possible.
• Reduce the amount of heavy equipment—like football pads—athletes wear in extremely hot, humid weather.
• Dress athletes, when appropriate, in net-type jerseys or light-weight, light-colored, cotton T-shirts and shorts.
• Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely.

"Knowing the signs of heat-related emergencies and how to help someone who is suffering from the heat is vital," Markenson stresses. "Coaches and parents need to be vigilant in watching for signs of heat-related emergencies. Athletes should inform their coaches, teachers or parents if they are not feeling well."

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. If someone is experiencing heat cramps:

• Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Stretching, massaging and icing the affected muscle may help.
• Give a half glass of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can make conditions worse.

Heat exhaustion is caused by a combination of exercise induced heat and fluid and electrolyte loss from sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. To help someone with these symptoms:

• Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing. Spray him or her with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in his or her condition.
• If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person's temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.

• Signs of heat stroke include those of heat exhaustion and hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; change or loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; and high body temperature.
• Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
• Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person's body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. If unable to immerse them, continue rapid cooling by applying bags of ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits, spraying with water and/or fanning.

For more information, visit www.redcross.org.

Word of the Day

August 8, 2011 5:05 pm

Depreciation. Gradual decline on paper in market value of real estate, especially because of age, obsolescence, wear and tear, or economic conditions.

Question of the Day

August 8, 2011 5:05 pm

Q: Where can you find fixer-uppers?

A: They are literally everywhere, even in wealthy enclaves. What sets them apart is price. They have lower market value than other houses in the immediate area because they have either been poorly maintained or abandoned.

To determine if a property that interests you is a wise investment will require a lot of work. You will need to figure out what the average home in the area sells for, as well as the cost of the most desirable ones.

Experts suggest that novices avoid run-down properties needing extensive work. Instead, they recommend starting with a property that only needs minor cosmetic work – one that can be completely refurbished with paint, wallpaper, new floor and window coverings, landscaping, and new appliances.

Also, keep in mind that a home price that looks too good to be true probably is. Find out why before pouring your hard-earned money into it. 

When looking for a fixer-upper, some experts suggest you follow this basis strategy: find the least desirable home in the most desirable neighborhood. Then decide if the expense that is needed to repair the property is within your budget.


Law Offers New Protection to Short Sale Homeowners

August 5, 2011 5:05 pm

A new law signed recently by California Governor Jerry Brown offers extended protection to state homeowners who are forced to short sell their homes.

SB 458 ensures that any lender who agrees to a short sale must accept the agreed-upon short sale payment as payment in full on the outstanding balance of all loans, including second mortgages.

The previous law, SB 931, enacted in 2010, held that a first mortgage holder must accept the agreed-upon short sale amount as full payment, but the law did not extend to junior lien holders.

“The signing of this bill is a victory for California homeowners who have been forced to short sell their home only to find that the lender could pursue them after the short sale closes, and demand additional payment to subsidize the difference,” says California Association of REALTORS® President Beth L. Peerce. “The new law brings closure and certainty to the short sale process and ensures that once a lender has agreed to accept a short sale payment on a property, all lienholders—those in first position as well as in junior positions – must consider the outstanding balance as paid in full, and the homeowner will not be held responsible for any additional payments on the property.”

An urgency clause in the new law makes SB 458 effective immediately upon signing.

Stamped Concrete Design Ideas for Last Minute Summer Projects

August 5, 2011 5:05 pm

There’s no need to put off hardscaping projects for another year; get started this summer. More and more homeowners and business owners across the globe are turning to stamped concrete to create a concrete surface that is both functional and aesthetically appealing. The availability of patterns and designs have transformed the way consumers look at stamped concrete. 

Decorative stamped concrete has come a long way since it was first introduced in the market in the 1980’s. They’ve gone from cookie-cutter patterns to intricate replicas of natural stones, at a fraction of the cost and upkeep requirements. This application is great for transforming driveways, courtyards, patios, walkways and any other concrete surface. 

For more information on stamped patterns, and ideas on incorporating stamped concrete into last minute summer projects, visit http://www.StampedConcrete.org.

Sun Safety Tips for Upcoming School Days and Sun Rays

August 5, 2011 5:05 pm

Sun protection doesn’t stop with the end of summer and SunGrubbies.com, an online retailer of sun protective products since 1997, would like to remind parents that it is important to give children a lesson in year-round sun protection. As children head back to school, they need to be protected against exposure to dangerous UV rays. Sun exposure can occur during recess, physical education classes, field trips and fall sport activities. And, it is important to remember that children are also exposed to UV rays as they walk to and from school. 

Sun protection has no season and while skin cancer in children is rare, many skin cancers take years to develop. UVB rays will lessen during the winter months, but harmful UVA rays will be in full force all year long. Sun protection products should be on the back-to-school supply list because one severe childhood sunburn doubles the chance of developing melanoma later in life. 

SunGrubbies.com offers these sun safety tips:
• Teach children to search out shaded areas for playtime activities. The sun’s rays are especially intense between 10 am and 2 pm.
• In the morning, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays to exposed skin. If the school permits, teach your children to reapply the sunscreen at school before they head outside for recess.
• Don’t rely only on sunscreen. Sun protective clothing and sun hats with broad brims offer much more protection.
• Have your children wear sunglasses when outside. Make sure they block 99 percent or more of UV radiation.
• Lead by example. Parents should be good role models and practice sun safety themselves.
It is important for children to be educated about the dangers of excessive sun exposure. Sunburn can be prevented and sun safety measures should become part of a daily regime. 

For more information, visit http://www.sungrubbies.com. 


Question of the Day

August 5, 2011 5:05 pm

Q: What are the benefits of having a co-op?
A: In addition to being able to take advantage of tax deductions, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) says shareholders will find that co-ops have low turnover rates, lower real estate tax assessments, reduced maintenance costs, resident participation and control, and the ability to prevent absentee and investor ownership.

Also attractive: housing cooperatives come in all shapes, sizes, and types. They include townhouses, mid-and high-rise apartments, garden apartments, single-family homes, mobile home parks, artists’ cooperatives, and senior housing. 

For more information about co-ops contact NAHC at (202) 737-0797, or log on to www.coophousing.org.

Time to Plant for Fall

August 5, 2011 3:35 pm

Now that most of summer’s produce is here, or well on its way, it’s time to start planning your garden for fall. Below are some hardy things to plant now for a full fall harvest.

1. Broccoli. Plant at the end of summer but well before the first frost, about 10 weeks.

2. Cauliflower. Plant in rich soil and be sure to water well.

3. Lettuce. Be sure to shade new seedlings from the afternoon sun.

4. Spinach. This hardy veggie lasts well into winter. Plant at least 5 weeks before first frost.

5. Cabbage. Not everyone is a cabbage fan, but this vegetable does well in cooler temps. Be sure to keep soil wet and the young plants shaded from too much sun.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Is Not Just a Cold Weather Risk

August 5, 2011 3:35 pm

Back-to-back carbon monoxide incidents within one week of each other reaffirm what safety officials keep telling citizens: the risk of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning is not only a danger linked to cold weather and furnaces.

In both emergencies, faulty rental water heaters were the source of the deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Safety expert Carol Heller offers these CO summer safety tips:

1. Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a licensed professional. Boaters with watercrafts that have sleeping quarters, generators and/or inboard gas engines should also have annual inspections.
2. Replace carbon monoxide alarms every 7 years, per CSA certification. CO alarms from other manufacturers must be replaced every 5 years.
3. Replace batteries in CO alarms at least once annually
4. Consider purchasing CO alarms that have a digital display, which will alert you before harmful levels of the invisible gas are reached
5. Install CO alarms on watercraft that have sleeping quarters, generators and/or inboard gas engines. And remember, the boat moored next to you could also be a source of CO so stay safe in any marine situation.
6. If your CO alarm sounds, evacuate immediately and call 911.

What Homeowners Need to Know about Summer Mold Danger

August 5, 2011 3:35 pm

It's summertime! The sun is shining, the weather is warm. Who's thinking about mold? American Leak Detection says that if homeowners are not thinking about mold, they should be. Summer's heat and humidity—especially when combined with an undetected or untreated leak—can set the stage for mold to flourish. 

"The best way to deal with indoor mold is to prevent it in the first place," says American Leak Detection President Bill Palmer. "That means you need to recognize the signs that you may have a leak, and locate and repair the leak promptly. Undetected leaks can allow mold to take hold, and that can create a health risk to you and your family and expensive damage to your home." 

Even without a leak, mold can flourish when summer's downpours and steamy weather cause heat and humidity to raise moisture levels in basements, crawl spaces, closets and other enclosed, dark places. Palmer advises that if homeowners notice any of the following seven symptoms of a plumbing leak, they should take action promptly: 

1. The continuous sound of water (like a toilet running) when nothing is turned on.
2. The water meter reading changes when no water is being used. (Mark the indicator on the meter; don't use any water for an hour; then check the meter. If the indicator moved, there may be a leak.)
3. The water bill escalates over a period of weeks or months. (Compare bills month to month.)
4. The walls or floors have wet, spongy, moist or discolored areas when nothing has been spilled.
5. Foul odors coming from floors or walls near drains or sewers.
6. Cracks in the building foundation, uneven vegetation growth, or the earth shifts for no apparent reason.
7. Warm spots on the floor, particularly on concrete slab floors. 

If any of these signs are present, and the homeowner is unable to quickly identify and repair the leak, it's time to call in a specialist, like the leak detection experts at American Leak Detection. Their trained technicians specialize in minimally invasive leak detection to identify not only the source of the leak, but also its origin, which is critical in limiting property damage during repairs. 

For more information visit http://www.americanleakdetection.com.