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Moving news further into the digital age - Mount Airy NewsMoving news further into the digital age - Mount Airy NewsPosted: 07 Jul 2020 05:35 AM PDTHurleyTurbulent 2020. Challenging and scary. Record-breaking. Pandemic, worse than a recession, stores and tourist destinations closed. These are terms we didn't pepper in our conversations at the turn of the new year. Goodness, that seems so long ago.Who would have thought that finding toilet paper and hand sanitizer would be a major mission when shopping? And if you had told your friends that no one would be in our churches for several weeks or even months, and especially Easter Sunday, you would have been laughed out of the room.Prior to COVID-19, discussions were different. Business was different and the way we work, play and live, was different. But turbulent times make us stronger, and resilient. We see this every day in our neighborhoods. Anniversaries, birthdays, and just saying hello to an elderly friend are reasons to have a …

Parkland Experts Urge Revelers to Have A Plan This New Year's - Dallasweekly

Parkland Experts Urge Revelers to Have A Plan This New Year's - Dallasweekly


Parkland Experts Urge Revelers to Have A Plan This New Year's - Dallasweekly

Posted: 30 Dec 2019 12:00 AM PST

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Ring in 2020 in an accident-free, safe way

As the clock ticks down on 2019 and party-goers gather to ring in a new decade, healthcare and law enforcement experts at Parkland Health & Hospital System caution revelers to have a plan before the festivities begin.

On average, driving accidents rise during the holidays, so it's crucial to have a safe ride on a night when so many people are out and about. Know your options in advance and decide whether you'll take public transportation, use a ride sharing service or carpool with your friends.

"This time of the year there are multiple factors that come into play when you're out on the highways," said Shelli Stephens-Stidham, Director of the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas housed at Parkland Health & Hospital System. "Not only do you have to be concerned about drivers who might be impaired or distracted you also need to be concerned about the weather."

Such was the case on New Year's Eve 2017, when a cold front with frigid temperatures and icy roads resulted in more than 100 car crashes on North Texas highways. "If you're going to be toasting in the new year don't get behind the wheel," Stephens-Stidham said. "And if you're hosting a party, you'll want to be sure your guests get home safely. One option might be to hire a driver for the evening to provide people a way to get home."

New Year's Day is the most active holiday for car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) 2017 data. While party-goers were ringing in the New Year or resting from their reveling, thieves were starting the New Year with a new ride – to the tune of 2,469 thefts nationwide.

"Although new technology has made it difficult to steal cars by traditional methods such as hot-wiring, the best thing car owners can do is take common-sense precautions to protect their vehicle," said Jacob Kay, crime prevention coordinator with the Dallas County Hospital District Police Department. "It's the same precautions you should take every day regardless of whether the calendar says it's a holiday. Remember, crime doesn't take a holiday."

Some tips offered by Kay and the NICB include:

  1. Always lock your car.
  2. Invest in a car alarm and use it.
  3. Never leave the car unlocked and running while unattended (especially if you're 'warming it up').
  4. Take a photo of your car's registration on your smartphone and avoid leaving such documents or other personal information in the vehicle.

New Year's Eve parties are also times when both guns and fireworks frequently make celebratory appearances. "That may seem obvious, but along with fireworks and champagne, shooting off guns or fireworks is a holiday tradition for some people," Kay said. "Every bullet fired into the air doesn't mean someone is going to get hurt, but the potential exists."

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet and shoulders. In addition to causing potential life-threatening injuries, stray bullets can lodge in roofs, causing damage that requires repair in most cases. Normally, the bullet will penetrate the roof surface through the roof deck, leaving a hole where water may run into the building and cause a leak.

"The combination of firearms and festivities can be a deadly combination," Kay said. "Not only do you risk injuring or potentially killing an innocent victim, but you could end up ruining the rest of your life, too. The bottom line is just don't do it."

Caution should also be exercised when lighting up the New Year's Eve sky with fireworks, according to Stephanie Campbell, MS, RN, CCRNK, Burn Program Manager, Parkland's Regional Burn Center.

"We've admitted more than 40 patients in the last five years with severe burn injuries from fireworks. Clearly most of the injuries occur in July, but we always see a second spike in patients around New Year's Eve," Campbell said.

There are no safe fireworks, Campbell added. Even sparklers reach temperatures hot enough to melt glass and cause deep burns, especially to young children who might accidentally drop them on their feet or ignite their clothing.

"We want to encourage people to celebrate safely with confetti poppers or silly string so that they do not have to ring in the New Year with us at the burn center," she said. 

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