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Northwest Salmon

 

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Editorial

Be safe with fireworks

by John Suhr
suhrs@reporterandfarmer.com

Aah, there is something about the smell of gun-powder at night. The oohs and aahs of the explosions and bright lights in the air are totally another.

Yes, I’m talking about the Fourth of July and fireworks and not my son in high school blowing up pumpkins or gnomes or whatever he could find that would make for an exciting night’s experience. Luckily he and his cohorts still have all their fingers and toes as well as their eyesight.

All joking aside, fireworks – even sparklers – can be dangerous. Major burns can occur from even a simple item. Others, like bottle rockets, Roman candles and holy cows can do much more harm. Never joke around with them. Fireworks are dangerous.

Here are just a few tips:

•Use fireworks outdoors only.

•Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them. Keep in mind, cities like Webster prohibit use of fireworks in city limits. Know the law.

•Always have water handy, a garden hose, bucket or even a fire extinguisher.

•Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter or combine them.

•Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Trying to relight something could make you a dud in not wasting a buck or so.

•Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

•For those old enough (or even those not old enough), alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”

•Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.

•Do not ever use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

Talking about police, have a cell phone with you as well as the local fire department, police or ambulance number ready should an accident occur.

 


Columns

A little trick for summertime ticks

by Amanda Fanger
reporter@reporterandfarmer.com

I’ll bet I can say one word that will give you that creepy-crawly-on-your-skin-everywhere kind of a feeling and make you shudder, wondering if that random itch under your clothes is really just a phantom itch after all:

Ticks.

Yep, that’s right. It’s the season of ticks (and has been for a while, but I’m just now getting around to writing about them). As a person not particularly fond of bugs to begin with, the idea of one actually attaching itself to me about makes me want to crawl out of my own skin.

I’m not sure if it’s that these bloodthirsty little suckers (literally) are more abundant this year than normal or if it’s just that I’m finding myself with more occasion to be out-of-doors than usual, but there seems to be a LOT of ticks.

I remember my kid brother used to have a theory about ticks; he thought they had an aversion to garlic. I’m not sure if he came up with this theory because of the correlation between vampires and ticks both drinking blood, but after he began eating garlic on the regular, we soon discovered that garlic not only did repel the ticks (mosquitoes as well), but people too.

However, since I trust most are not likely to incorporate a surplus of garlic into their daily diets, chances are you will find a tick attached to yourself or someone you know at some point this summer. And if you’re going to remove them, you need to do it right. Each year I find myself informing people on the proper way to remove the little critters.

The best and safest way is to simply pull ‘em out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises using a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to its head as possible and pulling straight – don’t twist or jerk because this can cause the mouth parts to break off; if this does happen, try to remove them with the tweezers but don’t panic if you can’t get them out as the skin will heal on its own. WebMD says not to handle the tick with your bare hands and that you should wash the area of the bite with warm water and soap once it’s removed.

Using any method to get the tick to “back out” on its own is dangerous and poses the largest threat of having disease transferred to you. Putting fingernail polish remover, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, etc. on the tick, burning it while still attached or even grasping it around its belly while trying to remove it will cause the tick to release potentially infected fluid – essentially regurgitating the contents of its stomach – which increases your chance of infection.

Talk about ick.


~af~

 

 

Beware of faulty wires in your home

by Emre K. Erku
sports@reporterandfarmer.com

I got to talking with the Day County Housing Development Corporation recently.

They’re good people.

Last week in Webster, they voluntarily finished painting a house that needed it. Whether it was physical, mental or financial impairments, the owners weren’t able to do it themselves.

So all these caring people chipped in their time to do this awe-inspiring deed.

The house looks beautiful now.

But per our conversation, we got to thinking about the alarming notion of faulty electrical wires and how they can quickly set a house ablaze.

One time I asked the county assessor the age of the older houses in this area.

I think he responded along the lines of “they were built before 1920.”

Whoa, that’s pretty old, I thought.

To still be living in a home that was built in an era when lead-based paints were acceptably used and prevelant, when overcrowded housing spread infectious diseases and when people were overall less educated, is kind of a disturbing thought.

But hey, when you don’t make a lot of money, what other options do you have?

The worse thing is: Poor people grow old too.

This wasn’t the case last year when a teenaged girl living in one of these prehistoric Webster houses woke up to an electrical fire at 2 a.m. and saved her family’s lives by rushing them outside before the house went up in flames.

Many elderly people wouldn’t prosper in the same situation.

So if you live in one of these houses, using either yourself or someone else, check to see if there are any loose wires hanging around or if there are any dangerous looking electical outlets sitting in your pad.

It could possibly save your life because, according to the American Public Health Association, poor housing conditions are associated with a wide range of health conditions.

“Ray”

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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