Safety Recalls

Here at Project Safety, we know that information sharing will be a big part of helping to secure our members safety in all aspects of their lives. This is, of course, the reason we will continue to share important news and tips on safety that are both effective and useful. But another important part of our mission is sharing everything that can affect your safety and the safety of those you love. Watching out for product recalls, and sharing those we find, is a part of that mission.

When it comes to product recalls, we’ve seen everything from baby carriages to automobiles being recalled over the years. Finding this information in one place will be a nice complement to our mission and to yours. Besides, we don’t want you to wait until this is your car.

As we move forward to a production status, we will be implementing our FREE safety newsletter chocked full of the same news and safety tips we are currently sharing. We will be reporting on news for every demographic of our membership, and will also be reporting on current product recalls. But that’s not all. We’ll seek out new technologies and boldly go where no company has gone before.

When you join Project Safety, we know that we are being trusted with the most important concern in your life… your family. We’ll work hard to help you see to their safety, and will make this our priority mission, as both individuals and as a company. We’ll listen to your comments and suggestions and analyze them for usefulness to see if together we can make Project Safety better for you and your family. If we use your idea, you’ll receive an honorable mention on our Community Safety Partners page, and we’ll send you a Certificate of Contribution to Society to recognize your important contribution.

As we move forward in the New Year, we’ll look forward to hearing from you as we work hard to make the world toward a safer place. We realize that we have some big shoes to fill. But we are up to the task. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Winter Safety – Injuries and Fatalities

Many injuries occur each winter as we try to keep our homes warm, and handle chores in and around our homes. Cold weather injuries can often be avoided by simply using our better judgment. Whenever possible make a friend or family member aware of your outside chores, having them check on you from time to time.

When you have outside chores, dress warmly and reduce your exposure to the elements. If the pavement around your home is icy, put off the chores until the ice breaks up or melts. Falls associated with slippery surfaces can be the worst kind for injury and even death. If you fall and hit your head hard enough, and no one is there with you, your life can be in danger in a matter of minutes in severe cold weather. Don’t use sharp tools when standing on frozen or icy ground or pavement.

Iced over lakes and ponds can also produce dangerous conditions that should be properly assessed prior to skating or driving on the ice. As a youngster, we were always anxious to get out and ice skate that first time in winter when the neighborhood pond was frozen over. Parents, be sure to check where your kids are skating, and check the ice thickness before allowing your kids to skate. And when driving on iced over lakes, check with the local authorities on when the ice is thick enough for driving. Never cross into roped off areas when driving on a frozen lake.

December, January, and February are the leading months for home fires and associated deaths in the United States. About one-third of the 4,000 home-fire deaths in 2009 occurred during these three months, though the number of deaths (per million) recorded over the last ten years has decreased significantly. Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home-fire deaths in the U.S. and the leading cause during December and January. Make sure your fire place is covered properly to reduce the risk burning embers from causing a dangerous situation, and don’t leave your fire burning during sleeping hours unless absolutely necessary. Never use any material for starting your fire that is not meant for this use, and have your chimney checked at the beginning of every winter season to make sure there are not obstructions and that the flue is completely open.

Each year, more than 200 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide or CO, is produced by fuel-burning motor vehicles, appliances, and heating systems. In addition, several thousand individuals are treated in emergency departments for CO poisoning. The risk of CO poisoning increases during the winter, as more people run furnaces and space heaters and use fireplaces. Deaths from CO poisoning also occur when people sit in an idling vehicle with the doors and windows closed. One CDC study found that motor-vehicle-related CO poisoning exposures increase during winter months and that death rates from CO poisoning in stationary motor vehicles are highest in states with colder average winter temperatures. During just two days in January 1996, 22 people in New York City died from CO poisoning because their exhaust pipes were packed with snow, and CO backed up into the vehicle. Do your homework on the hazards of CO poisoning, and have your furnace checked each year prior to the winter months. And if you don’t yet have them, install CO detector/alarms in your home, and checking your batteries regularly.

Getting around in cold, stormy weather can be dangerous and should only be attempted when you have covered all the bases of vehicle maintenance, your auto’s stock of first aid and other supplies, and of course a check of the weather where you are and where you will be going. Each year, hundreds of thousands of motor vehicle crashes occur during sleet and snowy conditions. Of these crashes, tens of thousands of them resulted in injuries; while many resulted in deaths. The best policy for traveling in severe conditions is to only travel when absolutely necessary. Be sure to read our other articles on winter safety and winter driving on the Project Safety web site.

Snow blowers (or snow throwers) are another necessary danger of winter when you live in areas of extreme cold weather. Snow blowers are the fourth leading cause of finger amputations associated with consumer products. These machines cause more than 5,300 emergency department visits and 1,000 amputations each year. Numerous deaths related to snow blowers have been reported since 1992. If you are a first time user of this handy tool, have an experienced operator go over its use, and learn the ins and outs of storage and maintenance to make your time with you snow blower as safe as possible.

Hypothermia is of course, a very serious hazard of living in the cold. Each year, more than 700 people die of hypothermia (low body temperature) caused by extended exposure to cold temperatures both indoors and out. About half of these deaths are among persons age 65 and older; men in this age group are more likely than women to die from hypothermia. Risk factors for hypothermia include older age, alcohol abuse, homelessness, poverty, mental illness, chronic diseases such as hypothyroidism, dehydration and malnutrition, and prolonged exposure to materials that promote heat loss (e.g., water, metal). Take the proper precautions to stay warm. Layer your clothes and stay well hydrated.

Feel free to share this great information will all your friends and family members, and be sure to sign up for our free monthly newsletter containing great tips like these, product recalls and news, and plenty of useful safety information pertaining to all aspects of our safety.

Winter Weather Driving Part 2

Snow, ice, and extreme cold can make driving treacherous. Being prepared for long trips and for everyday driving will help prevent treacherous events from becoming a part of your winter weather driving experience. These safety tips from Project Safety, the CDC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Safety Council can help make winter car travel safer. Be sure that you have read “Winter Weather Driving Part 1” on our safety news page to ensure that you have properly prepared the mechanics of your car or truck.

Prepare for all winter travel by keeping the proper emergency gear in your car or truck. This list of items should always be in your vehicle during the winter.

  • cell phone
  • cell phone charger
  • flashlight that can be powered by your cigarette lighter and batteries
  • jumper cables
  • sand or kitty litter (for traction)
  • ice scraper, snow brush, and small shovel
  • blankets
  • warning devices (e.g., flares, reflectors)

For longer trips prepare by adding extra blankets, food, water, and any required medication that you will need if an emergency arises. Here are some additional tips for winter travel.

  • Avoid driving in snow or ice storms. If you must travel in bad weather, drive slowly. Let someone know what route you’re taking and when you plan to arrive so they can alert authorities if you don’t get there. This is a task that can be accomplished easily by utilizing your Project Safety membership. The use of our single-tap GPS Tag function can come in handy if you get stranded in cold weather.
  • If your car is parked outside, make sure the exhaust pipe and the area around it are free of snow before you start the car. Snow packed in or around the exhaust pipe can cause high levels of carbon monoxide in the car.
  • Never sit in a parked car with the engine running unless a window is open. Do not let your car run while parked in a garage or other enclosed area.
  • If your car stalls or gets stuck in snow, light two flares and place one at each end of your vehicle a safe distance away. Whenever possible, move your vehicle well off the roadway. During heavy snow your vehicle can become invisible to other drivers. Make sure snow has not blocked the exhaust pipe. Then stay in your vehicle and open a window slightly to let in fresh air. Wrap yourself in blankets and run your vehicle’s heater for a few minutes every hour to keep warm.
  • Always use Project Safety to proactively protect you from possible incidents in winter and all other times of the year. Read our “Learn More” page on the Project Safety web site to find out more about how Project Safety can help protect you in all the events of your life.

Winter Weather Driving Part 1

Snow, ice, and extreme cold can make driving treacherous. Careful planning for travel in conditions of extreme cold can be lifesaving in the case of an automotive failure. In this brief article I am going to share some helpful tips for being prepared and reducing your chances of getting stranded. For other great tips for winter travel visit the web sites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Safety Council.

The first and probably the most important aspects of preparedness are the maintenance and readiness of your automobile. The wrong fluid choices or a weak battery can strand you in extreme winter weather. Taking a few careful steps before cold weather sets in will have you ready for hitting the road this winter.

Choosing the right motor oil for your car or light truck for the winter season can be critical to reducing breakdowns. And while a multi-weight oil may seem to work well, it may not be the right protection if the going gets tough. The most important aspect to remember in choosing winter oil is choosing oil that is too thick may not protect your engine well because of the time it takes for the oil to warm up and flow properly. Make sure that you get an oil change before cold weather sets in, and discuss the proper weight with your mechanic. Your engine and the region you live in may play a role in the right choice, so be sure to get expert advice.

When it comes to visibility, your choice of washer fluid is critical to ensure that you can clean your windows when you need to. Salt and dirt on winter roads can rob you of visibility quickly. Be sure you drain your summer washer fluid completely before the winter weather sets in, and replace it with the proper winter fluid to reduce the chances of it freezing.

We all know how important it is to have the correct cooling system fluids (anti-freeze) in our cars for winter. As important as this is, the system should be flushed completely before and after the winter season, and the right anti-freeze or coolant be chosen to do the job.

Equally as important to safe winter driving is your tires. Most people, who live in areas that have extreme winter weather, know what tires to choose for winter driving. However, proper pressure and the depth of your tread can play a huge role in the handling of your car and your ability to control your car on ice. Make sure you know what your tire pressures should be, and check them regularly. Extreme temperature changes can affect the tire pressure. Over inflated or under inflated tires can cause uneven wear, affecting handling and reducing the life of the tire. Also be familiar with proper tread depth and how to measure it.

In recent years the automotive industry has begun to move away from liquid batteries, though many brands still manufacture them, and some automobile manufactures still use them in their cars. It is easy to see the difference by looking at the battery to see if there are water caps on them. Typically, these caps are rectangular in shape and cover three filling holes. If you have this type battery, it is imperative to check the water levels of the battery every couple of months. When refilling low cells, only use distilled water. It is however, best that you let your mechanic handle this task to ensure your safety. While these batteries are not under pressure, they are filled with a water and acid mixture that can be dangerous if you get it on your hands or other body parts. Needless to say, this acid water mixture can also ruin nice clothing.

Most of the newer batteries on the market are solid gel batteries that do not require any form of maintenance, other than keeping your battery posts cleaned and tightened. A great way to deter the corrosion that can cause a lack of contact around the battery posts is to coat them with petroleum jelly when your battery is installed. Most auto parts stores carry this, and many batteries come with small packets of petroleum jelly for this reason. With all of this said, you’ll want to have your battery checked prior to winter to make sure it is producing the proper amount of voltage and current to keep your car going throughout the winter. The big chain auto parts businesses will have a way to check this and will do it for free when you ask.

Belts and hoses can ruin your day in cold weather as they become old and brittle. Looking for cracks in your belts can be a good indicator of whether or not it is time to change them, though it is a pretty good policy to change them every other year even if they don’t look worn. This same policy for hoses is the best way to ensure they give way on you in severe weather, as they are more difficult to inspect properly for wear.

With these tips you should be off to a good start for this year’s winter weather driving. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next installment of our series on winter weather travel. In part 2 we will share some tips on what to carry in your car this winter.

Hunting Safety

The United States of America is one of few countries that have laws making it legal to own firearms. In America, a lot of us have grown up around firearms and simply know them as a part of American living.

A lot of my friends and family members are hunters, and each year around Thanksgiving I make a trip to see my son for the traditional Thanksgiving dear hunt. Hunting has been around as long as any of us can remember, and is known as a recreational sport and a means of bonding for many families. Coming from a country environment, my family has come to know the ownership of guns as a means to provide. We use our guns to hunt for dear, duck, quail, pheasant, elk, and many other sources of meat.

But no matter what I share about tradition, one thought still remains; firearms can be dangerous. If properly trained in firearm use, a person can be responsible in the use of their firearms for hunting and for protection. But a little complacency when it comes to maintenance, storage and security, and someone’s life becomes endangered. The moral of this story is everyone should have gun safety training.

In recent years more people are coming around to the use of firearms as protection, and are qualifying for their Conceal & Carry permits to protect themselves in their business, on trips, and even at home. In an increasingly dangerous world, who can blame them? People want to feel safe when they are traveling, carrying money from their office to the bank, and in a lot of other situations.

A lot of families have guns for every member of the family. The kids are taught gun safety, mom is taught too, and they all gather at the local range to practice. I believe this to be a good thing. Gun training gives us a means to teach our children responsibility while building their self-esteem. The fact that we trust our children with guns (following the proper training) helps them to feel confident and mature. But more important is for them to realize that the world is not always a safe place. It also provides a means of bonding between father and son, and even others in the family. But the proper training must be administered prior to use and ownership.

Taking into account the recent buzz about guns and killings, the numbers say a lot. Each year influenza kills thousands more Americans than guns. The same goes for auto fatalities. The mistakes made by doctors alone kills over a million people worldwide each year. Are guns really at fault for the shootings that have happened in recent years? Guns don’t make decisions, and the same goes for automobiles. It’s about what is going on behind the guns that is the problem. What really causes people to want to kill others? Could it be the drugs that doctors prescribe irresponsibly because of their alliance with drug companies?

Back when my son was in elementary school, his grades were suffering. And since he lived with his mother, I got the call to do something about it. His mother had explained to me that the school had already put my son on Ritalin by way of referral by the school nurse, and that it wasn’t doing much good. This didn’t sit well with me, and I was determined to get to the bottom of the situation and get my son back on track. And who gave the authority to prescribe drugs to young children, to a nurse? I told her to send my son to Texas to live with me. My son then relocated to my home in Texas, and was quickly enrolled in the local school system.

My son was a normal child that loved hanging out with his friends, riding motorcycles with his dad, and playing sports with the rest of the neighborhood boys on the weekends. I just could not understand how my son needed to be on drugs to cope with school. There was nothing unusual about this child, as he seemed to function very normally. He was very much like I was at his age, and I never had to take Ritalin to cope with school. We didn’t even have Ritalin in my school days, and we all managed to complete school with enough aptitude to make a living, and a lot more.

I went to the school and met my son’s teachers, and asked them to let me know what all of his assignments were so that I could see that he was getting them done. I explained to my son that when he gets home from school, he would get his homework completed before he would be allowed to go out and play with his friends. From the very first day my son was completing his homework without difficulty, and seemed to know the material quite well. There was absolutely no indication that my son was having any difficulty concentrating on his lessons, or had any sort of condition that would warrant administering drugs.

When my son’s first report card made its way home, you should have seen his face! He had all A’s and B’s, and was feeling all the confidence and self-esteem that we want our children to feel. When I shared this with his mother, she was beside herself about the results… she didn’t even believe me! But when I asked her if she had worked with him on his lessons, I had found that she did not, and was a little put out by the notion that she should have to participate to the extent that I was in our son’s schooling. But isn’t this what good parents do?

Unfortunately, there is no manual for being a good parent. But doesn’t it make sense that to see it done correctly, we as parents have to play an active role in all aspects of their lives? Why should we leave this all up to the schools to see our children through the educational process? A lot of the dysfunction we see in our society today is a result of parents not doing their job completely because they are too busy with other things, or simply because they are lazy. We as parents must see our children through their childhood years if we are to expect them to later become a productive member of society.

The other lesson I learned from this scenario, is that my son didn’t need drugs, and that it was a cop out of the school’s responsibility to deal with our children. I know that young children are active and full of energy, but to try to control their energy through the use of drugs is not the way. By doing this to our children we are setting them up for failure and for addiction, not to mention setting them up for the side effects of drugs that present serious long term damage to their minds and bodies, or even worse! Drugs are not the way, and I proved this!

Recently there has been an emphasis put on gun control by government leaders despite the low number of deaths caused by shootings. What are their reasons for this? What if guns were outlawed? Would we be any safer? Would the criminals turn in their guns as would the law abiding citizens? Why is the government so serious about new gun laws, but ignore state and federal immigration laws? After all, there are more Americans killed in a single year by illegal aliens than the total of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the inception of both conflicts. Additionally, Statistics have proven that crimes committed with guns increases significantly when they are outlawed. In Washington DC crime rose 100% as a result of new laws restricting the ownership of hand guns. Outlawing guns is not going to stop the shootings, and is not the root cause.

Take a close look at all the mass shootings that have occurred in this country in the last couple of decades. Almost every killer was on some sort of antidepressant drug, or was at the very least in withdrawals as a result of these drugs. The questions we should be asking ourselves is: Why are so many people being prescribed these psychotropic drugs? Why after all the proof that these drugs are making the conditions worse, or causing the conditions, are we still being prescribed these drugs? Why aren’t the media and our government officials investigating the root of these killings… drugs? Again, these killings are not about guns.

In my mind these mass killing events are a reminder of why we do need the protection of guns. If all U.S. states had an open conceal law like Oklahoma, I doubt we would see these events at all. If we did, do you think they would be able to go through a crowded theater or school picking all the targets they want? It is my belief that guns don’t kill people, but rather people kill people. We simply cannot solve the problem by outlawing guns.

Having shared my opinion on gun ownership in America, there are still laws that need to be enforced with respect to ownership and the ability to carry a weapon. Felons and hardened criminals should not be allowed the right to own firearms, based on their having displayed a lack of responsibility toward society and their fellow man. Other safeguards should also be in place. Gun registration is only required by those purchasing pre-owned firearms. Should we make these laws a little stricter? Maybe it would make a difference, or maybe it wouldn’t? The individuals that commit these mass killings are usually not a criminal with long records, but rather victims of the drug industries plans for profitability.

In summary, we need to consider all facets of the problems we face in society and search for the underlying problems, then take the necessary steps to implement programs that will mitigate these problems. There are many dangers in life, but the key to reducing these dangers is to identify the root of the problem and act on it. Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us at Project Safety. May the season bring you all the happiness you deserve.

The Heart Rescue Project

Are you aware of the fact that every day thousands of people suffer from Sudden Cardiac Arrest? This sudden event takes the lives of over 300,000 Americas each year. In 1979 only 8% of those who suffered sudden cardiac arrest survived the ordeal. And surprising as it may seem, in the last 30 years this number has not changed.

Would you know what to do for a person if they collapsed in your presence suddenly with cardiac arrest, or would stand there puzzled and afraid? Some of us know how to administer CPR, though how many of us stay current in CPR methods? The methods prescribed for CPR change from time to time to reveal newer better ways to perform CPR. There are, however, news ways to handle these situations when they arise.

“The three phases of action are Bystander Response, Pre-Hospital Response, and Hospital Response.”

Recently, a new program was launched to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, and how to handle it should you be present when it happens. This program is called “The Heart Rescue Project”, and is designed to share the use of high tech devices called AED’s that are now widely available in public places. These AED’s are labeled, usually by a red and white sign, and are easy to use because the instructions are given in the form of audio as soon as you open the device.

The three phases of action are Bystander Response, Pre-Hospital Response, and Hospital Response. By becoming familiar with this program, and by taking the short, easy to understand interactive test located at www.HeartRescueNow.com, we can reduce the numbers of deaths of those suddenly stricken by Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Please visit www.HeartRescueNow.com, and take the quick interactive test to see how ready you are. And please help out by sharing this with all your loved ones and friends every way that you can think of. Let’s play a role in saving the lives of those stricken by this terrible problem.

Safety at Home

While it’s simply common sense to be mindful of our personal safety away from home, it’s easy to become complacent about safety within our personal environment when we are at home. It’s there that we’ve created a warm and inviting comfort zone where we feel completely in control. However, the truth is there are plenty of dangers that put us at risk for injury, illness, or something worse.

There are so many topics to be shared within the concept of safety at home that it seems necessary to write a series of articles addressing these concerns. So, let’s begin by discussing our children’s safety and share some important, yet simple ideas for safe practices at home to reduce injury. We encourage you to discuss these topics with other parents, and share our forum with them so that they too can benefit from these important safety tips and ideas.

Cabinets and electrical outlets are a great place to start when child proofing your home for safety. Outlets that are not being used should have the plastic safety covers installed, especially in children’s rooms and play areas. For the rooms that have lamps and other electrical devices plugged in that can’t be covered by furniture or other items, it’s a good idea to have light switch controllers installed that disable the outlet when the devices are not in use. Not only does this keep control of the outlets at a height the children can’t reach, but they are typically only in use when you are home and able to keep a close eye on children when they are in these areas. Keeping electrical cords wrapped up and out of obvious reach is also a great practice.

At home the kitchen can be a hazardous place for children, especially when hot food items are present on the stove or located on the counter tops. Always keep the handles of pots and skillets turned away from the edge of the stove to keep them out of reach of children, and keep pots and pans away from the edge of counter tops and out of reach and possibly out of sight of curious children. It is also good practice to keep the children out of the kitchen when cooking, instilling this rule in their minds from an early age if possible.

When choosing décor for your home, if you have children, consider only purchasing items that don’t have sharp edges, or are not made of glass unless they can be located well out of reach of your children. Be mindful of sharp table corners, as well as heavy furniture that can topple and cause harm. Counter edge covers can be purchased to prevent injuries from sharp kitchen island or furniture edges. Handles on furniture can be a hazard, as well as cabinets that don’t lock and contain dangerous items or chemicals.

Being a proactive, cautious, and safety-minded parent requires thought, creativity, and preparation with the goal of keeping our precious children safe. Obviously the time you spend making your home a safer place is time well spent.

Look for our next “Safety at Home” article where we will be addressing the proper storage of drugs and medicines to keep them well out of children’s reach. Other topics will include bathroom safety, and children’s safety when at play. I look forward to sharing more ideas and concepts that will help you to make your home a safer place for your family.

The Rules of the Road

Life takes us in so many directions each day. Thinking about our job, our homes, our family, our bills, and so many other things we feel are important, that we sometimes forget about our safety to the point of becoming complacent. Most of us feel like the dangers we see on television and read about in the newspapers, only happen to others, right up until one of these dangers slaps us in the face taking someone we love, or worse.

Safe driving often seems to escape our thoughts altogether as we become used to hopping in our cars to go to our appointments, our jobs, our gatherings, and the shopping mall or grocery store. When we have so many things on our minds, we become distracted from simple safety measures put in place to ensure our safety. We forget to use our turn signals, we zip through stop signs when we are in a hurry, and we speed to make sure we get to our destinations on time. Then there are those that while talking on the phone suddenly realize they are about to miss their exit, endangering others as they zip across five lanes of traffic instead of getting off at the next exit and doubling back. And we haven’t even gotten around to mentioning the distractions of a cellular phone, texting, and loud music.

“Driving presents many challenges, and should be something that we pay close attention to when behind the wheel.”

Recently, while watching the news, I was dumbfounded to see the laws that people ignore when on the road. During the story, law enforcement setup a sting near a crosswalk in Orlando, Florida and wrote tickets to 43 drivers in 2 hours for failing to yield to pedestrians in a designated crosswalk. In fact, last year 17 people were hit by cars in this crosswalk alone. Every day 2 people are injured in Orlando in crosswalks, and 1 pedestrian per week is killed crossing the streets of Orlando in designated crosswalks. As in most states, Florida has a law that stipulates that drivers must yield for pedestrians crossing in designated crosswalks. Recently, my friend and I saw a pedestrian get hit in a crosswalk in the parking lot of Walmart by a Walmart employee, who boldly stated that he should not have been crossing there. As a society, have we become so selfish that we don’t care about the safety of others?

Another of my pet peeves is people texting on the road. While in Texas a few months ago, while driving through a neighborhood, I noticed a car swerving toward me from the lane next to me. To avoid an accident, I had to quickly apply the brakes. As I began to proceed, I noticed that this young woman was texting. A couple of blocks later she blew through a stop sign as if she didn’t see it. A few blocks later, she swerved up over the curb on to the median to avoid a person backing out of their driveway, yet she still was texting! Nothing seemed to phaze her! Whatever she was texting about, it must have been important.

As a businessman, I know of the usefulness of a cellular phone. It allows me to make important calls while on the road, letting me make productive use of what would be lost time. I do, however, feel that some restrictions should be placed on these devices to reduce the danger to others on the road. For one, texting should be outlawed everywhere. Next, drivers should be evaluated during their driver’s license test to see if they can concentrate on driving when using a cellular phone. And last, all drivers should be required to use some sort of hands free device that takes into consideration the driver’s need to have an unobstructed view, and the ability to move their head around to see obstacles and blind spots. And if you’ve read my previous article on the dangers of cell phones, you will find other good reasons to use a blue device or hands free. These suggestions, of course, are my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the Project Safety Corporation.

Driving presents many challenges, and should be something that we pay close attention to when behind the wheel. By letting so many things distract us we are endangering others and the ones we love. After all, the primary goal of driving should be to arrive safely to our destinations. So let’s try to be safer when we drive and remember that laws are there for a reason… to protect you!

Doctors, Drugs, and Supplements

I’m a believer in natural supplements. I know that natural supplements can often heal us of illness, comfort us in times of pain, and make us stronger and better feeling by supplementing the vitamins and minerals we don’t get enough of. Supplements can even help us gain muscle weight and get more out of our workouts. But some supplements can be dangerous if we abuse them by increasing the suggested dosage.

Sometimes, when we find a supplement that is doing something good for us, we begin to think that it will do more good if we increase the amount we are using. In some cases this may be true, but in many cases it is not. And while the experts at our health food stores are not doctors, they do typically know their business and can guide you in the use of the natural supplements. It is however, a good idea to take natural supplements as directed.

When it comes to medicine, it is important to understand that most medicines (drugs) only mask the symptoms of our ailments, and rarely cure them. And though medicines are usually prescribed by your doctor, the doctor doesn’t always know how you are going to react to the drugs they prescribe. Many can have very dangerous side effects. If you watch any of the plethora of prescription drug commercials on television, you’ll often hear the actor or narrator warn you of the possible side effects. Some can even be fatal. Many drugs are rushed to the market so quickly that the drug companies haven’t tested them long enough to understand the full implications of their use. Did you know that there are now laws that protect drug companies from legal action should you or a loved one die from the drugs they produce?

The reason that I am sharing these thoughts about prescription drugs is to remind you that doctors don’t always know what is best for you. As a matter of fact, most diagnoses by doctors are educated guesses. Once they tell you what they feel is wrong with you, they often prescribe a drug and tell you to come back if it doesn’t work. In my many years of study in nutrition, health and fitness, I have come to understand that though we have put our faith in these doctors, they are often wrong. And when they are, the results can be serious. Did you know that doctors (MD’s) usually get little to no education in diet, nutrition, or natural healing methods and supplements? Here are a few things to ask yourself when looking for help from a doctor to get you feeling better:

  • Am I seeing the right kind of doctor?
  • Is it necessary to get a 2nd opinion on my illness and what was prescribed for it?
  • Are the drugs being prescribed to me going to be habit forming or addictive?
  • Is there a natural alternative to these prescriptions that might be safer?

Feeling your best and being your strongest is something we all want for as long as we can have it. Choosing the right doctor can make a significant difference when it comes to your health. Choosing the wrong doctor can jeopardize your health in the short and the long term, but more important can take you down longer and more seriously if your condition is misdiagnosed or not understood for what it really is.

As an aspiring young racer with an understanding of the physical dangers of racing, I found advantages in taking up a big picture approach to my health, eventually becoming so fascinated with fitness and health that I became a Personal Trainer. I felt that if I was going to truly recognize and reap the benefits of health in my racing program, I was going to have to get to know all about my body and how to keep it strong and disease free throughout my racing years. Little did I know, this new found interest in my health would lead me on a path to learning a lot more about doctors, medicines, and supplements.

Having had back injuries, I felt that I needed to do some serious homework on doctors and treatments in order make the right decisions for getting past the pain, and getting healed with the best possible results. Thanks to a referral to the right doctor coupled with a lot of common sense and study, I learned a lot about the different types of doctors and where their true concerns lie. I spent years learning about these different types of doctors and eventually began comparing their methods to finally decide the type of doctor to best help me sustain and even prolong a healthy life. I even became involved in selling medical equipment, became a therapist, and eventually received training as an instructor for the use of therapeutic modalities. I literally began training doctors in the use of therapy, and what I learned was a bit shocking. Not only did I discovered that many of the things I had been told about doctors not only wasn’t true, but that some of the doctors I had learned to trust with my health had no regard at all for my health and wellbeing.

One important facet of choosing the right doctor is choosing a doctor that understands the dietary needs of your body, and has some knowledge of nutrition and how it affects your health. Choosing a doctor that has no experience with nutrition and natural (homeopathic) supplementation may mean that you end up playing the guessing game with your health. But choosing a doctor that has a true understanding of nutrition and homeopathic prescription can keep you on track to getting and staying healthy. Most people don’t realize that the majority of disease in society today is the result of a lack of good nutrition.

Let me start by letting you in on some interesting and true facts about MD’s. As stated earlier, most MD’s have absolutely no education in the field of nutrition because it doesn’t serve their purpose. MD’s support, and receive support and perks from the drug companies for prescribing you chemical drugs. MD’s follow a belief in drugs because that is what they were taught in medical school. They weren’t taught that healing is better served through natural means. Did you know that by running to the doctor to get antibiotics every time you get a runny nose or a cold, you are killing your body’s natural ability to heal by forcing your immune system to rely on drugs? Did you know that many drugs destroy or cause bleeding of your internal organs, eventually leading to other more serious conditions? There are many reasons why more often than not, the prescription of chemical drugs does not support a healthy lifestyle.

Now that I have stated a few of the negative effects that chemical drugs can have on your body, let me elaborate on the instances that you may need these drugs. In emergency situations you may need drugs for specific issues that need a fast and specific impact like slowing bleeding, killing pain in the instance of an accident, or putting you to sleep like an anesthetic for surgery. So let me stress that there are times when you may need drugs to facilitate getting you through a crisis. However, for meeting the needs of illness that is not directly life threatening, a good homeopathic assessment and treatment is safest, and will likely show the best results while having less negative effects on your health in both the short and long term.

As you become close to a good homeopathic doctor, you will fully understand his role in your medical choices and will learn to trust his decisions in both areas. As far as my doctor is concerned, if I get into an emergency situation that dictates immediate emergency treatment, I make sure that he plays a role in overseeing any and all treatment that I receive if time permits.

As I had mentioned previously, I had in the past, sustained a back injury. This happened while I was in the military, and though it seemed to heal fairly well, I was warned that I would eventually feel it resurface and that it would give me some trouble. Well, it did and I knew I needed to get help as soon as I could make the trip to the doctor.

Once I arrived and met the doctor, he ordered the x-rays, and prescribed to me some muscle relaxers and pain medication. Once he reviewed my x-rays and told me what he found, along with his diagnosis and course of action, I was shocked! He told me that surgery would have to be performed, and that they would have to fuse disks in my back. This was my first big clue, and needless to say a wakeup call that I was about to have to make some pretty serious decisions.

At this point, it wasn’t that I was scared of surgery, but rather that I was scared of the notion of getting discs fused together in my back. Taking into account people that I have known over the years that had this type surgery and would never be the same, this was a very frightening prospect for me. Some of them, including a family member of mine, would be in pain from that point on, never to have relief again after her first invasive surgery. And this doesn’t even take into account the physical limitations brought on by a reduced range of motion and other physical inabilities that come with such a surgery. I refused to believe that there were no other options. I refused to believe that the only course of action for me was to go under the knife.

After speaking with an old friend about what I was going through, I decided to see a doctor she had been seeing for several years. This doctor was a Chiropractor and a Kinesiologist whose practice was based on Applied Kinesiology. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, “Kinesiology” is primarily defined as the study of the body’s muscle tissue, and “Applied Kinesiology” is defined as the use of muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical, emotional and energy centers to establish the body’s priority healing needs. So I set an appointment for the next week, and began to dig more into the theory of Applied Kinesiology. I soon came to find out that what was fascinating about this Applied Kinesiology was that it was real science and not a guessing game. This also reinforced some gray areas for me that surfaced while visiting my former MD’s office.

When I would visit my MD, he’d walk into the examination room and ask me, “What’s wrong with you?” To which I would reply, “You tell me, you’re the doctor.” Then he would ask me a series of questions that would help him to make a guess about my condition. You heard me right, I said a guess. That is exactly what an MD does when you come in for help. Short of spending hundreds of dollars and missed work on getting blood tests or other, more complicated and expensive tests, his job was to guess what was wrong with you. Then he would write a prescription or two and send you on your way, telling you that if this didn’t do it, to come back and spend more money so that he could guess again, though in not so many words. This was a serious red flag that I should have paid more attention to a long time ago.

Needless to say, I headed home and called this Kinesiologist Chiropractor to setup and appointment. After an examination and a look at my x-rays (something that all good chiropractors want to see before your first treatment), he told me that he could help without the use of surgery or any other invasive treatment. I was somewhat relieved by his answer, but was told that I would have to visit 3 times per week for therapy and be seriously diligent about my reactive therapy at home, which included stretching and proper rest. He also gave me some natural supplements to reduce the inflammation and pain, and told me that he would look forward to seeing me again for my next scheduled appointment.

Within a month I was back on track and feeling good. I was impressed with the results that this doctor had delivered without the scare of a drug addiction or guessing game. But what was also fascinating to me was he would gladly explain anything that I had questions about, and began teaching me about the spine and the nervous system, and how they interacted with the body’s muscles to give indications of problems. Even more fascinating was that even though it sometimes seemed like voodoo watching him touch muscles and find weaknesses, he was always correct in his diagnosis. Even when I thought I knew what my condition was, he could prove me wrong with his means of testing my muscle’s reactions to the condition. I once argued with him that I had the flu, but he laughed and said, “No, you have a form of bacteria in your system that is making you feel sick and feverish, giving you flu-like symptoms.” After getting past my inquisition, he told me to run by the grocery store and pick up a natural probiotic supplement called acidophilus, and take 2 with each meal for the next few days. You can imagine my surprise when I did what he told me to, and awoke the very next morning feeling like a new man. How could he be wrong? These are methods that were developed thousands of years ago, well before we had MD’s to prescribe us dangerous drugs. I am thoroughly convinced that a good Kinesiologist Chiropractor can, and will get you results if you follow his instruction, and make the visits he suggests.

If you read the description of Applied Kinesiology again, you’ll see that it encompasses the emotional side of your health as well. Through Applied Kinesiology your doctor can help you resolve emotional problems that can stem from nutritional and physical deficiencies to help you strengthen your overall health picture. Additionally, I found out that most successful professional athletes visit their chiropractor for an adjustment prior to each and every event.

Now where does this leave the rest of the Chiropractic world? Unfortunately, I have heard a lot of people that are quick to discredit Chiropractors. Some even have funny names for them, like Crackerpractor or Quackerpractor. These are funny enough, but knowing what I do now about their knowledge of the body and healing, you’ll never hear a derogatory statement from me about a good Chiropractor. With that said, the understanding that spinal manipulation plays a role in long term health was known and spoken of thousands of years ago, though the science and the founding of Chiropractic care is accredited to a man known as D.D. Palmer, who began practice in the late 1800’s.

Chiropractic care today has two main groups. The “Straights”, now the minority, emphasize vitalism, innate intelligence, and spinal adjustments, and consider subluxations to be the leading cause of all disease. The “Mixers” are open to more mainstream and alternative medical techniques such as exercise, massage, nutritional supplements, and even Acupuncture.

Throughout its history, Chiropractic care has been controversial, being dubbed as not being a solid science by many in the medical community. Of course such statements are made by the same doctors that use guess work and chemical drugs to get your money visit after visit, keeping you coming back for weeks for a single ailment that a good Chiropractor would have had you healed of long before.Additionally, the alternative care category that includes Chiropractors is the fastest growing segment of the medical industry today. More and more people are coming around to the notion that homeopathic (alternative) care physicians are the way to go for fast, safe healing. Maybe that is because people are starting to realize that the drugs they’re taking are only helping them deal with their condition, and not healing them of it?

Though there is no doubt in my mind that we suffer many ailments as a result of poor spinal alignment, the critical part of discovering and treating these ailments more specifically is the aspect of Applied Kinesiology. And though you can visit a Chiropractor who is not a Kinesiologist that may relieve you of ailments, he is likely to adjust you entirely, and that may not be necessary. But if you are good enough at explaining your ailment, most Chiropractors know what to adjust to relieve the problem and heal it.

Because of their ability to diagnose through muscle reaction, I feel that the best bet is to be examined by a Kinesiologist Chiropractor for a more accurate assessment of your condition and a more focused means of treating it. Keeping in alignment is good, but knowing what is being adjusted and why is the key to getting better and building a healthier, stronger body. However, any decent Chiropractor is better than any MD on any day.

Another aspect of a Chiropractor that I was impressed with was their knowledge of therapies and rehabilitation. They work very hard at finding natural ways to heal through physical therapy and rehabilitation. This makes sense when you think about them not relying on chemical drugs to affect symptoms, and invasive surgeries to correct problems. Typically you will find that Chiropractors own and operate more therapy modalities, and better understand therapeutic methods. Most of them really do have a genuine devotion to helping you heal.

With that said, I was disappointed to learn that MD’s are more concerned with your return visit and the money they make on those visits. While training doctors on the value of healing with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), and how to use it to get the best results, I rarely found an MD that wanted to purchase these great devices, even though Chiropractors were buying them. Several times MD’s actually told me that they didn’t want devices that healed so many ailments, because they depend on those patients coming through the door. And though this may not include every MD, this happened so often that I quit wasting my time on MD’s. Chiropractors, on the other hand, were the opposite. They knew their patients would refer their friends if they were healed.

Do Cellular Phones Present a Health Risk?

Being an Electrical Engineer, this is a topic that is close to my heart. Because of my education in communications, I am very aware of the concept of signal transmission for use in wireless devices such as radios and cellular phones. And since I have been hearing for years that cellular phones do not present a cancer risk, I felt this is a great topic for our blog.

Have you ever read your cellular phone manual from the first page? If you haven’t, maybe you should read the disclaimers and other legal pages in your manual. Some cellular phone companies display these disclaimers near the front of the manual, but on the newer phones they have become very clever by burying sections on RF and the risk it presents, deep within the phone. One brand has legal disclaimers that are literally hundreds of pages long. So it can take you hours to find the disclaimer on RF. In fact, to get to the legal disclaimer pages in many phones, you must go through several steps and menu levels.

What do these disclaimers say about RF? Generally stated, they tell you not to use or carry the phone against your body. However, they don’t to the extent of telling you that RF can cause cancer. By stating the fact that you shouldn’t carry the phone close to your body, they are legally protecting themselves from litigation for the RF causing cancer. Once in court they will prove that you can only get cancer from carrying the phone next to your body or your head, something they covered in their disclaimer.

Why can RF from cellular phones cause cancer? In theory that has been proven time and time again, exposure to high levels of RF (radio frequencies) can cause cancer. RF is what we call a carrier signal. It is used to carry the information transmitted by radios, cell phones, and many other forms of electronic signal transmissions. And putting this into its true perspective, RF used to send signals for devices such as FM radios and cellular phones is powerful on the transmitting side, but can be very low in power by the time it reaches a receiver, since the receiver can be miles away. This is the case with your cellular phone, which is both a receiver and a transmitter.

When your cellular phone is transmitting during a call, or when it is simply checking its connection with a tower, it must be powerful enough to reach the cell towers that are often many miles away. By holding this powerful transmitter up to your head, or next to your body, you are being exposed to a high level blast of RF. Prolonged use can have serious effects on the living cells of the body. Have you ever noticed the effect of RF on your computer’s speakers, or other speakers? When a call is coming in, and you are sitting in front of your computer or close to speakers, you will sometimes here a buzzing in your speakers. This is the RF signal from your cellular phone inducing interference into the speakers.

For many years I have been puzzled by the notion that cellular phones do not present a risk. And though many legal battles have taken place on this issue, the wealthy communications companies usually win. Why do they not tell you about this RF and the damage it can cause? These communications companies are making millions of dollars per day selling us phones and service, so like everything else that is a big money maker, they don’t want us to know the truth.

There is however, ways that we can reduce the risk that a strong RF signal presents. One way is by using a hands free setup, or by using a blue tooth device. Blue tooth is very low power because it only has to transmit 30 to 40 feet. The speaker phone is another viable alternative as long as you are not holding it close to your face, or in your hand. That’s right! Anywhere the phone is in contact with your body there is a risk. When I am talking on my phone, I use a blue tooth device or the speakerphone function, and set the phone down as to reduce the risk to my hands. In fact, when I use the phone without these options and hold it to my head, my head begins to hurt almost instantly. Another viable option is the use of a headset that is connected to the phone by a wire, though these can be difficult to use if you are trying not to hold the phone next to your body or in your hand.

It is a good idea to take whatever measures possible to reduce your exposure to RF. Use one of the above peripheral devices to reduce exposure, and don’t hold the phone in your hand if possible. Cellular phones have become an important part of our lives, and for many is an irreplaceable tool for business. And if used in ways that protect us from the hazards of RF, we can continue to utilize this great tool safely.

And though we cannot guarantee these feature will work on all phones, here are some important features you should be aware of:
  • The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and your phone will search for any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, in most cases this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.
  • What if your cell battery is very low? To activate the reserve power in your phone press the keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve power and the phone will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve power will be charged when your phone goes back on the charger.
  • To check your Mobile phone’s serial number, key in the following Digits on your phone: *#06# A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your phone is stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won’t get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can’t use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.
  • When you need to use the 411 information option, you can simply dial (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.