Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 30th 2013 Contents A36
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 30, 2013
Better be ready
Are you ready for a
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere.
There are simple steps you can take to help
protect your family from a natural disaster.
Call your Emergency Management Office and the
Red Cross for further details.
Find out which disasters could occur in your area
and how to prepare.
Ask how you would be warned of an emergency.
Learn your communities' evacuation routes.
Ask where your nearest emergency shelters are
Ask about any special assistance for the elderly or
Ask about the plans in place at work, schools or
day care centres as well.
Create an Emergency Plan:
Meet with household members. Discuss with chil-
dren the dangers of fire, severe weather, earth-
quakes and other emergencies.
Discuss how to respond to each disaster that
Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape
routes from each room. Practise an emergency
evacuation drill at least two times a year.
Learn how to turn off your water, gas and electric-
ity at the main switches.
Discuss what to do about power outages and per-
Post emergency numbers near telephones:
ODPM (Trinidad) - 640-1285/8905/8653/
800-ODPM website: odpm.gov.tt
ODPM (Tobago) - 660-7489/7686
Police - 999
Fire Services - 990
Coast Guard - 634-4440/4532/4554
Defence Force - 634-4532
Ambulance Service (EHS) - 624-4343
EMA - 628-8042
T&TEC - 625-1296/1774
TSTT - 6611
National Gas - 800-4427
Nearest health facility
Teach children how and when to call 999, Police and
Fire Services and how to make long distance calls.
Instruct household members to turn to the radio
for emergency information.
Pick one out-of-the-area-relative and one local
friend or relative for family members to call or
meet at if separated by a disaster.
Take a basic First Aid course and CPR class.
Make a list of valuables. Keep family records in a
waterproof and fireproof container.
Prepare a disaster supply list:
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Canned goods, non-perishable foods and a
non-electric can opener
- Drinking water
- Any special dietary food if required
- Identification, cash, valuable papers,
insurance policies and photos
- Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
- Personal hygiene items
- Disposable utensils
- Infant-care items
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Easy carrying container (bag) for all items.
Prepare a First Aid Kit:
- Prescription medications, betadine solu-
tion, gauze bandages, adhesive tape, sterile
pads, band aids, triangular bandages, safety
scissors, non-prescription medication, sun
screen, insect repellent, non-latex gloves,
absorbent compress 5x9 dressing, adhesive
bandages (assorted sizes), antiseptic wipes,
antibiotic ointment packets, etc.
Prepare an Emergency Car Kit:
Battery powered radio (with extra batteries),
flashlight (with extra batteries), sleeping
bags or blankets, first-aid kit and manual,
bottled water, non-perishable high energy
foods such as granola bars, raisins and
peanut butter, booster cables, a fire extin-
guisher, maps, shovel, tyre repair kit and
pump and flares.
T&T Red Cross Society
Parents who set limits are less likely to have kids
who smoke, regardless of their ethnic and racial
backgrounds, according to a new US study.
Researchers surveyed middle schoolers from diverse
backgrounds and found those whose parents had an
"authoritative" and "structured" parenting style were
also more likely to be discouraged from smoking by
their parents and less likely to become smokers.
"Many past studies have examined broad parenting
styles, however this study looked at how specific
parenting strategies may help protect youth from
cigarette smoking initiation," said Cassandra Stanton,
an assistant professor in the oncology department
at Georgetown University, who led the study.
"We also note that unlike many studies in the area
that are conducted in largely white middle class sam-
ples, this study was conducted in an urban multi-
ethnic low-income school district," Stanton told
It s important to identify ways of helping parents
prevent kids from starting to smoke, Stanton s team
writes in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, because
the majority of lifetime smokers begin before the age
Although the number of teenage smokers has
declined significantly, one in three young adults
reports smoking at least once in the past 30 days,
according to a 2012 report by the US Surgeon Gen-
Past research has found links between low discipline,
parental disengagement and increased risk of smoking,
Stanton s team notes. Rates of smoking vary among
ethnic groups, with white students smoking daily at
a rate twice that of African American and Latino
students. However, African Americans and Latinos
experience significantly higher rates of smoking-
related health complications later in life compared
To delve deeper into which parenting strategies
are effective among a diverse set of families, the
researchers recruited 459 eighth graders from two
low-income inner-city schools in the Northeast. The
students averaged 13-years-old, with 29 per cent
identifying themselves as Hispanic, 34 per cent as
African American, 17 per cent as non-Hispanic white
and 20 per cent as other/mixed ethnicity.
The students took a comprehensive survey in class
with parental consent. The survey asked about the
student s smoking history and whether the student s
parents smoked. It also asked questions about par-
enting styles, such as discipline and warmth, and
whether the student would receive punishments and
discussion of the dangers of tobacco if caught smok-
The researchers then followed up four years later
to assess whether students had smoked.
Stanton s group found that what they called con-
trolling parenting, which was associated with rule
enforcement, curfews and set bedtimes, was more
likely than a less strict, more understanding parenting
style to go hand in hand with so-called anti-tobacco
Those anti-tobacco strategies include punishing
a child if he or she has been caught smoking and
discussing with the child the motivations behind
smoking and why smoking is so dangerous. Being
on the receiving end of such anti-tobacco strategies
was in turn linked to a lower likelihood of lifetime
smoking for the student.
The association held regardless of race or ethnicity,
which the researchers say should be reassuring because
other cultural differences don t seem to alter the
effectiveness of this approach.
"Setting and enforcing clear standards of behavior
and actively monitoring and supervising a teen s
activities are important strategies for protecting youth
from risky behavior," Stanton said.
"To protect youth from experimenting with tobacco
and ultimately developing an addiction to tobacco,
it is important to talk about the risks of tobacco, as
well as set and enforce clear rules and consequences
that are specific to tobacco." (Reuters)
Strict parenting may
reduce teen smoking
Teenagers whose parents had an "authoritative" and "structured" parenting
style were also more likely to be discouraged from smoking by their parents and
less likely to become smokers.
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