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Ream’s through May 2015
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Health & Wellness - page 6

Urgent need for O Negative blood donors

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AURORA—Heartland Blood Centers, a nonprofit medical organization servicing 38 area hospitals, is struggling to meet the needs of patients with O Negative blood type in area hospitals.

Cancelled blood drives, low donor appointments, and donors reporting illnesses, which prevent them from donating blood, has resulted in declined O Negative blood inventories. Blood donors are needed now to help offset this shortage.

“We are appealing to all O Negative blood donors to visit one of our centers or community blood drives immediately so that others may get the treatment they need. If you have never given blood, or have not done so in the past few months, please consider giving blood now for those in your community who need your help,” said Ann McKanna, vice president of marketing and new business development. “We also need blood donors of all blood types to continue to donate to maintain adequate levels of all blood types.”

Patients in Heartland’s member hospitals rely solely on volunteer blood donors for life-saving transfusions. Every day, nearly 600 pints of blood are transfused to patients in the 12 counties supplied by Heartland Blood Centers.

Blood donors can schedule a time to give by calling 1-800-7 TO GIVE. Donors can also visit www.heartlandbc.org for listings of blood drives in the community and listings of 17 center locations.

To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years old or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland to determine eligibility.

Support for those who have lost loved ones

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GENEVA—Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice, a nonprofit organization offering support for those with life-threatening illnesses and the bereaved, is offering a series of programs in February for those who have experienced the death of a family member or other loved one. All are held at FVVH offices, 200 Whitfield Dr., Geneva. The programs are open to everyone in the community and are offered free of charge, but registration is required at (630) 232-2233 or info@fvvh.org.

“Our Grief Journey,” a program for adults who have experienced the death of a parent, any age child, sibling, friend or loved one, covers topics such as understanding the grief process, coping with grief, spirituality, and embracing change and growth. The group meets Thursdays, Feb. 2 to March 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“Pathways” addresses the issues faced by those who are grieving the death of a spouse or life partner. Emotional support is offered, as well as assistance with accepting the death and dealing with grief. There are two sessions offered: the evening session will meet on Mondays, Feb. 13 to March 26, from 7 to 8: 30 p.m.; the daytime session meets Wednesdays, Feb. 15 to March 28, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“Light Finders,” a support group for survivors of suicide loss, will begin Feb. 23. This group provides a safe environment to talk openly, and is a place to share experiences with others who understand this loss. Light Finders meets Thursdays for six weeks, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“Next Step,” a drop-in support group for those who have lost a spouse or significant other, will meet on Feb. 9, and the second Thursday of each month. Participants will develop skills that will assist them in adapting to the life changes they are experiencing. February’s topic is “Creating a Home Maintenance Schedule”; see www.fvvh.org for all 2012 topics. Meets at 6:30 p.m.

For men who’ve experienced the loss of loved one, “M.A.L.E.S.” (Men After Loss Expressing Themselves Safely), will meet Feb. 11 and the second Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. M.A.L.E.S. provides an opportunity for men to freely express their thoughts and feelings with other men. Coffee and donuts provided.

In addition to adult and children’s grief support groups, Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice offers support for those with life-threatening illnesses, medical equipment loans, community education on end-of-life care and grief, and a community-lending library. All services are provided free of charge, and Spanish interpretation is available for all programs. The agency supports all of Kane and Kendall counties, and parts of DuPage, Cook and McHenry counties.

IDOT, ISP, Illinois Tollway encourage motorists to prepare for winter driving condition

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CHICAGO—Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials urged motorists to prepare for winter driving conditions. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Tollway and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are working together to ensure the state’s frontline winter crews and emergency equipment are available to respond to possible inclement weather and make travel safer and easier on Illinois’ highways, tollways and major roads.

“We want all motorists to be aware of winter road conditions and encourage drivers to slow down, buckle up and cooperate with snow plows,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “IDOT winter crews remain prepared to clear state roadways as needed, but we also ask motorists to take the necessary steps to help ensure their personal safety as well.”

State agencies encouraged defensive driving in winter weather, and offered tips on how motorists can help transportation and law enforcement workers road ensure safety.

“We have been preparing for this winter season for many months and are ready to put our plans into action, now that the first major snowfall is on its way,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “While Tollway crews work to clear snow and ice from our roadways, we ask that our customers drive carefully and give snowplow drivers room to do their job safely and effectively.”

In addition, ISP has coordinated road safety plans with the Illinois Tollway and IDOT to ensure traffic enforcement priorities include safe driving, safe roads and safe access for all citizens during the winter months.

“Winter driving conditions can be hazardous on first responders and motorists. We are reminding the motoring public that when accidents occur and conditions are extreme, (those who are) exchanging insurance and driver information are advised to keep motorists safe and roads clear, unless medical attention is required,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.

Motorists can file accident reports at the nearest State Police District within seven business days.

To help keep state routes clear and passable, IDOT has more than 400,000 tons of salt, 3,600 employees and 1,700 pieces of equipment prepared for deployment to cover over 43,000 lane miles statewide. The Illinois Tollway also has more than 80,000 tons of salt, 41,000 gallons of anti-icing materials and 7,000 tons of roadway abrasives, as well as more than 400 employees, and its full fleet of 183 snowplows prepared for the 286-mile system of roads serving 12 counties in Northern Illinois.

In addition, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recently kicked off its annual Preparedness Campaign. Helpful information on severe winter weather and disaster preparedness is available on the Ready Illinois website, www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Winter weather travel
safety tips include:

• Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear but can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas—all are prone to black ice.
• Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
• Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
• Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
• Carry a cell phone and always wear a safety belt.
• Dress warmly for the weather—layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in anticipation of unexpected winter weather emergencies.
• Make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
• Clear snow and ice from all windows, mirrors and lights on your vehicle before you drive. Blowing snow can significantly diminish visibility. Clearing all snow before you begin driving assures maximum vision of your surroundings and assists in reducing ice and snow buildup as you drive.
• Adjust speed to road conditions and traffic around you. Reducing speed during inclement weather conditions increases your ability to respond to the unexpected.
• Increase the interval between your vehicle and the one in front of you. By creating more distance between your vehicle and others, you decrease your chances of a collision, because stopping distances increase as pavement conditions deteriorate.
• Avoid unnecessary lane changes. During heavy snowstorms, slush and packed snow build up in the area between traffic lanes. Abrupt or frequent lane changes may cause your vehicle to slide on the buildup and spin out of control.
• Keep away from snowplows. Should you encounter snowplows, the safest choice is to keep back and let them do their job. They travel at a speed of approximately 30 mph, so traffic delays should be expected. During periods of extremely heavy snow, Illinois Tollway snowplows will work in tandem to remove as much ice, slush and snow as possible from all lanes at once.
• Do not use the shoulder of the road to pass a snowplow. Some snowplows are equipped with wing plows that extend to the left or right of the vehicle. While these wings allow for more efficient removal of snow, they are nearly invisible to passing motorists due to blowing snow. De-icing materials spread from the rear of the truck may also be a distraction to motorists attempting to pass.
• Reduce speed in cash lanes at toll plazas. Drivers paying cash at mainline toll plazas or traveling on ramps should adjust their speed on approach during snow and ice storms.
• Watch for lane designations on approach to the toll plaza; switching lanes close to the toll plaza is unsafe, especially during winter weather.
• Call *999 for Tollway road assistance. Should you encounter car trouble and require roadway assistance, try to move your car to a safe position on the shoulder or in an untraveled area. Report stranded vehicles by dialing *999 from a cellular phone.
• Stay in your vehicle; H.E.L.P. is on the way. During continued periods of extremely cold weather, the Illinois Tollway operates a “Zero Patrol” to supplement the Illinois State Police District 15 and the Tollway’s Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) vehicles. These patrols enable workers to cover the entire 286-mile Tollway system 24 hours per day when temperatures and wind chills are at or below zero. Stay in your vehicle—it’s the safest place to be if you are stranded.
• The Illinois Tollway operates a toll-free telephone line to keep customers up to date about weather conditions on its roadways. Customers can call 1-800-TOLL-FYI (1-800-865- 5394) to get recorded information that is updated every two hours or as conditions require during winter storms.
• The Tollway’s Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS) provides real-time travel times via the Illinois Tollway’s website www.illinoistollway.com.

January is National Radon Awareness Month

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KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Healthy Places Coalition is urging homeowners to have their homes tested for the presence of this odorless, tasteless and colorless gas as part of National Radon Awareness Month.

Radon is a radioactive gas, estimated to cause as many as 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year throughout the United States. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today, following tobacco use. Kane County is designated by the USEPA as an area with a high potential of exceeding the recommended level of radon gas in homes. Test results for homes in Kane County have found that 27 percent of tested homes exceed the recommended limit for radon gas, which is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air). Test results from some areas within Kane County commonly exceed this level.

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy—it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon. Do-it-yourself test kits are cheap ($15 to $30) and can be purchased at hardware stores, home improvement stores and online. These kits are cost effective and easy ways to screen your home. Professional testing services are also available. To find a professional in your area, visit www.radon.illinois.gov and click on “List of licensed measurement professionals.”

More information about National Radon Awareness Month is available by visiting the U.S. EPA radon website at www.epa.gov/radon. To learn more about the new radon law in Illinois, visit the IEMA radon website at www.radon.illinois.gov.

Kaneland High School to host Health and Wellness Fair

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Kaneland—Kaneland High School will host a Health and Wellness Fair on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The fair will be attended by high school students throughout the school day. The public is welcome to attend, but you are asked to sign-in at the main office to obtain a visitor’s pass.

There will be over 30 booths at the event, covering a variety of health topics. Sample topics include distracted driving, nutrition tips, the importance of eye care and fitness stations.

The event is free to the public. Come and join the Kaneland Community for an opportunity to learn more about your health. There will be free demonstrations and giveaways.

Enjoy a safe Holiday Season

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SPRINGFIELD—The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal urges everyone to pay special attention to Christmas decorations to avoid any potential dangers. Christmas tree lights, old extension cords, and fresh cut trees without proper care could lead to fires and serious injuries.

“This is a joyful time of the year where many families gather to celebrate and enjoy the beauty of the traditional Christmas tree or other decorations, but we remind people that those days are also a high season for house fires,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “It’s imperative that our families maintain a safe setting and be well informed about fire safety during the holidays.”

Here are a few tips to keep the holidays safe:

Christmas trees
• If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
• If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, space heaters or lights.
• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the room or going to bed.
• After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

Christmas lights
• Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
• Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
• Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands safe to connect.
• Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Candles
• December is the peak month for home candle fires, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day representing two of the top five days for associated fires. More than half of all candle fires start when they are placed too close to combustible household items (i.e. curtains, lamp shades, other fabrics, and plastic) and holiday decorations (i.e., trees, garland, stockings, wrapping paper, and wrapped/boxed gifts).
• Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. If you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
•Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces.
• Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where two of five U.S. candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
• Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
• Always put candles out before leaving the room.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit www.sfm.illinois.gov or www.nfpa.org.

Get ready for a colder and wetter winter

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See also: Local resident warns of potentially severe winter weather

CHICAGO—The National Weather Service is forecasting that this winter will be “colder and wetter than average.”

Long range weather forecasts from AccuWeather show the Chicago area could see 50 to 58 inches of snow this winter, compared to the 56 inches of snow received last winter. This is all due to a persistent La Nina weather pattern.

With these predictions in mind, the Kane County Office of Emergency Management has enhanced the County’s severe winter storm plans to include new technologies and procedures to better coordinate a county-wide response while improving communication with the public.

To provide effective planning coordination prior to the onset of a severe winter storm the OEM will conduct county wide briefings with municipalities to share pre-storm related information from the National Weather Service and collaborate on a county-wide response.

During the storm, the OEM will use an emergency management program that will serve as a central depository for up-to-date, real-time information that can be shared among County and municipal officials. This will help to improve the decision making process and better coordinate resources in response to the storm.

The OEM will use a number of new tools to inform the public including utilization of the “emergency alerts” and “road closures” feature on the County’s new website and the use of social media such as Twitter (@KaneCountyOEM). Informational releases to the media will also be used to keep the public informed.

National Influenza Vaccination week

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SPRINGFIELD—To help stay healthy during the holidays and all year, give the gift of health by getting an influenza vaccination to not only protect you, but others as well.

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), Dec. 4-10, is a national observance established to highlight the importance of influenza vaccinations and encourage more people to be vaccinated after the holiday season, into January and beyond. It is not too late to vaccinate.

“Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones as well,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Acting Director Dr. Kenneth Soyemi. “The flu season typically runs from October to May, with the peak around January, so get vaccinated today before all the holiday parties and family gatherings.”

One of the biggest myths about the flu is a person gets the flu from a flu shot. The influenza vaccine cannot give you the flu. Why? Because the flu shot contains killed viruses, and the nasal spray has weakened viruses that cannot cause illness. If you get flu-like symptoms soon after being vaccinated, it can mean you may have been exposed to the flu before getting vaccinated, or during the two-week period it takes the body to build up protection after vaccination. It might also mean you are sick with another illness that causes symptoms similar to the flu.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). You can also go to a doctor for antiviral drugs, which can make illness milder, shorten the time you are sick and may prevent serious complications.

Both the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone six months and older receive the influenza vaccine. People at high risk of serious influenza complications, including young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease; and people 65 years and older, should make getting vaccinated a priority.

Vaccination is also important for health care workers and others who live with or care for high-risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people. For example, children younger than six months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated.

Influenza vaccinations are available in many doctor’s offices, local health departments, health clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers.

There is a new type of flu shot this year called Fluzone Intradermal. This intradermal shot injects a smaller amount of vaccine just under the skin, as opposed to the regular flu shot, which injects the vaccine into the muscle. For adults who don’t like needles, the intradermal vaccine is given using a needle that is 90 percent smaller than a regular flu shot needle. Fluzone is only recommended for adults, ages 18-64 years. The influenza vaccine is also available in a nasal spray for ages 2-49 years. None of the three forms of vaccine causes influenza.

This year’s flu vaccine is made in the same way as past flu vaccines and has been approved by the FDA. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 100 million doses of influenza vaccine has been used in the United States each year and has an excellent safety record.

Currently we are only seeing sporadic influenza activity in Illinois, a few laboratory confirmed cases.

To reduce the spread of influenza, it is also important to practice the 3 C’s –
• Clean—properly wash your hands frequently
• Cover—cover your cough and sneeze
• Contain—contain your germs by staying home if you are sick

For more information, log onto www.idph.state.il.us/flu/index.htm.

First 2011 West Nile case reported in Kane County

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ST. CHARLES—Kane County reported its first human case of West Nile virus for 2011 this past week, a 63-year-old woman from St. Charles. Across the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting West Nile activity in people in nine other counties.

The St. Charles woman reported feeling ill in the middle of September, but she did not require hospitalization. Last year, Kane County had five reported cases, in 2009 there were none, three in 2008 and 13 in 2007. Typically, about two people in 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness.

Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis, meningitis and death are possible. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including:

• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
• When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
• Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with 16-mesh wire screen.

Contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. Go to the Kane County Health Department website at kanehealth.com or idph.state.il.us/env health/wnv.htm. More information is available on the IDPH West Nile Virus Hotline at (866) 369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No-Refusal Halloween weekend

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KANE COUNTY—Halloween is best known for spooky costumes and scary pranks. Unfortunately, Halloween also is becoming is one of the deadliest times of the year on roads because of drunken driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To combat the deadly problem of drunken driving, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office will collaborate with Kane County police departments as part of its ongoing effort to make Kane County’s roads the safest in the state.

The seventh ‘No Refusal’ operation conducted in Kane County will be the second conducted on Halloween. In that operation, 11 Fox Valley municipalities, the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois State Police netted 14 drunken drivers the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2009.

This year, the Halloween ‘No Refusal’ operation will be conducted late Friday, Oct. 28, through early Saturday, Oct. 29, and late Saturday, Oct. 29, through early Sunday, Oct. 30. The operation will be conducted in multiple Kane County jurisdictions.

“This office has a responsibility to prosecute DUI offenders, and to educate the public not to drive when they drink.” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “With that in mind, I am only announcing when we will have the No-Refusal operation. I will not say which municipalities will be participating. We want people to enjoy themselves on Halloween weekend, but we want everyone to be able to do it safely. Historically, people tend to ramp up the partying on the weekend nearest Halloween, and that has had deadly consequences. By announcing now that we plan to enhance DUI enforcement the weekend before Halloween, we can help people to plan ahead and make responsible decisions.”

According to NHSTA’s 2009 data—the most recent available—48 percent of all highway fatalities nationwide on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31, to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) in 2009 involved a motorist with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

Halloween that year was during the weekend, and the enhanced enforcement this year also will be during the weekend because Halloween this year falls on a Monday.

The initiative is designed to thwart suspected drunken drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test after an arrest on DUI charges. Through the No-Refusal strategy, law-enforcement officers are able to expedite the DUI booking process. With guidance from an assistant state’s attorney, police officers can quickly obtain a search warrant to compel a DUI suspect to submit to a lawfully requested blood or breath test as required by Illinois’ Implied Consent statute.

Illinois courts have consistently held that there is no right to refuse chemical testing when probable cause exists. Anyone who fails to submit to chemical testing after a search warrant has been obtained could face additional sanctions.

According to NHTSA data, in 2009 nationally, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, including 753 in December. The agency’s trend data has consistently shown an increase in DUI-related fatalities during the holiday season.

“We are less motivated by the opportunity to make DUI arrests than we are by the opportunity to make Kane County’s roads safer,” McMahon said. “Publicity of past No-Refusal operations has been successful in reducing the number of drunken drivers on our roadways. We hope that trend continues. Think, ‘No Refusal, No Fatalities.’”

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week through Saturday

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SPRINGFIELD—Illinois has one of the highest numbers of lead poisoning cases in the nation, with the Illinois Department of Public Health reporting about 3,300 children last year with elevated blood lead levels.

During Lead Poisoning Prevention Week through this Saturday, the IDPH hopes to raise awareness of the importance of testing children and homes for lead, which can result in serious health effects.

“Even at low levels, lead poisoning can affect almost every system in the body, causing learning disabilities, shortened attention span and behavioral problems,” IDPH Acting Director Dr. Craig Conover said.

Major sources of lead exposure among Illinois children are lead-based paint and lead- contaminated dust found in homes built before lead-based paint was banned in 1978.

Children 6 months through 6 years of age must be assessed for risk of lead exposure or tested before entering day care, preschool or kindergarten. The only way to know if a child has lead poisoning is by testing their blood. Blood tests are recommended at ages 12 months and 24 months.

For more information, visit idph.state.il.us/envhealth/ehpublications.htm#lead.

Delnor Foundation holds gala event to benefit cancer care

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GENEVA—The Delnor Foundation invites all local residents to make an impact on cancer care in the Fox Valley community by attending the 2011 Gala “Footloose and Cancer Free.” Proceeds from this event, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Q Center in St. Charles, will benefit outpatient cancer services and a new facility for LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva.

“Because of these initiatives, for the one-in-three of us who will eventually receive a cancer diagnosis, thoughtful, coordinated and accessible treatment and support care will be available right in the Fox Valley,” said Craig Collins, chairman of the Delnor Foundation Board of Directors.

Geneva native Matt Rodewald, NBC Chicago reporter and anchor for 670 The Score, will emcee the evening, which will include the presentation of the inaugural Delnor Foundation Community Award honoring the Dellora A. & Lester J. Norris Foundation. Guests will enjoy the State Street Jewelers champagne bar, new silent auction bidding technology using cell phones, and dancing following dinner to the music of Nightshift Orchestra.

“This event is dedicated to all local cancer patients and cancer survivors,” Delnor Foundation Gala Co-chair Laura Grim said.

The event is sponsored in part by Fox Valley Orthopaedic Associates, SC, and Tri City Radiology. Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased online at www.supportdelnor.org or by calling (630) 208-3896.

LivingWell presents ‘Developing Authentic Power: 11 Keys to Shifting from Fear to Love’

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GENEVA—Personal Wellness/Life Coaches Rose Diaz and Debbie Miller will teach ways that can help people authentically empower themselves by shifting from habits that don’t serve them an inspiring life during a session on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

“Everything we need to be successful in life stems from our ability to love and accept ourselves unconditionally. What blocks us always is fear. We avoid taking risks and we conform to what we think others want instead of what we desire,” Diaz said.

This program is free and open to the public. Please call (630) 262-1111 to register. This presentation will be held at the LivingWell Resource Center in Geneva.

Kane County takes on lead poisoning with $1 million grant

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GENEVA—Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren announced last week that Kane County has been awarded a $1.04 million grant to address lead-based paint hazards in area homes and to develop a county-wide Healthy Homes Program.

The county is one of only 39 jurisdictions nationwide to receive the federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Local matching funds for the program, totaling $260,000, will be provided by Kane County and the cities of Aurora and Elgin.

Illinois leads the nation in the number of lead poisoned children. Next to Cook County, Kane County has the highest rate of childhood lead poisoning in the state.

Kane County’s program will provide targeted lead poisoning prevention education for parents, landlords and homeowners, and lead training for local contractors looking for work.

Kane County was selected by HUD, in part, because of its successful track-record under the Illinois Department of Public Health’s “Get the Lead Out” Program, which ran from January 2007 to September 2010. Because of this experience, the county expects the program to be up and running quickly, providing training to local contractors, education to area residents, and rehab work aimed at improving the lives and health of Kane County children.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month focuses on help for victims

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KANE COUNTY—October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the color of the ribbon is purple. Mutual Ground, which provides services for victims in southern Kane and Kendall counties, is now decorated in purple ribbons. Organizations, companies and schools that would like their own purple ribbons and more information on domestic violence can call (630) 897-0084.

For many victims in an abusive relationship, seeking help is very difficult. To see what services are available, visit mutualground.org, or call the 24/7 bilingual hotline at (630) 897-0080.

Get involved during Fire Prevention Week

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SPRINGFIELD—The state fire marshall is urging families to take time to learn about important steps in fire safety during National Fire Prevention Week through this Saturday. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of having a family escape plan in the event of a fire emergency.

Fire departments across the country responded to 1,331,500 fires in 2010—384,000 of which were residential fires. These fires caused about 13,350 injuries and 2,640 deaths.

To make your home safer, consider at least one smoke alarm located on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as in every sleeping room and within 15 feet outside each sleeping area.

The NFPA recommends either installing combination smoke alarms, or both ionization and photoelectric alarms, in the home. An ionization alarm is typically more responsive to a flaming fire, such as a pan fire. A photoelectric alarm is typically more responsive to a smoldering fire, as might occur where a lighted cigarette is dropped on a sofa.

Be sure to test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries when you hear the alarm “chirp.” Smoke alarms older than 10 years should be replaced.
For more information about fire safety, visit sfm.illinois.gov.

Kaneland offers pre-school screening

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AURORA—Kaneland parents are encouraged to bring their children, ages 3 to 5 years old, to a preschool screening on Friday, Oct. 21, at Morningstar Community Church, 8S101 Barnes Road. Children will be assessed on development milestones including speech, hearing, vision and motor skills. For an appointment, call (630) 365-5111, ext. 158.

Flu season arrives—get vaccinated

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KANE COUNTY—Autumn is the beginning of the flu season, and now is a good time to think about protecting yourself with a flu vaccine. The Kane County Health Department encourages all residents to take the time to get a flu vaccine.

To find the nearest location of a flu shot provider, visit the Health Department’s website at kanehealth.com/flu to find a map of local providers. Watch for regular flu season updates on its Facebook and Twitter (@KaneCoHealth) pages throughout the flu season.

Nearly everyone over the age of 6 months should get an annual vaccine. This year’s vaccine is geared toward three different influenza viruses and, no, you can’t get the flu from the flu shot.

Remember the Three C’s—cover your cough, clean your hands and contain the disease by staying home if you’re sick.

Village bans sale, possession of synthetic designer drugs

in Health & Wellness/Sugar Grove by

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board is just saying no … to synthetic alternative drugs.

The Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to prohibit the sale and possession of synthetic alternative designer drugs. The ban includes synthetic cannabis, which imitates the effects of genuine cannabis when consumed.

The state of Illinois voted to ban synthetic alternative designer drugs such as “bath salts” (a product that imitates the effects of heroin and cocaine) and synthetic cannabis in July 2011, but the ban on the latter product will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2012.

According to a document from Chief of Police Brad Sauer, the Sugar Grove Police Department felt a need to “fill the gap” (between the state ban on synthetic cannabis and the date the ban goes into effect) with an ordinance preventing the sale or possession of all of these alternative designer substances for the interim. The document also states that the ban will give the Police Department the latitude in the future to charge people in possession of these substances with an ordinance violation for small amounts, or a misdemeanor—using the state statute—for large amounts or second offenders.

“I was reading the local papers, and there was an article about how Aurora was working on banning synthetic drugs, and the seriousness of it—how it was legal, and (how) a young man had died from it. And so I felt it was important that we move this (ban) forward,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Synthetic cannabis first became available in the mid-2000s. Sauer’s document states that the mixture of legal herbs found in the synthetic drug has synthetic cannabinoids, which act on the body in a similar way to substances naturally found in cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

October events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

in Health & Wellness/Regional by

GENEVA—The LivingWell Cancer Resource Center announces several upcoming events to increase awareness and to help raise funds for the center during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October:

Bunco for Breast Cancer Awareness will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m., St. Patrick’s Church, 6N487 Crane Road in St. Charles. Donation is $20 for three rounds of Bunco, appetizers, refreshments, gift bags and door prizes. To register, contact Victoria Naughton at (630) 338-8027 or e-mail vlnaughton@stpatrickparish.org.

A 5K run will be held at Marmion Academy on Sunday Oct. 23, with registration at 8 a.m. and the run beginning at 9 a.m. Marmion will sell pink T-shirts and bracelets throughout the month to raise funds for LivingWell. For more information, call Crystal Krueger at (630) 327-7865, on Facebook at marmioncadetsbreastcancerawareness or e-mail Nadine at ncg1966@yahoo.com.

The Arcada Theater in St. Charles presents “Tooty’s Corner, The Stage Play” on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. This is a one-time show about a group of boys and their families growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. Part of the proceeds will be donated to LivingWell. Tickets can be purchased by calling (630) 965-1000 or e-mail info@tootyscorner.com. For more information, go to www.tootyscorner.com.

Kimmer’s Ice Cream Shop, 1 W. Illinois St., St. Charles, will host a “Girls Night Out” on Thursday, Oct. 28, featuring different vendors for makeup, and other accessories, with a table set up in the shop and lots of fun things to see. Ten percent of the event will support LivingWell. For the entire month of October, 10 percent of Kimmer’s receipts will be donated to LivingWell on their four “Pink” flavors of ice cream. Call Kim at (630) 762-9480.

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