New Diana Bombers – 6th in State!

Banner from the Diana Bombers Softball Tournament, June 2013

Banner from the Diana Bombers Softball Tournament, June 2013

Congratulations to the Diana Bombers girls softball team! The New Diana Bombers Softball team played in a weekend long tournament this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Bombers softball team consists of 13-14 YO girls from New Diana, Texas. They placed sixth overall in the state of Texas. Torqued Up was happy to help the girls get to their tournament.

Skin Care in the Hot Weather

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 82,770 NEW cases of skin cancer this year (this figure excludes basal and squamous types of cancer). Melanoma only accounts for less than 5% of all the skin cancer cases, but does count for the majority of deaths related to skin cancer. However, there is a 91% chance of surviving melanoma of the skin, if it’s caught early. Because we are focusing on safety in the heat, this article is designed to give you a few tips on the recognition of unusual skin growths, and what you can do to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.

Symptoms of melanoma include changes in size, shape or color of a mole or skin lesion, or a new growth on the skin. Changes that happen over a month or more, should be seen by a physician.

Early detection is key. Remember the ABCD rule:

  • A is for Asymmetry. One 1/2 of the mole doesn’t match the other half.
  • B is for Border. The edges of the mole are ragged or blurred.
  • C is for Color. The color of the mole is not the same. The shades can be tan, brown, or black.
  • D is for Diameter larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser).

Other types of melanoma may not have these exact signs, so make sure you are watching for new or changing skin growths.

People with a family history of melanoma, or a large number of moles, are at a higher risk for melanoma. Also, people that are sensitive to the sun, have light colored hair such as blonde or red, or excessive sun exposure (which can include sunburns, indoor tanning beds, or those who work outside) are at a higher risk for skin cancer.

In order to protect your skin from the damaging sun exposure, follow these tips:

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher daily. Make sure to cover your face, neck (front and back), ears, and any other part of your skin that is not covered with fabric.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim if you are going to be out in the sun.
  • Seek out shade, especially in the hottest part of the day.
  • Avoid sunbathing outside or indoor tanning. Indoor tanning exposes the body to additional UV radiation, which is associated with a risk of developing cancer.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect the area around your eyes.
  • Wear clothing that protects against UVA  and UVB rays.

Working in the sun can be tough. Make sure you are protecting yourself and your skin. Be safe out there!

This article, in no way, can replace the diagnosis of a trained medical physician, and it is not designed to do so. If you have questions regarding your health, it is essential to seek a professional medical evaluation.

Distracted Driving

You are 23x more likely to be involved in an automobile accident if you text while driving.


Caution Sign

According to a study done at Carnegie Mellon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Distracted driving is anything that diverts the driver’s attention from driving safely. These can include:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Eating / drinking
  • Talking to other people in the vehicle
  • Putting on make-up or shaving while driving
  • Reading (both maps AND book type materials)
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting the radio, iPod, etc.

In 2010, 416,000 people were injured in vehicle accidents that involved distracted driving. Nearly 1/5 of all accidents in 2010 were because of a distracted driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are over 800,000 vehicles are being operated / driven by someone using a hand held cell phone.
Night Lights

Here are the laws in Texas regarding cell phones while driving. It’s a good idea to check your local municipality for other laws that are not are listed here.

  • No cell phones or texting for bus drivers or Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators while driving
  • No cell phones or texting while driving for novice drivers
  • No handheld cell phone usage or texting in school zones

Many companies, both private and public, including Torqued-Up Energy Services, have safety policies regarding cell phone usage and text messaging while operating a company vehicle, or personal vehicle for company business. Even President Obama singed an Executive Order that bans the use of cell phones and texting while on government business.

If you need to talk on the phone while operating a vehicle, use a hands free device, or better yet, pull over to make the call. Don’t text and drive.



Safety: Children in Vehicles

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children, ages 1 to 14 years old. In 2009, that number was 1,314. Additionally, more than 66% of those children killed were killed because the person that was driving was drunk. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2009, over 618,000 children under the age of 12 rode in a vehicle without a safety seat or seat belt at least some of the time. Parents and care givers should always use a seatbelt when driving or riding in the car, regardless of how short the drive will be. This sets a good example for the children in your car. You can read more about the CDC’s report here: http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Child_Passenger_Safety/CPS-Factsheet.html

Car seats can reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants, and 54% for children ages 1-4. As a general rule, anyone under the age of 12 should ride in the backseat of a vehicle because airbags can seriously injury or kill a small child in an accident that would have otherwise been survivable. Also, the Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention found that the middle seat in the back is the safest place in the vehicle.

Babies (under one year of age) should ride a rear facing car seat in the backseat of a vehicle. You should NEVER put a rear facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle. Should you get into an accident with a rear facing child seat in the front seat, it could cause a serious injury to the baby in the seat.

Toddlers (1-3 years of age): Check the height and weight limit on your car seat. Children should be kept in a rear facing car seat as long as possible. Once they get large enough, it’s time to upgrade the rear facing car seat to a forward facing car seat with a harness.

Children (4-7 years of age): Keep your children in a forward facing car seat with a harness. The seat still needs to remain in the back seat, because that is the safest place for children to ride.

Older Children (8-12 years of age): Once your child outgrows the forward facing car seat, you can buy the last car seat you’ll need for that child – a booster seat. Children in this age group are still too small to ride in the front seat. The seatbelts in vehicles are not designed for children. They are designed and tested for adult protection. Because children are so much smaller, they can be injured by the seatbelts in both the front and back seats. This is why the NHTSA recommends a booster seat in the back. The booster seat gives the older child a little more height while riding in the back seat of the vehicle. The booster seat will help position the seatbelt to fit properly over the child. The seatbelt should fit across the upper thighs and fit snugly across the shoulder and chest – NOT across the stomach or the neck.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the NHTSA found that nearly 72% of 3,500 car seats and booster seats were misused, and could increase the risk of injury to a child during a motor vehicle crash. Fire stations and hospitals can help you install your child seats properly. You can also visit: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS to find a Child Seat Inspection Site near your home, or manufacturer’s car seat recalls.

You can find more information regarding child seats at: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightSeat.htm

Car Care in the Heat

Hot weather can take a toll on everything – vehicles included. Here are some tips to help keep your car functioning and running well during the hot summer months.

  • Check your battery
    • Have your battery tested by a trained technician since the heat can drain your battery quickly.
    • Make sure your battery is mounted properly to avoid too much vibration.

Keep your engine cool

  • Check your owner’s manual as to how often the fluids should be checked and changed (most newer vehicles recommend flushing around 50,000 miles).
  • Make sure the coolant is filled to the correct level by topping off the fluid reservoir.
  • Inspect rubber hoses and belts for wear and tear. Worn parts are more susceptible to damage and breaking in the hot weather.

Tires

  • Keep tires inflated at the proper PSI.
  • Underinflated tires can affect braking, overheat tires, and increase the chance of a blowout.
  • When filling tires, check the treads on the tire. Treads should be in good condition.

Environment

  • Create a comfortable temperature inside the car. Hot weather creates a feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
  • Check filters and replace them regularly to keep the A/C functioning well.
  • Park in the shade to reduce the temperature inside the car.
  • Use sunshades or tint the windows to keep out the sun’s rays.

Kids, Pets, and other living things

  • Never leave these in the car – even if it’s only for a few minutes. The temperature inside a car can rise to unsafe levels in two minutes on an 80°F day.
  • Children’s body temperature take 3-5x longer to regulate, so being inside a car on a hot day (even with the windows down) can be deadly.
  • 32 children died in 2012 from hyperthermia.
    • 52% of caretakers said they just forgot the child was in the car.

Emergency Car Kit: In extreme weather conditions, it’s always a good idea to have a small kit in your car for emergency situations. Our DOT Coordinator in Kilgore, Kenneth Nolley, has some good suggestions for items that should be in a vehicle emergency kit :

  • Water
  • Nonperishable snacks like granola bars
  • First Aid Kit with a one-time use ice pack
  • All the equipment to change a tire
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket or large pad so that you can lay on it if you need to get under your vehicle
  • Jumper cables or box

 

If you do get stuck somewhere, you can call the Texas Roadside Assistance phone number that is on the back of your driver’s license or the phone number listed on the back of your vehicle’s Texas Inspection sticker. This number will call the Department of Public Safety in Austin and they will send a State Trooper to your aide. Even if you aren’t in Texas, the DPS in Austin will transfer your call to the right place so you can get help.

 

 

For more information, you can visit www.aaa.com (AAA / Roadside assistance website).