Category Archives: Safety

Concussions in Elementary School

This came from HVMA today, and was information I would like to have had when I was coaching girls soccer and basketball, so I am passing it along –

Concussions in Elementary School: What you need to know

boy with soccer ball.concussionImagine you’re seated at work when you receive a call from the school nurse who tells you your son hit his head during recess. Thankfully, he didn’t lose consciousness, so no concussion, right?

Not necessarily.

Elementary-aged students do not lose consciousness as easily as teens or adults do. They also may not yet have the language skills necessary to convey the pain or symptoms they are experiencing. They might simply say they don’t feel “good.” With children participating in contact sports at younger ages it is crucial for parents, coaches, teachers and school nurses to be aware of the signs of a concussion and diligent about any changes in behavior that could signal the need for treatment.

Changes in behavior in children with concussion may include:

  • Appearing dazed or stunned
  • Being unsure of game, score or opponent
  • Moving clumsily
  • Showing behavior or personality changes
  • Having difficulty organizing tasks or shifting between tasks
  • Displaying inappropriate or impulsive behavior
  • Exhibiting greater irritability
  • Behaving more emotional than usual
  • Experiencing fatigue
  • Having difficulty handling a stimulating school environment (lights, noise, etc.)
  • Experiencing other physical symptoms (headache, nausea, dizziness)

If you observe any of the above symptoms you should contact a healthcare professional immediately. They can help you set up a plan for treatment and recovery. It is important to work with your healthcare provider as concussions affect people differently. Younger children can experience symptoms lasting anywhere from a few days up to a week. While children often appear to bounce back from everyday injuries, they actually take longer to recover from concussions than adults.

The best treatment for concussions – regardless of age—is rest, both physically as well as mentally, as this helps the brain heal. Restricting strenuous physical activity and getting plenty of sleep are very important for a steady recovery, but rest also involves cognitive rest, which means limiting mental tasks that require concentration or focused thinking. This includes no or limited screen time (phone, TV, computer) as the screen can worsen symptoms. Lighter mental activities, such as listening to audio books or drawing, are usually acceptable. However, it is important to continue monitoring for increased pain or behavioral changes. School work and reading are to be reintroduced gradually, stopping if symptoms reappear. Regardless of a child’s seeming recovery, students need to be evaluated and cleared by a doctor before returning to school or sports.

Because children who play sports are at greater risk for concussion, Harvard Vanguard offers ImPACT testing, a computerized concussion evaluation tool. We perform baseline testing – done before a child has a concussion – for kids 10-19, which can then be used as a point of comparison for tracking recovery if a child experiences a head injury in the future.

– See more at:

Tornado watch

MEMA issued a tornado watch this afternoon, until 11 PM this evening, per email below from Mike Sullivan:

Received notice from MEMA of a tornado warning for most of Massachusetts, including Norfolk County until 11:00 p.m. this evening. Please note that this is a tornado watch and not a tornado warning, which means that it is a low risk event, with a low probability of tornado formation. However, people should be prepare for the possibility of a tornado forming, and be prepared to seek appropriate shelter if necessary. Mike Sullivan

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: MEMA State Control (CDA)
Date: Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 4:04 PM
Subject: Situational Awareness Statement #3: Tornado Watch Issued for All of Massachusetts

 DATE:          June 23, 2015

TIME:           4:00 PM

SUBJECT:      Situational Awareness Statement: Tornado Watch Issued


National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for all of Massachusetts until 11:00 p.m. this evening.  A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for the development of tornados.

Tell the FDA to Make Our Medicine Cabinets Safe!

Generic drugs make up 80% of all prescriptions filled in the United States. But in 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that generic drug makers are not responsible for updating their safety labels to warn of newly discovered risks and as a result cannot be held accountable in court if their drugs injure or kill Americans.

Consumers are left in a dangerous Generic Drug Safety Loophole with safety labels that are not reliable and their access to justice denied.

There is good news: The FDA has a proposed a plan to fix the problem! But it is under attack from the generics industry.

We need your help to close the Generic Drug Safety Loophole!

Sign the new Take Justice Back petition.

We have launched a new petition to the FDA to remind them that safety is an issue that simply cannot wait. Already, more than 21,000 people have called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restore generic drug accountability – and we need you to add your name to the growing list!

Sign the new Take Justice Back petition.

Together we can prescribe accountability to the generic drug industry!

Thank you –

The Take Justice Back Team

PS: After you sign the petition, make sure to share it with your friends on Faceboook.


777 6th Street NW, Suite 200 | Washington, DC 20001 | 202-965-3500

Gas company on safety

This to the MFD Chief from the gas company –

Safety Concerns from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Serious Snow and Ice Safety Risks for Natural Gas Meters

Westborough, MA – Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is concerned with recent incidents involving large icicles and snow accumulation falling from rooftops onto natural gas meters. This can cause a rupture in the gas line and result in a serious gas leak. Also, snow and ice covered natural gas meters, and snow removing equipment striking gas meters has caused the release of natural gas.


With significant snowfall and frigid temperatures in the forecast, it is extremely important to make sure that your natural gas meter, and the exhaust vents for your heating equipment and other appliances are free of snow and ice. Gas equipment requires adequate airflow for safe combustion and proper venting of appliances to prevent a dangerous carbon monoxide situation.


The build-up of ice and snow around or over a natural gas meter poses a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from the eaves and gutters above your gas meter can damage the meter or service connections, potentially resulting in a gas leak. Please use a broom instead of a shovel to clear ice and snow from your gas meter. Don’t kick or hit the gas meter to break away snow and ice. Don’t shovel snow up against your meter. Be careful when using a snow blower or snow plow near your meter. Where possible, have a clear path to your gas meter in the event a technician or emergency responder should require access.


If your meter is encased in ice which you cannot remove, contact Columbia Gas for assistance at 1-800-677-5052. If you think there’s a problem with the gas piping or equipment, or if you smell gas, call Columbia’s 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-525-8222.


“The safety and comfort of our customers and communities is our number one priority,” said Steve Bryant, President of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. “We ask that you be diligent in removing snow and ice from above and around your natural gas meter, keep your appliance vents clear and your gas meter accessible. With record snowfall over the past month and continuing in the next couple days, this winter season continues to be a challenge for us all.”


For more safety tips and information visit


Subject: Urgent Safety Message to CMA Customers
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:19:25 -0600

Dear Chief,

Due to the continuing forecast of frigid temperatures and snow accumulation, we have sent out the attached press release to our local media asking that they communicate this important message cautioning customers about large icicles and snow accumulation falling from rooftops onto natural gas meters.  We are also urging customer to remove ice and snow from their natural gas meters and gas appliance vents.

We have also cautioned customers to not use shovels to clear ice and snow from the natural gas meters.  We have also asked that they keep a clear, accessible path to the gas meter in the event a technician or emergency responder should require access.

Wherever possible we ask that you share this communication.  If you have the capabilities of posting this to your website, social media, or reverse 911 communications we would be most appreciative in assisting us in reaching as many customers as possible.

We have also sent an email blast to over 127,360 customers to whom we have email addresses.

We thank you for your support in our efforts to alert our customers to the safety risks associated with the accumulation of snow and ice around natural gas meters and gas appliance vents.

Andrea M. Luppi                                                                Don DiNunno
Manager Communications & Community Relations                                Manager Communications & Community Relations
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts                                                Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
2025 Roosevelt Avenue                                                                995 Belmont Avenue
Springfield, MA 01104                                                                Brockton, MA 02301
Office:  413-784-2145                                                                Office:  508-580-0100 ext. 1311
Cell:  413-530-0907                                                                Cell:  508-864-7099
Fax: 413-731-7788

Tracy Stefanowicz
External Affairs Specialist
External Communications
(413)784-2130 – Work
(413)276-5822 – Cell



Storm shut downs

Mike Sullivan just called to update me on town plans in light of the storm and their conference call this morning with MEMA, and reports the following:

  • MEMA counseled that the strong winds are likely to be the major problem, as wind gusts are predicted to get reach 70 MPH, and with light fluffy snow there will be lots of drifting
  • NSTAR counsels that power outages should be reported to them, not the town, as calls to NSTAR are logged by its computer systems and algorithms to make its lists of what to fix first
  • Council on Aging, Medfield Park & Recreation Commission, and the Medfield Memorial Library have already announced that they will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday
  • the schools will be letting people know their decision soon
  • we agreed to cancel the Board of Selectmen meeting for tomorrow evening

Please hunker down for the storm and keep safe.

Airbag recall

See if your car is covered by any recall by putting in your vehicle identification number (VIN) at

Generally see

Takata hires NY lawyer to handle air bag scandal.

Reuters (11/18) reports Takata Corp has retained prominent New York defense lawyer Andrew Levander of Dechert LLP to oversee legal issues including the criminal probe on its defective airbags, the source of over 17 million car recalls since 2008. Last week a Federal grand jury subpoenaed Takata’s US Unit to produce documents on the defects, this while multiple class-action law suits, a probe by the US auto safety regulator, and a Senate hearing await Takata and its executives. Another partner at Dechert, David Bernick, will also represent Takata.

Defective Takata airbag grows into global problem for manufacturer. The New York Times (11/19, Gough, Soble, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports that “What began as a largely American problem for Takata is taking on ever-wider proportions, confronting drivers and regulators in multiple countries with differing legal systems and attitudes toward automobile safety.” Last week, the first fatality of a non-US driver was linked to the Japanese airbag manufacturer’s defects thus confirming that faulty inflaters, made at North American plants, ended up in overseas vehicles. “The problem is that nobody knows how far it’s going to go — how many millions more vehicles,” said Koji Endo, an expert on the Japanese automobile industry at Advanced Research Japan. Adding to the company’s troubles, Federal regulators in the US on Tuesday urged automakers to recall cars nationwide that contain driver’s-side airbags made by Takata. Takata executives are scheduled to testify on Thursday at a Senate hearing on auto safety.

Airbag safety check

The NTHSA published the article below on the airbag safety recall and the NHTSA also has a link to a website where one can input one’s VIN to see if a vehicle is effected by any recall, including the airbag one  –

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Media-only contact: Karen Aldana, 202-366-9550,
(Note: Corrects vehicle list provided with advisories of Oct. 20-21)

Vehicle owners can call our Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. Over seven million vehicles are involved in these recalls, which have occurred as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as Monday. The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

“Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.

Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed. Owners that have been contacted by their manufacturer should contact their dealer’s service department and make arrangements for the repair. In addition, consumers can sign up for NHTSA recall alerts, which go out before recall letters are mailed by the manufacturers to the affected owners.

7.8 Million Affected U.S. Vehicles, by Manufacturer, Impacted by CY 2013 and 2014 Recalls Involving Takata Airbags

Note: The list below corrects the list that accompanied our October 20 advisory, which incorrectly included certain vehicles. The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from, or will receive one by U.S. mail and are advised to carefully follow the enclosed instructions.

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
2008 – Dodge Ram 5500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota
2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – Ranger
2005 – 2006 GT
2005 – 2007 Mustang

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
2005 – Saab 9-2X

Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
2005 – Acura RL

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2007 Mazda6
2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8
2004 – 2005 MPV
2004 – B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – 2005 Lancer
2006 – 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Baja
2003 – 2005 Legacy
2003 – 2005 Outback
2004 – 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2005 Lexus SC
2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

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