FAST FACT:

On average, accidents, injuries and the insurance to cover both during your lifetime will cost you about 40 percent of what you pay in federal income tax.





Safety First


How to Escape Rape

Young women are seen as the typical victims, but any person, young or old, can be the target of a rapist. That's why it's important you reduce the risk by staying alert to your surroundings and taking these protective steps:

At Home

  • Lock your doors and windows. Use a deadbolt on the doors, and install a safety catch on your windows so they can't be raised more than 3 or 4 inches.
  • Install a peephole in your door and use it. Never open the door to anyone you don't know or who doesn't have the proper ID. If you're not expecting any service people, have them wait outside while you verify by phone that the company they say they represent did, in fact, send them.
  • Always draw your curtains or close your blinds at night.
  • Keep the outside of your home well lit.
  • If you lose your keys, change the locks on your home.
  • Keep your car keys on your bedside table. If someone breaks into your home, press the car's alarm button. The honking of the horn may be enough to frighten away the attacker.
  • If you think something is wrong, don't go inside your house. Call the police and have them investigate first.
  • Take a self-defense course. Check with your local police department, hospital or other municipal agency for classes.

Away from Home

  • If you're going to be away for awhile, let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.
  • Check underneath your car and in the back seat before getting inside to make sure no one's hiding there.
  • Keep plenty of gas in your car so you don't get stranded.
  • Keep your cell phone charged so you can call for help if necessary.
  • Keep your car doors locked and your windows rolled up.
  • Don't get out of your car if you see suspicious people nearby.
  • At night, stay in well lighted areas.
  • To avoid looking vulnerable, always walk confidently and at a steady pace.
  • If someone in a car asks you for directions, don't get close to the vehicle. Make the person speak loud enough for you to hear from where you are.
  • No matter where you are, if you're uncomfortable about walking to your car alone, ask a security guard or someone else you trust to walk with you.
  • Don't go home if you think someone is following you. Head to the police department, a fire station or an open business. Don't get out of your car; honk if you need help.
  • If you're stranded while driving, raise your car's hood and turn on your emergency flashers. Weather permitting, stay in the car with the windows rolled up and the doors locked. If someone stops, ask that person to notify the police.
  • If someone drives you home, ask them to wait until you get safely inside.





Claws & Effect

That stray cat at your back door may seem desperate for love and attention, not to mention food. And the new kitten you got for your kids most likely will be a wonderful pet. But whatever feline you welcome into your home, take precautions against cat scratches. If a cat or kitten carries cat scratch disease and scratches you, you could become infected.

Cat scratch disease is characterized by infection and swelling at the scratch site, low fever and swelling of the lymph nodes. The disease is usually mild, and most people recover within three weeks.

No diagnostic test exists yet to determine whether your pet carries the disease. However, your veterinarian can provide you with more information and address any concerns you may have.

Preventing Cat Scratch Disease

  • Avoid stray cats.
  • Always wash cat scratches with soap and water, even if you've been scratched by your own pet.
  • Don't allow a cat to lick an open wound on your body.
  • Don't teach your cat to play rough.
  • Never harass or tease a cat.
  • Ask your veterinarian about declawing your cat or putting plastic tips on its claws to prevent scratching.

© Your HealthStyle, 1998-2008.