Chicago/Northern IL - Updates, Winter Safety for Teens

By: juslivn, 4:13 AM GMT on December 07, 2009

(I FIXED IT whoot whoot!)

Jan 4, 2010 - I will change the blog soon, but for now I am going to keep up the Tips for Cold Weather until we get out of the Arctic freeze we are all having. Feel free to add tips, please. Thank you UncleMush for the latest addition.

Winter Safety For Teens
In the winter of 2009, my dear friends lost their 17 year old son in a tragic winter accident in record cold on 01/23/2009. He was one mile from home and tried to walk after he drove into a snow bank. Many other factors contributed to this accident, but what difference does that make now.

Recently, another young man (friend of Kelly’s) is fighting the loss of his feet to frostbite in another accident that resulted in him being stranded for over 8 hours in only 3 degree weather (in Colorado). The police found him in a state of severe hypothermia, dementia, with no clothes on in his underwear. As a matter of fact, he was airlifted here to Chicago where I learned we have one of the best hospitals in the country and they are trying to save his feet. (Thoughts and Prayers Ryan Davis!!!)

There are some things we as parents, grandparents and friends of young people can do to help to keep them aware of the dangers of severe winter weather.

I’m not a journalist, (obviously). I’m thinking though it’s a good premise for an article, and maybe you can clean it up or help with your stories of how you have taught your ‘youts’ to be safe in winter. Blog with me your own ideas or insight and add away!!!

#1: I text message all my young adults (5) when we are expecting an event, at any time during the year. This often goes un-replied to, but I have received a few ‘Thanks Mom’ stories when low and behold they were caught in the actual storm I was referring to and were freaking out! Gee, mom was not lying!!! They have come to appreciate it, and now trust I’m not fooling around.

#2: I take cold weather very, very seriously. My kids think I’m nuts, but every year I get them a car kit for Christmas. I get girlfriends, boyfriends, friends…all of them these tubular kits with a reflective blanket, etc…all kinds of stuff in there, from the auto-parts store or Wal-Mart. These kits are like $15.00 and some of the more expensive ones have jumper cables. It’s a tube and don’t break the seal, unless really needed!!!! I do check all their cars, too. I literally drive them. I take them to the store for a few minutes every once in a while. Brakes, noises, I find out a lot, and they hate it. But it forces them to deal with real!!!

#3: I laughingly say, frostbite can kick in 8 minutes or 6 minutes, or whatever the case may be as they are waving me off and walking out the door. Consistent reminders to (duh) wear their coats and layer up!!!! And yes, it may be nagging, but it helps make weather a serious subject. Especially, close to the city in the burbs where these kids just aren’t thinking like kids who go deer hunting or work in weather.

#4: I tell them to listen to the NEWS!!! Like real news! (some of my gang is simply interested in listening to their I-pod or CD’s when driving) Each of my kids knows which station is all news all the time, with traffic, weather and updates every 10 minutes. (I have a very annoying weather radio, too! And they make fun of me. Someday, I’m sure they will all own one,but it may be quieter, lol)

#5: I also use the dog as an example. If Meatloaf is outside and they just think someone else is home but are not paying attention, I say to them, do you understand that dog may get frostbite and die??? (sorry, harsh, lol!) I think learning to pay attention to their favorite animal is also a good way to teach respect for weather and, in a way, how to care for their pets and themselves.

#6: Cell phone chargers. There is nothing worse than a teen who says their phone was dead. Well, though we may go through dozens, I make sure they have a working charger for their phones in their cars and working phones. I know it sounds ridiculous to us older folk. But, hey, this technology has saved a few of my kids from some major problems. It’s a good backup but not a substitute for knowledge of how to deal with a situation if they can’t communicate. I hope they know how to assess a situation and to break into survival mode sooner than later.

#7: They all know to stay with their car, and that death is not an alternative to a ticket or owning up to a bad problem. (This is a hard one, and comes from a lot of years of teaching responsibility. Easy to walk away, but the trouble will follow!!! A hard one to teach. I'll defer on that to Parent's magazine and the pros)

#8: They have AAA auto-club. It’s an added expense for me, but I buy it for them. They know they have AAA. They know I don’t even need to be called to use it. They also know the card goes with the PERSON and not with the car…so if they are in another friend’s car and are stranded, they can call AAA. (They also know it is a bond card, lol)

#9: Parties and drinking…ohhhh, there have been a few where ‘other’ kids wander outside and pass out in the cold. It’s just tragic and a fact. I have discussed openly with my kids how to take care of ‘a friend’ and to pay attention to others in harm’s way. I think this type of discussion helped them if ‘they’ were in a state to be foolish and walk into the cold. My mottos: Don’t leave your wing man, man! And, take care of your peeps.

Ok, I’m sure there are more, and so maybe these tips aren’t straight from Parent’s magazine, and as a single mom for many years, I know there’s some expenses here that I listed which I’m sure we could find alternatives to.
I also had the free opportunities to go out sledding with them, took them outdoors a lot. Taught them to ski on a free hill in Door County, camped instead of hotel, and exposed them to the outdoors like my mom and dad did for myself and my brothers and sisters.

Again, hope you will feel free to please add a tip to this blog that may have helped you to learn winter safety or get the message to your teen or young adult as they put their batman cape on and walk outside seemingly invincible! It could help others.

Uncle Mush Adds: Add a coffee can metal. One or more of those fat candles.Keep the plastic cover.I've heard they can warm a car if the engine stops working.I carry the above.I haven't had to try it out yet.Knock on wood.Check candles yearly to make sure they are still good.Of course water,something like balance bars.Matchs might help.LOL :)

REI has a backpack stove that uses little cubes of non toxic fuel.They say it burns at 1500 or 2000 degress.I can't remember.I have one in the car.Also a leatherman tool.I keep that, rope, kitchen matches in a kit.You could say I'm more than ready for whatever.I also of course have the coffee can thing.Winter can kill ya fast or slow if you aren't ready.:)I think the stove burns at 1200 degrees.:) Don't trust a bic lighter.If they get cold they won't light!

Good Ones UncleMush, thanks so much. Be safe! Thanks for reading!

I added the map again finally.

Updated: 4:17 AM GMT on January 08, 2010


Portlight Honor Walk and Pics

By: juslivn, 8:43 PM GMT on December 05, 2009

Portlight Honor Walk

It was a bit cold, but that sun came out and we walked a bit longer than we thought we would. IL Watcher, Myself, My Husband, Shannon (daughter) Kelly (daughter) and Delores (mother-in law) all joined in with 'The Meatloaf' in a santa hat that he kept trying to shake off! The vids are blurry, sorry.

We had a very nice time! I enjoyed meeting a fellow WU and talking face to face, and I'm sure we will stay in touch and participate in Portlight events in the future! Hot chocolate was mmmmm warm and rich afterward.
During the walk a flock of geese entertained us gracefully. It was a success! Thank you and hoping our little group helps contribute to whomever may be in need of Portlight!

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Portlight Honor Walk Chicago Area This Saturday

By: juslivn, 12:26 AM GMT on December 03, 2009

Hello: Looks like we will have around 31 degrees and mostly cloudy for the Portlight Honor Walk this Sat. Maybe a few snowflakes sticking around from Thurs and Fri??? But nothing us Chitown folk can't handle!

For anyone who would like to join us:

Saturday December 5, 2009 11:00 a.m. at Lakewood Forest Preserve, Wauconda, IL 60084 in the Winter Sports area of the Millennium Trail.

Directions: Route 176 and Fairfield Rd. South on Fairfield to Winter Sports area on the East side of Fairfield. Signs are well posted(Winter Sports Area, Sled Hill and Skating Pond) Please meet at the first parking spaces to the right. There are no parking or entrance fees to this preserve area.

We will walk a trail that is approx. 2 miles without major hills or difficult terrain. (Subject to group agreement ;) The event should last approx. 1 hour or so. Should you wish to have lunch, there are no concessions available, please bring what you wish, or there are many locations in Wauconda to go to lunch afterward.

Please, do consider joining us for a pleasant walk, and if you have not signed up, try to do so and get your sponsor sheet at Portlight.org. If you just would like to join us without formality, come on up or down! Bring any donation you may wish to offer.

Wundermail me anytime with questions.
Looking forward to this event.

-Lydine-(Oh, btw, Lydine is pronounced Lyd (like lydia) and een (like *um* een) Lyd een :) ok don't all laugh...it's an issue and some people have a hard time with it...but I answer to Hey You! just as well. Come join us!!!!

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Link to Lakewood Forest Preserve


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Updated: 1:20 AM GMT on December 03, 2009



About juslivn

Located by the Fox River and Chain of Lakes in Northern Il. We boat, fish, love the outdoors, pets, and enjoy life.

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