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Summer Safety for Children

Bridgeport, WV - As summer approaches, parents must take all the necessary safety precautions to ensure their child’s wellbeing. Hot weather provides opportunities for children to enjoy the outdoors; however, they may fall, crash, slip and tumble during summertime fun activities. 

“Parents must remember that summer should be a time of enjoyment for their children,” said Mary-Ann Kroll, MD, pediatrician at Pediatric Associates in Bridgeport.  “While they need to let their kids play outdoors, parents must at the same time be careful to take a common-sense approach with safety.”

The Free Press WV


Dr. Kroll says that summer is a time where we face several safety hazards.  Parents will need to know what steps they can take to prevent an emergency. It is important to be on the lookout for risks ranging from water safety, to how to deal with potentially deadly insects.


SWIMMING

Swimming and other water activities are excellent ways for your child to get the physical activity and health benefits needed,” said Dr. Kroll. “However, drownings are the leading cause of injury or deaths for children between the ages of one to four years of age in the United States.”
There are some simple preventative measures that parents can take.  If a parent can swim, they should also teach their child to do so. Both the YMCA and Red Cross provide swimming lessons in most areas.
If for some reason you are unable to ensure your child receives swimming lessons, make sure he or she wears some sort of flotation device when in or around water. “The average adult has trouble sustaining their breath for 30 seconds, that average is even lower for young children,” said Dr. Kroll. “Taking your eye off your child for just a second around a body of water could lead to the unthinkable. When taking your children around water, please, take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.”

Dr. Kroll also wants to help prevent you and your family from getting a recreational water illness. “This is an illness caused by germs and chemicals found in the water in which we swim,” said Dr. Kroll.  “I recommend that you take frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers hourly, as to avoid an accident in water. This tip will help to keep germs out.”


HEAT AND SUN

Dr. Kroll says that heat and sun can be very dangerous to children and even adults.  Children and adults exposed to too much sun can face serious heat exhaustion and sunburns. The first steps in prevention are staying well hydrated and wearing light, loose fitted clothing. A sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher should be applied periodically throughout the day.


TICKS AND MOSQUITOS

“Ticks and Mosquitos are on the rise each year,” said Dr. Kroll. “ We must take preventative measures to stop the spread of the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease.”

Parents should keep their lawn cut short and reduce the time their children spend near wooded locations. These are areas where ticks and mosquitos often hide. Spraying down with insect repellent or putting on long articles of clothing before venturing outdoors will greatly reduce the number of bug bites received by both ticks and mosquitos.
Playgrounds and Recreation

“Playgrounds and recreational activities are responsible for more than 200,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually by children 14 and younger,” said Dr. Kroll. “Parents need to analyze each playground for faulty structures before allowing their children to play on them.”

It is important to ensure that a playground is well maintained and that each part is working as it should. Children must always wear the proper equipment before ever participating in any sports or recreational activity.


POISON IVY

“Your children need to be aware of the plant-related dangers around them when playing outdoors,” said Dr. Kroll. “In fact nearly 85 percent of people are allergic to poison ivy, and it affects as many as 50 million Americans each year.” Poison ivy can be found in every state in the United States except for Hawaii, Alaska, and some deserts in Nevada.

The best way parents can keep their children from having to deal with this plant is by teaching them what the plant looks like. If you are not an outdoorsmen you can simply search online at Redcross.org to find images of poison ivy, as well as where it is most likely found.

You will also find how to treat the infected area if you believe you have touched poison ivy. You must first wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Next you will want to wash any clothing or equipment that may have rubbed against the plant that day.

“Accidents will happen, but by being aware and educated about any potential risk, you can reduce your child’s chance of being affected,” said Dr. Kroll. If you have further questions concerning these summertime safety tips or other medical questions concerning your child, call Dr. Mary-Ann Kroll at 304.842.5777.

Key Things To Know About Federal Land Ownership In The West

An armed group occupying the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon wants the federal government to relinquish the land to local officials so it becomes more accessible for ranching, mining and other uses.

Less visible efforts to wrest control of federal lands date back more than a century in the West, where the U.S. government manages most of the land in some states.

The Free Press WV


HOW MUCH LAND DOES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWN?

It controls about a million square miles, mostly in the West, according to the Congressional Research Service. It owns 81 percent of Nevada, 66 percent of Utah, 62 percent of both Idaho and Alaska, and 53 percent of Oregon.

Most of the land is managed by U.S. agencies including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

The federal government also owns significant portions of California and Wyoming, at 48 percent each; Arizona, at 42 percent; Colorado, at 36 percent; New Mexico, at 35 percent; Montana, at 29 percent; and Washington state, at 28 percent.


HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT ACQUIRE SO MUCH LAND?

As the country expanded West, the federal government sought to protect some areas, such as Yellowstone National Park in 1872, and took control in the 1900s of unclaimed areas that were generally too harsh and difficult for homesteaders to make a living.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management administers much of the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin, which is habitat for the imperiled sage grouse but unsuitable for farming.


IS THE LAND-CONTROL CONFLICT NEW?

No. The debate over management of federal land has spanned decades. Some state officials and others contend that state control would mean less regulation and greater freedom for ranchers, miners, recreationists and others, boosting state income.

Critics of that view say the land would be too expensive for states to maintain and would be sold off to private interests, cutting off access to the public.

Congress approved a law in 1976 saying that remaining public land would stay under federal control.


WHAT EFFORTS ARE STATES MAKING TO CONTROL FEDERAL LAND?

State lawmakers, notably in Utah and Idaho, have sought a legal way to take control of federal land. However, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has said the state’s constitution gave up claims to the land when Idaho joined the union.

Congress has the authority to turn over federal land to the states, but efforts to pass such a law have failed so far.


WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE LAND IN OREGON?

President Theodore Roosevelt created the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1908. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 300-square-mile refuge is partly a marshland that’s a key rest area in the Oregon high desert for migrating birds.

The number of migrating shorebirds qualifies the refuge as a Regional Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve, the wildlife service says. It also supports more than 20 percent of the state’s breeding population of greater sandhill cranes, as well as many other species.

Birding is a popular pastime at the refuge, which also draws anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Stonewall Resort’s “Appalachian Homestead” featured on Barnwood Builders Sunday

The Free Press WV

WESTON, WV  – Fox Cabin, a locally historic log cabin located in Roanoke, WV, and dating back to the mid-1800s, will be the star of an episode of the nationally televised show Barnwood Builders this Sunday – December 13, 2015 – on the DIY Network, Stonewall State Park Foundation representatives announced.

The Fox Cabin belonged to Rebecca Kelly Fox, an Irish immigrant who settled in Roanoke in the mid-1800s. The great grand-daughters of Rebecca Fox donated the cabin to the Stonewall State Park Foundation, in order to commemorate the heritage this structure represents to the family and to showcase the history of those settling the area.

The show details the careful deconstruction, movement and reconstruction of the cabin from its original location in Lewis County to Stonewall Resort.  The program also interviews descendants of Rebecca Kelly Fox and recounts the history of pioneer life in the area in the early eighteenth century.

Barnwood Builders, specializes in salvaging and restoring old-world structures and craftsmanship.  The company that does the work is from Lewisburg, West Virginia.  The weekly program features the Barnwood Builders crew reclaiming time-worn barn wood, and turning it into dream homes and buildings.

Samantha Norris, community outreach director for Stonewall Resort, said, “We appreciate the willingness of the Fox family to allow us to keep their history, and that of the region, alive at Stonewall Resort.  The Fox Cabin will live on as the cornerstone of our newly created “Appalachian Homestead Project”, an effort to provide a glimpse of local history to visitors and resort guests.”

The Free Press WV


Norris said the Appalachian Homestead Project seeks to restore and relocate authentic log structures from the local region for use in educational and interpretive displays.

“It is the hope of the Stonewall State Park Foundation that this working homestead will serve to educate current and future generations about the innovation of early settlers in the Appalachian area,” Norris said.  “Hosting special events such as blacksmith demonstrations, community music events, summer camps, and farm-to-table classes are all components that we plan to feature as part of this special project on the resort property once it is complete.”

Norris said the Stonewall State Park Foundation is working to solicit funding, both private and foundational, to complete the Appalachian Homestead Project.

For additional information, or to learn how to contribute to the project, contact Samantha Norris at 304.269.269.8820 or .

Passage of Sportsmen’s Act OF 2015

Legislation will increase public lands access for sportsmen and promote West Virginia’s outdoor recreation economy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, applauded the bipartisan passage of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. The legislation will enhance hunting, fishing and recreational shooting opportunities by increasing access to federal lands. It also includes the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the ENR Committee by a voice vote.

“As a lifelong, avid sportsman, I know firsthand that our hunting, fishing and outdoor heritage is so important to who we are as West Virginians and as Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along, from one generation to another, a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer. I believe that we should protect these traditions that help define who we are. This bipartisan bill will boost West Virginia’s economy while expanding hunting and fishing rights and allowing people a greater ability to enjoy the outdoors.”


Senator Manchin’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

As an avid sportsman, I believe that hunting and fishing are an integral part of the American culture and a powerful force of good protecting and preserving the natural world around us.

In West Virginia, it’s a family affair and an opportunity to pass along – from one generation to another – a deep and lasting appreciation for all the outdoors have to offer.

One of my top priorities is to make sure that the people I represent can carry on that tradition by ensuring they have access to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on our nation’s public lands.

In my home state, we have more than 1.6 million acres of public land open to hunting with 28 shooting ranges on these lands.

We have a year-round fishing season, with more than 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes.

But this is about more than heritage and family tradition – hunting and fishing are big business in the Mountain State.

In 2011 alone, sportsmen and women spent $870 million on hunting and fishing in West Virginia and paid $81 million in state and local taxes.

Title II of this bill establishes an important precedent that seems pretty common sense to me – Federal land should be open to hunting and fishing, within existing laws, unless there is a reason for it not to be.

Nothing in the bill opens any sensitive areas that are already closed to these activities.

It merely establishes the precedent that our public lands should be open to the public so that people can enjoy them.

I think it’s a shame that we all too often get caught up in debates between environmentalists and sportsmen – both of whom want to preserve and protect the great outdoors.

Gale Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush, once said:

“Dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat.”

I’m a firm believer that introducing someone to the great outdoors through hunting and fishing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to show them why conservation matters.

I was also very pleased to see that the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was included in this bill.

In West Virginia, LWCF has helped maintain and expand access to some of our State’s natural treasures for the benefit of all.

Access projects funded by LWCF, in places like the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley, and the Gauley River, not only keep public lands public for sportsmen, but also promote West Virginia’s thriving and growing outdoor recreation economy.

A Section 6 habitat grant was the centerpiece of a project up in Cheat Canyon that leveraged state, local, and private funds to protect another incredible river that provides outdoor recreation in the northern part of the state.

A different type of grant protected key battlefield areas around Harper’s Ferry last year. 

The permanent reauthorization of the LWCF is another one of my top priorities, and I commend my colleagues for working together, across partisan lines, to include it in this bill.

For the past two Congresses, we have tried and failed to pass a Sportsmen’s package through the Senate despite strong bipartisan support.

I commend Senator Murkowski and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act this Congress, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.

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