Sunday, December 18, 2011

Don't let pool tragedy leave you with life of blame

Image courtesy of fellow bloggers producing the Best Nanny Newsletter in the US. A visit there will show that pool safety is a concern in other countries, too.

THE summer sizzle – or call it a "stew" because of the recent rain – has brought a timely warning from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS).
The message is to take extra care in and around pools over the Christmas and summer holiday period.
We have heard it all before, so many times in fact, that some owners may simply shrug and not give another thought to the importance of the message.
But such an attitude of indifference has been a factor in an horrific statistic that can make any Queenslander cringe.

THE State Government says 41 children aged under five years drowned in Queensland pools between January 2004 and June 2010.
Every case would have its peculiarities, and the last thing any parent who has lost a child in this way would deserve is to suffer forever in self blame.
However, something has been going seriously wrong and the State Government has finally acted with the introduction of new pool fencing laws.
It has given pool owners until 2015 to comply with a new pool safety standard, but earlier compliance is required if the property is sold or leased.
Pool owners have just passed the first deadline of the safety package; the Government required registration of swimming pool details by November 4, and has threatened fines up to $2000 for an unregistered pool.

LICENSED pool fencing inspector Noel Whittington, who advertises in our Trade Services section, has been busy.
Noel, a former Sydney pool builder who has specialised in fencing for about 30 years, believes the tightening of the law is overdue.
"Some owners whinge about 'another government thing' but I can only say, 'Come on, the fact is kids are drowning – this law is aimed at saving lives'," Noel says.
"The other tragedy is that many children whose lives are saved carry lifelong
disabilities from the experience."
Noel, admitting he is not a youngster, says he pushed himself to attend a series of seminars and get accreditation as an inspector.
He says maintenance-conscious owners benefit because regular attention minimises costs, which is important with inspections now required every two years.

NOEL came to live in Queensland in 1981 and now splits his time between his Gold Coast home and that of his sister, Gloria O'Brien, at Redland Bay, so he says he is well placed to service Redland City.
The QAS emphasises that fencing is not the complete solution to stop drownings and vigilance is important: Drowning is "a silent killer" – someone can drown in seconds, without making a sound.
The service urges pool owners to remove objects from around the pool fence to reduce the risk of children climbing to access the pool area or gate.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified
advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Celebrate curve with verve: flash those pearly whites

Image of a fantastic toothless smile courtesy of fellow blogger Tim Oestmann.

HERE'S one for the trivia quiz buffs and a prize for readers who get it right: What are the four words that complete the song title, "All I Want for Christmas Is ..."?
No, the answer isn't "A Nice New Car". It has been the same since the song was written in the US about two generations ago: "My Two Front Teeth."
Now, the prize for every correct answer: a smile.

IN case you haven't noticed during the early December rush, it's the season of the smile, which must be one of the most intriguing aspects of human behaviour.
We can read all sorts of things into that simple expression. On the good side, the wide range of interpretations may include empathy, love, respect and fun, but a smile can also be a very cutting put-down and a partner for aggression and cruelty.
The line between 'smile' and 'smirk' is thin.

OF the many published quotations about the smile, those from comedians can keep the pearly whites flashing. US comedian Phyllis Diller reportedly summed it up as "a curve that sets everything straight".
While smiles are evident in such a time of goodwill, an army of highly trained professionals is at work to create them.
The dental clinics are busy at this time of year. Dental prosthetist David Dixon offers an option for those who need dentures or repairs; early this year he started a mobile service, based at his home laboratory at Robertson.
He gives free consultations and home visits.

DAVID graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dental technology from Griffith University in 2007 and qualified with a masters in dental prosthetics in 2009.
He has continued teaching at the university's Gold Coast campus while he has worked at Brisbane laboratories and set up his own business.
After reviewing demographic trends, David now aims to open a clinic at Victoria Point to service its rapidly increasing population of retirees.
David often sees the depth of emotion that underlies a smile.

"PEOPLE who lose their natural teeth or damage their dentures often say they don't 'feel like themselves'," he says.
"They don't feel comfortable smiling and this can make them feel vulnerable and bit insecure.
"A lot of patients get teary when they look into the mirror and see their own smile, with their new dentures.
"Some say they have felt uncomfortable smiling for as long as 15 or 20 years."
Dentists and the associated professions deserve a special toast on Christmas Day. As David says, everyone wants to look their best when the cameras come out.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising; this column has appeared in
The Redland Times.