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Health notes for Pinellas County

Leaving children or animals unattended in a car can result in serious consequences, especially as summer temperatures continue to rise.

At least 494 children have died since 1998 from hyperthermia in vehicles in the United States. In an average year, 38 children die from being trapped in hot vehicles.

Children are particularly vulnerable because their respiratory and circulatory systems can't handle heat as well as adults. Never leave a child in a car, even with the windows open.

If it's 78 degrees outside, the temperature in a car parked in direct sun can exceed 140 degrees.

As body temperature rises, so does the risk of heat stroke. Symptoms in children include red, flushed skin without sweating, disorientation, aggravation, hallucinations, dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid pulse, sluggishness, seizures, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness.

Florida is one of 19 states with laws that address leaving children unattended in vehicles. If a child is found unattended in a hot vehicle, try to find the parents or call 911 for assistance.

Animals also die every year in cars. It only takes minutes for a pet to succumb to heatstroke. Parking in the shade or rolling down a window doesn't necessarily protect the animal. Leave your pet at home or travel with someone who will stay in the car with your pet while you run errands. Visit pet friendly stores. Utilize drive-throughs when possible. Have plenty of water on hand for the animal.

For information, contact acting East Lake Fire Rescue Chief Tom Jamison at (727) 784-8668 or visit

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Knee and hip disorders can cause crippling pain and a loss of mobility. For those suffering these joint problems the question of surgery is a real concern.

A free seminar on the subject of total hip or knee replacement will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital, 1395 S Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs.

Dr. Vincent Kiesel, orthopedic surgeon, will discuss the newest medical and surgical treatments to bring pain relief and restoration of function including joint replacement. Physical therapy after joint replacement surgery will be detailed to provide a road map to recovery and renewed joint function.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (727) 943-3600, anytime.

Seminars, classes, support groups

NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP MEETINGS: 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays (except holidays) at Crystal Beach Community Center, 517 Crystal Beach Ave.; 7 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church, Educational Building, second floor, 421 Main St., Dunedin; and 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Paul's Methodist Church, Room 102, 1199 Highland Ave., Largo. E-mail or visit

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Recovery International: Abraham Low Self-Help System, a weekly support group for people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and symptoms caused by fear and anger, meets at these times and locations: 1 p.m. Mondays, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 813 Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, (727) 785-4506; 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Lakeview Community Church, 475 East Lake Road N, Tarpon Springs, (727) 942-4095; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 942-9008; and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 586-2585 or leave message at (727) 525-1749. Free, but offerings are appreciated.

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alzheimer's caregivers support group: 9:30 a.m. Monday (meets weekly), Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St. Visitors welcome. (727) 787-1837.

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food addicts in recovery anonymous: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, (727) 501-2125; and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, (727) 786-3113; both at Clearwater Community Church, Room 103, 2897 Belcher Road, Dunedin. Visit

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mid-pinellas brain trauma support group: 6 p.m. today (meets the first and third Thursday of every month), St. Paul United Methodist Church, Christian Life Enrichment Center, Room 201, second floor, 1498 Rosary Road, Largo. Shirley Copeland from the Brain Injury Association of Florida will speak. Call Kathy Kiley at (727) 442-1819, or visit

Health notes for Pinellas County 06/01/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 6:16pm]
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