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Badge and Bar: Prescription drug summit set for this spring
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A Gainesville resident participated in a news conference this past week at the state Capitol to announce the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, set for April 22-24 in Atlanta.

Dallas Gay is co-chairman of the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation’s “‘Think About It” campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse and lost his grandson to the problem in 2011.

The event will be the “largest national collaboration of professionals on (the prescription drug abuse) issue,” according to a news release from the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation. It will include medical societies, the Georgia Composite Medical Board, the Georgia Board of Pharmacy, the Georgia Pharmacy Association, the Council on Alcohol and Drugs and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as well as other law enforcement agencies, schools and other community organizations.

“There are some important steps that we can all take as individuals to fight this epidemic in Georgia,” Gay said. “That includes storing your medicines in a safe and secure place, as well as properly disposing of unused medicines as soon as it’s possible and appropriate.”

The foundation created the “Think About It” campaign to curb prescription drug abuse and promote comprehensive drug policy in Georgia.

Go to for more information on the summit.

Sunday begins National Burn Awareness Week

Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County shared tips to prevent burn injuries ahead of National Burn Awareness Week, Sunday through Feb. 8

According to a news release, about 136,000 children 14 and younger are treated for fire and burn injuries and 365 die due to those injuries each year across the country.

Burns from hot liquids or steam are more common in young children than burns from fires.

“Kids are also at risk around hot foods and beverages, space heaters, steam irons and curling irons,” said Kimberly Martin, coalition coordinator. “There’s a lot you can do around the home to minimize the risk of burn injuries in everyday life.”

Supervision of young children is key, but other tips from the agency and Northeast Georgia Medical Center include:

  • Lower water heater temperature settings to 120 degrees.
  • When filling the bathtub, turn on cold water first and mix in warmer water carefully.
  • Check the water temperature by rapidly moving your hand through the water. If the water feels hot to an adult, it is too hot for a child.
  • Face children away from faucets and as close to the other end of the tub as possible.
  • Turn pot handles inward.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of the home and near sleeping areas. And make sure they work.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: