Columns and Letters

Column: Timely tips – keeping summer safe and enjoyable!

July 20, 2022 

-by Bonnie MacIsaac

    There’s no worse time for your air conditioner to go on the fritz than when you have multiple days of high heat and humidity. Before you hire a contractor to make repairs, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises taking the time to check contractors out carefully, even when your patience is evaporating.
    Rushing to find a cooling contractor can burn a hole in your wallet instead of keeping you cool. Some of the most common mistakes consumers make when looking for repairs are hiring the first contractor they find, not doing the proper research and not getting all the details of their service or repair in writing.
    BBB Business Reviews give consumers a lot of information on contractors and how they treat customers. By checking a company out with the BBB first, consumers often can save themselves the grief of hiring unreliable or unresponsive companies.
    If you are in need of a repair or just need a yearly check-up, the BBB recommends the following:
– Research company background and licensing. Visit for the business review of any company you plan to hire to learn more about its reputation and history of complaints. Ask if the company and its employees are licensed and insured.
– Compare prices and service packages. Get at least three estimates for any air conditioning replacement, repair, or maintenance work. All bids should be in writing and should provide a full description of the services to be provided and the materials to be used.
– Review warranty coverage. Find out if the company offers any type of warranty or guarantee and make certain you understand the terms and conditions of the coverage. Also, be sure to check the warranty on your current air conditioning unit to determine whether any repairs or replacements may be covered.
– Ask about energy efficiency. Many new air conditioning units are manufactured to be significantly more energy efficient than others.
     Thanks to the BBB for these timely tips! Check out the BBB's website using the link above for services available to you.
    Cooler tips: With summer's heat we have to be so careful with our food. If you are taking your family for day at the beach, a picnic cooler is likely to be very helpful. If you are going on a road trip, it's best to bring one cooler for beverages/drinks and a separate cooler for food. The reason is because beverage coolers are opened frequently, allowing cold air to escape. Coolers with food will stay colder longer because it will be opened less frequently. Depending on the length of your trip/day out, a separate cooler with extra ice will help you to replenish ice in food and beverage coolers.
– Pre-chill beverages before placing them in the cooler. Pre-cooling preserves ice, so you will need less ice to cool drinks down. Since cold air travels down, place beverages in the cooler first and ice last. If possible, try to keep your cooler out of the sun and out of a hot car. Try finding a shaded area to keep your cooler.
– To keep food cold, ice-packs/ice blocks should be placed on the bottom of the cooler. Several ice packs are best. Or you can use a block of ice. This will keep food cold for a longer period.
– Wash all perishable foods, such as fruits and vegetables before you leave home. Pack all foods in air tight bags or sealed plastic containers - this helps prevent cross contamination and a mess.
– A cooler is not meant to re-chill food that has remained at a temperature of 40o F or above for one hour or more. Only food that has remained at safe temperatures should be placed back into the cooler. To be safe, throw out any food you are unsure of (especially anything with mayo, eggs, etc.).
– A full cooler will maintain safer temperatures longer than a half empty cooler.
– Thaw items in the refrigerator or cooler; do not thaw meat at room temperature or in the sun.
– Keep perishable foods in cooler until just before serving. Ice packs are available in many different sizes and styles. For the softer coolers, I advise that you do not put loose ice in the food coolers. The reason for this is simple, the sharp edges of the ice can rip the lining and ice melts faster and makes the cooler heavy and misshapen. In order to prolong usage of your cooler, it must be taken care of. Enjoy!
    A safety reminder: Cots, air mattresses, sleeping bags all get their use this time of year. It's amazing how adaptable everyone is when they are on vacation. No complaints, just a place to lay your head is all that's needed and much appreciated. We make do.
    I don't think we really give much thought to safety especially when it comes to the potential hazards of placing infants and young children on mattresses not specifically designed for them. Health Canada especially advises against letting infants sleep on air mattresses, also known as inflatable mattresses. Many parents and caregivers are unaware of the hidden dangers associated with placing infants and young children on mattresses or surfaces that are not specifically designed for them, even if an adult is sleeping on the same mattress or surface as the infant or young child. Infants and young children should not be placed on soft mattresses, standard beds, sofas, waterbeds, air mattresses, or any other soft surface.
Doing so may lead to any of the following dangers:
– The infant or young child becoming entrapped between the mattress and another object, such as a wall.
– The infant or young child falling from elevated surfaces.
– Suffocation as a result of airway obstruction, when the infant or young child is placed face-down.
– Suffocation in soft bedding materials, such as pillows and comforters.
– Suffocation as a result of a baby sleeping with an adult.
     Air mattresses pose particular hazards for infants. Air mattresses have gained in popularity in Canada, and their use increases during the vacation and summer seasons. The soft edges of these mattresses create entrapment space that can lead to suffocation. Health Canada (HC) is aware of one incident in Canada where an infant suffocated as a result of being placed to sleep on an air mattress.
          To avoid these and other hazards, HC advises to make sure that infants sleep only in a cradle or a crib (manufactured after September of 1986) with a firm and tight-fitting mattress that meets current safety standards. Also, cribs older than 10 years are more likely to have broken, worn, loose or missing parts, and to be missing warnings or instructions.
    As of December 29th, 2016, the sale, importation, manufacture, or advertisement of traditional drop-side cribs is prohibited.
      If you wish to have further information, contact your nearest Health Canada Product Safety Office. In Nova Scotia call 1-902-426-8300.  Let's all do our part in keeping summer safe and enjoyable!
    Public advisory! Health Canada warns consumers that Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler and Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers should not be used for sleep.     
     Health Canada would like to remind parents and caregivers that Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler and Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers should never be used for babies' sleep. Babies should also never be unsupervised or unrestrained while using the rocker.
     The incline of the product is dangerous to a baby while sleeping, as it can cause suffocation. Between 2009 and 2021, there have been at least 13 deaths reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which occurred when babies fell asleep in the Fisher-Price rockers.
     While there have been no similar reported incidents in Canada, Health Canada reminds parents and caregivers that the safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back on a firm surface intended for sleep. Products designed for play should not be used for sleep.
What you should do?
– If your baby falls asleep in this product, move them to a safe surface intended for sleeping, such as a crib, cradle, or bassinet.
– Do not leave your baby unsupervised or unrestrained while in the rocker.
– Other similar products such as high chairs, baby swings, bouncers, strollers, and car seats are made for babies, but also not for sleep. Sleeping in a sitting position can cause your baby's head to fall forward, which can make it hard to breathe. Babies in Canada have suffocated when sleeping in products not intended for sleep. For more information on safe sleep for your baby, visit Health Canada's and the Public Health Agency of Canada's brochure.
– Health Canada would like to remind people to report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product or any other consumer product or cosmetic by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form found on their website.
– Consumers are also encouraged to report incidents to Fisher-Price. Their toll-free number is 1- 800-432-5437.












































Oran Dan - The Inverness Oran -

The Inverness Oran
15767 Central Avenue. P.O. Box 100
Inverness, Nova Scotia. B0E 1N0
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Email: [email protected]