ANNIE'S MAILBOX Alcoholic blames others for her 'accidents'

Dear Annie: A friend of mine recently fell down some stairs and fractured her arms. At first, "Carol" admitted she was drunk. Now she tells people she "slipped."
This woman has a history of getting drunk and then blaming others for her mishaps. She once accused a friend of stealing her wallet, when it was actually in her closet. After she drove over a curb and blew out her tire, she said someone slit it. Another time, she wrapped her car around a fire hydrant and insisted she was hit by another driver. All these things happened while she was under the influence of alcohol.
Friends, including me, have tried to tell Carol to quit drinking or slow down, but she refuses. Right now, she looks ridiculous with casts on both arms, and she's too embarrassed to return to work or talk to any of her friends.
Carol denies she has a problem with alcohol. I would like to save her before she does some serious damage to herself or someone else. Any suggestions? Concerned Friend
Dear Friend: You cannot save Carol if she is unwilling to admit she has a problem with booze. You can, however, contact Al-Anon for some help and suggestions, and we hope you will do it soon. Carol is headed for serious trouble.
Dear Annie: Now that outside temperatures have dropped in many parts of the country, fire and burns are a significant health concern.
As a major burn center, Loyola University Medical Center sees an increased number of burn patients, especially children, who are hurt in house fires as a result of accidents with kerosene or gas space heaters, or other electrical appliances. There are more than 1 million burn injuries in the United States each year. Space heaters alone are associated with 25,000 residential fires each year nationwide.
Space heaters should be used only in areas where they are protected from being tipped over, and located where a child or family pet cannot brush up against them. An adult should be present at all times when a space heater is being used, and manufacturers' instructions should be followed carefully.
Parents and guardians need to be especially careful with small children to prevent scalds, by checking whether bath water is too hot or ensuring pot and pan handles on the stove top are turned inward, so children cannot reach up and spill boiling water or hot cooking oil on themselves.
Please encourage your readers to use heaters, electrical appliances, candles and other sources of open flame safely to prevent house fires. Winter is an enjoyable time of year, and we want everyone to stay healthy and safe. Your readers can learn more about fire prevention tips during the winter months by visiting: Richard L. Gamelli, M.D., Director, Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Loyola University Health System, and Robert J. Freeark, M.D., President-elect, American Burn Association
Dear Dr. Gamelli and Dr. Freeark: Thank you for the timely warning.
Creators Syndicate