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The Hidden Dangers Of Autumn Leaves
Colourful leaves are an attractive sign of autumn, but become a problem on the ground (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 341)
Nov 14, 2016 Style & Living

In the northern hemisphere it is autumn, and the colours we see on the trees are a sure sign of the changing seasons. But while the leaves on the trees are a joy to see, they can become a problem when they are on the ground. Shanghai's street sweepers are extra busy with the huge increase in the amount of material they need to rake up.

But their job is super important in ways that many city residents may not appreciate. For starters, when the leaves pile up near storm water drains, they can become a dam, stopping rainwater from flowing away and causing floods in the drains.

Leaves are also surprisingly slippery, especially when wet. One city safety official commented that wet leaves can be as slippery as ice. "This unsuspected leaf characteristic is a known source of accidents when there is a temporary loss of stopping-forces. This potential problem can exist in a driveway and on area streets. Plan to allow more time for stopping when driving on leaf-covered surfaces."

Another issue with cars is that parking on top of a pile of collected leaves is an invitation for an unwanted fire. The normal heat of a vehicle's exhaust system is a known source of fires when this heat ignites dried leaves beneath the car. Carelessly thrown cigarettes can have the same outcome.

Children, and even adults, find it hard not to kick up a cloud of gold and orange from a pile of fallen leaves, sending them flying up into the air. but if the leaves are wet – which, given the amount it rains in autumn, is not uncommon – there is a real risk of children coming into contact with certain bacteria, as well as mould and fungus. This can be especially harmful to kids who suffer from asthma or react badly to these allergens.

While we can all enjoy the incredible beauty that autumn brings to the trees in our streets and parks, there may also be hidden dangers, so do look before you leap.

What does the last phrase "look before you leap" mean?
Before jumping check out where you will land
Don't take action without thinking about the dangers
Sort out problems and don't make extra work later
Some people just don't get the point no matter what
A simile is a figure a speech where one thing is compared to another, such as "as dry as a bone". What simile is used in the article?
as slippery as ice
as cute as a kitten
as busy as a bee
as blind as a bat
What allergens can be harmful to children with asthma?
all of these
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an unfortunate incident that causes harm



something that causes an allergic reaction



in addition to



think highly of, be thankful for



a condition of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe



the third season of the year, when leaves fall    



one-celled animals, one of the smallest forms of life



not taking care, not worried



a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking



something likely to cause harm or injury



OK to eat



a range of small living things such as mushrooms, yeast etc that live on organic matter    



causing or likely to cause harm



the half of the earth north and south of the equator



not seen or thought about



growing or becoming greater



difficult to believe, amazing



asking someone to do something; making something likely to happen



funguses that grow on plant matter



something that might be harmful, needing to be solved



behave because of something



people who live in the same place for a long time



the chance of something happening



smooth and wet, easy to slip



better or greater than usual



the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground



the top, or the outer layer



only for a short time



not known or thought about