6 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe and Cool This Summer

 

Even the most attentive and caring parents make mistakes- including accidentally leaving or locking a child in a car. Sometimes, children climb into unlocked, parked cars in the driveway without parents realizing they have done so. Regardless of how it happens, children left in hot vehicles in the car are in grave danger within a matter of minutes.

 

Here are some tips for making double & triple sure that your child is safe and cool this summer:

 

  1. No exceptions: No matter how brief your errand or how quick your stop, NEVER leave a child in the car. Under any circumstances, even with the windows cracked or completely rolled down. There is no safe amount of time to leave a child in the car.
  2. Get involved if you are a bystander: If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately. If they are in distress due to heat, the National Highway Safety Administration recommends getting them out as soon as possible.
  3. Remind Yourself: Tell yourself out loud to remember the child; give yourself visual cues; place your purse or briefcase in back by the child- so when you go to get it when exiting the car, you are reminded; place the diaper bag in the seat next to you where you can see it; place a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat- move it the front seat next to you when the child is in the car. Oftentimes, child car seats are behind the parent’s seat, out of sight. If you are changing up routine (for example, if Parent 1 usually drives the child in the morning, but today Parent 2 is doing so), it is easy to forget. New parents have a lot on their minds. Remind, remind, remind.
  4. Prevent kids from wandering into the car: Don’t let children play in your car, lock your car doors and trunk, and keep keys out of any child’s reach. That way, you minimize the risk that they climb into your car without you knowing they have done so.
  5. Make it routine: Make it a habit to physically open the back car door and check for anyone left behind every single time you get out of the car.
  6. Have back up:  Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled. That way if you forget and they are absent, they will alert you.

4 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy After Retirement

Now that the day-to-day job is in the past, you can look forward to a life afterwards. So you maybe asking yourself, what to do now? It’s a new chapter in life and the opportunities are endless. Here are ideas to consider for your new life in retirement.

  • Staying Active. Gardening, playing tennis, taking walks, or even chasing grandkids are great ways to keep active throughout retirement. It also has health benefits such as reducing cholesterol, promotes stronger bones, helps improve strength and balance.
  • Find Your Creative Side. It’s important to also exercise your brain. Studies show that picking up a hobby has positive effects such as reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s. So pick up that paint brush and paint a masterpiece, or strum a new song on the guitar.
  • Get to Know Your Friends. Now that work doesn’t interfere with your social life, take time to spend more time with friends, or even family. It doesn’t just help bring everyone together, but it has cognitive benefits, such as happiness. Who doesn’t enjoy an afternoon with friends?
  • Spend Time Volunteering. Put it on your schedule to do volunteer work. Volunteering helps with your mental health bringing happiness and personal satisfaction.

Going into retirement doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. Think of it as a new open door to life. Staying healthy and happy will lead to a longer enjoyable life.

5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to have a Pet

 

If you have a dog or cat, you know what a joy they are. Their love and loyalty enriches our lives.

Now, many experts say there is proof that life with a pet may actually provide these health benefits:

  1. Reduced allergies – more and more studies suggest that infants and children that grow up in a house with furred animals have a reduced risk of allergies and asthma later in life
  2. Lower blood pressure – numerous studies find merely being around a pet can lower your blood pressure, with the greatest pressure drop coming when you pet them
  3. Better heart health – dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease and those suffering from heart disease had better recoveries and survived longer if they had a pet
  4. Increased companionship – pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression, Alzheimer patients were calmer when pets were present, and many elderly people reported a better quality of life because of their pets
  5. Decreased weight – those of us with pets tend to go to dog parks, take regular walks, hikes or runs with their dog, and were less likely to be overweight

Many families also have therapy and companion dogs to warn about food ingredients someone may be allergic to, while others can warn diabetes patients when they are suffering from low blood sugar.

And, knowing that your dog loves to take trips with you to dog parks, hiking trails and other dog-friendly areas, California Casualty now includes coverage with every auto policy* that pays for vet bills if Fido or Rover gets hurt in a covered auto accident.

However, these pet passenger safety tips can help you avoid the heartache of an injured loved one:

  • Keep them in the backseat away from airbags
  • Put them in a crash tested dog crate or safety harness
  • Lock power windows to prevent them from accidently from opening up or closing on them
  • Always have water on hand
  • Take breaks every two or three hours to let them stretch and take care of potty business
  • Never leave them unattended in the vehicle, especially on warm or hot days

5 Things to Know Before Buying Bagged Veggies

Time is of the essence for stressed out nurses, time crunched educators or first responders on the go. Now that school has begun and schedules are getting even tighter, meal planning can be a real chore. Picking up a bag of salad, prewashed carrots or other veggies can be a real timesaver, but are we making the healthiest choice for our families?

Here’s some good news from The Cleveland Clinic. They’ve found that pre-cut vegetables are just as nutritious as whole vegetables, and even offered tips on how to pick the best bagged varieties:

  1. Make sure to buy raw, not pre-cooked varieties for the most nutrition
  2. Check that they are refrigerated for freshness
  3. Inspect labels for use-by dates
  4. Consume within a few days before vitamins break down
  5. Watch for chemicals

The Clinic does warn pregnant women to be very careful with any fresh or pre-cut foods to avoid e-coli and other dangerous bacteria.

And speaking of food safety, Dr. Stephen Swanson of the Centers for Disease Control tells Eatingwell.com that most bagged vegetables and salads may actually be safer than their raw counterparts because they are washed multiple times in a solution of chlorinated water. It’s enough, he says, to kill pathogens, but in small enough levels as not to be a consumption concern.

Cooking for the family after a hectic day doesn’t have to eat up a lot of time. Realsimple.com has a list of 20 speedy recipes that take 15 minutes or less to prepare to accompany those bagged selections:

6 Quick Easy Recipes to Make in 15 Minutes or Less

Time is of the essence for stressed out nurses, time crunched educators or first responders on the go. Now that school has begun and schedules are getting even tighter, meal planning can be a real chore. Picking up a bag of salad, prewashed carrots or other veggies can be a real timesaver, but are we making the healthiest choice for our families?

Here’s some good news from The Cleveland Clinic. They’ve found that pre-cut vegetables are just as nutritious as whole vegetables, and even offered tips on how to pick the best bagged varieties:

  1. Make sure to buy raw, not pre-cooked varieties for the most nutrition
  2. Check that they are refrigerated for freshness
  3. Inspect labels for use-by dates
  4. Consume within a few days before vitamins break down
  5. Watch for chemicals

The Clinic does warn pregnant women to be very careful with any fresh or pre-cut foods to avoid e-coli and other dangerous bacteria.

And speaking of food safety, Dr. Stephen Swanson of the Centers for Disease Control tells Eatingwell.com that most bagged vegetables and salads may actually be safer than their raw counterparts because they are washed multiple times in a solution of chlorinated water. It’s enough, he says, to kill pathogens, but in small enough levels as not to be a consumption concern.

Cooking for the family after a hectic day doesn’t have to eat up a lot of time. Realsimple.com has a list of 20 speedy recipes that take 15 minutes or less to prepare to accompany those bagged selections:

Hot Survival Tips When the Temperature Rises

It’s been hot. I mean skin drenching, mouth parching, sap your energy hot. Hopefully you adjusted during the recent heatwave that gripped the nation with indexes pushing towards 110 degrees in many places. The good news is that some areas have had a break, but the bad news is that there is more to come. Scientists say 2015 was one of the hottest years on record and each of the first six months of 2016 set records for global warmth, and all 50 states are predicted to see above-average temperatures right into October.

Extreme heat is more than an inconvenience; it is a health hazard. It’s extremely important that we do all that we can to avoid overheating and that we all know the symptoms of heat related illness.

Heat Cramps

These are muscular pain or spasms in the leg or abdomen – often a first sign of trouble. Getting a person to a cooler place and hydrating them with water or sports drinks usually alleviates them.

Heat Exhaustion

This is much more severe with symptoms of:

  • Cool moist pale, ashen or flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion

Treatment includes moving to a cooler place with circulating air, remove or loosen clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Spraying a person with water helps as well as giving small amounts of fluids such as water, fruit juice, milk or sports drinks. If symptoms persist, call medical help immediately

Heat Stroke

This is a life threatening condition. Symptoms include high body temperature (above 103 degrees); hot, red skin; rapid and strong pulse; confusion and possible unconsciousness. Immediately:

  • Call 911
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Cool them with water by immersing them or spraying them
  • Cover them with ice packs or bags of ice

Children and Pets are at Risk

Don’t forget your precious cargo when the weather heats up. We think that it will never happen to our families, unfortunately, each year an average of 37 children and many hundreds of pets die from being left in hot cars. The majority is the result of a parent or caregiver who forgot the child or pet was in the vehicle. Even on a 70 degree day, the inside temperature can climb to a dangerous 110 degrees. New technology and apps are being developed to warn parents of a child left in a car or truck, and the 2017 GMC Acadia will be the first vehicle with a built in sensor that alerts drivers to check the back seat for children or pets left in the car. Until these are tested and more readily available, safety groups have mounted campaigns to prevent child heat stroke danger with these warning tips:

  • Never leave a child or pet in an unattended vehicle
  • Keep vehicles locked so children can’t climb in
  • Always check the back seat before leaving the vehicle
  • Place a stuffed toy in the car seat when it’s unoccupied and move it to the front seat as a visible reminder when you put a child in the seat
  • Put a purse, brief case or other important items in the back seat with your infant or young child
  • Alert childcare facilities to notify you if your child fails to show up
  • Call 911 if you see a child alone in a vehicle and take action if you see they are in distress or unresponsive (break a window and remove them to a cool place and wait for emergency responders)

Personal Safety

When extremely hot weather hits, these are things you can do to alleviate the danger:

  • Drink plenty of water and rehydrating sports drinks
  • Avoid strenuous work during the heat of the day
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light colored clothing
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Never leave children or pets in a vehicle
  • Go to a basement or lowest floor of a house or building if there is no air conditioning
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in cool public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, malls and other community facilities
  • Spend time at a community pool or water park
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors (especially the very young or old) who do not have air conditioning

Home Prep

Ready.gov has an extensive list of recommendations to help keep your home cool when the temperature rises:

  • Install window air conditioners snugly and insulate them
  • Check air conditioning ducts for proper insulation
  • Install temporary window reflectors (such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard) to reflect heat back outside
  • Cover windows that receive direct sunlight with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers
  • Keep storm windows up

Automobile Prep

Your car takes a beating in extreme heat. It’s a good reminder to:

  • Test your battery
  • Check your fluids – oil, coolant and wiper fluid
  • Get your air conditioning serviced
  • Inspect all hoses and belts for cracks or tears
  • Carry extra water or coolant

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