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As a New Jersey mother, I have had my fair share of arguments with my children, trying to get them to brush their teeth. Especially as younger children it could be such a battle to get them into the bathroom to finally clean those pearly whites. However, teaching and maintaining good oral health is very important for your children.
According to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control), tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. If left untreated, it can lead to pain and infections that can cause problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning. Today, tooth decay is preventable and with good oral health, dental sealants and fluoride, tooth decay in school-age children can be nearly eliminated. Help your children practice good oral health with the following suggestions.
- Help your children eat regular nutritious meals and avoid constant snacking between-meals.
- Help protect your children’s teeth by having them use fluoride.
- Have your children use a toothpaste with fluoride and if they are younger than 7 years of age place only a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush.
- If your drinking water does not have fluoride in it, speak to your dentist or physician about how to help protect your children’s teeth.
- Ask your child’s dentist about dental sealants that can help protect their teeth from tooth decay.
- If you are pregnant, make sure you get proper prenatal care and eat a healthy diet. Your diet should include folic acid to help prevent against birth defects involving the brain and spinal cord as well as the possibility of a cleft lip or palate.
For more information about helping your children develop and maintain healthy dental habits, visit www.cdc.gov. And as a New Jersey mother I can say, don’t give up your fight with your children to brush their teeth. Good oral health is one battle you don’t want to lose New Jersey!
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As a New Jersey mother of three, I too made sure that each and every electric outlet in our home was covered with those plastic baby proof outlet covers. As a parent one of your biggest fears is your child sticking something, especially something metal, in a power outlet and getting electrocuted. Luckily, we never had to deal with a situation such as this. We were fortunate that our kids go to the stage of knowing better without anything happening. Unfortunately, getting electrocuted does happen. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe someone has been electrocuted, follow the below steps to stay safe and get help.
1. Assess and look at the situation first and do not touch anything. The person may still be in contact with the electrical source and if you touch them the current can pass into you.
2. Immediately call 911 or other emergency medical help.
3. If possible, turn off the source of the electricity. If you cannot turn of the electrical source, try to move the source away from yourself and the person by using a non-conducting object made out of cardboard, plastic or wood.
4. As soon as the person if freed from the electrical source, check their breathing and pulse. If either their pulse or breathing has stopped or seems slow or shallow, immediately begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
5. If the person seems faint or pale or shows any other signs of shock, lay the person flat. Their head should be slightly lower than the rest of their body and their legs should be elevated.
6. Do not touch any burns, break blisters or other injuries the person may have sustained. Also, do not remove any burned clothing. Electrical shock can cause burns inside the body as well so make sure that the person sees a doctor.
For more information on what to do in the event of electric shock, visit www.cdc.gov. And knowing what to do in this type of situation can help save the lives of yourself, your family or a friend New Jersey.
These days, texting is a common and accepted form of communicating with one another. Adults of all ages use texting on a daily basis in addition to email and phone calls. Kids, teens and young adults however, use texting more than most, and often as their only means of communication with friends. A new shorthand has also developed for texting purposes to keep the words and characters to a minimum. This new shorthand however, may be having an effect on your child’s grammar.
A new study recently published online in the New Media & Society journal has revealed that this texting shorthand that has developed for texting purposes is causing poor grammar. The study was conducted due to results of a standardized language testing and surveys of over 200 middle school students in the state of Pennsylvania. The results of the study indicate that the more a teen or young adult utilized shorthand texting, the poorer their grammar in a non-texting format. The test group for the study was sixth, seventh and eight grade boys and girls ranging in age from 10 to 14. The study tested their grammar, asked how many texts they send and receive and how many “tech-speak” phrases the use.
The texting shorthand has been dubbed “tech-speak” and “…involves the omission of non-essential letters and the use of modern-day homophones — shorter words or character sound-alikes.” This included using “u” to indicate the word “you” and “2” for the word “to.” Acronyms are also part of this “tech-speak,” and include some you are probably familiar with such as “LOL” meaning “laugh out loud.”
As parents, texting to your children using the appropriate grammar may help to set an example and cause them to imitate your form of texting. Parents may also want to speak with their children regarding the difference between shorthand texting and proper grammar in schools. Also reviewing expectations and rules of the school system may help. Today, texting has become such a part of everyday life that your children may find it difficult to differentiate between “tech-speak” and proper grammar. As a parent and role model however, you can help to make sue that your children’s grammar does not become affected. For more information visit www.medicinenet.com. Best of luck 2 U NJ!
As a New Jersey mother, I can attest to the fact that from the time your children are born, you worry about the potential hazard of poison from various sources. There are several items in your household that pose a threat to your children if accidentally touched or ingested. From prescription medications to household chemicals and gases, you have to keep your children and yourself safe from these items every day. Help prevent the dangers of poisoning in your household by taking the following safety precautions.
• Take only the prescribed dose of your medication at the prescribed frequency.
• Keep all prescriptions drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins and herbs in a safe place where out of the reach of children.
• Read all directions and warnings of any prescription or over the counter medicines before taking them.
• When taking medicine at night, turn on the light to make sure you have the correct medicine and correct dosing.
• Make sure to keep all medicines in their original packaging and containers.
• Have an adult disperse and monitor any prescribed or over the counter medicines to children.
• Throw away any unused or expired prescription medicines, over the counter medicines, vitamins and supplements.
• Read the labels and directions of any potentially poisonous household products before use.
• Make sure to keep all chemicals and products in their original packaging and/or containers.
• Never mix household products together. Some mixtures can be very toxic to the touch or air.
• When using spray products or chemicals such as pesticides, wear protective clothing such as gloves, long sleeves and long pants to protect your skin.
• Vent your home by opening doors and windows or turning on a fan, when using household products or cleaners.
For more information on keeping yourself and your family safe from potential poison hazards, visit www.cdc.gov. Protect your New Jersey family by putting into practice the above tips around your home. And if you ever suspect poisoning from medications or household products, call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.
In today’s world, multi-tasking is something many of us have to do everyday. With work, kids, home-life, kids activities and everybody’s social schedule, it seems that if you want to get everything done, you have to learn the task of doing more than one thing at a time. Unfortunately, many moms carry their multi-tasking efforts into the car, which can become very dangerous.
A recent study performed by Safe Kids Worldwide and American Baby Magazine found that 78% of moms with children age 2 and younger talk on their cell phones while driving with their child in the car. This is quite an increase compared to a 2011 Harris poll, which found that 60% of drivers use their cell phones when driving. The Safe Kids and American Baby study also found that 26% of new moms have texted or emailed while driving with their baby, while 64% admitted to turning around while driving to tend to their baby in the backseat.
Did you know that you could drive the length of a football field in five seconds? By taking your eyes off the road, you are essentially driving blind. If you have to tend to your child, email or text, the safest for everyone is to pull off to the side of the road. It may also be wise to keep your cellphone somewhere out of reach while behind the wheel; a closed center console, or inside your purse or diaper bag stashed in the backseat are all good places. You can also look into some of the newer cellphone technology. You can have incoming calls, emails and texts blocked while driving, with a customized “unavailable” response sent. There are several apps and programs that can manage this technology for you including AT&T DriveMode, tXt Blocker, Textecution, Cell Safety and iZup.
As one multi-tasking New Jersey mother to another, I know how tempting it can be to reach for your cell phone while behind the wheel. However, we have to remember that the most important thing is getting our precious cargo to their destination safely. For more information on multi-tasking mothers, visit cars.com.
As I was flipping through some old family photos the other day, I noticed some of the photos were a bit faded and discolored. All of the memories you freeze in time may become damaged if you don’t preserve and care for them properly. And as a New Jersey mother, I definitely want to keep my photos like new for as long as possible. There is a correct way to care for and preserve your photos, so you don’t have to loose any special memories. The following should be practiced or avoided when storing and preserving your family photographs and keepsakes.
• Paper and photographs will last longer when stored at a room temperature of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. The environment should have 40-50 percent relative humidity, clean air and good circulation.
• Avoid storing your photographs in high heat and moisture, as this will cause paper to become brittle and discolored and photographs to deteriorate. The moisture will also lead to mold and some household pests may use your documents for food or making nests.
• The safest part of your home for important documents and family photographs is a central location. Avoid a hot attic, a damp basement or your garage.
• Avoid exposing your photographs and papers to prolonged light, especially ultraviolet lights such as fluorescent fixtures and daylight. This exposure can lead to the fading of ink and dye on these important items. If you need or want to display an irreplaceable item, substitute a photocopy, digital image or photograph of the item for display.
• To store your documents and photographs use the correct sized unit such as a folder, box or portfolio. Your items should be physically protected and protected from light and dust. Also, make sure that the storage unit is safe and will not contribute to any deterioration.
For more information on the proper storage and preservation of your family photos, documents and keepsakes, visit www.usa.gov. Be sure to protect your memories properly so that you will be able to look back on them for years to come.
As the temperatures begin to rise and Spring blooms all around us, your spring allergies are soon to be popping up too. The increase in temperatures causes the pollen levels to rise igniting allergies in many of us. If you suffer from allergies, there are some things you can do to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with spring allergies.
If you usually do not suffer from allergies, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if you have a cold, or spring allergies. The symptoms of spring allergies include congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat, itchy throat, headache and itchy ears. Another symptom you may also experience is swelling around the eyes. To help reduce or rid yourself of some of these uncomfortable spring allergy symptoms, you may want to try the following tips.
• Avoid being outside on the higher pollen count days. Pollen levels peak in the morning, so you will especially want to avoid this time of day. If you do have to go outside, be sure and bring your allergy medicine with you.
• As the temperatures rise, you may want to cool down your home or enjoy the fresh air with some open doors and windows. However, this will just irritate your allergies. Keep all your windows and doors closed, and use your air conditioner to cool your home instead.
• If you have to be outside, whether to do some yard work or for your job, wear a mask to help keep the pollen out of the air you breath.
• The pollen in the air also sticks to your hair and skin when you venture outside. Before you go to bed, take a shower to wash off any pollen you may have collected throughout the day. This may help you get a better night’s sleep.
For more information on alleviating spring allergy symptoms, visit www.webmd.com. Hopefully, if you or one of your New Jersey family members suffers from spring allergies, these tips will help alleviate some of your symptoms.
Another local New Jersey mother was recently telling me about a problem she was having with her home and radon. I had obviously learned about radon in school, but I had never really heard of radon in your home. She told me her story and apparently, radon can create a real problem in your home New Jersey! It is something that you need to protect yourself and your family from.
Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. Radon gas is estimated to cause thousands of deaths a year and if you or someone in your family smokes and your home has high radon levels, you are at an even greater risk of lung cancer. Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in almost all soils, even the ground under your house. Radon generally comes up through the ground and into the air and your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. The radon then becomes trapped in your home where it can build up to dangerous levels. Any home, new or old, can have a radon problem, whether well sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement. Occasionally, radon can enter your through well water and through the building materials that emit the radon.
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of radon. There is only one way to find out whether your home has elevated radon levels and that is to test your air. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Surgeon General recommends testing all homes below the third level for radon. The test is easy and inexpensive. The EPA recommends fixing your home for radon if your testing level comes back at 4 picocuries per liter, or pCi/L, or higher. Levels less than 4 pCi/L can still pose a risk, and can often still be reduced.
For more information about radon in your New Jersey home, visit epa.gov. After the story that I was told, it is worth the piece of mind to have your home tested. As a New Jersey mother myself, I too would want to know if my family and myself were in danger of high radon levels. Don’t wait; it’s quick and easy.
Photo Credit: nejs.org
Now that we have gotten into the New Year, one of the next events of the year is tax season. You can always rest assured that one thing regarding taxes will always stay the same every year; personal taxes will be due on April 15. However, the things that can affect your taxes will not always stay the same. Laws will change, benefits will start and stop and natural disasters can also have an impact on your tax return. You should be aware of the following items when filing your taxes for the 2013 tax season.
- Tax season is starting late this year. The 2013 tax season started about a week later than usual due to some law changes enacted by Congress in January of 2013. Most families can file their tax return beginning January 30, however if you are filing the following forms, you will have to wait until February or March.
- Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credits)
- Form 4562 (Depreciation and Amortization)
- Form 3800 (General Business Credit)
- Tax Relief for Disaster Survivors. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) offers tax relief to victims of natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes. This also includes the Hurricane Sandy, which many New Jersey families were affected by. Tax relief includes the following:
- Extra time to file your taxes.
- Extra time to pay your taxes
- Fast tax returns for losses related to your tax return.
- A New Process To Apply For an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is given to individuals who do not have a social security number. This allows them to file their tax returns. There have been some important changes to the application process including the following:
- Only original identification documents including passports, birth certificates or certified copies will be accepted.
- Notarized copies of these documents will not be accepted.
- New Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN’s) will be valid for a five-year period.
For more information on the changes that have been made to the tax filing process for the 2013 tax season, visit usa.gov. As a New Jersey family that will also be filing tax returns, it is important to stay informed about filing your taxes. Happy Tax Season New Jersey!
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The month of February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Love, flowers, stuffed animals, chocolates and of course hearts. February also goes hand in hand with another heart, your heart! This month is also American Heart Month New Jersey! Educate yourself about heart disease so you can help protect yourself and your family from this deadly killer, as many people who are at risk for heart disease and stroke are unaware. However, many of the risk factors associated with these health problems can be prevented and controlled. So follow the below tips to keep heart disease at bay.
Blood pressure and cholesterol: Did you know that high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke? One in 3 U.S. adults have high blood pressure and cholesterol, though not necessarily together. If you are one of these adults, there are steps you can take to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol. Eat healthy, get exercise and follow your doctor’s orders about any medication you take.
Eat healthy: What you eat can affect your heart. Try to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and keep your sodium in check. Read the labels on your foods for their sodium content as too much sodium can increase your blood pressure. Limit the amounts of saturated fats, transfat and cholesterol you consume. And cook at home whenever possible. You can control what goes into your foods including limiting sauces, mixes, and “instant” products.
Exercise: The risk of heart disease and stroke can also be increased by obesity. Maintain a healthy weight by making exercise part of your daily routine. A healthy weight will also help to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
No smoking: Smoking can also greatly increase your risk of heart disease. If you are a smoker, it’s never too late to quit.
So celebrate American Heart Month along with Valentine’s Day this February New Jersey and keep you and your family’s risk of heart disease and stroke down by following the above tips. For more information about heart disease and stroke visit millionhearts.hhs.gov.