Make the Most Out of Remaining 2017

As the holidays roll around and the season settles in, most people begin reflecting on the past year and setting plans for the year to come. Thoughts about New Year’s resolutions occupy our attention span, while crowded malls are jam packed with shoppers searching for the best sale. This time of year can get so hectic and chaotic that it can be difficult to make the most out of the remaining year. Don’t let 2017 slip through your fingers; follow these suggestions for advice on how to take full advantage of the last days of the year.

Reconnect with a Friend You’ve Lost Touch With

Sometimes – despite how well-meaning our intentions may be – life gets in the way and causes us to lose touch with a friend or family member who matters to us. What better occasion to establish a reconnection than the holidays? Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, let them know you’re thinking about them, and wish them good fortune in the upcoming year.

Make a Clean Sweep

Everyone appreciates the new beginning provided to them on January 1st. Karma slates are wiped, consciences are cleared, and the New Year provides the opportunity to reinvent oneself. If you really want a fresh start, be sure to do a clean sweep of all the clutter that’s accumulated in the past year. Clear out your inbox by following up on unanswered emails, deleting spam, and organizing your folders to make life easier on yourself when it’s time to get back to work. Deep clean your home and concentrate on any unfinished projects to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Pro tip: round up anything you don’t want anymore and send it off to an organization that can make better use of it. You’ll feel charitable, and your last minute donations will boost your tax deductions.

Have a Good Laugh

If you’re like most people, your December calendar is filled to the brim with holiday obligations. Office parties, charity events, and out of town visitors can make finding a quiet moment seem impossible. Don’t let the constant calendar reminders stress you out; find enjoyment during and in between your various events by keeping a lighthearted spirit. Don’t take anything too seriously; buy a women’s ugly Christmas sweater online and spontaneously wear it to work one morning. Spread the laughter and you’ll be sure to feel the cheer yourself.

Take Care of Your Health

By the end of the year, most people have fulfilled their health insurance deductibles. This means it’s the perfect time to tackle those health issues you would have needed to cover out of pocket. Take care of that dental work, or finally go get that yearly physical you’ve put off. You’ll save yourself some money, and ensure that you enter the New Year in the best health possible.

Make Short Term Goals

More often than not, resolutions are a complete waste of time. We set lofty resolutions which may inspire us, but are often unrealistic to fulfill. Not only that, but a resolution indicates a futuristic attitude; the change is something you should do and “will” do, even though you should be enacting these changes now. Instead, make short term, relatively attainable goals that you’re more likely to have success achieving, and start concentrating on them now – not after the ball drops.

Meditate for a Moment

Take a few moments to reflect on the past year: How have you grown? How have you changed? What new jobs have you started or promotions received? Consider jotting down these reflections in a journal to look back on in a year’s time. While it is important to think about what you might have done differently, don’t let your past mistakes or regrets consume you. Instead, concentrate on all of life’s accomplishments and how far you’ve come thus far. Celebrate moments in which you overcame adversity and prepare yourself to face new challenges with zeal.

Before you know it, you’ll blink and it’ll be the dawn of a New Year. Don’t get caught asking yourself where the time went. Practice mindfulness and appreciate every moment within this at-times turbulent season. Too many people get caught up in their eager anticipation for the New Year that they forget to tie up their remaining loose ends. Follow these steps to make the most out of the remaining year and set yourself up for success in 2018.

Get in the Know About This Hidden, Dangerous Form of Bullying

Bullying is never acceptable, but food allergy bullying — which happens when children and teens living with life-threatening allergies (LTAs) are teased, ridiculed or even threatened or assaulted with food to which they are severely allergic — is especially dangerous. On the surface, when one child waves, say, peanut butter in the face of a student with a severe peanut allergy, it may seem like just another form of childhood teasing. But to a child with LTAs, incidents like this can make school feel unsafe and escalate from emotional to physical bullying — which can even be life-threatening.

Check out the interesting story in the November / December Issue of Teen InFluential.

New Baby? New Tech Can Make a Big Difference

Innovative gadgets that can make parenting easier

Welcoming a new baby to the family brings with it excitement, challenges and a lot of love. It is also a lot of work. But, there is help… sometimes at the touch of a button. Amy O’Malley, MSN, RN, mother of five and director of education and clinical services at Medela, has pulled together a few tips for navigating the first few months and how to incorporate some baby (and mom) friendly technology along the way!

How many wet diapers? How long did he nurse? Use an App for That!

It is useful to keep a log of what happened when. But do you need a paper and pen? There are now apps to help moms track their breastfeeding sessions, how many dirty diapers the baby has and how long he or she slept for. Apps also offer the ability to share information with your spouse, partner and health care professional. There are also a number of new on-demand services available through apps that allow real-time access to health care professionals that focus on pediatric care or lactation services. For example, breastfeeding moms can use their smartphones to access real-time video support from lactation consultants through Medela’s 24/7 LC service.

Give Yourself Some Range with a Great Monitor

A video monitor is a perfect addition to any new parent’s arsenal of gadgets. In addition to monitoring the baby, many units feature two-way speakers, night-viewing capabilities and a temperature gauge, and offer the ability to check in on baby while on-the-go through either a website login or smartphone application.

Pump Quieter and Smarter

If you’re breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding, a high-performance breast pump is a tool that can help make the task simpler for moms and caregivers. Double electric breast pumps are the fastest and most effective way to support a mom’s breast milk supply.

“Breast pumps have changed quite a bit since I had my children,” O’Malley said. “While a double electric breast pump is your best bet, newer models go beyond the basics and connect with smartphones to track activity. Our tech-enabled and quietest pump, Sonata, is comfortable and pairs with the MyMedela app to automatically track pumping sessions and offer personalized tips to help you succeed and monitor your baby. This pump even has many adaptions to meet your needs anywhere and anytime. It has features to help you use it late at night and can adjust based on your changing body shape to give you an effective and consistent experience.”

Find more information at medelabreastfeedingus.com.

Make Temperature Checks a Breeze

Gone are the days of placing a thermometer in your child’s ear or under his or her tongue or armpit. Temporal thermometers allow parents to simply place the gadget against baby’s forehead to get an accurate reading. Other options, such as pacifiers that double as thermometers, can also be utilized to make this task less invasive and more efficient.

You’re not alone. There is tech to help and don’t forget to ask your pediatrician and other friends or family members too. It takes a village to bring a new baby into the world! (Family Features)

1548990 A 1117 © 2017 Medela 4550110

SOURCE:
Medela

5 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Keep Customers Engaged

Entrepreneurs, it’s time to stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Small business owners know it’s a life that can be high stress and sometimes even uncertain. But here’s one encouraging fact: Small businesses are doing a lot to keep Americans employed and the economy humming.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, firms with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S. And the SBA finds that 60 percent of new job creation comes from small businesses.

Still, one of the top challenges that small businesses face today is attracting new customers and keeping existing customers engaged. That’s what pays the bills, of course. Part of that solution is always looking ahead so you can capture their minds and hearts, so you can then capture the sales — with these five simple tips for small business success.

Be a joiner: If you haven’t already, become a member of your local chamber of commerce as well as neighborhood business groups. These often host special “Shop Local” events and promotions, which give you a way to participate and gain extra exposure from their marketing efforts. These groups also offer events and opportunities to network, help you to stay apprised of local trends and allow you to discover new opportunities to collaborate.

Cross-promote: Pair up with a second business in your neighborhood and find creative ways to work together. Collaborate on sales and special offers. Make your customers’ lives easier and put together gift baskets and share the proceeds. Or invite someone from a different business to teach an in-store class or workshop. Take the guerrilla marketing approach and host a joint scavenger hunt, with clues left around the community for a big prize. When you pool your ideas and resources, the possibilities are endless.

Market in-house: Getting the word out doesn’t stop at your doorstep. When customers enter your space, it’s a great time to tell them more about your services and products. “Digital signage” isn’t just for big companies. Deliver your message in vivid color and create an interactive experience with LG’s touch displays, perfect for menu selection and point-of-purchase. Commercial displays are better for businesses than a plain old consumer TV; they offer simple ways to post a warm welcome message with your business name and logo to create an inviting, personalized experience. Consider affordable options like “commercial lite” TVs from LG that have a USB Auto Playback feature, so you can build custom playlists to entertain and inform your customers. Things like an inspirational idea reel or quick tips and facts can position you as the trusted local expert.

Get social: Raise your presence on your social media accounts. Use this platform to inform and even entertain current and prospective customers, and they’ll turn to you as the expert. Turn on your smartphone’s video camera and give a rare peek behind the curtain. Increase traffic by announcing a flash sale or giveaway. And during big social media events, expand your reach and potentially your community by using hashtags.

Upgrade your tech: Sometimes, the busyness of life and running your own shop can mean we neglect the things that make a great impression. Take time for an objective critique of the appearance and functionality of your space. Get sleek and streamlined with a much-needed tech upgrade, with a new LCD desktop monitor like LG’s 32-inch 32MU99. Its show-stopping, vivid display offers true-to-life image rendering, thanks to the shadow detailing and richer colors. It also busts the clutter with its space-saving features, such as an ultra-thin panel and a single-cable delivery system that transfers audio, data and power. Upgraded tech with dazzling display is a sure way to make a favorable impression.

Small businesses have lots of technology options to enhance their business today. To learn more, visit http://www.lg.com/us/business. (BPT)

6 Hot Spots in Your House Where Critters and Creepy-crawlies Would Love to Spend the Winter

When temperatures cool, critters that were perfectly happy outdoors begin looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter. They may decide your house is the perfect location — unless you take steps to keep them out.

You can prepare by learning what’s trying to get into your house and where they would most like to hang out once inside. The National Pest Management Association offers some information on the most common household pests that can show up in the winter:

1) Showering with a cockroach: Arguably the pest that creeps people out the most, cockroaches just love the water, so your bathroom could be their winter playground. To keep cockroaches out, eliminate leaks and standing water in the bathroom. Wash the shower curtain and liner, clean out the medicine cabinet, and check under the sink and around the tub and toilet to ensure there’s no moisture from leaky pipes or faucets. Remember, despite the urban legend about roaches surviving a nuclear holocaust, they can only live a week without water!

2) Rodents in the attic: Dusty, stuffy, hot in summer and cold in winter, the attic may not be your favorite place to hang out, but rodents like rats, mice and squirrels would just love to spend the winter in yours! Once rodents are inside, they can cause serious and costly property damage by chewing through walls and baseboards. In fact, the NPMA estimates rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires every year by gnawing on electrical wires. To prevent a rodent infestation, secure everything you store in the attic (or basement) in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes, which are a favorite nesting spot. Keep the attic dry and well-ventilated. You can run a dehumidifier and install gutters and proper venting to keep moisture away from the attic and basement.

3) Party in the basement: Rodents also like basements, but they’re far from the only pests who will take up residence there. Spiders and a slew of other pests are happy to make their home in the dark corners and clutter that provide them plenty of places to hide. Deprive pests of their habitat by eliminating as much of the clutter in your basement as possible. Use plastic bins with secure lids for storage, rather than cardboard boxes. Pests can enter through cracks and crevices in walls and floors, so use a silicone-based caulk to seal fissures. Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, and other small insects need only a paper-thin crack to gain entry.

4) Ants in the kitchen: With a ready supply of food and water, your kitchen can be paradise for pests like ants. No one’s favorite picnic guests, ants are just as pesky in your kitchen where they enter through cracks and holes. To discourage ants, seal cracks or holes where pests might enter, particularly around stove and water pipes. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Clean up crumbs, spills and stickiness on counters, tables and floors right away and never leave overripe fruit sitting out on the countertop.

5) Pests in the pantry: Other pests like your kitchen area, too, and your pantry is especially awesome to them. Most pantry pests such as beetles and Indian meal moths hitch a ride into your home in paper grocery bags, cardboard or plastic bags. The next time you grocery shop, inspect packaging before you put an item in your shopping cart. If the package is opened or shows the smallest sign of damage, don’t buy it. To ensure your pantry and cabinets are pest-free, periodically remove everything and toss out anything stale, old or expired. Stale spices and outdated flour can attract pantry pests. Wipe down the inside of cabinets and pantry shelves, and install fresh shelf paper. Store opened dry goods in plastic or glass containers that seal tightly.

6) Bugs in the bedroom: Bed bugs rival cockroaches for ick factor. Bed bugs enter your home through secondhand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, or by hitching a ride on your luggage when you return home from a trip. Before bringing any secondhand furniture home, have a pest control professional inspect it for signs of bed bugs. After traveling, inspect suitcases outdoors before bringing them inside. Vacuum luggage before storing it or use a garment hand-steamer to help kill any bugs or eggs. Wash and dry all travel clothing, even items you didn’t wear, on hot settings. Store clothes that must be dry cleaned in sealed plastic bags until you can get them to the cleaners. Bed bugs are one pest you won’t be able to get rid of on your own, so if an infestation occurs despite your best efforts, find a qualified pest control professional at www.pestworld.org. (BPT)

8 Gift Ideas to Sink Your Teeth Into

When you’re shopping for someone who has everything he or she needs, finding the perfect gift can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there’s one type of gift that virtually everyone can appreciate: a kitchen gadget that answers their favorite food cravings. This guide offers some of this season’s most clever ideas, from the perfect cocktail mug to a vendor-style hot dog maker.

For the Home Entertainer

The Moscow Mule cocktail has been a beloved beverage for decades. This commemorated libation is so divinely delicious, it even has its own copper mug counterpart to bring out the drink’s smoothest, most refreshing flavors. The Mikasa Moscow Mule Mugis ideal for enjoying this famous drink – or any other cool, refreshing beverage – year-round. Available with either a hammered or smooth finish, each mug holds 16 fluid ounces and is handcrafted from solid copper with a food-safe, nickel-plated interior and a brass handle.

For the Home Chef

Sharp knives perform best in the kitchen, but many people don’t know how to properly sharpen their knives. Take out the guesswork with the Sabatier 12-Piece Edgekeeper Pro Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set. The set features five integrated sharpening slots with ceramic rods that hone the blade’s edge every time the knives are removed or placed back into the hardwood block. Each knife features an ergonomic, triple-riveted handle and the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel, which is corrosion- and stain-resistant.

For the Cocktail Aficionado

This BarCraft 7-Piece Deluxe Wine Gift Setincludes all of the essential tools and accessories for opening, pouring, storing and enjoying a bottle of wine. The twist-action foil cutter makes it simple to quickly and easily remove the foil from nearly any bottle. The deluxe lever-arm corkscrew keeps the wine bottle in place with squeezable lever arms to remove the cork, and a wine pourer is ideal for spill-free pouring. The vacuum pump removes excess air from the bottle, helping prevent oxygenation and preserving freshness. Two included stoppers help keep wine bottles sealed tight.

For the Baker

Bake two different types of pies in one pan, or one traditional full-sized pie, in the Chicago Metallic Split Decision 9-Inch Pie Pan. The three-piece set includes a 9-inch pan and two inserts. One insert divides the pie in half, allowing two different types of pies to be baked at once. The second insert is for a full-sized pie. The lift-and-serve removable bottom allows you to push the baked pie up from underneath to easily remove the pie without wrecking the crust.

For the Foodie

Delight the foodie on your shopping list with a kitchen gadget that makes food preparation easier. The West Blade Large Flake Hand Grater features patented “tineless” blades, which enable effortless grating in both directions; perfect for rapidly shaving hard cheeses and creating delicate flakes of chocolate. The grater also comes with a hand guard attachment and a protective blade cover for storage.

For the Bagel Lover

The Hoan Bagel Guillotinemakes it easy to safely and effortlessly slice bagels in half. A cradle holds the bagel in place while two clear acrylic safety shields help keep fingers away from the bagel-piercing blade. It features precision ground serrated cutting edges and a Xylan-coated stainless steel blade for smooth slicing and durability.

For the Hot Dog Lover

Try a quick and easy way to make a perfectly cooked, vendor-style hot dog in the microwave with Hot Doglicious. This device cooks the hot dog and warms the bun at the same time for a ready-to-eat, in-the-bun hot dog in less than 55 seconds. The cooking chamber has unique ribs that pierce the dog’s casing, allowing it to grill and sear from the inside out, while the vent allows just the right amount of steam to escape to warm the bun for that delicious, concession stand-like taste.

For the Stocking

Preserve the freshness of leftover fruits and vegetables with Farberware Food Huggers, a set of four reusable silicone covers. Just push leftover produce down into the hugger that gives the snuggest fit and save it in the fridge. The food hugger creates a seal to hold in natural juices and prevent exposure to circulating air, which can cause food to spoil or dehydrate. Additionally, they’re dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-safe. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Lifetime Brands

Own the Festive Season with Gifts for Thrill-Seekers

You may spend hours browsing online gift guides, but can never seem to find the perfect gift for the impossible-to-shop-for thrill-seeker on your list. This year, skip the potential aggravation by getting your hands on some of the season’s hottest items that can increase the heart rate of even the most adrenaline-fueled folks.

These five tips can help you ditch the expected and own the festive season with praise-worthy gifts, no matter your budget.

Experiential Packages

Help the adventurer in your life unwrap an experience and learn something new. Look for rock climbing, an escape room package or snowboarding sessions, or take it to the next level and gift them a real-life skill with motorcycle riding lessons. Learn more about Harley-Davidson Riding Academy motorcycle classes by visiting your local dealership or H-D.com/LearnToRide.

Hands-On Pursuits for Hobbyists

For those who like to experiment closer to home, treat them to a longer-term project package. From woodcarving and iron working to home distilling, there are options sure to fit nearly any hobby imaginable.

Take-Anywhere Tech

Whether shredding down the backside of a mountain or winding through a scenic region on a motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson Boom! Audio 20S EVO Bluetooth Helmet Single Headset can help your recipient cut the cord and connect to his or her Bluetooth-enabled smartphone for hands-free calling, access to music, podcasts and voice-enabled GPS throughout the journey.

Barware that Rocks

When they’re not catching waves or blazing a new trail, adventure-seekers can often be found entertaining friends with stories of their latest adventures. Break the ice at any party with a boxed barware set and accessories. Look for unique options like a set of beer flight glasses, cocktail-specific mixing sets or go further and serve-up bar decor that fits your recipient’s personality with clocks, signs, picture frames or coasters.

Amped-Up Style

Match an adventurous lifestyle with on-trend apparel. For example, Harley-Davidson’s Women’s 115th Anniversary Limited Edition Bomber Jacket features creative, printed graphics, unique hardware and custom-embroidered sleeve tape that celebrates the brand’s heritage. For warmer climates, the 1903 Pullover Hoodie, cut from warm French terry cloth reversed on the sleeves for a textured look, is a fresh option. The full 1903 line rolls out in 2018, and includes a wide array of apparel and accessories.

For more festive season gift-giving inspiration, check out the guide at H-D.com/Holiday. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Harley-Davidson

Step-by-Step Game Plan to Save the Most on Black Friday

Picture - Celebrating the Season - Step-by-Step Game Plan to Save the Most on Black Friday

Pretty much every American knows that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big days for sales. But for many, Black Friday is more than just a chance to save big; it’s a tradition in its own right.

And this isn’t a trend that’s going away anytime soon.

In fact, the age group that is into Black Friday the most is millennials. Sixty percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 say they are excited about shopping on Black Friday, according to a recent Flipp survey conducted by Ipsos. Clearly, shopping great sales is as hot as ever with this younger generation.

This year, we’ll probably see even better deals, and more people than ever will be flocking to the stores. This means that you’ll need a strategy to get the things you need at the price you want.

To help you do this, here’s a game plan to follow from Lauren Greutman, Flipp App Savings Expert.

  1. Create a budget. On average, shoppers plan to spend $475 over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday time frame. Create a budget outlining how much you want to spend on high ticket door buster items, or if you’re buying gifts, make a budget for each person on your list. This way, you stay on track of your spending and don’t fall for every deal in-store.
  2. Go digital. Rather than shuffling through dozens of paper circulars searching for the best Black Friday deals, join millions of others by using the free shopping app, Flipp. This ingenious app brings hundreds of digital circulars right to your phone. Search for products by name and Flipp will show you all the deals in your area, or build an in-app shopping list that automatically shows you deals for everything on your list, making it easy to plan ahead and save.
  3. Focus on the big items. There’s a secret to shopping that often holds true: the bigger the item, the bigger the savings. So if you have a long list and don’t know where to start, look to the higher ticket items, like electronics. This is where you’ll catch the biggest windfall, and your bank account will thank you!
  4. Check out the store before Black Friday. Check the store websites for “Store Maps” the days leading up to Black Friday, so that you can find where the door buster deals will be in-store and plan your route. Keep in mind that stores keep their best deals in the back of the store.
  5. Research store policies in advance. Once you’ve mapped out where you need to go, be sure to call the stores in advance so that you clearly understand their policies on price matching, returns, exchanges and gift receipts. A little planning in this department could save you a lot of headaches!
  6. Buy gift cards. To save even more money, buy gift cards at your grocery store the days before you shop. This works great if your grocery store offers gas points for money spent at the store. Many stores offer additional gas points for gift card purchases in the days leading up to Black Friday.
  7. Know the “best” deals aren’t always the best. This may seem counterintuitive; after all, Black Friday is all about deals, deals, deals. But keep in mind, just because you get a monster discount doesn’t mean you’re getting the best product. It’s all about doing your research beforehand so you don’t end up buying a super cheap, low quality item.

With so many opportunities to save money and items to cross off your shopping list, the excitement that comes with Back Friday can be a little overwhelming. Using a free shopping app like Flipp, can help you stay organized, plan ahead and stick to your game plan. (BPT)

A Sicilian Twist on Festive Season Entertaining

When it comes to preparing a spread for a festive season gathering, some may look to traditional wine varieties such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. However, as holiday traditions become less traditional, you can also branch out in your selection of wines.

Produced from the indigenous grapes of Sicily, wines from Sicilia DOC offer fresh taste, quality and variety. The wines come to life when paired with a variation of holiday dishes.

These three tips can help you pair Sicilian wines with the dishes you may serve as part of your festive season spread:

For the Light White Wine Fan

With a low alcohol percentage and fruity notes, an option such as Grillo can be a fan favorite at any holiday gathering and makes for a perfect hostess gift. This white wine features notes of white peaches and grapefruit and can pair well with seafood appetizers, baked casseroles, vegetarian sides or a well-known Sicilian dish like this Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad.

For Guests Looking for a Graceful Red Wine

A modern take on Pinot Noir, Frappato is a light-to-medium-bodied wine with a lingering freshness that’s persistent and balanced with notes of cherry and strawberry. This wine pairs well with both white and dark meat of flavorful holiday turkeys as well as pastas, pizza, roasted meats, potatoes and cheeses.

For Friends Who Favor a Complex Red

For guests who favor Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, an option such as Nero d’Avola is a nice alternative, with aromas of ripe cherry, rose, sweet spices, licorice and cocoa. As a go-to red wine, it pairs well with a hearty charcuterie platter, roasted meats, lamb, pizza and pastas.

For more holiday wine pairings and recipes, visit winesofsicily.com.

Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad

Recipe courtesy of Wines of Sicilia DOC Servings: 8

  • Salt
  • 2 pounds thin green beans
  • 6 blood oranges
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • maple syrup
  • almonds
  1. Add salt to large pot of boiling water. Add green beans and cook until tender and bright green. Drain beans in colander and transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Once cool, drain and pat dry with towel.
  2. Peel four oranges and remove white pith. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release sections into bowl. Zest one remaining orange and juice both uncut oranges; reserve zest. Transfer juice to saucepan and add vinegar, honey and pepper flakes. Bring to boil then simmer over moderate heat until reduced to syrup, 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. In large bowl, toss beans, orange sections and 3 tablespoons vinegar syrup. Transfer to serving platter; drizzle with maple syrup, almonds and orange zest.

Pair each serving with a glass of Grillo. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Wines of Sicilia DOC

Simple Seasonal Safety Tips

Limit your home fire risk during the festive season

It may be the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Along with the cooking and decorations that make the season magical, the festive season presents risks for home fires and burns.

An independent survey conducted by Shriners Hospitals for Children® found that many Americans do not follow key fire and burn safety tips despite being aware of dangerous risks. For example, 25 percent of respondents reported leaving lit candles unattended, and 27 percent said they have left them in reach of children.

“Some of these findings seem alarming, but each year our burn hospitals see the unfortunate results – children who have been injured in cooking related accidents or in fires associated with holiday decorations or candles,” said Kenneth Guidera, M.D., chief medical officer for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “These injuries can mean years of ongoing treatments and extensive rehabilitation for a child. That’s why we encourage families to learn about fire safety and prevention before a tragedy occurs.”

Fire and burn hazards are prevalent in many homes throughout the festive season, and Shriners Hospitals for Children offers these tips to remind families how to stay safe:

  • Never leave lit candles unattended. If you must use flame-burning candles, make sure to extinguish them when you leave the room.
  • When cooking, turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.
  • While cooking, keep a lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover a pan if its contents catch fire.
  • If you decorate using a live, fresh-cut Christmas tree, water it daily.
  • Keep trees and other flammable decor at least 3 feet away from heaters and flames.
  • Discard decorative lights with bare wires, frays or kinks.
  • Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • Have an escape plan in case of a fire and practice it with your family members so they know how to react if a fire does occur.
  • Know the burn care resources in your community.

The Shriners Hospitals locations that specialize in burn care provide critical, surgical and rehabilitative care to children with varying degrees of new and healed burns. Their state-of-the-art burn facilities are staffed and equipped to provide reconstructive and restorative surgery for healed burns, as well as treatments for various other skin conditions. With 22 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the health care system provides advanced care for children regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Learn more at shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

Visit beburnaware.org to learn key fire safety practices to help avoid injuries this holiday season. You can find activity books, tip cards and a five-minute online quiz to help identify and eliminate potential risks.

Candle Safety for the Holidays

Candles are one of the most common sources of holiday fires. Never leave lit candles unattended and take these additional precautions to have a safe and fun holiday season:

  • When candles are lit, make sure they are in stable holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked over.
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Be conscious of nearby surroundings. Never place a candle near drapery, decorations or other flammable items that may easily catch fire. Also avoid drafty areas or fans, which can accelerate flames or accidentally blow a flammable item onto a candle.
  • Know that the safest way to extinguish a candle is with a snuffer.
  • Consider using wickless or flameless candles. There are numerous options that cast a warm glow so you can enjoy the ambiance of a candle without the risk.

Kids and Candles Don’t Mix

Julianna and her mother, Tracy, know firsthand how dangerous the holiday season can be. While at a family Christmas party, Julianna, just 20 months old, snuck away from the activities and was in the bathroom playing in front of the mirror. A lit tea light candle on the corner of the sink ignited her clothes.

Tracy heard Julianna’s screams from down the hall, ran to the bathroom and saw her daughter’s dress on fire. She patted out the flames and family members called an ambulance. Julianna spent three weeks at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati to treat the third-degree burns that covered the left side of her body. Julianna, now 8-years-old, is doing well but faces ongoing treatment as she grows.

“We are very lucky,” Tracy said. “Julianna will be fine thanks to the care she received. We all get busy during this time of year, but it is so important for parents to make sure they are following basic safety tips to keep their kids safe.”  (Family Features)

SOURCE:

Shriners Hospitals for Children