Have a Safe 4th of July

Monday, June 27, 2011

With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety.

If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals.

Lighting fireworks at home isn't even legal in many areas, so if you still want to use them, be sure to check with your local police department first. If they're legal where you live, keep these safety tips in mind:

1. Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800° Fahrenheit (982° Celsius) — hot enough to melt gold.

2. Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer's name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarter-pounder. These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries.

3. Never try to make your own fireworks.

4. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

5. Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.

6. Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.

7. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.

8. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

9. Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

10. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.

11. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.

If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don't flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child's eyesight may depend on it. If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately.

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you'll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this Fourth of July and your holiday will be a blast!

Taken from: http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/fireworks.html

13 Quick Ways to Avoid Allergies Around the House

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Allergy victims seem to be “popping up” everywhere! Here are 13 ways to make your home a nicer place for these folks suffering from allergies. (Taken from My Allergy Guide, From the makers of Zyrtec.)

1. Get daily pollen counts.
2. Spray allergen-reducing sprays inside any space; car, home, office.
3. Get a (HEPA) filter for air filter and vacuums.
4. Minimize dust mite matter. Wash sheets/blankets in hot water every week.
5. Keep pets off upholstered furniture/beds. Wash your pets regularly.
6. Wash your kid’s stuffed animals weekly in hot water.
7. Shower or bathe before going to bed.
8. Avoid or limit your time in spaces that are irritating. Know your limits!
9. On high pollen count days, keep windows/doors closed.
10. Take a break and plan a trip to a “lower level pollen count” place!
11. Stay off the grass. Exercise on asphalt, the beach or gym.
12. Don’t dry your clothes outside.
13. Watch what you wear. Use a mask when mowing or raking, long sleeves/pants help too.

Happy Father's Day

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I want to talk about how the dads of today, grow and influence the dads of tomorrow.

Where does a man primarily learn his fathering skills? He learns them from his own dad. For better or worse, when a man becomes a dad, he will draw on his own experiences with his father in order to father his child. The tagline at Dads Inc. is “building generations of involved dads and thriving kids” for that reason – the way we father leaves a legacy for generations to come. That legacy can be either positive or negative. It is up to us – today’s dads, particularly those of us with sons – to mold the future generations of our family.

With his little eyes watching every move you make, it’s easy to think you’re going to mess up no matter how hard you try. And you will. We all do because there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Just get over that fear. What’s more important is how you handle those mess-ups. Did you admit your mistake and apologize or just ignore it and move on? Remember – his little eyes are watching. That is an essential lesson for a dad to teach his son.

Additionally, I see four other lessons that are essential for dads to take the lead in positively guiding his son to understanding.


Chivalry? Respect? Partnership? Your son is going to take your lead on treating women this way. Whether it is your wife, your ex-wife, your mom or a total stranger, the way you interact and engage with women is the standard for how your son will treat them. If you call his mom a “bitch” – to him women can be “bitches”. But if you call his mom your friend and partner, women will be his equal and he will respect them. And really, it’s not just women, but how to treat people in general. The Golden Rule is golden for a reason.


How’s that old nursery rhyme go? Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. So we think our sons should be a little rough and tumble, rambunctious and manly. This is all well and good, as long as “manly” means know how to control and deal with your emotions and being able to openly show affection. Dads, if you’re having violent or loud outbursts when you get mad, you are not setting the right example of how to control and properly deal with emotions. You need to show them that it is ok to cry, but it’s not ok to cuss and hit things or people. And if you’re not hugging and kissing those boys and telling them you love them every day, not only are you missing one of the most precious parts of fatherhood, you’re also instilling in them the belief that showing affection is not something men do.


I’m not necessarily only talking about church or religion here, though those are certainly two aspects of spiritual growth. I’m talking about teaching him to appreciate ideas and concepts larger than ourselves, about nature and our impact on it, about being in awe of the Universe and all the wonders it holds. If you don’t talk about it with him or teaching him its importance, you’re stunting his growth, spiritually and intellectually. Out of wonder comes knowledge – knowledge of one’s self and one’s world.


No question you should be involved in his schooling. From being active in the PTA to helping him with his homework, you need to be as active and engaged in his formal education as his mom is. But what about his time out of school? How does he come to appreciate the arts? How does he learn to learn to play a musical instrument? How does he learn to take the sound bite he hears on a political ad as only part of a larger, more complicated story? You teach him how to read, how to play, how to investigate. You teach him to learn to think on his own. You teach him it’s ok to ask questions, even to authority figures, even if that’s you. In short, you teach him to be his own man.

If you follow these rules will you raise the perfect son? Nope. But you are going to raise a fine young man. And so will he.

Happy Father’s Day!

Contributed by:

Christopher D. Maples

Dad & Director Since 2006

3833 N. Meridian Street

Indianapolis, IN 46208

(o) 317.635.DADS





Poison Awareness

Monday, June 6, 2011

More than 90 percent of the time, poisonings happen in people’s homes. The majority of these poisonings occur in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. That is why it is important to follow simple steps to prevent a poisoning from happening at home.

Teach your family to never touch or put anything in their mouths unless they know what it is. Below are additional tips on how to keep poisonous items safe in your home. Remember, if you suspect that you or someone you know has been poisoned, immediately call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center.

■Keep medicines in their original containers, properly labeled, and store them appropriately.
■Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. The best places for a CO detector are near bedrooms and close to furnaces.
■Keep products in their original containers. Do not use food containers (such as cups or bottles) to store household cleaners and other chemicals or products.
■Some art products are mixtures of chemicals. They can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure children use art products safely by reading and following directions.
■Do not eat or drink while using art products.
■Wash skin after contact with art products. Clean equipment. Wipe tables, desks, and counters.
■Keep art products in their original containers.
■Wash hands and counters before preparing all food.
■Store food at the proper temperatures. Refrigerated foods should not be left out at temperatures above 40 degrees F (5 degrees C).
■Use clean utensils for cooking and serving.
■Know what poisonous snakes live in your area and wear proper attire (boots, etc.) when hiking outdoors.
■Check the label on any insect repellent. Be aware that most contain DEET, which can be poisonous in large quantities.
■Be sure that everyone in your family can identify poisonous mushrooms and plants. Remember when it comes to poison ivy, "leaves of three, let it be."
If you or someone you know may have been poisoned, call the toll-free line right away at 1-800-222-1222, which connects you to your local poison center. If the person is not breathing, call 911. Do not wait for signs of a poisoning before calling the Poison Help line. When you call, you will speak with a poison expert at your poison center.

From www.poisonhelp.hrsa.gov