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Protect yourself from crime this holiday season

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Take time during the hustle and bustle to ensure that you and your home are safe from crime. As you rush to prepare food, shop for gifts and pack for travel during the holidays, it's easy to become distracted and careless. However, a lack of attention may create an opportunity for a criminal to strike. Thefts are common during the holiday season. Help protect yourself, your family and your home with these tips from the National Crime Prevention Council. When you travel * Stop mail and newspaper delivery. * Have a friend or neighbor watch your house and park in the driveway occasionally. * Put indoor lights on timers. When you're gone for the evening * Make sure all doors and windows are locked. * Leave lights and a radio or TV on so that it looks like someone's home. * Display gifts away from windows or doors so that they can't be seen from outside the house. When you're shopping * Park in a well-lit area. Close all windows, lock your doors, and put any packages or bags in the trunk. * Pay with a check or credit card. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. * Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they are separated from you. * Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket. * Avoid carrying too many packages at once. * Stay alert and aware of what's going on around you. When answering the door * Ask for identification. Criminals sometimes pose as delivery people. * Avoid giving money to charity groups soliciting door-to-door. Sometimes there is no charity involved. Make charitable donations to organizations you know about instead. Home inventory Keep an inventory of items in your home. It will make filling out an insurance claim easier if your home is burglarized. Take pictures and make a detailed list of items such as TVs, VCRs, stereo equipment, cameras, jewelry, computers and other valuables. Include serial numbers. Update your list on a regular basis, but especially before the holidays.

 

The Benefits of Steam-Powered Floor Cleaning Devices

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steam-cleanerFloor steam cleaners are an effective device for cleaning hard surfaces. They are much more efficient than a mop and pail or a broom. The hard surfaces they work best on are sealed hardwood, linoleum, and ceramic tiles. A very important benefit of these machines is that you do not need to use any chemicals--only distilled water. These machines are very effective at removing dirt, stains, and scuff marks off most hard surfaces. A floor steam cleaner is very simple to use. Some styles have a washable microfiber cleaning mat that is easily removed from the steamer. The fact that this machine does not use chemicals makes it an earth-friendly cleaning machine and helps the environment. For people with young children, using chemicals on their floors is something that concerns them. This is why a floor steam cleaner is such a good alternative to harsh chemicals. The steam reaches such a high temperature that it kills germs and bacteria as well. These machines are earth-friendly and provide the following proponents: * No buckets or mops * Dries fast * Durable / washable microfiber pads * Used for many different types of hard surfaces * No chemicals to use * No harmful fumes or residue * Helps eliminate allergens * Cleans and sanitizes * 220-degree steam temperature * Achieves better cleaning results than with chemical disinfectants * Reduces cleaning time The effective temperatures for killing dust mites is 135 degrees, flea eggs at about 140 degrees, and many bacteria (such as e-coli) at 165 degrees. Article Courtesy of Dee Strickland of Zing Zap Cleaning Service.

 

Improve Your Overall Health Through Regular Dental Care!

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Dental-careYou already know that brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are the best ways to prevent tooth decay. But, you may not realize how important brushing and flossing are to your overall health! Your dental health is directly related to the overall health of your entire body. Just look at a few of the ways your dental health affects your general health: Ongoing research into the relationship between dental health and heart disease indicates that people with gum disease are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, including clogged arteries, strokes, and heart disease! Studies indicate that pregnant women with untreated gum disease are 3 to 5 times more likely to have pre-term births than women with good dental health. If you suffer from diabetes, poor dental health can make your blood sugar levels more difficult to control. Gum disease allows sugar to enter your bloodstream more easily, thereby raising your blood sugar levels. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that “the mouth is the portal of entry for pathogens and toxins” and that these harmful organisms “may spread to the rest of the body.” Let's break down what the Surgeon General's findings mean for you: if you take proper care of your mouth through brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, your mouth is more able to defend your body against harmful bacteria that could enter your body because of poor dental hygiene! This article was submitted courtesy of Dr. Jesus Perez.  Dr. Perez is a D.D.M., P.A. of Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.  For additional information check out Dr. Perez in the Business Directory!!!

 

First Aid Basics

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first-aidFirst Aid Basics: #1 - Bleeding: Bleeding can be controlled simply by applying pressure to the site, then applying a cold compress to help blood vessels constrict.  Use tourniquets only for life-threatening blood loss, as happens with a complete or partial amputation. To apply a tourniquet:  Place a clean strip of cloth between the wound and the rest of the body.  Wrap it around the limb twice and tie a knot.  Place a stick, pen or other straight, rigid object atop the knot and tie it in place.  Twist the stick to tighten the tourniquet until the bleeding stops.  Tie the loose ends of cloth around the stick to hold it in the tightened position. If a body part has been severed, seal it in a plastic bag and put the bag on ice.  Never put the body part directly on ice. #2 - Burns: Soak the burned area in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.  Then wrap it with a handkerchief or other clean, dry dressing.  Seek medical care for any burn that is blistered ... or in which there is decreased sensation in the area ... or if the burn is around the mouth, nose, fingers or toes. #3 - Choking: To perform the heimlich maneuver, stand behind the victim and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim's upper adbomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.  Grasp you fist with your other hand and press into his/her upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust.  Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands.  Repeat until object is expelled. #4 - CPR: If you have taken a CPR course but are not sure you remember the steps, here are the basics ... -Call 911. -Check breathing. -If not breathing, pinch the nose and give two breaths. -Position your hands in the center of the chest and firmly push down two inches 15 times. -Continue with two breaths and 30 pumps until help arrives. For children 1-8:  If you are alone, perform CPR for one minute before calling 911.  Give one breath followed by five chest compressions, using only the heel of one hand. #5 - Electric Shock: Always turn off the current before touching the victim - or you risk getting shocked yourself.  If you cannot turn the current off, use a book, a dry wooden stick or some other nonconduction object (not metallic or wet) to push away the source of the current.  Drag or gently push the person away from the source of the current.  Call for help. #6 - Head Injury: Never move an injured person's head from side to side to "see if they're okay."  In case of a neck injury, this could cause permanent paralysis.  Instead, tell the victim to lie still while you call an ambulance. #7 - Heat Stroke: Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes dangerously overheated and dehydrated.  Symptoms include mental confusion, collapse, unconsciousness and fever with dry, mottled skin.  Move the victim to a cool place, pour cool water over his/her body and try to get him to drink fluids until medical help arrives. #8 - Insect Stings/Bites: Don't try to pull out a stinger, as that may release venom.  Gently scrape it out with a blunt-edged object, such as a credit card.  Wash the area and apply an ice pack or cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes.  Then apply a paste of backing soda and water for 15 to 20 minutes.  Symptoms of an allergic reaction include a large area of swelling, abnormal breathing, tightness in the throat or chest, dizziness, nausea or vomiting or fainting.  To remove a tick:  Use tweezers to grasp firmly at its head or mouth, next to the skin.  Pull firmly and steadily until it lets go.  Then swab the site with alcohol.  Do not use petroleum jelly or a lit match to kill a tick. #9 - Physical Shock: Shock occurs when the body's important functions are threatened by not getting enough blood or when the major organs and tissues don't receive enough oxygen.  Symptoms are cold skin that is pale or bluish in color, vomitting, dull and sunken eyes and unusual thirst.  Shock requires medical treatment to be reversed, so all you can do is prevent it from getting worse.  Try to maintain an open airway, control any obvious bleeding and elevate the legs about 12 inches unless an injury makes this impossible.  Cover the victim (over and under) with blankets.  Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink as this may cause vomiting. #10 - Poisoning: If the poison is in solid form, such as pills, remove it from the victim's mouth using a clean cloth wrapped around your finger.  Do notdo this with infants because it could force the poison further down their throat.  If the poison is on the skin, rem ove clothing and flush withwater for 30 minutes.  If the poison is in the eyes, flush the victim's eyes with water for 15 minutes.  Call your local poison control center for further advice.  Take the poison container or label with you when you call for medical help. Article Courtesy of Rhonda Newman

 

Back Tips

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Back-painBack pain is one of the most common problems, with millions of Americans suffering from back pain. In fact, back pain is the second leading cause of absenteeism from work, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR). This isn't a problem just for adults, either. More and more children are developing back problems, with many groups blaming overstuffed backpacks. If you do hurt your back once, there's a good chance it will happen again if you don't make some behavioral changes. According to the AAPMR, 62 percent of patients are going to have another problem within one year and 40 percent will have ongoing problems a year or two later. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says that injuries to the back can result from: * prolonged sitting in uncomfortable positions * repeated bending and stretching * heavy lifting Because back injuries can be so debilitating, it's important to develop habits that can reduce your risk of back injury. Below, you'll find some tips for both adults and children. Back tips at work The SpineThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing back pain. If you spend a great deal of time sitting at a desk, proper support for your lower back is essential. Ideally, you should have a chair designed to give you the right support. If that's not possible, a rolled towel, small pillow or special seat support can be helpful when placed between your lower back and the back of your chair. The National Institutes of Health's Division of Safety says one rule that may be helpful when you're trying to keep your posture in shape as you sit is the 90 degree rule; when sitting at your desk, your legs should be bent at the knees at a 90 degree angle, with your feet flat on the floor; your arms should be able to rest on your desk bending at the elbow at a 90 degree angle; and your back and hips should bend at a 90 degree angle, not slouching forward or slumping back. So long as you're paying attention to posture, don't forget about the rest of your body. Avoid cradling a telephone in your neck, for example (Read about "Neck Pain and Work") and make sure your arm and wrist are properly supported. (Read about "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" "Repetitive Stress") Ergonomically designed chairs that let you adjust seat and armrest height can be especially helpful in all this. Swivel chairs can also be useful since they let you turn the chair when you have to reach for objects, rather that twisting your body. Thank you to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center for the article.  You can access the LRMC for more articles and other information by clicking here.

 
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