VOLUME 8 • EDITION 3
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A Letter fro m th e Fir m
Dear Friends, I’m happy to bring you this Living Safer issue about distracted driving. Our country’s traffic safety epidemic is a concern near to my heart, and I am proud to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving through End Distracted Driving (EndDD. org) and the Casey Feldman Foundation. If you are interested in getting involved in the cause after reading this issue — by presenting, donating or leveraging your network — please feel free to contact me or EndDD.org Founder Joel Feldman.
PUBLISHER John T. Bair
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Andre email@example.com Art Director Eva Talley firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Brittany Monbarren email@example.com
We hope you enjoy our latest issue and join Milestone Consulting in pledging to drive safely every day. Looking back, our company has changed and grown significantly through the years. We have pioneered attorney fee deferral strategies that leverage each lawyer’s unique situation to create unlimited reserves of deferred compensation. We manage wealth through our registered investment adviser firm Monolith. We are also providing non-recourse loans to clients at seven percent interest in the name of the Seventh Amendment through our newly created Bairs Foundation, a 501C3 nonprofit organization. We ask that you consider how our practice may benefit yours either through the use of trusts, special needs trusts, or Medicare compliance advice and Medicare set-asides when needed. Sincerely,
John T. Bair Founder/Member Milestone Consulting, LLC Toll Free: 855.836.2676 www.milestonesventh.com
i n l i f e , t h e r e c om e s a t i m e t o mov e forwa r d t o t h e n e x t m i l e s t on e
Inside This Issue ON THE COVER
LIVING WITH CRPS/RSD
MONEY MISTAKES THAT KEEP YOU IN DEBT
CUT CARBS WITHOUT DEPRIVING YOURSELF
HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS
THE MOST LIKELY PLACES GERMS HARVEST IN YOUR HOME
The Distracted Driving Epidemic Why It’s No Longer Just About Texting In 2008, a Boulder, Colo. entrepreneur named Scott Tibbits was to meet with the vice president of an engineering firm. Tibbits arrived to the Denver office ready to discuss a potential project, but the engineer never made it. Tibbits later learned that the man, a husband and father of two, was killed just hours before their appointment when a 16-year-old driver ran a red light while distracted by his phone.
ZIKA & TRAVEL: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
DO YOU HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY?
PEANUT/TREE NUT ALLERGIES IN SCHOOL CAFETERIAS
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT VOTING
DOS & DON’TS
Why Distracted Driving and Denial Don’t Mix by Bryan Silver This past summer, we saw a wildly popular app escalate from idle time waster to all-consuming obsession in a shockingly short period of time. While some marveled at it’s unprecedented growth as far as fads go, many more were amazed by its—assumedly unforeseen—link to driving, as players took to their automobiles in order to track down as many digital creatures as possible. Considering the visual and physical demands that this augmented reality game puts on players, it should have been no surprise that this phenomenon was quickly shaping up to be a driving distraction of epic proportion. The problem was, there were still plenty of people weren’t willing to admit it was a problem. From the manufacturer, Nintendo, to game players of all ages—many were not ready to make that logical leap from minor distraction to major threat without some form of substantiated proof.
New data draws a pretty clear picture Well, for all those fence walkers, the JAMA Internal Medicine has published data that not only serves as proof, but potentially surpasses what many thought to be the actual level of danger delivered by this smartphone app. Short of user admission or eyewitness accounts, it’s hard to say that phone use has caused an accident—but, judging by a sampling of Twitter activity, the researchers involved found the contextual evidence to be fairly condemning.
The truth is in the tweets In a recent study by JAMA Internal Medicine, thousands of tweets via Twitter were reviewed for mentions of Pokemon Go gameplay distraction, and the results were very telling:
Over 10,000 tweets a day That’s the estimated number of messages sent by game players distracted by Pokemon Go per day during a short 10-day sample period.
33% contained comments of dangerous gameplay While 13% of the sample messages reviewed showed a safety message, a far greater number called out unsafe actions while playing the game.
14 car crashes during a 10-day period Were verified through news reports from July 10th to July 20th— all as a result of some element of driver or pedestrian distraction due to the popular game.
What we can do moving forward In hindsight, we should have seen this roadway menace coming from miles away. As technology advances at an ever-quickening pace, it will take even more vigilance and much faster reactions on our part to keep such threats in check. In an effort to fight fire with fire, more technological solutions are hitting the marketplace (See Gadgets, next page), but we need to remember that these are only tools and must be utilized properly to be effective. The report also points out that, in response to public reaction, Nintendo has added both a speed-tracking feature that shuts the game down over 10 mph and a filter that requires players to acknowledge they are a passenger and not the driver of a vehicle before the game will load. Changes such as these are all positive, but one must wonder if we should be more proactive with future, similar situations—the risk of doing “too little, too late” is far too great.
“Just made sis drive me around to find Pokemon.” " My mom just legit stopped the car in the middle of the road to catch a Pokemon." "Almost got hit by a car playing Pokemon GO." “Just saw a kid get clipped by a car trying to catch Pokemon.”
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Gadgets to Help You Focus
on What Matters Most From smartphone apps and messages to multitasking and much more, itâ€™s safe to say that distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on our roadways. To help keep you focused on what matters most and eliminate distracted driving-related accidents, weâ€™ve provided you with some safe driving gadgets.
by Brittany Monbarren
Advicy Drive Advicy Drive is an innovative bracelet with a small Bluetooth sensor that detects fatigue and prevents drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. They system detects and analyzes your heartbeat from your skin through the bracelet and the AdvicyDrive APP. If the system detects fatigue, you will receive an alert from the app.
Groove Groove by Katasi is a small device that connects with all cellphones, not just smartphones. The Groove technology works with cellphone providers to help limit distractions by cellphones. The device plugs into a socket underneath the steering wheel and once the vehicle is in motion, all incoming and outgoing calls and messages are limited by the cellphone provider.
ORIGOSafe The ORIGOSafe is a fully integrated system that requires drivers to dock their phone in order to start the vehicle. Through Bluetooth, ORIGOSafe allows drivers to use their phones existing handsfree capabilities. However, if the driver attempts to remove the device from the dock, an alarm will sound, and the car will not be authorized to restart until approved by an administrator.
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CellControl with DriveID CellControl’s DriveID wireless device is solar-powered and mounted to the windshield of your car under the rearview mirror. The CellControl app connects directly with the device to determine motion. When the device detects movement, all apps, phone and text functions are disabled from use, unless they are specifically designated as safe apps by the administrator. The system can also be used as a tool to teach anyone to be a better driver with its monitoring and points scoring system.
DriveCam DriveCam by Lytx is a program that helps identify why accidents happen by using a video event recorder to capture and assist in correcting risky driving habits. Historically, it has been used by commercial fleet truck operators, however, parents are now utilizing this tech solution to understand problem areas in their teen’s driving, allowing them to teach them ways to improve.
Wheel Watcher The Wheel Watcher is a “hands-on” solution to prevent distracted driving. It is a tamperproof steering wheel cover that’s fitted with sensors that automatically activate when the vehicle accelerates over a predetermined speed. Once activated, if a driver removes their hand from the wheel for a predetermined amount of time, an alarm will sound and will continue to escalate at intervals, reminding the driver to return their hands to the wheel. The steering wheel also records the data, time, frequency and length of the alarm.
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Why Fitness Fads Fail,
and What All Fads Have in Common by Richard Bradley
As the weather becomes a little chilly, all those healthy outdoor activities that have become so routine for most of us over the last few months will become more difficult to do. Consequently, if we want to stay fit leading into the lethargic winter months discipline and consistency become even more important—but inventing in some assistance does not help either. This help can arrive in the form of fitness products, at-home exercise programs, and even the ubiquitous gym membership. The problem with fitness products and services is that most of these are fads that in the long run will prove to be ineffective, and in some cases dangerous. The fitness device industry is massive and lucrative. The fitness equipment market is expected to reach $11.9 billion globally by 2020 according to some accounts, and this explains why there are so many fitness fads and devices on the market. Couple the market for fitness devices with the $81.2 billion international health club industry, and it is clear to see that fitness fads are not going away any time soon because the profits are just too high. The vast majority of fitness fads are totally useless, and most times those individuals that fall victim to these fads are left in much the same, or in some cases worse, condition than when they started. The failure of fitness fads is due to the fact that most fad exercise programs and devices are misconceived concepts built on a foundation of sand. That is, fitness fads tend to focus on dramatic results that can be gained through little or no effort. Furthermore, and more importantly, these programs and devices zero in on a quick fix that does not entail the most important facet of long-term physical fitness—consistency. Without consistency, any progress achieved in regard to fitness and health is doomed to fail. As we discussed in a prior column, consistency is the most important element of physical fitness and a lack of consistency is the primary reason why all fitness fads ultimately fail. Take for instance the emergence of the high-intensity workouts made fashionable by programs such as CrossFit and P90X. Both of these programs are soundly based on the premise that
building muscle and endurance will lead to increased health, and by increasing the intensity of a workout, the benefits of the workouts will arrive faster. However both of these programs suffer from high levels of attrition and are dependent on long-term attendance at a particular facility or adherence to a stringent program. In addition, some of the exercises that are part of these programs are very hard on the joints and musculoskeletal system. Think of “kipping” your way over the pull up bar although this method has been called into question due to the impact it can have on shoulder joints. There is nothing revolutionary about the concept that working out hard, for a long period of time will yield results. The problem arises when the workouts are over, or when the participant finds it inconvenient to attend a session or use a video. What then? Those individuals that have the ability to commit to a fitness program, no matter what the complexity, will achieve results. Just ask those CrossFit evangelists among us. Thus it is crucial when choosing a workout program or device to ask the simple question: Will I do this consistently? If you are not sure, or have doubts about whether or not you can, it is wise to adjust your intended workout so that you can actually achieve consistency. Most people do not have the time to commit an hour and a half to exercise each day. This is why most gym memberships go unused right along with that Nordic Track from 1996. There is no amount of “muscle confusion” that can overcome a lack of consistency. (Incidentally, muscles do not get confused. Muscle either push or pull. There is no way to confuse them.) At the end of the day the number one factor as to why fitness fads, both in regard to programs and devices, fail is a lack of consistency and an unfulfilled promise of results without effort. It is scientifically impossible to burn calories without expending effort; this not how the body works. Accordingly, when choosing a fitness regimen, whether it is simply a self-directed walk, or a DVD ordered from an infomercial, remember that the most successful exercise program ever developed is nothing more than the one you actually do. @LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 9
What You Should Know By Ben Dampf
@LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 11
By now, most are well aware of the Zika virus. You know it is most commonly passed through the bites of infected mosquitoes in parts of the world where Zika is active. That it can also be sexually transmitted from one infected person to another. And, most alarmingly, that it can spread from an infected pregnant woman to her womb. The last occurrence is so worrisome because Zika can cause the developing baby to suffer from serious neurological conditions including microcephaly—a condition in which the brain shrinks or stops developing. While the bright minds of infectious disease doctors are on the case, there is currently no medicine to treat the infection and no vaccine to prevent it. What does all of this mean? Should you travel to a Zika-infected area? What precautions can you take while there? How do you play it safe when you return? Wise travelers should consider all of these questions when planning their next escape.
Who Should Avoid Traveling? Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warn pregnant women and couples who are trying to conceive to avoid traveling to areas where Zika is actively being transmitted. The reason, of course, is the risk that infected pregnant women will pass the virus to their unborn children. Recent studies estimate 1 to 13% of those infected during the first trimester are born with microcephaly. Sound serious? Consider this: In August 2016, the CDC warned pregnant women to stay away from parts of Miami, Florida where Zika is being transmitted by local mosquitoes. It was the first time the CDC issued such a travel warning within the United States due to an infectious disease. The CDC’s website is a great resource for staying up-to-date on affected areas. Since Zika is likely to spread to new areas, consider purchasing travel cancellation insurance even if your destination
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is not affected when you book your travel plans. Look for a policy that includes “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage and confirm that your financial investment will be protected in the event you need to cancel the trip.
Precautions You Should Take If you are not pregnant or trying to conceive, Zika presents a very different risk. Indeed, this group of infected people typically only suffers mild symptoms including: fever, rash, headaches, and joint pain. In many cases, the virus causes no symptoms at all. Accordingly, women who are not pregnant and couples who are not trying to conceive may decide to travel to an area where Zika is active. The CDC still warns those travelers to take heightened precautions to reduce their exposure to the virus by avoiding mosquito bites and by practicing safe sex. You should: »» Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants »» Sleep inside or under mosquito nets »» Use EPA-approved insect repellent »» Treat your clothes with permethrin—another form of insect repellent. »» Use condoms if you are sexually active Just in case, review your health insurance to see whether it covers medical care in the area you are going. Unfortunately, most policies only cover treatment within certain geographic areas. Purchasing travel health insurance can ease the financial strain of having to pay out-of-pocket medical bills while overseas should something come up.
Playing It Safe When You Return “We still have a lot to learn,” according to Jonathan M. Hand, M.D., an infectious disease physician who serves as the medical director of antimicrobial stewardship at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Hand recommends a cautious approach for those traveling to or returning from Zika hotspots. That approach includes consulting your healthcare provider and continuing to prevent against mosquito bites when you return- even if you are not symptomatic. This holds especially true for couples trying to conceive. The CDC currently recommends that women wait at least 8 weeks from possible exposure before trying to conceive. In some cases, men may need to wait 6 months. Zika is a moving target. Travel warnings and guidelines are sure to evolve as we continue to learn more. So keep informed and stay vigilant. Your well-being and that of your family, friends and neighbors depend on it.
Living with CRPS/RSD by Bryan Pope “But doctor, my foot feels like it is on fire, like someone is dipping it into a giant fire pit. But sometimes it gets cold as ice, and then sometimes it turns a splotchy red. Then it starts to sweat and swell and I can’t bear the thought of anyone touching it!” Does this sound like the beginning of an episode of the popular television show, House, with Hugh Laurie playing a doctor whose specialty was to figure out what “mysterious” medical conditions patients had, hopefully in time to save their lives or save them from long-term harm? Unfortunately, this scenario is an all-too-familiar one played out in doctors' offices as people who have these types of complaints seek to find out what is wrong with them—and hope someone believes them and doesn’t think they are crazy. The complaints they describe are typically similar: hallmark symptoms of an extremely painful and debilitating nerve condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
an ankle or a broken bone. It can also develop as a complication of surgery or even a needle stick or nerve block. According to RSDSA, the nation’s largest support group and resource for CRPS/RSD, CRPS occurs when the nervous system and the immune system malfunction as they respond to tissue damage from trauma. The nerves misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain. People with CRPS/RSD often hear that they are “crazy” or “it’s all in your head” from friends, family members and even doctors. It is important that the community understand that CRPS/RSD is a legitimate, medically recognized condition and that people with the condition should be treated with compassion and understanding. There is nothing more frustrating for someone who is in horrible, excruciating pain on a regular basis and feels like they are not being taken seriously because people don’t understand the depth of their pain. If you have a friend or family member who has CRPS/RSD,
(CRPS/RSD). The nerve condition is so painful that it has been rated on a scientifically accepted pain scale (the McGill Pain Scale) as more painful than amputation or childbirth. It can be life-changing for the person with CRPS as well as the family as they attempt to cope with the debilitating impact on their loved one. CRPS/RSD is most often caused by some type of trauma, usually to a limb. The trauma may be as minor as a cut on a finger, sprain of
please show compassion and empathy to the plight of that person. Doctors can prescribe medications and other treatments, but it is important for the person to have a strong support group at home and in the community. Eliminating stressors at home can help someone with CRPS/RSD better cope with the pain and concentrate on fighting the condition without worrying that people think they are “crazy.”
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Do You Need a Mental Health Day?
Signs that Say Yes by Nathaniel Fick
We live in a highly competitive and work-driven society. Full-time employed Americans work an average of 47 hours per week—with nearly 4 in 10 saying they work more than 50 hours a week, which is more than other comparable economies. We also have an awful habit of letting our paid vacation days sit unclaimed while we continue to plow ahead into a stack of paperwork in the office. While many people might have jobs that interest them or that they are even passionate about, it does not change the reality that burnout is a real and pressing problem. Mental health days are critical to help you achieve that work-life balance that helps you relax and enjoy your life. If you do not have that important balance, then you will be wasting away your years stuck in an office building. It is your life, no one can enjoy it as much as you can. Stated another way: “If you are not going to enjoy your life, who will?” As a bonus, taking that time to lower your stress level can then help make you a more productive employee. Paying close attention to your body can help you understand your needs. Here are four key signs you should watch out for that definitely tell you that you need to take a day off and let your body recuperate. 14 / LIVING SAFER / VOL 8 ED 3
You find yourself watching the clock at night Interestingly, as you become more stressed and overworked at your job, it becomes harder to sleep at night. Rather than collapsing into your comfortable bed in relief at night, you find yourself staring at your alarm clock as the hours slowly tick forward. This is the stress keeping you awake. It is forcing your mind to race as you think back over the tasks you have done at work and what still needs to be completed. Your brain would rather think about the dry cleaning you forgot to pick up than receiving a few hours of restorative sleep. If you find yourself afflicted with insomnia, it may be time to take a mental health day. Taking a day to relax and let go of all the stress building up in your mind can help you fight off the sleep deprivation and get ready to jump back into your tasks at work.
The coffee does not help your mood anymore We have all said to our families and colleagues,“do not talk to me until I have my coffee” in a desperate attempt to ward off unpleasant encounters. When a person starts to become overworked, however, they might find that the morning cup of coffee is no longer
enough to do the trick. Suddenly, instead of finding their minds restored after the morning caffeine hit, they still find themselves snapping at those around them. Harsh criticism, sarcasm and general moodiness can often start to dominate the people who struggle with exhaustion. Your brain can only manage a certain amount of stress and work before it needs a break. As you approach that point, it is common for people to find themselves on edgeâ€”with everyone around them bearing the brunt of their attitude. If you just do not feel like yourself, it might be time to take a mental health date and truly focus on you.
You cannot find your keys It is 7:45 AM. You are trying desperately to rush out the door, so you grab your jacket, lunch, and bag, but then find yourself searching for your keys. If this happens day after day, it might be time to evaluate the need for a mental health day. Often, as the brain gets overwhelmed, it becomes easier to lose things because you become distracted. This becomes particularly apparent when stress from your job results in you losing quality sleep, making it even
harder to remember where you place important items, such as your keys. Forgetfulness and regularly losing items are important indicators that your mind and body need you to slow down and relax.
You do not remember what it was like to feel the sunshine When was the last time you felt the warmth of the sun on your face? If the most light you see comes from the blinking fluorescent office bulbs in your building, then you need to get out of the office for a day. The body needs fresh air and exercise to function at its peak. If you are not getting any time outside during the day and you are not taking the time to stretch your legs and breathe fresh air, then your body and your health will suffer. Your profession is a means, but it is not an end. It can be your passion, a source of enjoyment, but that does not mean that you should stop taking care of yourself. Life needs to be enjoyed. Not only will taking mental health days help to reduce your stress levels, but it can also make you a better, more creative employee over all. Rather than waiting for your mind to hit its breaking point, schedule time to take the day and spend a few hours for yourself.
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How to Set a Fitness Goal:
BE SMART by Scott Marshall
We all know it: exercise is an essential part of a happy, healthy, well-balanced life. So, why don’t we “just do it?” Many of us, if we start an exercise program at all, fail to make it a part of our lives, and we certainly never do much more than 30 minutes on the treadmill from time to time. A large part of that is that we don’t sit down and give meaning to our workouts. Sure, we all want to be healthy and fit, but that’s too vague to really get you excited about anything. As with anything in life, if you want to be successful in your exercise program, set goals! Since most of us do not invest money in a personal trainer to keep us on track, we need to drive our fitness program ourselves. Having goals can make your program both fun and rewarding, as well as motivating you to get off the couch! The key to setting fitness goals? Be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific rite down your goals, and be specific. It’s easy to say, “I W want to get in shape.” But that means different things to different people. Define what that means to you. Do you want to be able to run a mile in under seven minutes? Do you want to be able to complete a circuit in a specific time? Do you want to lose weight? Write it down! And be specific!
fter you have determined your goal, quantify it. Do you have A a weight loss goal for an upcoming vacation? “I need to lose twenty pounds.” That is a goal that you can measure. Write it down and track it! If you don’t track your progress, you’ll never know if your on the right track.
epending on the size of your goals, you may want to set D short, mid and long term goals. If you say you want to lose twenty pound in a week, that’s probably not going to happen in a healthy way. Having massive goals are great, but you need to set goals that help you see and measure results along
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the way. If you want to run a marathon, but never have, start by mastering the 5K, then the ten mile. Work your way up. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are so far out you lose sight of them along the way.
his is your motivation, your “why?” Why do you want to set T this goal? Do you have a wedding dress you want to look good in? Is your 50th birthday around the corner? Find this motivation and make it happen!
et yourself a time frame for accomplishing your goals and S stick to it. If you don’t set time limits for your goals, they lose meaning. By limiting your time frame, you create a sense of urgency that will help motivate you to keep your exercise program moving.
For those who have never started an exercise program and can’t afford a personal trainer, check out the book, “Power of 10: The Once-a-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution.” This book is a great way to get started, particularly for people who don’t know how to start a fitness plan and are afraid of hurting themselves in the gym. It shows how to track your progress with weight training, and has some great ideas about nutrition. Best of all, it’s less than $20 on Amazon. Remember, always check with your physician before you begin any exercise program, particularly if you’ve never done one before. A final thought: this applies to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 80; you can set fitness goals that change your life and get you on the road to being in the best shape of your life. Your goal may just be to be able to walk a mile without feeling tired, or drop your percentage of body fat. Start small, then expand. No matter where you start, your only limit is yourself. Set fitness goals that will help keep you motivated and on track. Be well and git ‘r dun!
Promises of Extra Protection from High SPFs are Clouding the Truth by Tobi Millrood
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he summer may be over, but the warm days and the sun’s strong rays will last well into the fall. Protection from the sun is still a must. But there are so many choices. Maybe the most tempting choice of all is to just lather up with a high SPF like 90 or 100 and head out for some fall golf and not worry about a thing. And even if you pay a little extra to get the higher protection, it’s worth it right? You get what you pay for, after all? Unfortunately, the considerable weight of research tells us that bigger is not better when it comes to high SPF. There are several issues to consider before you make the leap to get the “extra protection” of high SPF. To understand the value of any SPF, it helps to know the background concerning the risk of exposure to the sun, and the general benefit of sunscreen protection. In the warmth of the glow from the star that heats our earth, the sun actually emits harmful radiation. That radiation is called UV or ultraviolet radiation. It is UV radiation that is most often linked to skin cancers, skin aging and even eye damage. UV radiation is divided into two types: UVB rays and UVA rays. UVB rays are the type that lead to sunburn and play a leading role in non-melanoma skin cancers like squamous cell carcinoma. UVA rays lead to deeper skin damage, suppresses the immune system and is an important link to melanoma. Because UVA rays penetrate deeper, sunscreen provides less of a meaningful barrier to the effects of UVA rays. Therefore, the main ingredients within sunscreen are aimed at blocking the effects of UVB rays. Therefore, generally speaking, SPF (sun protection factor) is really a measurement of protection against the UVB rays causing mostly superficial damage to the skin. In this regard, science shows that some elevation of SPF can make a meaningful difference. For example, an SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB radiation, but SPF 30 blocks nearly 97%. Also, since people rarely apply enough sunscreen, the higher SPF provides some additional margin of safety. Indeed, research has shown that most apply so little that they actually on derive one-third of the labeled value of sunscreen. Well, given all this, it seems why not lather up on the highest SPF possible? Here’s the problem. The benefits above 50 SPF are negligible. Whereas SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, SPF 50 blocks just one percent more, 98. Remember also, that UVA rays cause some of the most lasting and dangerous damage. So applying higher SPFs might block the burn, but they don’t block the real culprit of skin cancer. Indeed, in Europe and Australia, regulatory bodies cap
SPF sunscreens at 50. Here’s another problem associated with high SPFs: they provide a false sense of security. Because they do an effective job at preventing sunburn, people subconsciously begin avoiding sun-smart behaviors like staying in the shade or wearing sun-protective clothing. That means that while you’re taking a long walk on the beach and patting yourself that your SPF 100 prevented any sunburn from showing up, what lies beneath the skin during that time is just a serious concern. But here’s what even scarier about high SPF products—they might not be delivering the sun protection factor that is slapped on the outside of the bottle. For example, when major consumer product manufacturer Procter & Gamble tested a competitor’s SPF 100 product at five different labs, the results varied between SPF 37 and SPF 75. P&G therefore concluded that a very small difference in testing conditions can have a dramatic influence on the calculated SPF. In fact, a 1.7% change in light transmission yields a SPF measurement of 37 instead of 100. Notwithstanding that it is a competitive environment, P&G wrote to the FDA, warning that the intense UV light used in laboratory SPF tests are different than the conditions experienced in the real world, and of “dubious value.” They concluded that SPF values should be capped at 50+ because the current system is “at best, misleading to consumers” and “may inappropriately influence their purchase decision” (P&G 2011). Even the FDA chimed in, stating that SPF higher than 50 is “inherently misleading” (FDA 2007). ■ Ideal SPF range
So what is a good guideline approach for buying sun protection. First, go no lower than SPF 15 and no higher than SPF 50. Second, buy yourself some UVA ray protection. These can be part of the ingredients of a multi-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB, or you can buy them separately under the names zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone. The sun is still calling. Enjoy it, but live safer and protect yourself the right way.
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Does Dry Shampoo Really Cause Balding? by Allyson Freeland
here comes a time in every personâ€™s life where the need for 15 extra minutes of sleep grossly outweighs the desire to look presentable. Luckily, our quick paced and convenience prone world has created plenty of gadgets and products to allow the overworked, stressed out, and stretched thin the luxury of 15 extra zzzs. Between one cup coffee makers, dry shampoo, Bluetooth trackers for pesky keys and bags, and even five-minute breakfast sandwich makers, our mornings can be
condensed into 20 minutes of rush. But at what price? For those with long or oily hair, dry shampoo is a godsend. Upon waking up with greasy locks and no time to wash them, three spritzes of the magical elixir and one quick brush through, will make hair look clean and oil free. However, in the past few months reports have surfaced about dry shampoo damaging hair and causing bald spots to those who use it. Before going into a full panic, hereâ€™s what the experts are saying. @LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 19
Dry shampoo is not shampoo.
Use it sparingly.
Shampoo is a cleanser for the hair. It foams, it cleans out debris and dead skin cells, and lubricates hair follicles. Dry shampoo however, is a mix of dry powders whose aim is simply to absorb oil. Instead of cleaning, it often causes hair to have a dull appearance and a rough texture. While the appearance is misleading, your hair is not clean after using the dry shampoo. Dr. Carolyn Goh, the assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says that, “Using [dry shampoo] may cause people not to wash their scalp and remove oil and build up. Maybe not every day, but you want to do some type of regular washing of scalp and hair.”
Dry shampoo is not a solution, merely a Band-Aid for greasy hair. Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist (hair and scalp doctor) at Philip Kingsley explains, “Noticeable hair breakage may occur if someone roughly works dry shampoo throughout their hair on a consistent basis. This may be especially noticeable around the temples and front hairline where strands are weaker and the scalp tends to be rubbed more, risking hair being pulled out from their follicles.” As dry shampoo is merely an oil absorber, when overused it can cause a multitude of issues for your scalp. Much like hairspray, dry shampoo can cause your hair to stick to your scalp and tangle. This may cause healthy hair to be pulled out when brushed. If used consistently, the powder can cause buildup along your scalp, irritating the skin and not allowing your hair to breathe. This may cause your hair to weaken and break more easily.
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Understand hair loss.
If you begin to notice your hair thinning, before pitching all those cans of dry shampoo, try to figure out what the cause may be. First, determine if your hair is actually thinning. People on average shed 80 to 100 strands of hair a day naturally. If you haven’t brushed or washed your hair in a few days, it’ll seem like more strands are being shed. If you notice true thinning know that often, hair can fall out due to stress, a condition known as “telogen effluvium”. This condition is temporary and usually occurs after a major change or “shock” to your system. This “shock” could be anything from childbirth to a crash diet causing rapid weight loss. Or you could have developed some contact dermatitis, a slight skin allergy resulting from exposure to certain chemicals or fragrances in hair and skin products. There are plenty of ingredients in products that can cause build up and irritations and Dr. Goh explains, “Using dry shampoo instead of washing the scalp could contribute to the problem.” So while dry shampoo may not be the cause of the hair thinning, it could exacerbate the condition. Verdict? Dry shampoo is best used in moderation. Spraying your hair isn’t going to make it fall out unless you’re using it every day in lieu of washing your hair. If you have extremely thin hair that is prone to becoming oily, spray away. Just be sure to wash your hair more frequently to stop any long-term build up. As in all things, something that is too good to be true, just might be. So while we lament the loss of some of our favorite time savers, in the end, “Ask not what your hair can do for you, but what you can do for your hair.”
Money Mistakes That Keep You in Debt A first-person account by Danny Feldman
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here are all kinds of lists of common money mistakes that people often make. Mistakes that keep them in debt or, at the least, keep them from accumulating as much money as they otherwise would have. Here is my list—I’m hoping my kids (and wife) read this.
or wine, the $1,000 suit—before you buy it, ask yourself if you really can afford it. Obviously, some people can, but if you aren’t putting away money—if you are spending and you don’t have an emergency fund (enough cash saved that you can comfortably live on for six months or so)—then you really probably cannot afford whatever it is that you are considering buying.
Living Too Large – Many types of common mistakes fall under this category. But, the bottom line is that if you live beyond your means, then you are always going to be in debt, no matter how much money you make. When I was a young lawyer, an older lawyer told me something which has always stuck with me. Basically, he said this: “you know what the difference is between young lawyers making what you make (which, best as I recall, was somewhere between $50,000-$75,000 at the time) and the partners (who were making $300,000 plus)? Not much – they’ve got a bigger house, a nicer car and a place at the lake, but they’ve also got bigger mortgage notes, bigger car notes, private school tuitions and private club dues. Basically, they are living paycheck to paycheck, just like you, only their paycheck is bigger and their debt is bigger. If they quit working, they’d sink just as fast as you would.” What he told me stuck with me because it’s just as true today as it was when he told me. As incredible as it is, I’ve seen people making very substantial six-figure and even seven-figure salaries, who really do live paycheck to paycheck. They have a lot of “stuff” but that’s about it. So, whether it’s the 6,000-square-foot home, the new car or boat, the vacation home, the $250 bottle of Scotch
Not Having a Budget – This mistake goes hand-in-hand with the first. If you don’t have a budget, then how can you know what you can afford? And, the answer is that you cannot. In any budget, there are certain items which absolutely must be paid—you need a roof over your head, food on the table, in the south A/C in the summer and in the north, heat in the winter. So, there has to be room for these items. And, after that, it is important that you pay yourself. What does this mean? This means that from every paycheck or bonus, you set aside a certain percentage for savings. First, you build up and maintain your emergency fund. Then you save as much as you can. If your employer has a 401(k) savings plan, you participate and you invest at least enough money to take full advantage of an employer match. Money saved in your 20s and 30s and invested appropriately grows dramatically over the decades. So, having a budget and making sure that you are saving and investing is even more important when you are first getting started because by the time you retire (say 65) what you saved when you are 25 will be worth much more than what you saved when you are 50.
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Spending on and Carrying Credit Card Debt – Having and using a credit card is fine. Indeed, when you are young, appropriate use of a credit card will help you to establish a good credit rating. But, be sure to pay your credit card off in full each month. And, realize that spending with a credit card is really spending. When I was younger, I played tennis with a group of friends every Wednesday night and then we’d go drink a couple of beers. Occasionally, I did not have cash, so I’d put the group’s bar tab on my card. Each person would pay me and like magic, I’d collect $30 in cash and feel like I’d bought everyone’s drinks. Of course, there would be a $40 charge on my card which had to be paid. The point is that spending on a credit card can feel painless, but it is spending and it will have to be paid. And, as everyone knows, interest on credit cards is ridiculously high, often running between 15-20%. So, not only do you have to pay off the price of the item, if you don’t pay the balance in full, you will be paying a very high rate of interest to boot. Do this for a while and you will find that your credit card debt has grown significantly. And, remember, if you do have high credit card debt and you pay it off that your no risk rate of return is equal to that ridiculously high interest rate you have on the card. Where else can you earn a 19% risk free return on investment? This alone ought to be enough incentive for you to get rid of your credit card debt.
The Little Things Add Up – Going out to eat every day, your Starbucks ritual, signing up for magazine or newspaper subscriptions, exercise club memberships, cellphone usage (especially exceeding data allowances), new clothes, etc. Whatever it is, all these things add up. I really, really enjoy drinking coffee in the morning. But, for many years, I refused to pay $2 (the good old days) for a cup of coffee. In fact, it was the old Al Franken Saturday
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Night Live skit where Al would look in the mirror and psyche himself up by saying, “you are good enough; people like you”, etc. before I finally convinced myself that I was worth a cup of Starbucks coffee. So, I buy a cup of coffee, probably five mornings a week. With tax and tip, its probably $3 a morning or $15/week—which works out to $780/year. Throw in the occasional breakfast sandwich and my coffee habit is pushing $1,000/year. Which, still may not seem like much, but combine it with all of the other little things in our lives which we spend on—cellphones, newspaper/magazine subscriptions, eating out, clothes, “stuff” whatever and it adds up pretty quickly. Be cognizant. Know what you are spending on. Make a conscious decision that this is how you want to spend your money. Otherwise, your spending will be out of control and you won’t even know it.
Don’t Be in Denial Which brings me to the final mistake. When people know things aren’t right, they tend to ignore or even deny their existence. As a partner in a law firm, I take a draw. In other words, my taxes do not come out of each paycheck; I pay them quarterly. So, I have got to set aside a large percentage of my draw (25-30%) to pay taxes. Same is true for any bonus. If I don’t do this then at the end of the year there is going to be a tax bill due to the IRS and no amount of denying it is going to change the fact that I have to pay it, or else. The sad fact of the matter is that just because you quit opening bills does not mean that you don’t have to pay them, or deal with the consequences of not paying them. So, one can go on forever regarding money mistakes. But, hopefully, just eliminating the 5 above will put you on the right track in not getting into, or trying to get out of, debt.
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is Good for the Soul by Florence Murray olunteer work is designed to benefit a particular community or area. However, as research has shown the benefits go well beyond the projects and people that are outwardly being helped. The act of performing community service has both emotional and psychological benefits for the people who give of their time. Donating time and effort to a worthy cause increases the amount of endorphins released by the brain and other parts of the body. And in turn, endorphins can reduce stress and promote positive feelings, leading to reduced pain and increased longevity. So, if you are looking for a quick endorphin fix, here are a few suggestions for small projects that make it easy to give of yourself:
»» Speak for an hour or less before groups about the importance of providing one’s full attention to the road. Trial attorney, Joel Feldman has developed a very powerful presentation that is easy to deliver called End Distracted Driving. This community service is particularly good for the soul because the impact is immediate and the groups to which the presentation is given are easily influenced—typically high school and grade school students. Knowing you can make a difference in saving even one life is a very powerful role to play in your community and is quite the endorphin producing activity. For more information about how to get involved and donate an hour or two of your time to this worthy cause, visit www.EndDD.org. »» Read or help children with homework at a local Boys & Girls Club. These clubs are always looking for volunteers to give even an hour or two helping children with homework, or playing board games, basketball and kickball with children of all ages, from kindergartners to teenagers. For more information about how to give of yourself to a Boys & Girls Club visit www.bcga.org. »» Volunteer a few hours at a local Habitat for Humanity work site. There are so many different kinds of opportunities available in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, from the very physical at home sites to organizing donations at a ReStore. You can apply skills or specialized knowledge that you may already have or learn something entirely new.
Depending on the work site and the stage of construction the house is in when you volunteer, you might be painting walls, shingling the roof, framing the house, or simply providing food to the workers. It all depends on the amount of time you have to give and what you are comfortable doing. For more information about how to get give of your time to Habitat for Humanity or to find a work site near you visit www.habitat.org. »» Provide supplies to a local food pantry or shelter. Food pantries and shelters are always accepting donations for those in need. In most areas, you can simply call 2-1-1 to get the names of local food pantries and shelters and to find out what they need. Volunteering one’s services in the community creates a healthier attitude about a person’s role in society. It also creates a broader understanding of a person’s impact on others and can help one learn to interact with people of all different cultures and backgrounds. And it certainly helps to provide a sense of purpose. Research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service has established that there are actual health benefits to volunteering: “Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.” Depending on the type of service chosen, a volunteer can also gain or strengthen valuable life skills. For example, donating time to speak about ending distracted driving can improve public speaking skills. Volunteering to help children with homework can improve problem-solving abilities, whereas practical skills using tools can be gained by volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity site while helping to build homes for families in need. In turn, gaining new skills and strengthening abilities can boost confidence and instill a sense of pride in oneself. Of course, there are many more ways to participate in community service than those listed above, and sometimes one needs to try many types of projects before finding one that really fits. Although endorphins are not addictive, you may just find that once you get started, you want to do more.
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Do You Have Social Anxiety? by Hillary Rinehardt
ou can present a speech with ease and comfort in front of 200 colleagues. You can defend your client in front of a zealous prosecutor and a harsh judge and you are enjoying the challenge. But when you walk into a dinner party for 10 you feel…terrified. What gives? The fear of social situations is real and can present as a fear of being “looked at,” being criticized, not feeling “good enough;” it is an all-consuming fear. And for those who live with this fear, it can be debilitating. Hence, the diagnosis of Social Anxiety Disorder.
we may think the exceptionally bright attorney simply can’t feel insecure with public speaking when he speaks eloquently and with ease in front of appeals’ court judges. We would be wrong. It is often difficult for others to understand the intensity of social anxiety for those struggling with it. Because others find it hard to understand, those with social anxiety are likely to feel isolated and alone. Symptoms of social anxiety may be decreased feelings of well being and quality of life, an impeding of leisure activities,
A person might be suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder if the person almost always has fear or anxiety about social situations, and when the person avoids social situations whenever possible, or tolerates social situations by enduring intense fear or anxiety. Someone with social anxiety avoids social situations because they are afraid of being negatively judged, unaccepted, “not liked,” rejected. This is not at all due to not wanting to be social. On the contrary, those with social anxiety may feel especially lonely, sad, and defeated, because they want desperately to be with others, but they do not feel able to put themselves out there. Social anxiety—the fear of being judged and/or rejected by peers –is not based on what is actual but rather, what is our perception. Someone living with social anxiety may feel very misunderstood because on the outside, they may present as strong, confident and friendly, while on the inside, they may struggle with intense fear. We think the beautiful anchorwoman simply can’t be “afraid” of going to a party and feeling unworthy. She must just not want to go. Or
generalized avoidance, a feeling of being “down” on yourself/low self-concept. Social anxiety can also lead to physical symptoms such as feeling “shaky,” feeling like you are having trouble breathing, feeling stomach sick, turning red or blushing, feeling like you are “having a panic attack”. Whether you have social anxiety or care about someone struggling with the disorder, it is important:
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To understand that social anxiety is a real disorder. For those who love someone struggling with social anxiety, to understand that an individual with social anxiety wants more than anything to be able to participate in social settings. Their avoidance is due to fear, not due to “being negative,” pushing people away, etc. To understand that those with social anxiety are not just overly shy. Yes, people with social anxiety may indeed BE shy. But they also may not be.
To understand that social anxiety likely will lead to avoidance of social situations which can bring about tremendous loneliness. We may choose to be alone, but those with social anxiety, do not choose to be lonely. They feel overwhelmed by their fears and therefore, they avoid social situations.
So, what to do?
Get appropriate treatment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, whereby a psychotherapist helps a client challenge distorted thoughts/perceptions so that they can then change future behaviors is particularly effective in dealing with social anxiety.
A good therapy program will supply specific strategies to
practice so that the person can begin to accept rational thoughts, beliefs, emotions and perceptions.
Practice, practice, practice the techniques learned in therapy so they become habitual and automatic.
Find a social anxiety therapy support group—while individual appointments are great, group therapy is needed to help people make behavioral progress.
For some it may be helpful to see a psychiatrist to discuss whether medication may be indicated.
Learn meditation or try yoga. By learning mindfulness one can to can “turn down the volume” by employing focused breathing to relax the mind.
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Trash Travels by Christina Arenas
So you and a couple of friends are having a picnic at the park listening to live music and maybe even play a game of Frisbee. It truly is a beautiful day. However, when it is time to pack up, one of your friends accidentally drops an empty plastic bag, the wind catches it and it flies away. No one chases after the bag because it is just one bag, not a big deal. Now imagine this same scenario happening all over the globe, just one piece of litter not being properly disposed of. The United States alone is home to over 320 million people. That is a lot of trash and the ugly truth is trash travels. Land-based trash that is disposed of improperly can enter freshwater and coastal ecosystems via a number of pathways including storm water discharge. Other litter may originate from beach visitors, motorists, pedestrians, and poor waste management practices. Commonly held estimates suggest that approximately 80% of litter and trash in the ocean and coastal environments is due to land-based sources. When land-based litter and trash enter U.S. waters, it becomes aquatic trash. Examples of aquatic trash from land-based sources can include, but are not limited to, items such as food wrappers and containers; cigarettes and filters; single-use plastic bags; beverage containers; singleuse service ware; straws and stirrers; tires; and garbage bags filled with household trash. In contrast to marine debris, or ocean-based sources of trash (such as commercial fishing vessels, cargo ships, pleasure cruise ships), aquatic trash derived from land based sources can be reduced and prevented by actions and initiatives carried out by public and private stakeholders. The ever-increasing volume of trash, litter, and debris entering inland watersheds, coastal waters, and oceans creates a water quality and habitat challenge that warrants attention. Litter and
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trash that enters these environments can cause aesthetic blight, flooding, economic impacts, water quality issues, and possible human health risks. Only focusing cleanup strategies to remove litter and debris from roadways can be viewed as the equivalent of putting a bandage on a scab, it does not address the issue of how to prevent the problem from happening. The most logical approach to managing runoff pollution is to educate the community by collaborative methods and activities. Thousands of people visit and/or relocate to coastal communities every year to enjoy the many water recreational amenities and activities therefore it is important to educate residents and visitors about how pollution entering the waterways plays a huge role in the economy by way of tourism, employment, and real estate. How can you help be a part of the solution? Join a cleanup effort in your community, Keep America Beautiful has a network of 600 affiliates that host cleanup and beautification projects throughout the year. However most importantly it is critical to make sure you always put waste in its place.
Tips: Donâ€™t litter. Always put waste in its place. emove litter, grass clippings, leaves and debris before it R enters roadside storm drains. Pick up after your pet. Limit fertilizer and pesticide use. Participate in local cleanup events (www.KAB.org)
FYI, Your Water Bottle is Gross by Stephanie Andre ad news for those who carry a reusable water bottle everywhere they go. While you should be congratulated for your dedication to the environment and hydration, you may want to also consider the latest studies that suggest you’re carrying around the same amount of bacteria as a toilet. Treadmillreviews.net recently swabbed the lids of a dozen reusable water bottles used by athletes, then sent the samples to a lab. And the facts don’t lie: The average water bottle contains nearly 314,000 CFU (colony-forming units) of bacteria. To put that in perspective, the average pet toy has approx. 3,000 CFU. In fact, the act of quenching your thirst while you exercise could potentially make you sick. Surprisingly, the type of water bottle had an effect on the number of bacteria it harbored. Ones with a slide-top were by far the worst offenders, with close to a million CFU. Squeeze-tops and screw-tops hovered between 159,000–161,000 CFU. And the best and “cleanest” choice was the straw-top. But less bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean “better.” While half the bacteria on the slide-top bottles were considered the “bad” kind that can cause infections of the skin, lungs, and blood—not to
mention resist antibiotics—99% of the germs found on squeezetop bottles were disgusting. (And 98% of the screw-tops were that nasty as well.) So what should you do? Studies suggest the following:
»» Go for a straw-top bottle —both for the low prevalence of bacteria and the lack of harmful germs. It’s less convenient, but not as gross.
»» Stainless steel over plastic. Yes, they’re heavier, but also cleaner. Stainless steel is naturally antibacterial.
»» Keep your bottles clean. If you have to use plastic, please hand wash—frequently. Also, use a bottle brush to get the tough to reach places. Stainless steel vessels can get a regular run-through in the dishwasher. If you’re still noticing a strange taste or odor, try adding one teaspoon of bleach and one teaspoon of baking soda to the bottle, fill it with water, and let sit overnight. Rinse it out the next day and let it air dry. Germs be gone. At least for a minute. And finally, get rid of those half-empty bottles! You’re basically just turning your bottle into a germ incubator, which is neither tasty nor refreshing.
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by Bryan Silver
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In 2008, a Boulder, Colo. entrepreneur named Scott Tibbits was to meet with the vice president of an engineering firm. Tibbits arrived to the Denver office ready to discuss a potential project, but the engineer never made it. Tibbits later learned that the man, a husband and father of two, was killed just hours before their appointment when a 16-yearold driver ran a red light while distracted by his phone. The event hit home with Tibbits as he himself is a father of two children. He wondered how something so preventable could have happened? Thus began an ongoing journey to do what seemed so obviously necessary to Tibbits; to keep drivers from being distracted by their phones while behind the wheel—something he is close to achieving with his new cloud-based device that easily installs into almost every car made since 1996. Of course, at the time Tibbits first embarked on his eight-year mission, the threat was that of drivers texting while driving. At the time, it was thought that stopping or at least curtailing the trend simply required a higher level of awareness—similar to anti-drunk-driving campaigns of the ’80s and ’90s. In support of this, numerous grassroots movements like FADD (Families Against Distracted Driving) and corporate-sponsored efforts, such as AT&T’s It Can Wait Campaign, emerged across the nation, intent on reversing the habit of sending and receiving texts from one’s phone while driving.
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Now though, the problem has progressed beyond the attention-diverting task of texting, as today’s smartphones offer even more tempting actions that can draw a driver’s focus from the road for even longer periods of time. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and now even games such as Pokémon Go! are disrupting
LATEST TECHNOLOGIES TAKE DRIVING DISTRACTIONS TO NEW LEVEL While distracted driving is not a new problem, it’s one that has grown to frightening proportions in recent years—distraction.gov cites a staggering 3,129 people killed by distracted driving in 2014 alone. So what is fueling this recent rise in preoccupied people getting behind the wheel of their automobiles? Many point the proverbial finger at behind-the-wheel use of phone apps such as Snapchat and Pokémon Go. Recently, Snapchat has added a mph filter to their wildly popular app—a feature that allows users to display their speed in miles per hour at the time of posting. While explanations might vary as to the appeal of this functionality, the dangers are all too apparent. Then there is Pokémon Go, a virtual realitybased app that plays off the popularity of a set of games from the 90s. Now, as many fans reach driving age, this new app encourages a frenetic, farflung search for these fantasy-based characters in the real world—promoting players to chase down their targets while driving. Both of these smartphone apps, as well as others, encourage inappropriate action while driving, and it seems little good will come of their use in this way. The jury is still out in regards to accountability, but tragic incidents are already beginning to amass.
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the concentration of drivers. So, as technology advances, the problem seems to concurrently grow— making it an ideal issue to be addressed with a technological solution, according to Tibbitts. “It’s like a disease AND a vaccine,” states Tibbitts when describing the role of technology.
A quick glance at some of the headlines over the past few months:
JULY 2016 —The driver of a crashed car in Auburn, NY, admitted to police that he was distracted by Pokémon Go before running off the road and striking a tree.
AUGUST 2016 —A man was arrested in the
Japanese city of Tokushima after striking and killing a 72-year-old pedestrian. He claimed Pokémon Go as the reason he lost sight of the road.
SEPTEMBER 2015 —A young woman
allegedly accelerated her father’s Mercedes over 100 mph through an outlying suburb of Atlanta while using the Snapchat filter before crashing head on into another vehicle.
CALIFORNIA BAN—State legislators have proposed to specifically add Pokémon Go language to an already existing ban on texting and driving. Gov. Jerry Brown is set to rule on the bill this fall.
While his invention is currently being tested by one of the major cellphone carriers in the U.S. (Tibbitts’ device differs from a handful of available safe-driving apps in that it actually communicates with the phone subscriber’s carrier—stopping incoming texts and Internet access by non-essential apps), it has yet to be approved for consumer use. So even though the concept is simple—you don’t receive any texts, emails or Internet connectivity while your car is running (phone calls and data for map and music streaming apps still make their way through)—the politics of getting all major carriers to participate can be complicated. This might be the solution in the near future, but what can be done now about this ever-expanding threat that’s
rolling along our roadways? And before you discount the risk of these new technologies, consider the results of an ongoing seven-year survey conducted by State Farm Insurance. Their data shows that in 2009, 31% of drivers texted while driving and 13% admitted to accessing the Internet while behind the wheel. These numbers alone are shocking, but when compared to the same survey conducted in 2015, the emerging trend is disturbing— while texting stayed about the same at 36%, accessing the Internet while driving significantly jumped to 29% of drivers admitted to doing so. If this continues, more and more drivers will be trading in one form of distraction for an even deadlier one.
A LOOK AT WHO IS USING SMARTPHONES WHILE DRIVING.
TALKING ON PHONE WHILE DRIVING
ACCESSING THE INTERNET WHILE DRIVING
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
65% 51% 31%
AGES 18-29 2011
Source: State Farm Insurance study on distracted driving
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In order to understand why these new threats are exponentially more menacing than anything we’ve faced in the past, it’s important to realize the fundamental differences between that what we know and these new challenges: while driving under the influence of alcohol, emotional stress or while talking on the phone—you’re dealing with something that impairs your ability to drive rather than a complete disruption as posed by many of these new hazards. Put another way; think of your cognitive ability to process and react to data while driving as a looping system that continually “motors” along as you drive—you see debris in the road, you brake; you feel your tires skid, you lessen your turn; etc.—and any impairment can slow down the RPM of that engine and create a dangerous situation of delayed reactions. But new data from the University of Houston shows that complex interaction with a smartphone while driving actually breaks that looping process as you move on to the new task
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of texting, reading a tweet, selecting the next song in a playlist, etc.—essentially “shutting down” the driver-process engine completely until the brain is done with the distracting task. Even when the driver separates from the smartphone screen, he or she will need to “restart” the loop and get it back up to speed before it’s operating as efficiently as possible. While all this happens in fractions of a second, the time span required to break away, shut down, restart and accelerate the process is an unprecedented period in the world of distracted driving. The consequences of such an extended separation brings to mind the old adage “keep your eye on the ball”—a concept derived from numerous sports where being aware of where the ball is at all times greatly increases your chance of successfully interacting with that ball, whether it’s returning a serve across the net, driving straight down the fairway or catching a pop fly to centerfield. The message being that if you’re not focused, your success rate will surely falter.
TAKING THINGS TO A NEW LEVEL Researchers at the University of Houston (UH) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) claim that such distractions also shut down our “sixth sense”—something that has allowed us to get away with other forms of distracted driving that don’t break the loop, including listening to the radio, sipping off that large gas station drink or talking to a passenger. During their study on distracted driving, 59 volunteers were asked to virtually “drive” the same road scenario on a high-tech simulator under three different states of distraction—absentminded, emotional and texting. After establishing a baseline of driver reactions with no distraction at all, researchers then had the participants repeat the virtual trip while being asked to complete math and other cognitive exercises to induce absentminded driving, to answer emotionally charged questions, such as “have you ever lied on a resume?” to simulate driving while overly emotional, as well as driving while composing and sending a text. When comparing the results, researchers found that in all states of distraction, the driver’s movements became “jittery” and slightly erratic. Researchers point to an area of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as the cause of these jitters, and they claim that these quick, jerky actions are actually a
good thing. The way it works is that, in times of conflict, the ACC intervenes as an error corrector of sorts. So, when the desire to talk to a passenger in the car or change the radio station “conflicts” with the prime directive of operating a vehicle, the ACC automatically engages—making a countermotion if the driver begins to wander out of the lane as a way of keeping the automobile on course. The problem is that the ACC needs input from the eyes and from the hands to make proper corrections. When we text or engage in other smartphone-focused tasks while driving, we briefly divert the eyes and at least one hand from an established eye-hand coordination loop. Regardless of how short a period we do this for, the ACC is denied information and cannot autocorrect—potentially resulting in disaster. “The driver’s mind can wander and his or her feelings may boil, but a sixth sense keeps a person safe—at least in terms of veering off course,” says researcher Ioannis Pavlidis. “What makes texting so dangerous is that it wreaks havoc into this sixth sense. Self-driving cars may bypass this and other problems, but the moral of the story is that humans have their own auto systems that work wonders, until they break.”
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So why is it that actions, which no one would ever consider safe, continue to grow in prevalence across a wide swath of driving-age individuals? Many point to the psychology involved as the driver. Tibbits likens it to having an open bag of potato chips in the car with you—a constant temptation that’s hard to resist. David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry for the University of Connecticut School of
So, while dopamine causes us to crave the reward of reading that text or catching the latest update on social media, it also takes over and bypasses the prefrontal cortex in our brain—the area where most of our judgment and reasoning takes place. As with any addictive trait, it’s a volatile mix of repetitive behavior that defies restraint—making it extremely difficult to
Medicine, says it has to do with compulsion and how our brain instinctively responds to those pings emanating from our smartphones. Greenfield further explains that, like all addictive behaviors, science points the finger at dopamine. While our brains depend on a myriad of chemicals to function, it’s dopamine in particular that seems to always be at the source of everything from gambling to binge eating. It powers a Pavlovian circuit of arousal and reward that is difficult to circumvent.
combat. Making matters worse, smartphone addiction could surpass other obsessions as we are seeing a new generation fall victim at an extremely young age—one where they have not been sufficiently warned before adopting the habit (as with alcohol and drug abuse, for example) as well as not have the maturity to know when to say “when.”
THE YOUNGER GENERATION’S LOVE FOR THE NEXT GEN OF APPS A new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance puts many of our fears into perspective—texting and driving is no longer the top threat to teens as they’ve progressed to other inappropriate phone actions while buckled into the driver’s seat. Echoing the study conducted by State Farm, the Liberty Mutual data shows that occurrences of teen texting behind the wheel is going down, but using phone apps while operating an automobile is going up. In fact, two out of three teens now admit to using phone apps or games while driving, compared to only 27% of teens saying they will text and drive on occasion. Unfortunately, such
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information doesn’t exactly pinpoint the problem. Are “Don’t Text and Drive” movements gaining traction with teens only to have kids not associating other phone activities as the same level of danger, or are such marketing efforts ineffective in changing the views of today’s youth? Are the numbers merely showing a shift to the latest technology or trend—making it that much harder to keep up with, let alone curtail such threats moving forward? Some believe that continually trying to address specific threats in a reactionary manner is not the answer—that the solution needs to stem from adults leading by example.
SENDING A MESSAGE BY EXAMPLE When it comes to driving distracted or fostering an addiction to their smartphones, it’s not just teens and young adults. According to a poll conducted for Common Sense Media, 56% of parents admitted checking their phones while driving, and, what’s worse, 51% of teens say they’ve witnessed their parents using a smartphone while driving. Dispina Stavrinos, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s distracted driving research lab, says that’s not a good thing when half of parents are participating in bad behavior in front of their children. “That’s not really helping for where we’re trying to get in terms of shifting the societal norms,” continues Stavrinos. She also points out that teens will quickly interpret the message as, “If Mom and Dad are doing it, then hey, it must be OK.” Greenfield notes that when talking to teens about overusing technology, they are quick to reference their parents’ use of technology. Greenfield states that, “If you want your child or adolescent or young adult to not use the technology, you have to model it for them.” Ultimately, Greenfield says, "They will mimic what you're doing."
3 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO STOP DISTRACTED DRIVING TALK TO YOUR KIDS Convey the seriousness of this responsibility by discussing what it means to be a safe driver and setting ground rules for when your teen is behind the wheel.
MAKE A FAMILY PLEDGE Set a positive example for your kids by having every member of your family commit to driving distraction-free—try pledging to always put your phone in the glove compartment.
KNOW THE LAW Many states have laws that include cell phone and texting bans for young drivers. Remind your teen that there could be serious consequences, such as a suspended license. Source: distraction.gov
“SO IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD OR ADOLESCENT OR YOUNG ADULT TO NOT USE THE TECHNOLOGY, YOU HAVE TO MODEL IT FOR THEM.” —David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry for the University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Joel Feldman, founder of the non-profit organization End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org), agrees with this view. “When speaking at schools about the dangers of distracted driving,” says Feldman, “one of the first things I say to the kids is, ‘You don’t have to drive like your moms and dads.’” Feldman expands on this by saying, “These kids know what distracted driving is and why it’s bad. Parents and teachers are also the first to admit that they’re being bad role models. If we can educate these kids differently, and give them positive reinforcement when they change the behavior—we might have a chance.” No stranger to the distracted driving epidemic, Feldman has been battling this hazardous mindset ever since his daughter, Casey Feldman, was killed in 2009 by a distracted driver. In response, he and his wife, Dianne Anderson, dedicated www.EndDD.org to preserving life and promoting driver safety through advocacy, education and action—in
honor of all families who have lost, or come dangerously close to losing, a loved one to distracted driving. So is this enough? Can we successfully reshape the behaviors of a generation? It might actually be the only way to accomplish this task as new and even more addictive enticements get into the hands of young drivers via their smartphones. If we continually wait for the next driving dilemma to surface before addressing it, we need to accept that we will always be lagging behind and problems will persist. If we truly want to address accountability and change behaviors, we need to attack the issue at its source. We all must share the roads, thus we need to all share the responsibility in establishing proper conduct for those who wish to operate a motor vehicle. Ultimately, we need to instill upon drivers, young or old, what is acceptable in our society and what is definitely not.
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Dealing with the
‘Nut-free’ Table by Anthony Leone
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magine this. It is a few nights before Halloween, and your 3-year old girl eats two Reece’s Pieces for the first time. She loves them! A halfhour later she is in the bath and starts to itch. She starts to get red. Hives start to form from head to toe. She is having an allergic reaction to peanuts. You immediately give her Benadryl. You get in the car and rush her to the local children’s hospital. Thankfully, the Benadryl stops the reaction, and there is no anaphylaxis shock. The first thing you learn when you get home from the hospital that night is that peanuts and tree nuts are ubiquitous in food products. There are countless foods in your kitchen cabinets that you do not even think of that either contain or are manufactured in a facility that contain peanuts or tree nuts. The cupboard is cleared. This is our story, not unlike the story of many families who encounter a deadly food allergy reaction. From then on, the little one carries Benadryl and an Epi-pen at all times. She learns to tell every food server, “I have a nut allergy.” Now imagine this. A few years later, your little girl enters the first grade. It’s her first time in the big elementary school, and she is so excited. She is excited to have lunch with her two friends. She walks in eager to sit and have lunch together, but then something happens. The school lunch monitor ushers her off to the “nut-free” table. Don’t worry, the lunch monitor says, any of your friends without peanuts can join you at the “nut free” table. It’s the first day of school, though, and her friends both have PB&J with the crust cut off. She walks to the “nut free” table with a tear in her eye as her she watches her two best friends laugh and eat lunch. She feels lonely. She is isolated. She is segregated from her friends solely because of her food allergy. The “nut-free” table is a frequently used solution to allow kids with peanut or tree nut allergies to eat safely in many public schools. In fact, it may be the safest practice currently implemented for kids with peanut/tree not allergies to eat lunch at school. This now regularly accepted practice does have drawbacks. The effect of the “nut free” table is to isolate and segregate kids with allergies. Let’s look at it from the child’s perspective. The “nut free” table isolates. It segregates kids who are different. Kids do not choose to have allergies. This can increase self-consciousness and stifle selfconfidence. It invites bullying. There may be alternatives to promote safety and inclusion. One option is to have “nut friendly” tables in schools. Under this
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procedure, kids will be asked to bring only peanut/tree nut free food to school. If kids without allergies choose to bring food with peanuts/tree nuts to school, they will sit at a designated “nut friendly table.” This is possible with education, understanding, and awareness. Let’s start with awareness. Food allergies are not a joke. They can kill, and can kill fast. It is estimated that 15 million Americans have food allergies. Food allergies affect approximately 1 in 13 kids. Studies show that food allergies are on the rise. A 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report notes a 50% increase in food allergies among children between 1997 and 2011. Food allergies send someone to the emergency room every 3 minutes, accounting for more then 200,000 emergency room visits per year. The severity of the allergy and reaction can vary. The most severe reaction, anaphylaxis shock requires the administration of epinephrine. Education is key. Federal law requires the eight top food allergens-milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans-to be marked on all food labels. We all need an understanding about the choices and consequences of those with and without food allergies. Simply stated, kids without allergies have unrestricted food choices. Kids with food allergies have life and death choices about the foods they eat. If parents choose not to send kids without food allergies to school with peanut/tree nut allergies products, then child safety is increased, and schools have more options to have allergy kids integrated into the school cafeteria. This does require a conscious effort by all parents to read food labels, but more manufacturers than not make this disclosure clear on ingredient lists. One point needs to be clear. Nut-free school cafeterias are likely not feasible. Some kids may truly need the protein and other nutritional benefits that come with peanut/tree nut products from time to time as part of daily lunches. Other families may be unwilling or unable to be attentive to sending their kids to school with nut free food. That aside, even with the best intentions, a completely nut free school environment is likely unrealistic given the prevalence of peanut and tree nut products in foods. Let’s work together to make our school cafeterias safe and inclusive for all students with food allergies. We can make our school cafeterias place where all students, regardless of food allergies to eat and enjoy with their friends and classmates. An understanding, aware, and educated community is the first step in this direction.
Could You Be
Addicted to Food? by Lily Grace We all know about addictions to drugs and alcohol. But, like many other things, it can also come in different forms—including food, explained as an excessive behavior (compulsive eating). While there are different schools of thought and the scientific literature in the area of food addiction is still in the beginning stages, many experts believe that addiction to food really isn’t about the food. Foods themselves do not have addictive properties. Therefore, this condition is more about a mental addiction or using food as a
Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food. In traditional 12-step addiction-based recovery models, addicts are challenged to remain abstinent for healing. However, with food addiction, one can’t simply abstain by not eating, as food is essential to life. Thus someone suffering with food addiction must learn how to eat properly again by establishing a healthy relationship with food.
Set Boundaries with Unsafe Foods. Typically, trigger or “unsafe” foods are removed from the diet and boundaries are set so that managing these foods in a healthier way can be relearned. If someone binges on ice cream when he or she is stressed, it’s best not to keep it in the house. Eliminating the temptation until he or she can eat ice cream again in a balanced way is a safe option.
Follow a Structured Meal Plan. A person suffering from an unhealthy relationship with food can get on the right track to
means to deal with anxiety, stress, grief, etc. The body uses this as a way to process and feel relief. So how does one get out from under? Recovering from a food addiction is a process, and one that is worth taking to find freedom from food. Taking the power back from food often requires a team approach in order to achieve a full recovery. Here are a few steps to take to help someone recovering from food addiction, courtesy of myfitnesspal.com: recovery by following a meal plan and normal eating pattern. This helps the person set safe boundaries with food, and feel satisfied so that there is not a physiological need to eat. It’s more tempting to be out of control with food when there is physical deprivation.
Learn Healthy Coping Strategies. Address reasons for turning to food to cope. Identify healthier coping mechanisms and strategies so that one can begin learning healthier means of dealing with emotions.
Seek Professional Advice. Beating a food addiction is a process and does not happen overnight; it often needs to involve a registered dietitian and licensed therapist that specialize in the area of disordered eating. These professionals will help a person suffering from food addiction implement appropriate strategies, and provide accountability and sound advice. @LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 43
CUT Without Depriving Yourself by Bret Hanna he role of consuming carbohydrates in weight loss, or lack thereof, has been hotly debated and you can find true-believers on both sides of the debate. That said, there appears to be enough credible medical research
and resulting evidence to support the proposition that reducing the consumption of carbohydrates can result in weight loss. One study published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates that people on a low-carb diet realize real benefits over those on a low-fat diet. Those benefits include losing an average of three times the weight and reduction in heart disease risk factors. It is also important to remember that there are two general categories of carbs; “bad carbs” and “good carbs.” Bad carbs, which generally offer little in the way of nutritional benefit, include high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, white rice and white flour. Good carbs, which include fruits, legumes and whole grains, do offer nutritional benefit and should not be avoided altogether. But moderate consumption of good carbs will pay-off for those desiring to lose weight and to improve their overall health. Eliminating all carbs will result in the deprivation of the nutrition and health benefits they do offer, and will likely result in decreased satisfaction with drinking and dining experiences. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to cut down on carbs and still maintain the benefits. Here are five of them: »» The first tip has nothing to do with food, but rather what you drink. Alcoholic beverages are rich in sugars and carbs. Cutting alcohol consumption will strongly contribute to a weight loss regimen. If cocktails are in order, try to focus on drinks with clear alcohols such as gin and vodka, and focus on simple mixers like club soda. Also, remember that certain nonalcoholic beverages have very high levels of carbs and sugars. Stay away from soda, sports drinks, lemonade, etc. »» Pay attention to condiments and dressings. Some condiments, like barbeque sauce and ketchup, as well as many dressings are very high in sugar and, as a result, are high in carbs. Try to use mustard, spices, pepper and lemon juice to flavor food, and consider making your own simple dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or the like for salads.
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»» Eat vegetables, not fruit. Grapes, bananas, apples are good for you, but they contain high levels of sugars. If the goal is to cut carbs, eat peppers, celery, cucumbers instead. But, be wary of certain vegetables, like carrots, corn, peas and other starchy and sweet vegetables because they too have sugars and carbs. »» Declare war on bread. That notion is anathema too many, of course, but eliminating bread is a proven, time-tested, effective way to cut carbs and lose weight. Almost every type of bread, including whole wheat, are chock-full of refined sugars and
complex carbohydrates. Sadly, this war also includes crackers. But, there are good substitutes. Low carb yogurts, hard boiled eggs, and low-carb shakes for breakfast. Salads with a protein for lunch, and proteins with “good” vegetables can do the trick for dinner. »» Say no to most desserts and snacks. Most of each have sugar levels that are off the charts. If having a sweet tooth is a problem, seek out low-carb teas and certain types of milk, like almond milk, that can help with cravings for sweets. One final tip that is not food or drink specific. Make sure your drinks and food are prepared your way. That’s easier at home, because the food is prepared right there and good choices can be made. But it can be more difficult in restaurants. In most fast food restaurants, you can be very specific with what you want and don’t want. But the same is true in many other restaurants. Speak-up and talk to servers, they are your best advocates if you desire specific food preparation accommodations. If they won’t accommodate your requests, try different restaurants.
F A M I LY
A Dadâ€™s POV:
Why YOU Are Enough for Your Kids by Ryan Bradley
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chool is in full swing. The homework is piling up, and all parents are beginning to question whether or not they will ever be able to demystify Common Core math. At the same time, as scholastic endeavors and sports practice obtrusively dominate the attention of both kids and parents, many of us are left wondering: How can I continue to enjoy family time with my kids like I did in the summer? A bit of background, my wife and I are both practicing attorneys and we have four kids, two dogs, and a cat. Between swimming, dance, school, horseback riding, and music lessons, most of the time my wife and I hardly know which direction is up. This is the same situation that many parents are in these days, especially when both parents work. Fortunately, with the over-programmed lifestyles that we all lead, there are many more activities for kids that provide a high degree of structure and discipline during the time that parents work. Whether in the form of after-school activities or athletics, most children over the age of 5 have social and work schedules that are as complex as or even more complex than those of the parents. Add to the equation the proliferation of technology, social media, and cellphones, and if you are like me, #familytime is certainly not trending. The business of most American households and the never ending barrage of distractions can over can leave even the most wellintentioned and experienced parent dumbfounded and wondering just how to possible relate to their children who have become more like work associates than offspring. The key to success, as I am told by a local family counselor, is to understand that when it comes to your kids, YOU are all they really need. It is called be present. How many times have we as parents questioned the inappropriate behavior of a child only to have the swift realization that the reason he or she is acting out is gain attention? This is because kids need the attention of their parents, and in the midst of modern life this becomes a daunting task for kids. It is equally difficult for parents to find a way to show their children that they matter and to devote focused attention with the responsibilities of life bearing down. This
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is especially true of families where both parents work and where multiple children are present. The following short list of recommendations was given to me by the local family counselor to show your kids that you are really there for them personally and not simply to provide rides and resources. »» Turn off the Phone. It’s difficult. We are all let about by the leash of modern technology. Whether it is work or not disconnecting, even if temporarily, is nearly impossible. Texting and driving is epidemic, and kids and parents alike are sucked in the vortex of Facebook or Pokemon Go. Still, it is impossible to truly be with your kids unless you detach from the electronic leash. This does not have to be a dramatic measure, because, remember, your kids are busy too, but try to spend a few minutes spending time with your kids with no distractions. Eat dinner together, have a coffee, or even play a board game. The effort is worth it and it will not take too much time. Personally, I am horrible at this process. »» Channel the 1950s at home. Following in the path of disconnecting, try to channel the inner “Leave it to Beaver.” Turn off the TV, the radio, the computer. Talk to the kids. Ask about what everybody did that day. Cook dinner as a family and then sit down and eat it—not in front of the TV either. Again, perfection is not necessary and it does not have to be every day. »» Be consistent. Knowing the power of presence when it comes to kids is a powerful tool. Like other disciplines in life from learning to exercise consistency is the most important aspect of being with your kids. Target a time when it is convenient to just chat with the kids. Before bed, in the morning, it really does not matter. Just try to carve out the time frequently. All kids really want is time and attention from parents, and when you get right down to it that is the best thing parents can actually give as well.
The Psychological Importance of
Talking to Kids about Voting by Melissa Hague
he democratic process of voting encourages independent thinking, analytical thought process, and taking a position consistent with your own values. These are all virtues that children should be taught at an early age. When children are born they are blank slates so the sooner they learn important values the more likely they are to stick. Instead of teaching children to think a certain way or have a certain opinion, they need to be given the tools to be able to decide independently between different positions. These are the qualities of leaders. According to Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Innovation requires just the tools; not being told how to use them. By teaching children about the process of voting they begin to understand that not everyone thinks the same way and everyone does not have the same opinion. Most importantly, they learn that not every question has just one right answer. There can be two different answers and neither one of them are wrong. Once children become school-aged, they can become consumed with testing, which is often an environment where they is only one correct answer. However, in the real world, there is rarely ever just one ‘right’ answer. When children are toddlers, parents strive to teach them between right and wrong but there comes a time when you have to teach children that they have to decide for themselves what they believe is right and what is wrong. At some point, there has to be a shift towards independent free thinking and teaching them about the voting process is an excellent way to make that shift. For one, they learn that debate is healthy. When children are able to watch grown adults have healthy debates and then shake hands and respect each other afterwards, they are being taught not to reject people who may have different opinions than them. So often children on the playground will immediately reject another child who has a different opinion about something or doesn’t like the same things that they do. By teaching children that debate can be healthy they learn to engage with their peers who are different and learn from them instead of rejecting them. This leads to them learning that they can be friends with someone who may like different things than them. It can lead toGenitalia: accepting and understanding differences instead of rejecting and criticizing differences which so often can result in bullying. Secondly, they learn how to state an opinion about something and how to back it up with support. The political process often results in candidates with two divergent views on the same topic. The next question is always “why”? The political process teaches children that its alright to take a certain position but the position cannot be a hollow one. Answering the why can be very enlightening for children. So often a child may come home from school and say they do not
like a particular teacher or sports coach but when the child is asked why they are forced to go through an analytical thought process. Sometimes the process results in discovering that it’s not really the person they dislike but something else unrelated to the individual. The political process strongly emphasizes the “why.” Not only are the candidates constantly forced to answer the question but when some says they are going to vote for a particular candidate they are typically always asked why. The why is the analytical thought process behind a certain position. It’s the meat on the bone. It separates the people taking a position because of the mere fact that they were told to from people taking a position based on their own independent free thought. Those voting for a particular candidate just because someone else is voting for that person typically cannot answer the why when you start digging. It’s important to teach children about the process and encourage them to be engaged in the process by formulating their own opinions. Ask children who they would vote for and why and encourage them to watch a debate or part of one. It doesn’t even really matter whether they fully understand the issues because it’s the process that is the important part. The process is what builds the independent free thinking. The voting process teaches children that it is alright to take sides. When someone decides to vote for a particular candidate they know they are taking a position that not everyone will agree with and may create confrontation. Its important to teach children how to deal with confrontation instead of just avoiding it because there are healthy ways to be confrontational. Many of these lessons can be a lesson in anti-bullying: accepting people with different views, rationally discussing why someone is taking a particular position while respecting and even learning from someone who has different views. The voting process teaches children important virtues they need to be successful adults. @LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 47
How to Talk to Your Kids
About Current Events by Zeb Little My children—who are now 20, 19, 17, 15 and 13—were most often concerned with what happened at school earlier in the day, what time practice was in the afternoon, and where, and with whom, they are going on Friday night. Current events were lower on their “priority totem pole,” so to speak. However, in this age of instant news—and the incessant commentary that follows—children can’t help being exposed to the reporting of current events. How do we talk with our children about these events? On Sept. 11, 2001, my then 4-year-old son was at work with me while the Alabama Legislature was in special session. We watched on television as the second plane hit the World Trade Center and then, later, as both towers fell. This was the first time that I remember him being concerned with current events. I honestly answered his questions to the best of my ability while assuring him that everything was OK and that our elected leaders would protect us. He listened intently and was satisfied with my answers. A few days later, I observed him playing with a
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friend trying to catch “Bin Laden.” Of course, 9/11 was one of the most important days in our American history and was impossible to escape notice by everyone—including our children. However, during a presidential election cycle like we are in now, the rhetoric is at an all-time high. Recently, my 19-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter engaged in a discussion about whether a current presidential candidate was telling the truth. I encouraged both of them to consider the source upon which they based their opinion, listen to the other person and consider their source, and to further investigate the matter prior to making up their minds on an issue. I also required that they be civil and respectful of the other’s opinions. In our family, my wife and I listen to our children when we are approached with a question about current events and we try to honestly answer their questions in an age-appropriate manner. This approach has worked for us and resulted in some very interesting conversations while always bring us closer together.
Do You Have a Defiant Child?
How to Deal by Jim Edward
ll parents have been there. Your child throws a tantrum at the worst time. Talks back in front of others. You’re embarrassed, enraged and at a loss all at the same time. Children are defiant for a reason, and if this behavior isn’t managed early on, you could find yourself in a very tough situation — for the long haul. According to Mighty Mommy, these eight strategies can help you cope before you lose your patience (and your mind).
Hold Your Child Accountable Children of all ages need to know the family rules for everything from helping out with chores, to completing homework, to bedtime and curfews, to acceptable behavior toward others. The time to discuss these matters is when things are going well, not after an incident has occurred. Sit down with your kids and let them know what types of behaviors you will not tolerate in your family. List examples of unacceptable behaviors. You cannot expect your child, regardless of age, to be compliant if he doesn’t know your expectations.
Choose Your Battles Parenting is exhausting enough when things are going well, but when one of your children is purposefully misbehaving, the difficulties are multiplied. So choose how you spend your energy wisely! For instance, if your high schooler wants to wear pants that are too big because that’s the style, do you really need to start the day off on a negative note by hassling him over poor fashion choices?
extra chores, having to run errands with mom because he abused the privilege to stay home alone by inviting friends over without permission—these are impositions. But if you don’t follow through with consequences for bad behavior, you send the message: If you wear me down, you’ll get your way. Bad idea!
Keep Your Power When you engage in an argument with your child, you’re just giving them more power over the situation. In effect, you’re enforcing the child’s perception that they have the power to challenge you, which can lead to even more defiant behavior. The next time your child tries to draw you into a power struggle over something just say, “We’ve discussed what is going to happen if you do this. I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” and leave the room. When you leave, you take all the power with you. Know that the more you engage your child in an argument, the more control you’re giving away.
No Second Chances or Bargaining Consistency is key if you don’t want to reinforce bad habits. Once your child is old enough to understand that behaviors have consequences, don’t give him repeat chances. If your son calls his friend’s mother a “fat butt” when you arrive for a play date, you firmly say, “You know we don’t talk like that. We’re going home now so you can spend some time thinking about what you said,” and leave immediately after he apologizes. Do not bargain with your child, don’t offer ice cream or money in return for better behavior. This is possibly the most damaging thing a parent or caregiver can do.
Act, Don’t React When you witness defiant behavior from your child, don’t get angry and lose your temper. Instead, take a step back and calmly tell your child that you don’t approve of the behavior and that you will handle it at a later time. This will raise a sense of fear in your child’s mind because he’ll have time to think about the poor actions and the potential consequences. Not only are you using the time to calm yourself down, but you’re also teaching your kids how to do the same.
Enforce Age-Appropriate Consequences Effective consequences can largely be grouped into two categories: removals and impositions. A “removal” is taking something away from the child, such as your attention, an exciting environment, or a pleasant activity. “Impositions” are consequences that impose a new situation upon the child. Paying his own money into a family “fine” jar, doing
Always Build on the Positive Make sure that you build on the positive attitudes and actions of your children. Praise your children for their positive behaviors, while rewarding them when they show a cooperative attitude. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in raising a responsible child.
Set Regular Times to Talk to Your Child In a moment of downtime, when things are going well and you don’t anticipate an immediate power struggle, sit down with your child and let her know that you take your job as her parent very seriously and your intentions are to keep her safe and help her grow into a responsible, productive, self-reliant adult who will be as happy and fulfilled in life as possible. Remind her that your family has rules and values that are in place for her future, not to cause her grief while growing up. @LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 49
The Most Likely Places Germs Harvest in Your Home and How to Win the Bacteria Battle by Mark Bello
erms are everywhere—including your home. They can live in some unexpected places and thrive for a long time. We are not just talking about the bathroom; most of us clean and disinfect them regularly. Your kitchen and bedroom may actually be bigger germ hotspots. Even common household items are overlooked sources of contaminants. The good news—you can fight back if you know the places and how to protect yourself.
for 20 minutes. Don’t forget the drain, faucet and knobs. Wipe with soap and water, then rinse. »» Baking soda and an old toothbrush gets rid of stains, grit, and grime, especially around the drain. »» Use a toothbrush to get into the caulk seal and other tough areas. »» Once a month, pour a solution of one teaspoon bleach per one quart of water down the drain. Remove the drain plug and clean it too. Countertops Kitchen countertops tend to be the dirtiest near the sink area because people wipe them down with sponges and dish cloths that carry E. coli and other bacteria. Solutions: »» Clean counter tops with a disinfectant kitchen cleaner or wipe. Dry with a paper towel to absorb moisture. »» Don’t forget to clean other surfaces such as refrigerator and pantry handles, stove knobs, door knobs. This should be done several times a day. »» Microwave wet sponges once a day for two minutes, and replace at least once every two weeks. »» Wash dish cloths in the washing machine on hot every day or two. »» Use paper towels to clean up spills, especially juices from raw meat, poultry and fish.
The Kitchen Although bathrooms get a bad rap when it comes to germs, it's the kitchen that actually harbors more bacteria than any other room in the house. These germs lurk anywhere from sinks and drains to sponges, cutting boards and countertops. Sink The sink is a great place for E. coli to live and grow since it’s wet and moist. Food particles that people put down the drain or from plates left to soak in the sink can serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria. Rinsing your sink with water is not enough. Solutions: »» Clean the sides and bottom of the sink at least twice a week with a paper towel and white vinegar. Wipe the sink down and let sit 51 / LIVING SAFER / VOL 8 ED 3
Cutting boards There are 200 times more fecal bacteria from raw meat on the average cutting board in a home than a toilet seat. This emphasizes the importance of good hygiene, not only after handling raw meat and poultry, but also after contact with cutting boards. Solutions: »» Use one cutting board for meats and another one for vegetables to avoid get cross-contamination. »» Thoroughly rinse the board before putting anything else in the sink, or after everything else is done, to avoid contaminating your water and other dishes. »» Clean and dry cutting boards after each use. Wood cutting boards should be washed by hand in hot, soapy water. Plastic cutting boards can be washed by hand or placed in the dishwasher. »» As an added measure, after washing the cutting board, cover the surface with 1 teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach per quart of water and let stand several minutes.
The Home Office and Living Room Computer keyboard When was the last time you actually disinfected your keyboard? Even if you're the only one using your computer keyboard, if you eat at your computer, sneeze on your keyboard, or sit down to surf the Internet without first washing your hands, your computer keyboard could be a health hazard. Solutions: »» Wipe the keys with alcohol or bleach wipes or a damp, soft cloth wipe every time you shut down your computer. Don’t forget to wipe the mouse too. »» If you must eat at your desk, don't drop crumbs into your keyboard. »» To clean your keyboard, gently shake out the crumbs or vacuum it.
The Bedroom Bedding Do you know what is lurking below your feet and under your sleeping head? Research shows that the mattress and pillow in the average home contains the highest percentage of dust mites (nearly 1.5 million every night) than anywhere else. They thrive on the humidity and warmth provided by your body and can feed on the dry skin you shed while you sleep. Add to the fact that the average person produces 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year, and you have a breeding ground for bacteria. Solutions: »» The best way to limit dust mites is with low humidity. A home humidity detector can help monitor and maintain the moisture content of the air in your home. »» After getting out of bed, throw back the bedding to allow moisture to evaporate and help air out your bedding. »» Launder pillowcases and sheets once a week in hot water, more frequently if you are sick. Dry them thoroughly on the highest setting. »» If your pillow is washable, throw it in the washer and dryer at least every other week.
Television remote So many hands touch the remote, so it makes perfect sense that it is a breeding ground for germs. It also gets dropped on the floor or stuffed between cushions. If you eat in front of the TV, you also spread bacteria onto your remote, where it can fester between the plastic buttons. Solutions: »» Wipe the remote with a not-too-moist disinfecting cleaning cloth. Phone Phones, especially cell phones, are riddled with germs. Think about all the places you might lay your cell phone down – on a table at the restaurant, the counter at the doctor’s office, the conference table at the office, maybe even the bathroom. Then, you answer or text or place a call. Solutions: »» To kill germs, use an alcohol wipe every few days. Keep them handy not only at home, but in your purse and car. »» Reduce your exposure to germs by cleaning your electronic screens with screen wipes or a damp, soft cloth—or leaving them out of the bathroom in the first place.
»» Pillow and mattress covers can help keep out mites and bacteria. »» Spray your mattress and box spring with Lysol. »» Use the upholstery tool on your vacuum cleaner to go over the top and sides of your mattress and as much of the box spring as you can. »» Wash your bedding more often if you allow your pet to sleep in your bed. Carpet: Your carpet probably has 200,000 bacteria per square inch; 4,000 time more bacteria than your toilet. Solutions: »» Vacuum and dust weekly to prevent dirt build-up that becomes ground in. »» Hire a professional carpet cleaning company to deep clean at least once a year. @LIVINGSAFER / LIVINGSAFER.COM / 52
5 Projects That Can Add Value to Your Home By Tatum O’Brien
ith housing prices on the rise, now is the time to invest in your home to capitalize on its value. Here are five home improvement projects that pay off whether you are selling now or in the future.
number of them lack a sufficient number of bathrooms. So if you've got a four-bedroom, one-bath home, it certainly could pay to add a second bathroom.
Add a deck or patio Increase curb appeal Although not usually considered the most exciting improvement to make, homeowners who do exterior work on their property, such as installing new siding or replacing the front door, can expect to recoup over 91 percent of their investment when the home sells, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 Cost v. Value report.
According to the 2016 Home Trends Survey from the American Institute of Architects, outdoor living spaces continue to gain popularity, perhaps because decks and patios are a cost effective way to expand living space at a relatively low cost of $8 to $35 per square foot, as compared to $150 or more per square foot for a new addition to a home.
Upgrade your kitchen
Turn an attic into a bedroom
The two rooms that benefit most from even small renovations are the kitchen and bathroom. Even one cost-effective change — like adding a new tile floor or refacing cabinets— can give you a lot of bang for your buck and provide your kitchen with an updated, modern appearance.
When you convert an attic space into a bedroom you gain living space without having to construct an addition since the walls, floors, and ceiling already exist. Although there will likely be building code restrictions to consider, an attic conversion is often a smart remodeling project that will more than pay for itself when you put your house on the market. Regardless of the project that you are considering, remember that your residence is not just a house, it's your home. If you plan to live there for many years to come, add the amenities that you want regardless of their impact on resale.
Update a bathroom – or add another Don't spend money remodeling the bathroom if it's the only one you have. Your money is probably better spent adding a second bath instead. While many people love the charm of older homes, a
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Linseed Oil: Beware the Common, Combustible Household Product by Maureen May inseed oil, also known as Flaxseed Oil, is extracted from flax seed. While it is an edible omega-3 fatty acid, making it a popular nutritional supplement, it is also present in numerous household products. As a slow-drying oil, linseed oil is a common ingredient in oil-based paints, wood and deck stains, soaps and inks. Raw Linseed Oil is frequently used in products to treat wood surfaces, minimizing cracking and shrinking while also providing water repellency. However, Raw Linseed Oil is so slow-drying, it can take weeks to cure, particularly in cool temperatures. Boiled Linseed Oil is chemically engineered to speed drying and curing times. However, there is a drawback: Boiled Linseed Oil is combustible. It cures not by evaporation into the air as water-based products do, but by a chemical reaction with oxygen. When exposed to air, that chemical reaction generates heat â€“ an exothermic reaction. That exothermic reaction accelerates as heat is generated, and can reach the temperature of ignition. If stored or used improperly, Boiled Linseed Oil can generate sufficient heat to spontaneously combust, or catch fire, with no outside spark or flame.
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While spontaneous combustion is a real risk with linseed oil, combustion may not always be spontaneous, taking hours or even days to ignite. The risk of combustion increases in warm, dry air. Special care must be used when storing and handling any combustible materials. When storing Boiled Linseed Oil, always use a sealed metal container. The container will contain oxygen initially, but the oxidation process will deplete the oxygen and then cease. When handling Boiled Linseed Oil, take care to isolate items saturated in it away from flammable sources. Rags, or paper towels, soaked with linseed oil are a leading cause of spontaneous combustion with linseed oil when left in a pile. If you have linseed oil-soaked rags upon completion of a household project, remove them from your home. Lay them flat to dry on a non-flammable surface before disposing of them, or immerse them in water immediately after use. And remember: linseed oil is only one of many combustible products commonly used in home improvement products and projects. Always heed combustibility warnings and research the safest ways to store, handle and dispose of combustible products.
THE CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO ALL THINGS SAFETY
We’re on the Web and in Your Hands. Welcome to the all-new Living Safer, the same magazine you’ve come to know and love...just with a more inviting look and feel. And while the face may have changed, our pledge to you remains the same: to offer the best in safety information— from new trends and wellness to lifestyle, home and more.
Join the Conversation. Share and comment on Living Safer stories by joining us on Facebook and Twitter and by visiting LivingSafer.com fb.com/LivingSafer / @livingsafer
Rules of the Road
The Dos & Don’ts of Safe Driving by Brittany Monbarren
Always wear your seatbelt.
Don’t drive drowsy, under the influence and/or distracted.
Keep children in tested and approved car seats.
Be courteous toward other drivers.
Let your emotions and frustrations get the best of you.
Make sure that your spare tire is in your car and that you have a working jack.
Make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do.
Give pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks.
Act like you are above the law.
Keep a first aid box in your car.
Leave valuables in your car.
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Medicare Set-Asides by John T. Bair
What is Medicare Set-Aside? A Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) is a fund created for the settlement of a Workers’ Compensation or liability case. It is established from a portion of the settlement amount and is used to pay for future injury-related or illnessrelated medical expenses that would otherwise be payable by Medicare. Funds must be established under an insured account and may be managed by the injured plaintiff or administered through a custodial account. Milestone coordinates the administration and set-up of your MSA through a third party to ensure that you are not over-funding the account.
Are MSAs Necessary? The Medicare Secondary Payer Act established that Medicare is the secondary benefit payer behind the responsible parties for Workers’ Compensation and liability claims. While current federal regulations do not require the use of MSAs, individuals involved in Workers’ Compensation and liability settlements are still required to adequately consider Medicare’s interests. If future illness-related or injury-related medical care will be needed, then a MSA is the preferred vehicle for protecting Medicare’s interests. Failure to do so can result in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) refusing Medicare coverage of all future medical treatments for the injured party. By establishing an
About the Firm
appropriately funded MSA, all parties to a settlement are protecting Medicare’s interest and are in compliance with the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.
How are MSAs Funded? MSAs can be funded in one of two ways: with a lump sum or with a structured arrangement, such as a structured settlement or a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA).
Should I Fund with a Lump Sum or a Structured Arrangement? Utilizing a structured arrangement can provide considerable savings over a lump sum. If a lump sum is used to fund the MSA, the entire amount must be exhausted before Medicare becomes the primary payer. Using a structured arrangement, on the other hand, requires an initial deposit in an amount equal to the first surgical procedure or replacement and two years of annual payments. After that initial deposit is made, the structure is designed to allocate regular deposits over a designated period of time. Once the funds are exhausted within a given period, Medicare will pay primary for further injury-related expenses during that period. Milestone will assist all parties in assessing the different funding options to find the most cost-effective solution.
Milestone Consulting, LLC is a comprehensive settlement planning and management firm. We believe that injured plaintiffs and their families deserve strategies designed to ensure a lifetime of financial security. Our consultants are licensed in all fifty states to provide guidance on settlementrelated issues including government benefits preservation, trust planning, Medicare Set-Asides, wealth preservation and annuities. We also provide mediation support to assist the plaintiff in reaching a settlement that will meet their present and future medical and financial needs.
737 Main Street, Suite 100 Buffalo, NY 14203 (716) 883-1833 (855) 836-2676 www.milestoneseventh.com
In addition to our work with plaintiffs and trial attorneys, we actively support a number of civil justice organizations, including The Injury Board, the American Association for Justice, the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, and statewide associations in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit our website at www.milestoneseventh.com.
Your partner. Your advocate. Your Milestone. At Milestone Consulting, we are focused on providing a seamless transition for your clients as they enter the settlement portion of their litigation. We understand that the most important thing is to look after the client’s best interest and serve as an invested fiduciary as we guide them through the often overwhelming settlement process. Our belief is that the only successful outcome is one that properly addresses and safeguards the legal, financial, and emotional well-being of your client. By leveraging our expertise and years of experience navigating the ins and outs of all manner of settlements, we are able to help your client develop the right plan for a bright future. Our Services: Consulting Government Benefits Planning • Trust Planning • Structured Settlements • Settlement Planning
Structured Attorney Fees Special Needs Trust • Mass Torts • Medicare Set-Asides • Workers’ Compensation
John Bair | Founder / Member | m. 716.864.8917 737 Main Street, Suite 100 | Buffalo, NY 14203 | 716.883.1833 | milestoneseventh.com
The Distracted Driving Epidemic — Why It’s No Longer Just About Texting. In 2008, a Boulder, Colo. entrepreneur named Scott Tibbits was to m...
Published on Oct 13, 2016
The Distracted Driving Epidemic — Why It’s No Longer Just About Texting. In 2008, a Boulder, Colo. entrepreneur named Scott Tibbits was to m...