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Summer Vacation in the Southern Hemisphere

Summer is in full swing, which means kids in the US don’t have to go back to school again until September. But did you know that schoolchildren in the Southern Hemisphere won’t have their summer vacation until December? In most countries, schools close for an extended break during the hottest months of the year. In the US and other countries located in the Northern Hemisphere, those months are June, July and August. Depending on where you are in the Southern Hemisphere, however, those months tend to be December, January and February. So in countries like Australia and Brazil, students have…

5 Smart Summer Vacation Safety Tips

Summer is in full swing, which means many of us are either on vacation now or planning to be on vacation very soon. While summer getaways offer us a great chance to relax and unwind, it pays to be alert and prepared whenever we travel. Whether your destination is halfway across the world or within driving distance, here are five smart summer vacation safety tips to protect you and your loved ones all vacation long. Stash Your Cash Between pickpockets and hotel room burglars, it can be tricky holding onto your cash when you’re on vacation – especially if you…

Make Your Summer Count

Summer is in full swing, and for many of us, that means having more time on our hands than usual. While getting away with family and friends is a great way to spend those summer Fridays, long weekends and weeks off that you have planned, there’s another way to put all that downtime to good use: volunteering. Can Helping Others Help You? Yes! Not only does volunteering positively impact others, it can change your own life for the better. Being of service to an organization, a person or an animal has been proven to stave off depression, and good mental…

Have a Safe Fourth!

As anyone with kids knows, few holidays offer as much excitement for the entire family as the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, what makes this holiday so much fun also makes it one of the most dangerous days of the year. Between the fireworks, swimming and hot summer weather, there are plenty of opportunities to sustain serious injuries. The following tips from the American Red Cross will help keep your Independence Day independent from injuries. Be Extra Cautious Around Fireworks The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show organized by your local fire department. If fireworks…

Making Time for Family Fun

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Late July and early August are when the “summertime blues” seem to set in: kids are getting bored, parents are tired of having them underfoot constantly, and the heat just seems to make everybody cranky. Want to bring some fun back? Try these easy ideas to shake things up:

Nighttime Play

When the sun goes down so does the temperature, making after-dark activities all the more enjoyable. Start a game of twilight tag, play hide-and-seek in the yard, or toss a ball around. Take a break from the kitchen or the barbecue with a sunset picnic. Most any physical activity will be more comfortable to do when it cools off, and playing after dark will feel like a special treat.

Stay Safe and Sane on the 4th of July!

shutterstock_74394589As we honor our nation’s independence this 4th of July, we should also honor our need to keep everyone—and our surroundings—safe and healthy. Here are a few guidelines for preventing common July 4 hazards.

Fire Prevention

Fireworks are one of the most treasured aspect of any Independence Day celebration…and also a leading cause of fire. Fire extinguishers, water buckets and a hose should all be on hand whenever fireworks are being used. Don’t set off fireworks near decorations, balloons, trees, bushes, or other things that can catch fire—a wide open space, safely roped off, is you’re best option. Afterwards, completely douse spent fireworks with water to ensure they are free of heat and fire before being properly disposed of.

Summertime Skincare

shutterstock_196917404Fun in the sun is the reason we all look forward to summer. But swimming pools, ocean breezes, and the bright ultraviolet (UV) rays of sun aren’t so much fun for your skin. Dried-out skin is uncomfortable, sunburns are downright painful and the worst risk of all—skin cancer—is no laughing matter. As with many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Follow these steps to take care of your epidermis while enjoying these warm, sunny days.

Avoid Tanning

Lying out in the sun slathered in oil is a time-honored tradition…and one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Besides the risk of sunburn, sunbathing increases the chance of getting malignant melanomas and can even lead to premature aging. If you just can’t avoid soaking up some rays, do it outside of peak hours (the sun is brightest between 10am and 4pm) and always wear sunscreen.

June is National Safety Month

shutterstock_136103240The National Safety Council has named June National Safety Month, and that means safety in all its forms—at home, on the road, at work and at play. With all the distractions, vacations and general merrymaking that happens during summer, safety may not be at the front of anyone’s mind.

But there are plenty of reasons we should all be a little more vigilant. The Council has identified a number of key areas where greater mindfulness can drastically reduce the risk of death and injury, including:

Prescription Drugs

Accidental overdoses and poisoning from improper consumption of prescription medication has grown in recent years. Safe handling of medication means: