Jan 17, 2019

How to Modify Your Home With Accessibility and Health in Mind

An estimated 15% of the world's population is currently living with a disability, and it's not always easy to determine how accessible and health-conscious your home is to the average person. If you're interested in making some healthy improvements to your home while also making it more accessible and habitable for individuals with certain disabilities, getting started is easier than you think with these tips:

Widen Doorways

The U.S. is the second largest construction market in the world, with a market share of 10%. While there are plenty of major renovations that can be made to increase accessibility, this project is very simple and can even be performed by any DIY handyman. But widening the doorways of your home allows for easier access for individuals in wheelchairs, those using walkers and other people with limited mobility. While widening the doorways themselves is a relatively labor-intensive task, it's often more feasible to invest in a door with offset hinges, allowing for a few extra inches of space.
"Many wheelchairs and walkers are too wide to easily maneuver through doorways. Widening doorways can be a costly job (up to $1,000 in some cases), but you can use some offset hinges to help swing the door clear of the opening to inexpensively add a couple inches of space, writes Rachel Brougham on Family Handyman.

Jan 11, 2019

How To Get The Whole Family Excited About Exercise

Trying to stay healthy and active as a parent can be tricky; with the busy schedule of any mom or dad, you might struggle to find a time to work out. This is even more true for working parents, where fitting in exercise drops further and further down the priority list until it's almost entirely forgotten about. Parenthood can often make getting into shape seem impossible.
However, exercise isn't important just for you, it can be helpful for your family too. That's why you should try to plan your next work out with getting your family involved in mind. Exercise can help have many health benefits for children, including improved strength and immune systems. The average child catches between six and ten colds a year, but getting the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily may reduce this number. Here are just a few ways to get your children involved in your exercise routines to help improve health for both them and you.

Turn Exercise Into A Game

If you can turn exercise into a game, you're far more likely to get your kids excited about joining you during your workout. For younger kids, use active games like tag, hopscotch, or other fun challenges that get your kids moving. Older kids might prefer to pick a sport. If you can, help them practice by shooting hoops or running bases with them; this gets you moving while also encouraging their active interests.
If childhood games and sports aren't preferred by your kids, use popular activities like biking; in spring 2017, 66.21 million people in the U.S. had gone cycling within the last 12 months. By using popular activities that your kids enjoy, they're more likely to ask to join you, possibly even keeping you motivated to work out more often.

Dec 30, 2018



Once in the legendary days, there in Sicily roamed the rare giant of the one eye, called Cyclops.  He was a big, tall, hairy guy with one large eye.  A real giant that stalked the dark nights.  Granted, that the world has come a long way since the beliefs in giants, but today in the twenty-first century we have created the new monster.  Our monster is sometimes in colors of passionate purple, blood red, and death darkness.  Its body is square, with two dials and an inner box of controlling dials in its head.  It also has one big eye.  Yes, the big brown body with one eye, breathing from dawn till dark lies in your living room. The one-eyed "Cyclops" monster is the television set.

                Within your “cyclops” lives enough blood, terror, and torments that would be enough to stage four hours of screaming pain.  Pictures that deal with animals out of proportion eating men, men killing men for love or fear, saucers with men to destroy the earth.  It seems impossible that a person can turn "Cyclops" on one night out of seven without finding blood.  Color sets have become the thing for the rich or should we say the "realistic" people who like red blood instead of the black.  What is more astounding is that the family may have from two to three of these monsters in one house.  One for the playroom, bedroom and one for the living room.  The name "chamber of horrors” would be more suitable than the living room.

The masters of these monsters are eager little faces, eyes big as saucers and little faces dazed with amazement or twisted with pain.  We know that all of it is imaginary but try to tell that to the screaming child having a nightmare from a television show.  It seems a shame that this is what “cyclops” gives to children, a wonderful world of giants, killings, pain and terror and nothing more.

             The stores now have taken an active part in making "Cyclops" the beginning of a new realm of things to play with.  Combat guns and tanks, Frankenstein puppets, rubber knives, horror comic books all crowd the market as toys for little children.  The child’s mind is so clouded with black things, there is no room for growth and imagination for the right things.

Turn off Cyclops for a while and watch how people scatter in little crowds with nothing to do.  Experience a nightmare free night, a child’s imagination. Look at the brown box, "Cyclops" who rules over your kingdom. Let the eye of the monster die.  

Children don't need violence, guns, and monsters to grow up with.  They need instead love, security, and understanding.  Things that no monster one-eyed or not can give.  Keep the blood where it should be, inside the body, not flowing from a gaping wound on the belly or face is shown or projected by CYCLOPS!

Written by Pat Chastain in 1965 

Nov 21, 2018

The Autonomy Of Children -- Are We Sharing Too Much?

Social media has become a part of everyday life. Nowadays, checking your daily Instagram feed is more common than glossing over the morning paper. When it comes to raising children in the modern era, few parents are immune to the temptation of posting their children online. A recent controversy in the parenting blogging community has shone a spotlight on this common practice, and as a result, many parents are asking themselves a complex question:

Could there be negative consequences when I share photos of my young children on social media?

Because social media is so new, there are no easy answers when it comes to this important question.
A recent study showed that the average parent will have shared almost 1,500 images of their child by the time the child is five. This seems like an impossibly large number, but the study gets worse.

The study also revealed that these parents often lack the knowledge over the privacy of these photos; after all, once a photo is uploaded to the internet, it's open for the world to see. While email and search engines are the two top activities on the internet, social media isn't far behind.

Nov 1, 2018

How to Spot These Five Common Childhood Rashes

Children have sensitive skin that is often prone to rashes, redness, dryness, and other blemishes. Young children's and toddlers' tactile relationship with their environment makes them especially prone to unusual irritants and bacteria, and so they tend to get rashes more frequently than adults.

Though most rashes in children are not cause for concern and heal quickly, some skin reactions could indicate more serious disease. Use this guide to identify, prevent, and treat these five common childhood rashes:

  1. Measles

    Though most children in the United States (91.1%) were vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella in 2016, it is still important for parents to recognize the measles rash, especially in infants too young to be vaccinated. Measles looks like red or brown blotches that begin in the head and neck region before spreading to the rest of the body. Measles is highly infectious and often accompanied by fever. Though it passes in about a week, children with measles need to see a doctor, and steps should be taken to prevent this highly infectious disease from spreading.
  2. Chickenpox

Oct 24, 2018

Happy Hallo-Green: Five Tips to Use Less Plastic This Season

Spooky season is here, and many families will be stocking up on candies, decorations, and costumes to celebrate this Halloween. Though this middle-of-fall tradition is an annual favorite for many, like the winter holidays, Halloween celebrations are notoriously bad for the environment. Many rush to stores looking for the perfect partyware, only to discard products as soon and November arrives.

Halloween is scary, but climate change and pollution are even scarier. Use less plastic and be kind to the planet this October 31 by following these tips:

  1. Give out Plastic-Free Candy and Toothbrushes
    Single-use packaging of all kinds is one of the biggest contributors to landfill waste and oil consumption. In order to give out safe candy, you still have to get storebought stuff, but there are plenty of candy options available that pass parental candy checks. Candies like Dots, Hershey kisses, Nerds, Whoppers, and Junior Mints all come in cardboard or foil wrappings, which are a little more eco-friendly. If you're someone who gives out toothbrushes as healthier treats, look for wooden, biodegradable brushes with cardboard packaging instead of plastic materials.
  2. Ditch the Fake Pumpkin
    Instead of using plastic pumpkins or plastic bags to hold candy while out trick-or-treating, use a reusable cloth bag or a paper bag. You can even sew and decorate your own treat sack as part of a homemade (plastic-free) costume!
  3. Use Flashlights Instead of Glowsticks
    Flashlights can be used again and again, but glowsticks last mere hours before heading to the dump. For extra visibility, use lights with rechargeable batteries and reflectors on costumes, and leave the glow sticks on the store shelves.

Oct 15, 2018

3 Easy Way to Teach Kids to Save Water

Every day, an American uses about 88 gallons of water in their home. Taking showers, cleaning dishes and laundry, and cooking all add up quickly. However, much of that water isn't even put to good use-- according to Chelsea Green Publishing, a leaking faucet alone wastes about 2,700 gallons of water each year.

Teaching children about careful water use can help them grow into lifelong conservationists. As an added bonus, helping kids use less water can lower your utility bills. Teach kids to protect both your budget and the planet with these five water-smart tips:
  1. Establish Good Bath Time Habits

    Bathing is one of the biggest activities for water consumption. When bathing infants, fill the tub with only a few inches of water. According to Water: Use it Wisely, there's no need for several gallons to wash a little one, and deep water makes bathing babies more dangerous. As toddlers grow older, they'll notice you only put as much water as needed in the tub. When they are old enough, exchange children's baths for quick showers, and explain that a full tub wastes more water than a short rinse.

Oct 13, 2018

Yards Shrink, Homes Grow, and Kids Need Time Outdoors More than Ever

A few years ago, several different news sources began reporting a disturbing trend in the United States: the average size of a person’s home was growing, but the average size of yards was shrinking. In 2015, the average lot size was down 13% from 1978, reduced to a mere .19 acres, according to The Atlantic.

This is not to say that old homes' lawns were shrinking. The study focused on new homes and found that Americans preferred buying houses with a greater house-to-lawn ratio than ever before. According to Martekwatch, this means that lot usage has reached an all-time peak. Lot usage, or how much land is devoted to a house rather than green space, is now a whopping 25%.

A survey conducted by Harris Poll for the National Association of Landscape Professionals revealed that three out of four Americans (75%) still felt that spending time outside in their yards was important. So why are so many choosing to buy bigger houses with less lawn space?

According to The Atlantic, cutting down on acreage makes homes more affordable in a tight market. Families can still get the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they need if they sacrifice yard space.

Another suggestion is that many suburban families have become more environmentally conscious. Rather than maintaining a fake, lurid-green lawn with wasted water, some homeowners opt for rock gardens and make the park their yard instead.