Is Your Home As Childproofed As You Think?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – It happens more often than we like to think.
Nearly seven times a day, some young child is rushed to the emergency room after being burned — or worse — from having stuck something as innocuous as a paperclip into an electrical outlet, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Ah, but being the diligent parent you are, you’re sure those plastic outlet caps you installed for childproofing purposes will keep your own kids safe, right?
Not so fast.
A study conducted by Temple University found that it took less than 10 seconds for 100 percent of children ages 2 to 4 to remove them from sockets. And that should scare you for an additional reason.
“It poses a choking hazard for small children,” says Brett Brenner, president of the nonprofit Electrical Safety Foundation International (Esfi.org), which promotes electrical safety in homes and workplaces. “And because plastic caps do need to be removed for the outlet to be functional, there’s the inherent safety threat of forgetting to recover the outlet when it’s no longer in use.”
Brenner, as it turns out, also has a problem with the less-popular sliding receptacle covers. “They’re no match for the impressionable minds of children, who can learn to defeat the devices by watching their parents plug objects into them.”
So what does he recommend? The same technology — called tamper-resistant receptacles — was deemed so effective that it’s actually been required in hospital pediatric care facilities for more than 20 years. But it remained something of a trade secret until its use was finally mandated in all new home construction under the National Electrical Code in 2008.
To look at them, TRRs appear to be ordinary outlets — a blessing for those who consider plastic caps a bit of an eyesore — but they’re specifically designed with spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that close off all openings or slots. Only by simultaneously applying pressure to both sides do the cover plates open to allow standard plugs to make contact with the receptacle contact points.
“Without that simultaneous pressure,” Brenner explains, “the cover plates remain closed, preventing the insertion of foreign objects and thus protecting children from painful, traumatic electrical injuries.”
The best part may be that the added safety will only run you 50 cents more than a standard electrical outlet, though TRRs should only be installed by a licensed electrician.
But getting back to that opening U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission statistic — know that of those nearly seven children a day:
* 89 percent are under 6 years old.
* 50 percent are 2 to 3 years old — the highest risk group.
* Boys are most at risk, regardless of age.
Definitely not something we like to think about.

Gift Ideas for Dads and Grads

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It may be the only holiday on the calendar that rhymes.

We’re alluding to a multi-week span of celebrating both “Dads and Grads,” in which Father’s Day shares the spotlight with all those hardworking students who are jubilantly tossing mortarboards into the air — and somehow you have to come up with gifts to celebrate the hard work of both.

Two things are certain: Dad doesn’t need (or necessarily even want) another tie, and gold pens for grads are about as passe as teaching penmanship in school.

Here are more ideas to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing:

Content Agency Promises the Best Bang for Your Advertising Buck

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – These days, there are a myriad of ways to get your company’s message out — if you have the dollars to pay for it. The problem is that small, niche companies need the same exposure (if not more) than the Fortune 500 companies, but are hamstrung by limited resources.
Fortunately, advertising doesn’t have to be exclusively PR-centric, but can be a blend of traditional and effective strategies, according to PR News.
In this way, Washington D.C.-based NewsUSA does exceptionally well by specializing in writing matte releases — feature articles that help to fill space in newspapers and online media — for its clients.
NewsUSA guarantees product placement (around 1,000-1,400 placements per story) for its clients in various media outlets around the world, including television sites and hundreds of digital and print newspapers.
“NewsUSA’s strength is that it has all these contracts and relationships with newspapers and online media sources that have been built over years and can be trusted for writing and editorial,” said Rick Smith, CEO of NewsUSA. “In terms of mass marketing to the consumer, for some of the budgets that these companies have, there just aren’t a lot of options. That’s where NewsUSA comes in.”
For NewsUSA client Security Equipment Corporation (Sabre), it granted access to media outlets that the company wouldn’t have had otherwise.
“As a first-time user of NewsUSA, I was pleasantly surprised, not only with the number of placements we got, but the quality of our placements,” said Marisa McKay, marketing manager for Sabre. “Our content was placed in high-profile publications that we wouldn’t have been able to afford if we had to buy traditional advertising space.”
As a result, the family-owned and -operated manufacturer of the top brand of pepper spray had three stories distributed to more than 3,600 news outlets, both online and in print, for a total reach of more than 90 million readers nationwide. The ad value equivalency of the campaign was more than $1.1 million.
Another client, Star Clippers, also saw a huge return on investment when it engaged NewsUSA to write five stories about its ultimate cruising vacation alternative — a tall ship mega-yacht experience aboard authentic re-creations of the classic sailing clipper ships that ruled the waves during the 1800s.
In return, Star Clippers garnered more than 6,000 placements that reached more than 319 million readers nationwide, for a total ad equivalency of $3.8 million.
For more information, visit www.newsusaadvantage.com.

Popping the Question Over the Holidays? What Every Guy Should Know

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Congratulations, guys, on being so in love that you can save yourself at least one big headache this holiday season.
Yes, for those wondering, if you’re planning on popping The Big Question — marriage, that is — a diamond engagement ring can also count as her Christmas or Hanukkah present. “If a guy’s gonna pop the question eventually, he might as well use the opportunity to avoid shopping for a holiday gift and kill two birds with — ahem — one stone,” the Washington Post declared.
And you won’t be alone: While 39 percent of all marriage proposals occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, what sane-thinking male wants to be the one who waited till February to give his girlfriend a ring she was expecting in December?
Ergo, to help you out, it’s time to separate some myths from facts when it comes to the whole engagement ring-buying process. (Alternate Plan Alert: For those not quite ready to propose — or, for that matter, who have other diamond jewelry lovers on their holiday lists to shop for — we’ve also got some tips for you.)
MYTH: You need to be prepared to spend two months’ salary on a ring.
FACT: That’s just a guideline. Your financial circumstances — and your girlfriend’s taste — ultimately rule.
MYTH: There’s no way of telling whether a diamond has been produced “ethically” or not.
FACT: This is a big issue for some couples, so know that the Diavik mine in Canada’s North West Territories, for one, has gone to great lengths to provide buyers with proof that it’s adhering to international standards of labor, health, safety and environmental practices in producing the nicely sized diamonds of good color and gem quality it’s famed for.
“Each certified gem is laser-etched with a unique number that indicates the date mined, and each gem’s unique optical fingerprint is recorded in an international database so that it can be positively identified,” says an expert in the field, noting that many insurance companies offer discounted rates in such cases.
MYTH: Most women want a pear-shaped diamond engagement ring.
FACT: Round diamonds are the most popular.
MYTH: You must pick the ring out yourself in order to maximize the effect.
FACT: Thankfully, no, so you’ve dodged a bullet there. But if you prefer shopping stag, at least have your girlfriend’s hints in mind.
Finally, about those other diamond jewelry gift-gifting tips we promised.
“Classic diamond stud earrings will never go out of fashion,” says jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor, “and diamond line bracelets can be worn with any outfit.”

A Guy’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Engagement Ring

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Getting engaged is a very personal and intimate experience for a couple. But for many guys, the purchase of the engagement ring can be a bit overwhelming. Color, clarity, cut, carat weight -; there’s a lot to consider! But by understanding the basics of diamonds and keeping the future bride in mind, guys can find the process of selecting a ring much less daunting.
Philadelphia-based jewelry designer Craiger Drake of Craiger Drake Designs offers the following tips to help men select a ring that their bride will love:
Know the 4Cs. Men should always consider the color, clarity, cut and carat weight of a diamond. Color and clarity, less commonly understood, are critical to the quality of the stone. Choose a diamond valued higher on both the color and clarity grading scales to limit the presence of color and unwanted inclusions. Carat and cut, on the other hand, are personal preferences. Keep the bride’s personality in mind to select a size and a shape that will complement her style.
Get certified. To guarantee the diamond’s authenticity and quality, be sure to purchase a diamond that is certified from the Gemological Institute of America. The diamond’s certificate outlines all the individual characteristics of the stone, including the 4Cs, serving as proof of the diamond’s identity and value.
Be unique. For many women, an engagement ring is their most treasured piece of jewelry, so it’s important that it is special and unique. A rose gold band or colored side stones, for example, can accent a traditional ring with a touch of color. To personalize the piece further, consider custom designing a one-of-a-kind ring tailored to the bride’s individual style.
A final piece of advice: Remember what the ring signifies. “With so much to bear in mind, it can be easy to lose the romance of selecting an engagement ring,” said Drake. “Although it is valuable to know the basics of a diamond, what’s most important is for men to remember the reason they’re buying it.”
For more information on Craiger Drake Designs’ jewelry collection, including engagement rings, please visit www.craigerdrake.com.

The Game Room: How to Buy the Best Video Games tor Your Kids

For some parents, Christmas gift-giving can be akin to a visit from your in-laws—prompting both terror and denial. This is because many kids today expect to see their favorite video games under the tree (read: Battlefield 4), bought by parents who are clueless about a medium that was in its infancy when they were growing up.

So, what’s a parent to do?

Rethink What You Drink — Alkaline Water May Be What You Need

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Your diet, for better or worse, doesn’t just affect your waistline or the scale, but also plays a complex part in how you feel.
While much has been written on boosting the body’s immune system by eating foods dense in nutrients like antioxidants, zinc and omega 3s, many don’t consider what they drink.
Highlighting this point is a study conducted by Dr. Alyson Goodman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suggests 7 percent of all Americans drink zero cups of water per day.
Zero.
According to Dr. Theodore A. Baroody, in order for a body to function well, it must continuously work to maintain a proper pH or chemical balance.
“An unbalanced pH can force your body to borrow important minerals from your vital organs and bones in order to remove excess acid,” says Baroody. “This can cause severe and lasting damage, including cancer, premature aging, weak bones and fatigue.”
The answer to prevention may be as simple as including alkaline water in your daily regimen. These symptoms can easily be avoided by adding iodized water to maintain your body’s pH. Water such as Alkame Water not only helps regulate pH balances but can help the immune system, improve cardio-respiratory function and enhance energy levels.
Unlike tap and bottled water, Alkame is produced in such a way that allows cells in the body to absorb water much faster and, in turn, hydrate the body more efficiently. Plus, it fights oxidative stress and free radicals.
“If someone were to ask me, ‘What is the one thing I can do to have better health?’ then the answer would be simple: Start drinking alkaline, iodized water,” says Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD, and author of the “The pH Miracle.”
Alkame Water, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinacle Enterprise, Inc. (OTCBB: PINS) (OTCQB: PINS). For more information about Alkame Water and its benefits, visit www.alkamewater.com.

Ants: America’s Number-One Nuisance Pest

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Imagine an earless creature that can carry 20 times its body weight living with thousands of seemingly identical clones that will fight to the death when challenged. While this image could be taken right from a science-fiction thriller, it also depicts America’s number one nuisance pest ? the ant!
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Dr. Lauren Hansen of Spokane Falls Community College and Washington State University, ant infestations are on the rise across the country. The survey found carpenter ants, odorous house ants and pavement ants to be the most prevalent species invading American homes.
Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA, noted, “Many ants are nuisance pests that can contaminate food sources, but others are known to damage property. Carpenter ants, for instance, tunnel through wood, which can compromise a property’s structural stability, and crazy ants can infest and destroy electronic devices. It is important homeowners take precautions to prevent against these troublesome pests.”
There are approximately 700 species of ants in the United States and nearly as many ways to control them. To prevent against most of the common invaders, the best strategy is to clean. Wipe down counters, regularly remove garbage, clean up grease spills, rinse and remove empty soda cans or other recyclables and mop/sweep the floors. Homeowners should also keep food in sealed containers and keep pet food and water dishes clean. Eliminate sources of moisture in and around the home, such as leaky pipes or damp and humid basements. Finally, seal cracks and holes around the home to close entry points, trim tree branches away from the home, and make sure wood and wood products are not stored adjacent to the house.
As many homeowners can attest, when you see one ant, lots more are soon to follow. While some ant colonies house thousands of members, some super colonies have been known to be home to millions of ants. Anyone who suspects they have an ant problem should contact a pest management professional to identify the species and recommend a course of action. For more information about ants and a list of local and qualified pest professionals, visit PestWorld.org.

Ants: America’s Number-One Nuisance Pest

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Imagine an earless creature that can carry 20 times its body weight living with thousands of seemingly identical clones that will fight to the death when challenged. While this image could be taken right from a science-fiction thriller, it also depicts America’s number one nuisance pest ? the ant!
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Dr. Lauren Hansen of Spokane Falls Community College and Washington State University, ant infestations are on the rise across the country. The survey found carpenter ants, odorous house ants and pavement ants to be the most prevalent species invading American homes.
Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA, noted, “Many ants are nuisance pests that can contaminate food sources, but others are known to damage property. Carpenter ants, for instance, tunnel through wood, which can compromise a property’s structural stability, and crazy ants can infest and destroy electronic devices. It is important homeowners take precautions to prevent against these troublesome pests.”
There are approximately 700 species of ants in the United States and nearly as many ways to control them. To prevent against most of the common invaders, the best strategy is to clean. Wipe down counters, regularly remove garbage, clean up grease spills, rinse and remove empty soda cans or other recyclables and mop/sweep the floors. Homeowners should also keep food in sealed containers and keep pet food and water dishes clean. Eliminate sources of moisture in and around the home, such as leaky pipes or damp and humid basements. Finally, seal cracks and holes around the home to close entry points, trim tree branches away from the home, and make sure wood and wood products are not stored adjacent to the house.
As many homeowners can attest, when you see one ant, lots more are soon to follow. While some ant colonies house thousands of members, some super colonies have been known to be home to millions of ants. Anyone who suspects they have an ant problem should contact a pest management professional to identify the species and recommend a course of action. For more information about ants and a list of local and qualified pest professionals, visit PestWorld.org.

What’s for Dinner? Here’s the Answer

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s the inevitable question we’re asked by our families and ourselves: “What’s for dinner?”
Unfortunately for most, busy schedules make answering this question harder than it needs to be. That’s why Cook’s Ham, a top brand of ham in the U.S., developed Cook’s Everyday Cuts — great tasting smaller portion ham options that are perfect for effortless weeknight dinners that your whole family will enjoy. Cook’s knows that today’s hectic lifestyles call for fast, flavorful and affordable meal solutions. And because everyone likes a little change of pace, Everyday Cuts comes in a variety of options, including Ham Chops and Ham Medallions.
Whether it’s seasoned or glazed, straight from the package, warmed in the oven, microwaved or grilled, Everyday Cuts will help you have delicious meals on the table faster than you can say “who’s hungry?!” Everyday Cuts can be enjoyed on their own with your favorite side dish or as an ingredient in your favorite recipes.
For starters, try Ham Chops and Scalloped Potatoes for your next dinner and watch your family’s delight grow with every forkful.