Children’s Eyes Need Sun Protection, Too

(NewsUSA) – No matter what season it is, skin isn’t the only thing that gets burned by sunlight. Eyes are just as sensitive, and children’s eyes are especially vulnerable."The crystalline lens in children’s and teenagers’ eyes is more transparent than in adults, which makes them more susceptible to cornea and retina damage from the sun," says Corinne McCormack, spokesperson for The Vision Council and Fashion Director at FGX International, Inc. "Having your kids wear sunglasses while outdoors is actually as important as getting them to wear hats and sunscreen."The Vision Council just launched a Bureau of Missing Sunglasses initiative informing adults and children that "sunglasses are absolutely critical for keeping vision safe from UV damage," as stated in their 2012 report.So, what can you do to protect your young tike’s eyes?"If you’re concerned your little guy or gal won’t wear sunglasses, look for designs you know they love — like bright patterns, fun shapes or sunglasses with their favorite cartoon or movie character," adds McCormack. The following safety guidelines can also help:Seek shade for mid-day sun. UV rays are most powerful from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., so avoid being in direct sunlight without access to shade, umbrellas or protective clothing.Wear protective apparel. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are musts. Look for sunglasses with the ‘MaxBlock’ sticker, which indicates 100 percent UVA and UVB lens protection. The Foster Grant sunglass line (www.fostergrant.com) offers styles especially for kids as well as bands to keep them secure on small heads, and every pair has a MaxBlock seal.Set a good example. Your children will learn many habits from you, so reapply sunscreen often, and always remember to wear your sunglasses. Remind kids to pack their sunglasses and hats for vacation, and reward them for reapplying sunscreen. Don’t forget, sunglasses protect your eyes all year round.Failure to comply with eye safety may lead to long-term complications, including cataracts, retinal problems, macular degeneration, cancer and abnormal growths on the eye’s surface. Experts at the World Health Organization say ultraviolet (UV) damage is largely preventable. Encouraging good sun-exposure habits from childhood is a must.

Learning the History Behind Your Strings

(NewsUSA) – Pain relievers commonly taken by athletes for sports-related injuries and by arthritis sufferers can lead to ulcers, other gastrointestinal problems, and kidney and liver damage. These drugs, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are available over-the-counter and by prescription.In recent years, several professional athletes have reportedly been apprehensive about the potentially harmful long-term effects of anti-inflammatory medications and some have even refused to take them.But others, such as former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer, are choosing topical pain relievers to cope with their pain. Topical analgesics are creams, lotions or sprays that are applied to your skin to help relieve muscle and joint pain, including minor arthritis pain. Their active ingredients can be capsaicin, salicylates or counter-irritants.Capsaicin blocks the "pain message" from reaching the brain. Salicylates inhibit the hormonelike substances that contribute to pain and inflammation by seeping through the skin. Counter-irritants "fool" the pain by creating a feeling of cold or heat over sore muscles, thus masking the pain.Plummer, who has had 17 surgeries throughout his NFL career and one hip replacement since his retirement, uses a menthol-based pain relieving ointment when aches and pains hinder his everyday activities."I have arthritis in my wrists, in one of my ankles and six of my fingers," Plummer said. "So I just put Joint-Ritis on there."With the help of this topical pain reliever, he said he is now able to do more everyday activities without worrying about pain."It’s liberating to be able to do things that you basically had taken for granted," Plummer said.Now he is able to walk longer distances and even coach."I’m out there working with kids for almost six hours, five days a week," he said. "I’m able to demonstrate hitting positions. Put Joint-Ritis on and I’m good to go coach my boys and practice. That’s always been important to me … to spend time with my kids."Plummer said he often recommends this method to other people, including his wife whose hands often ache after hours of gardening.Joint-Ritis is available in stores where you buy your health care products. For more information, log on to www.jointritis.com.

Protect Your Home Against Winter’s Rush

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You’ve probably never thought of it this way, but your roof is to your home what a 300-pound football guard is to his team’s quarterback: the first line of defense against elements — in this case, the harsh winter weather — that would pummel it mercilessly if otherwise left unchecked.
Just like football players look for holes in their competitor’s defense, homeowners should first be on alert for missing shingles or deteriorated flashing (those metal seals around bends and joints on skylights and chimneys). More than 90 percent of roof damage occurs in these two areas, and spotting it early helps prevent bigger and more expensive headaches down the road.
“It really does make sense, financially, to perform inspections at least twice a year,” says Bob Tafaro, president and CEO of GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. “The best times are in spring, after severe weather hits, and then again in fall before the temperature and wind become too brutal.”
Continuing the football metaphor, here are some more tips from the experts:
Know Your Opponent
Especially given the crazy weather we’ve been having, you’ll want to examine the roof edge for wind damage, weaknesses or rusted nails, and handle repairs before the winter weather hits.
Next, be on the look-out for any spots indicating mold, algae and mildew growth — especially if there’s debris on your roof. (Hint: telltale signs include dark spots and discolored shingles.)
Call the Right Play
By “debris,” we particularly mean piles of wet leaves, sticks and small branches. None of these are your roof’s friend.
In fact, not only can they cause water to back up and flow under a roof causing rain or ice dams, but they’re also a shelter for pests eager to eat through your home’s top. So, routinely clean all gutters and drains, make sure the gutters are securely fastened, and check that downspouts point away from your house.
What to do should you discover damage? If you’re at all interested in prolonging your roof’s life, it really does pay to consult a professional roof contractor who is insured and uses quality materials. A free service that makes finding one in your area easy can be found at www.gaf.com.

Statin Drugs Can Improve Vascular Health

(NewsUSA) – There are many benefits for patients with all types of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) when they take statins. Side-effects are relatively rare, and there are many varieties of statins available that allow careful selection for the best statin for each individual patient.Statins lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, which reduces the rates of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis of leg arteries. Data suggest that statins beneficial effects go beyond simply lowering the level of "bad" cholesterol in the blood stream. They stabilize atherosclerotic plaques, making sudden rupture that causes stroke and heart attack less likely. They also lessen inflammation within the artery by improving the function of cells that line the inside of the artery. This likely leads to a lower chance of sudden thrombosis of any artery affected with artherosclerosis.Even patients who have previously had a heart attack, heart surgery, angioplasty, or a stent benefit in survival and protection from other cardiac events by taking statins. And patients who take these drugs while undergoing surgery or intervention for cardiac or vascular problems have a noticeably lower rate of complications during the surgical time period.Few adverse effects of statins have been recorded since their introduction 40 years ago. However, the effects can be severe, and it is important to know the potential down-side of these drugs. In rare circumstances, statins can cause liver damage. There are no symptoms with liver damage, so doctors do frequent laboratory tests when use of a statin is started to closely monitor liver function. Statins can also cause a wide range of muscle injury. In its worst form, myositis results from statin use. This rapid muscle destruction can lead to kidney failure. This side-effect is rare, but muscle pain and cramps are frequent and far less serious side-effects of statins.If your doctor prescribes statins, follow their advice for laboratory tests. If your atherosclerosis leads to vascular disease, see a vascular surgeon. Today’s vascular surgeons are the only specialists who are skilled in all vascular therapies. They are comprehensively trained in medical, endovascular (minimally invasive), and surgical therapies. Vascular surgeons are the experts who provide the best diagnosis and treatment for vascular conditions.To learn more about your vascular health and to find a vascular surgeon, visit the Society for Vascular Surgery’s website at www.VascularWeb.org.

Every Car Needs a Little TLC ? How to Maximize Vehicle Life

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – During the winter months, cold weather gives way to the warm, fuzzy feelings brought on by the presence of that certain special someone. But it’s not just your significant other that deserves attention — your hard-working vehicle needs some extra TLC as well. Tires Plus offers a few tips to keep your vehicle running strong:
* Listen to each other. Keep your engine properly tuned. A vehicle that has a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can decrease gas mileage by as much as 40 percent. A single misfiring spark plug can cut fuel economy by up to 4 percent.
* Keep your vehicle refreshed. Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of motor oil for your vehicle, and change it according to your vehicle owner’s manual, which usually says every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage. Regularly check your vehicle’s fluid levels, including transmission, power steering, windshield washer and coolant.
* Keep in constant contact. Maintain your tires. Check inflation pressure monthly, and make sure your tires are properly balanced. Don’t forget to rotate your tires according to the maintenance schedule and have the alignment checked at least once a year.
* Be considerate. Use good driving habits. Accelerating quickly and stopping abruptly can prematurely wear your vehicle’s engine, transmission, tires and brakes. Aggressive driving also wastes gas.
* Protect it from the elements. Keep the exterior washed and waxed to preserve the paint finish and protect your vehicle from the environment. Salt, water, sand and even de-icing chemicals on the road can cause rust or other damage to a vehicle.
Every relationship takes work, even the one you have with your car. Never underestimate how far a little tender loving care toward your vehicle can go!

Skin Care Advice to Reverse Unsightly UV Damage

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Women know that they should protect their skin from sun damage. They slather on sunscreen or, at the very least, a facial moisturizer with SPF protection daily. But how many think about repairing the damage that is already done?
Most people associate UV rays with summers at the beach, but UV rays are ubiquitous. Any exposure to natural light, whether from playing beach volleyball, walking to a parked car, sitting near an office window or staging a snowball fight, can damage skin. For example, after a tan fades, people might notice dark spots, uneven skin tone, blotchiness or wrinkles. And that’s all just surface damage — UV rays penetrate deep into the skin, creating damage that won’t be visible for years.
“Under the surface there is invisible damage that can and will manifest into what is seen on the upper layer of the dermis,” says Dr. Adam Geyer, Kiehl’s Since 1851 consulting dermatologist, and instructor in clinical dermatology at Columbia University in New York City.
Even if women are diligent about using sunscreen all year long, their skin will still suffer some photodamage. Luckily, women can repair, as well as prevent, damage. Some women resort to expensive procedures, like chemical peels and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments, which use lasers, to lessen visible skin damage.
But women can also repair visible and invisible UV damage at home. Kiehl’s Since 1851 (www.kiehls.com), a company that has specialized in skin care since 1851, has recently introduced its Photo-Age Corrector High-Potency Spot Treatment. The treatment targets the melanin that causes discoloration by decreasing melanin production and helping to prevent existing melanin from rising to the surface. This decreases the appearance of blotches and dark spots for brighter, more translucent skin. At the same time, antioxidants help prevent damage from free radicals.
When used with its supporting cleanser, toner and moisturizer, the High-Potency Spot Treatment provides immediate luminosity, reduces dark spots and evens skin tone in as little as four weeks while also inhibiting invisible damage from rising to the surface. The clinically proven treatment is appropriate for all skin types and ethnicities.
For more information, visit www.kiehls.com.

Tips to Prepare for Severe Storms

When a major storm is forecast to arrive in your town, proper preparation is vital for staying safe and protecting your property. But despite the significant damage that can be caused by hurricanes and other severe storms, many citizens still fail to adequately prepare themselves.

According to a poll by the American Red Cross, 60 percent of Americans have made no specific hurricane evacuation plans and 73 percent have not practiced a family disaster plan.

But make no mistake: Preparedness is key to weathering the worst natural disasters. Keep the following tips in mind the next time a major storm is on its way:

Protect Your Child’s Sweet Smile

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s hard to turn on the television without hearing about sodas in schools and unhealthy school lunches contributing to rising childhood obesity. But a sugar-heavy diet does more than expand waistlines. Even children at healthy weights can experience tooth decay.

When children eat sugar, they’re not the only ones to get a meal. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth. As the bacteria consume the sugar, they produce an acid that causes cavities. And while some sugary culprits prove easy to identify — soda and candy, for example — children may also consume sugar when they eat burgers, orange juice or pizza.

The bacteria in the mouth do not distinguish between refined table sugar and the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables, so forbidding all sugary foods would deprive children of important nutrients. That said, parents can take steps to minimize the damage caused by their children’s diets by following these tips:

* Brush children’s teeth after every meal and snack. Immediately removing sugar from the mouth gives it less time to feed bacteria. If you can’t brush your children’s teeth right away, ask them to drink water to flush away some of the sugar.

* Use probiotics. The mouth is supposed to contain certain bacteria, but a sugary diet helps bad bacteria overtake the mouth. Children can restore healthy levels of good bacteria with an oral care probiotic, such as EvoraKids (www.MyEvoraKids.com) probiotic chews. High numbers of good bacteria will give bad bacteria less surface area to grow. Even if a child eats sugar, there won’t be enough bad bacteria to use that sugar to create an acid challenge for teeth.

* Serve sweets with meals. Slowly sipping on a soda throughout the day does far more damage than a soda consumed all at once and with a meal. Continually drinking or snacking on sugary foods gives teeth a constant sugar bath.

* Choose sweets carefully. Not all sweet foods cause the same amount of damage. Foods that stick to the teeth, like taffy, caramel and raisins, feed bad bacteria longer than sweets that quickly leave the mouth. And while fruits like apples and pears do contain sugar, they also stimulate cleansing saliva, so eating these fruits helps protect teeth.

In Spring, Birds, Bees and … Termites?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Spring doesn’t just mean flowers and sunshine — it’s also the perfect season for termite infestations.

Warmer temperatures inspire young male and female termites to fly from their colonies in search of ideal places to build new ones. And unfortunately for many Americans, termites often start colonies in human homes. In fact, termites cause $5 billion in property damage each year.

Termites eat more than wood. In addition to destroying housing structures, a termite colony can quickly decimate flooring, carpeting and wallpaper.

“Although social insects, termites are excellent at concealing their presence,” said Greg Baumann, senior scientist of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). “So often, termites are only discovered once severe property damage is visible.”

Signs of infestation include swarms of winged forms in the fall and spring, evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood structures, wood that looks darkened or blistered, and thin wood that a knife or a screwdriver can puncture.

The NPMA offers the following advice to Americans looking to prevent termites from eating them out of house and home:

– Water draws termites, so avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Use downspouts, gutters and splash blocks to divert water. Keep gutters free of leaves and other organic debris. Quickly repair damage from leaks, both indoor and outdoor.

– Never store or bury mulch, wood debris, scrap lumber, sawdust or firewood near your home. If you do keep firewood outside, keep it elevated at least one inch above the ground.

– Eliminate contact between the wooden parts of your home and the soil. Trim shrubs and other plants so that they do not touch your home.

If you suspect termites, speak to a professional. For more information, contact the National Pest Management Association at www.pestworld.org.

Basement Water Damage: A Costly Home Repair

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Seepage, failing pipes and condensation are the most common causes of costly moisture and water damage to concrete and masonry surfaces in basements.

A recent study from a leading home insurance provider found that the typical water damage repair costs homeowners approximately $5,000. Before water-related problems escalate, first identify potential and existing sources of water damage, and make the necessary repairs both inside and outside your home.

These simple steps can help in this task and will save you time, frustration and money:

1) If water is seeping through small cracks in basement walls, begin by clearing any loose debris from around the crack with a chisel. The active leak can then be plugged within 3 to 5 minutes with a product like Quikrete Hydraulic Water-Stop Cement. Cement-based materials, however, should only be applied over non-painted concrete or masonry surfaces.

2) With the problem addressed at its source, check for openings around windows, control joints and pipes in basement walls. Create a waterproof seal around the openings using a polyurethane non-sag sealant.

3) Along with sealing around pipes, it’s important to note that freeze/thaw temperature cycles can cause pipes to crack and separate, resulting in basement flooding. Insulate around pipes to prevent these types of failures from occurring.

4) Finally, check the grade of the soil around your home’s foundation to ensure proper drainage, and have a well-maintained gutter system to deal with rain runoff. Clothes dryers in basements should be correctly vented to reduce condensation. A dehumidifier may also be needed.

With regular checks and diligent maintenance, homeowners can easily avoid water damage issues in basements and prevent the need for big-ticket repairs.

This information was taken from “Guide to Concrete, Masonry & Stucco Projects,” a new book from The Quikrete Companies. The book, the first in a series of Quikrete books written in cooperation with Creative Publishing Int., educates the public about proper applications, techniques and building practices.

The book is available for purchase at home improvement centers, hardware retailers, national bookstore chains and online. For more information, visit www.quikrete.com.