(NewsUSA) – Finding relief for the common cold remains frustrating for doctors and cold sufferers alike. However, a simple copper device may help prevent colds and reduce the spread of infection.The science behind the CopperZap device is that bacteria, viruses, and other microbes die quickly on copper surfaces. Researchers believe copper’s high electrical conductance interferes with the delicate balance of a microbe cell and destroys it in seconds.In fact, some hospitals are experimenting with adding copper to high-touch surfaces such as faucets and call buttons to help kill bacteria on contact and reduce the spread of infection, according to a recent story in The Washington Post.CopperZap is a tool made of pure copper with a nasal probe at one end. The probe is designed to be rubbed gently in the nose for 60 seconds at the first sign of a cold coming on. In addition, touching the device can help kill illness-causing bacteria on the hands and fingers."Copper is great at killing superbugs," says Dr. Bill Keevil, a pioneer in researching copper and infectious diseases.In particular, copper can kill a type of virus known as a coronavirus that causes respiratory problems ranging from the mild discomfort of a common cold to potentially lethal pneumonia, according to Dr. Keevil. Other researchers have found that copper is effective against flu viruses and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).Copper has been used for a variety of health purposes since ancient times; evidence suggests that Egyptians and Greeks used it to purify water and to disinfect ulcers and other infections on the skin. Reports from the Civil War document the use of copper to promote healing in battlefield wounds.In 2012, Dr. Doug Cornell, PhD, an American inventor, learned about the microbe-killing power of copper and saw the potential for a handheld device to combat viruses. Dr. Cornell designed the CopperZap to combat cold and flu viruses in the nose and on the fingers."Over 99 percent of people who used it and reported results say it worked to stop a cold they felt about to start," Dr. Cornell says. Other users report that the CopperZap has stopped flu symptoms, cured cold sores, and relieved sinus discomfort, he adds.For more information, visit copperzap.com.
(NewsUSA) – With the intense summer heat and horrible air quality, some people across the California Central Valley and other areas of the country are finding it difficult to breathe. When this happens, they quickly turn to their asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) inhalers. Greater use of these devices means more refills are needed.For many middle-class families, the ongoing out-of-pocket costs for asthma or COPD medications is a growing burden. When money runs low, some people will try to stretch the use of their inhalers for as long as possible; others try to get by without them at all, placing their health at risk.Asthma affects about one in every 13 Americans, one-fourth of whom are under the age of 18. It is the third-leading cause of hospital stays for children. COPD is a group of progressive lung diseases that obstructs airflow. Some 16 million Americans suffer from COPD, 70 percent of whom are 45 and older.While many patients and caregivers struggle with these complex conditions, the high-cost insurance premiums, along with steep deductibles, copays, and poor prescription coverage, can prove a significant barrier. This is compounded by the fact that 75 percent of patients are not taking their medication correctly. And the impact of nonadherence can mean a visit to the hospital.Asthma and COPD require an arsenal of medications. And, it is not uncommon for people suffering from one of these conditions to be impacted by other chronic conditions.Rather than point fingers at medication costs or insurance company profits, it is important to help people find solutions.Copay assistance cards, also called copay coupons, can help take the financial sting out of the cost of medication. Go to www.legacyhealthendowment.org to obtain one, and look for the button, " Click for Asthma and COPD Recommendations."Please remember to start with your local pharmacist. He or she is the most informed about prescription medications.And if you are uninsured, there are programs that often cover close to 100 percent of your costs. Try this website, mat.org, offered by the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s trade association.Cost should never be a barrier to care.Jeffrey Lewis is president and CEO of Legacy Health Endowment in Turlock Ca.Mr. Lewis’ email address is email@example.com
(NewsUSA) – Are all those stories about crippling student debt having an effect on college campuses? Just ask post-Millennials now trying – albeit not always successfully – to avoid being saddled with the same heavy burden of debt as their predecessors.
According to Fidelity Investments’ new “College Savings: Lessons Learned Study,” not only did 83 percent of current college students surveyed consider what their total costs would be before matriculating – just 69 percent of recent graduates had such foresight – but 39 percent of them said the potential price tag was such “a huge factor” that they purposely limited their choice of schools to the most affordable. Only 32 percent of recent graduates, alas, had shown similar restraint.
“It seems today’s college students are perhaps more aware of the financial situation they entered into than those who graduated before them,” said Melissa Ridolfi, Fidelity’s vice president of retirement and college leadership. “That’s a positive development.”
All told, student debt in the U.S. now totals more than $1.5 trillion – second only to mortgage debt, Forbes reported. And the 69 percent or so of the Class of 2018 who took out student loans graduated with an average debt balance of $29,800.
So you can understand why recent graduates would be so stressed out over whether they’d ever be able to pay off their loans that they’re now having second thoughts about their decisions:
* 40 percent said that while they don’t regret going to college, they would’ve made different choices in hindsight.
* Only 14 percent felt the value of their education was worth more than the money they’d spent.
Oh, and future college students should listen up for this sage advice from the more than 4,000 respondents surveyed – all recent graduates, current undergraduates, and parents of either or both – on what would’ve done wonders to ease their own stress levels.
“When asked ‘If you knew then what you know now when it comes to school selection, what would you do differently?’ the number one answer for all respondents was ‘I would’ve started saving earlier,'” Ridolfi said.
Which logically brings us to another key finding of the study: Only 17 percent of current students and recent graduates had taken advantage, prior to college, of what’s arguably one of the best ways to fund higher education: 529 savings plans.
Unlike regular bank savings accounts, they provide a tax-advantaged way to save money to cover tuition, books and other education-related expenses at most accredited two- and four-year colleges, universities and vocational-technical schools.
The key phrase being “tax-advantaged.” Meaning, earnings grow federal income tax-deferred and withdrawals for qualified expenses are free from federal (and, in many places, state) income taxes – thus affording the opportunity to have even more saved for college.
Significantly, Ridolfi said families using a 529 plan managed by Fidelity have been starting to sock money away earlier than ever before, with contributions beginning on average when the child is about age six and a half. Thirty-six percent of Fidelity 529s are even opened for beneficiaries under – yes – age 2.
You say a child hasn’t even uttered his or her first complete sentence before they’re two? Probably not. But just so you’re not bushwhacked when they suddenly hit their late teens, free online resources like Fidelity’s College Savings Learning Center and College Savings Quick Check – a calculator that even shows you the impact of saving a few dollars more a month – can help prepare you for what lies ahead.
Think of them as your own first baby steps.
(NewsUSA) – You probably don’t think much about the fate of old, worn-out uniforms from restaurants, stores, healthcare facilities, sports teams, and other industries. But the fact is that many end up in landfills. However, one company is doing its part to lessen this carbon footprint by repurposing these old uniforms into new.Eco Tek 360, a forward-thinking fiber technology company and a division of Global Fiber Technologies, Inc. a public company, (GFTX), has developed a proprietary technology that removes the fibers from fabrics that have reached the end of their useful life cycle. The fibers are extracted from a landfill-destined garment and used to create yarn, make new fabric, and then get sewn into fabric which is turned into "rejuvenated" uniforms. Each time the uniform comes back to the client, the process creates a true circular economy and reduces carbon footprints."It takes between 500 to 700 gallons of water to grow one pound of cotton and Eco Tek 360 can help save billions of gallons each year through utilization of its patent- pending process," says Chris Giordano, president and co-chairman of Global Fiber Technologies."We will take corporate uniforms at the end of their useful life that would otherwise head for disposal and re-purpose them back to the same company as sustainable, high quality uniforms for their employees," says Giordano."Our primary raw material is sourced from uniforms being disposed of by our corporate clients, allowing us to be competitive on price," says Paul Serbiak Global’s CEO.There are three steps to the ECOTEK process:- Recovery: Companies collect old uniforms and send them to Ecotek. Customers earn a credit towards new uniform purchases.- Rejuvenation: Rejuvenation is the heart of the Ecotek philosophy. The company uses a patented procedure to remove old fiber from fabric, restore it, and create new fabric. The rejuvenated fiber is soft, strong, and comfortable, and looks like new.- Re-creation: The fabric made from the rejuvenated fiber is then used to make new uniforms."The entire process takes place in the USA, ensuring fair labor practices and extremely high quality standards," according to the company. Ecotek will offer customized design in large and small batches with quick turnaround times.Buying uniforms made with rejuvenated fibers not only saves water and energy, it saves money, and allows employees to feel proud and look great with options for customized style and sizing.Surveys show that a majority of entry-level employees prefer to work for an environmentally friendly company and more than half of consumers prefer to buy from companies with a green reputation.For more information about how your company can go greener and look great doing it, visit https://globalfibertechnologies.com/ecotek-360/.
(NewsUSA) – An estimated 34 million Americans provide unpaid care to adults age 50 or older every year, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, and that number is rapidly growing. More than half of those caregivers feel they have to make compromises at work to care for their aging parents, according to a new survey from Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network.With the rise in our aging population, more and more adult children are assuming the role of caregiver while also maintaining a full- or part-time job. This pressure to balance work and caregiving responsibilities has left 61 percent of working caregivers feeling as if they must choose between being a good employee and being a good daughter or son. To make matters worse, only 29 percent of these caregivers are satisfied with their employer’s family leave policy.As this issue grows to impact a larger percentage of the workforce, it will be essential that employees and employers work together to find solutions. Consider the following recommendations as ways to get started:1. Ask for help – For caregivers, it can be extremely difficult, but also tremendously beneficial, to ask their employer for help. For employers, create opportunities for employees to express their needs. Schedule brief weekly meetings to check in and ask how they are doing. Transparency helps eliminate pressure on the employees to keep their concerns to themselves.2. Create a flexible policy -When it comes to caring for a loved one, there are no fixed hours or planned deadlines; emergency situations can come at any moment. With a plan in place, employers and employees can be on the same page about flexible working hours or situations that require time off.3. Offer in-office assistance – Employers can create a culture of safety for working caregivers by forming a support group for employees who are in similar situations. Such groups not only provide a place for relief, but also create the opportunity for employees to grow relationships with one another – positively affecting workplace culture.4. Provide care for the caregiver – It can be easy for a caregiver to quickly forget about his or her own needs when caring for a loved one. Encourage individuals to take time to care for their own physical, mental and emotional well-being. In addition, pay attention to signs that indicate your employee may need a break. Connect them with available resources or encourage time away from work.5. Make time to listen – Lending an ear is one of the most impactful things an employer can do for a working caregiver. More than half of caregivers have expressed feelings of depression and find it difficult to care for themselves. When employers open the door for a conversation, they are providing hope and reassurance to the working caregiver.Family caregivers and employers can view more resources and tips at caregiverstress.com. Or, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office for additional resources and to learn how a professional CAREGiverSM may be able to assist.Find an office near you at www.homeinstead.com/state/.
(NewsUSA) – Skin cancer remains a deadly disease in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that approximately 5.5 million skin cancer diagnoses and 15,000 deaths will occur this year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Many misconceptions persist about sun protection and skin cancer, especially among people of color.
“The misperception that people of color don’t need sunscreen is one we need to change because we do burn and we are susceptible to skin cancer just like everyone else,” says Lavdena Orr, MD, a chief medical officer with AmeriHealth Caritas, a health care organization dedicated to the care of those most in need.
“Ultraviolet rays don’t discriminate against skin type, so avoiding sunburn is the primary way to reduce one’s risk of developing melanoma or any other type of skin cancer.”
Although overall rates of melanoma may be higher among whites, African-Americans are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage when the cancer is more severe and the prognosis is less favorable, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Ginette A. Okoye, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and chair of the department of dermatology at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., adds that in people of color, skin cancer may be more likely to develop in less obvious areas, such as the feet or nails.
“In some cases, excessive sun exposure is not necessarily the trigger for this type of cancer in skin of color,” according to Dr. Okoye. However, she notes that individuals with darker skin are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because “the pigment in our skin filters out sunlight which we need to produce vitamin D in the skin.”
Therefore, she recommends vitamin D supplements if needed and a vitamin D-rich diet, including salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
In addition, Dr. Okoye reminds her patients of all ethnicities to pay attention to three areas:
– Face: Wear sunscreen daily, or use hats or visors to help protect facial skin from direct sun exposure.
– Left side: The left arm, as well as the left side of the face, get a lot of sun exposure while driving. Add some sunscreen or a light, long-sleeved shirt if you have a long summer drive ahead.
– Cuts and scrapes: Areas of any sort of skin trauma need extra protection to reduce the risk of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
For more information, visit amerihealthcaritas.com.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends these basic tips for sun protection:
– Clothing: Look to long sleeves, wraps, and sarongs to shield your skin.
– Accessories: Hats and sunglasses can keep your face, neck, and ears safe and comfortable in the sun. Umbrellas work, too.
– Timing: Try to avoid excessive sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are the strongest.
– Sunscreen: When you are outdoors, use sunscreen. And reapply every two hours if you are swimming or sweating heavily.
(NewsUSA) – The start of the new school year should be a positive and exciting time for children, but for many it also means a return to being bullied, and the physical and mental health consequences that accompany it.Results of a study published in School Psychology Review found that nearly half of children in grades 4-12 reported being bullied by other students at least once during the previous month.According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, a slightly higher portion of female than of male students report being bullied at school (23 percent versus 19 percent.)In a 2017 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of North Carolina high schoolers reported being bullied on school property within the previous year. When broken down by gender, 23 percent of high school girls and 15 percent of high school boys in North Carolina reported being bullied at school.Possible signs that a child is being bullied at school include:- Acting in a way that is out of character for the child, such as becoming more angry or anxious.- Trying to avoid school with excuses such as increased physical complaints.- Demonstrating trouble with schoolwork.- Exhibiting unusual eating or sleeping habits.- Losing valuables such as lunch money or possessions."Bullying behavior tends to peak in middle school years, but it can happen at any age," says Dr. Michael Golinkoff of AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in healthcare solutions for those most in need."Victims of bullying may be reluctant to inform their parents or others. So it is important for parents to be observant for signs that their child may be getting bullied and respond accordingly," he emphasizes.But parents can help stop bullying before it starts and be part of the solution when it occurs. Some steps parents can take to help their child include:- Be informed. Find out your school’s policy on bullying and speak to the principal or other administrator.- Be engaged. Talk to your child about his or her experience. Don’t judge, just listen.- Be a team. Involve your child in strategies to help stop the bullying. Get the teachers on board so everyone knows what to do when problem behavior occurs."The most important advice for a child who is being bullied is to help them develop assertiveness skills and conflict resolution skills," says Dr. Golinkoff."This includes standing up for their beliefs and ignoring negativity directed towards them. Role playing exercises can help children learn how to take a stand against an aggressor."For more information, go to amerihealthcaritas.com.
(NewsUSA) – You win.In the latest sign that the competition for your money is as hot as Houston in August, Fidelity Investments says that customers opening individual brokerage and retirement accounts will now automatically have their uninvested cash directed into a higher yielding money market fund. The move will especially benefit those who leave substantial amounts uninvested for a long time.That’s contrary to the typical industry practice of sweeping the money, by default, into a low-yielding account at what’s often an affiliated bank. Just how low-yielding you’ll see in a minute."Some firms have removed the option of securing a higher yielding money market fund as an option for their cash, thereby forcing investors to take additional steps to get a better rate," says Kathleen Murphy, president of Fidelity Investment’s personal investing business. "Unfortunately, that means millions of people don’t get the opportunity to have that money earn more for them."So exactly how much, in actual dollars, do you stand to benefit from the new policy?Say you’re opening an account with $10,000. If you’re like many investors, research shows, not only won’t you focus on the rate paid on that cash deposit – typically, as we say, the bank cash sweep – but there’s a good chance of the following scenario playing out:* You keep waiting for the so-called "perfect time" to actually invest the money.* Meanwhile, while you’re waiting – and, hey, even seasoned pros sometimes hesitate to pull the trigger – life gets in the way and you’re too busy to even park the cash in a higher-yielding alternative to the sweep.And so the cash just sits there.And sits there.The annual yield on that $10,000, when defaulted into a cash sweep, is a mere 0.03 percent at E-Trade, 0.04 percent at TD Ameritrade, and 0.18 percent at Charles Schwab, to cite three prominent examples as of August 11.That works out, respectively, to $3, $4 and $18.By comparison, with Fidelity now automatically directing the cash into its Fidelity Government Money Market Fund (SPAXX), you could earn $183 annually thanks to its much higher 1.83 percent seven-day yield, as of August 11.The difference is even starker the more cash you’re sitting on.Have $50,000? That works out to $915 annually vs. a cash sweep of as little as $15.Double that to $100,000 – yes, it happens – and we’re talking $1,830 annually vs. a cash sweep of as little as $30.There’s nothing exotic about money market funds. Though they’re not FDIC-insured like bank sweeps are, they’ve been around since the 1970s and are simply mutual funds that invest in short-term debt securities carrying low credit risk. Their underlying securities are issued by government entities or companies that borrow money and repay the principal and interest to investors within a short period of time.The move is just the latest value enhancement by Fidelity, the nation’s largest retirement and brokerage firm with nearly $8 trillion in client assets. Last year it introduced four new U.S. and global index funds with zero expense fees, eliminated minimum amounts required to invest in any Fidelity mutual fund and 529 College Savings Plan, and did away with individual investors’ charges for things like domestic bank wires and check-stop payments."We’re once again rewriting the rules of investing," says Murphy.
(NewsUSA) – Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean gardeners everywhere can flex their green thumb that much longer to squeeze every last moment out of the growing season.Cooler temperatures make it a delight to spend time outside in the garden. You’ll spend less time caring for crops because of the favorable cool weather growing conditions. Plants will grow rapidly at first and gradually slow as the days become shorter and colder. Destructive insects won’t be as numerous, and weeds germinate less frequently and grow slower than they do during the warmer weather. Compared to hot and dry summers, fall usually brings an increase in precipitation, reducing another time-consuming chore -watering.Veteran or novice gardener, if you’re not ready to give up your garden, here’s how to get growing:Use transplants: For the timeliest results, buy quality transplants that are already started, so the germination process is complete. You’ll harvest six weeks sooner than growing from seed, with time to spare before the cold weather sets in.Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in the United States, and supplier of 300 varieties, offers a wide selection of plants, perfect for fall; availability of Bonnie’s fall varieties is limited to specific regions, so check your local garden retailers to find plants near you.Make friends with frost: Cole crops (German for cabbage, as in coleslaw), such as cauliflower, cabbage and kale grow well in cooler temperatures; and they taste even better when nipped by Jack Frost, since frost encourages cole crops to produce sugar, which in turn, makes them sweeter. Unlike cole crops, while tomatoes can still grow plentifully in fall, they are vulnerable to frost, so look for tips on how to cope with cold weather on Bonnie’s website.The experts at Bonnie Plants offer some fall gardening tips to make the most of the time you have left before winter:* Location, location, location: Plan your fall garden with enough sunlight (six to eight hours per day) to grow and thrive, while allowing for some afternoon shade. Spend time noting the sunniest spots and plant accordingly.* Prep the perfect soil. Just like humans, plants need their own brand of nutrition to thrive. Working in some compost can be beneficial, as well as removing spent plants, and weeds. Freshen garden soil by removing any mulch, then replace it. Straw makes an excellent cover; it’s easily scattered and is also a favorite home for spiders that control pests naturally.* Consider containers. Container gardening is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to grow your own food at home, plus it’s great for small spaces or urban dwellers who may not have greenspace.Pick your plants. From showy lettuces to hearty cole crops, fall provides a cornucopia of choices. Some good, cool weather choices are:* Georgia collards: These greens are prized for their sweet, cabbage-like flavor and are rich in vitamins and minerals.* Spinach: A cool-weather favorite is fast-growing, yielding many leaves in a short time span.* Artwork Broccoli: This variety is unique; instead of producing one large broccoli head, it yields tender, dark green side shoots with bite-size heads and long, edible stems – perfect for stir fry and sautéing.* Bonnie hybrid cabbage: Cabbage is especially high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, K, and fiber.Water wisely. It’s best to water in the morning, at the base of the plant (soil level) keeping the foliage dry. Water when the top 2 inches of the soil becomes dry to the touch. To test, stick your finger or a pencil about 2 inches down into the soil. If the soil is dry, 2 inches down, it’s time to water, if wet, wait until the soil is dry.Fertilize faithfully. Plants need an extra boost of nutrition for proper growth in the form of a high-quality fertilizer. Always follow manufacturer label directions for rates and intervals since too much fertilizer can be detrimental to plants.Prepare for harvesting. Once your plants start yielding results, have a plan in place for either eating fresh, or preserving. Who knows, this may be the perfect time to try your hand at canning or freezing to maximize freshness and time. Bonnie’s website has some fabulous recipes by variety, which can expand your culinary horizon!All it takes is proper prep and planning and soon your garden will yield a delicious garden-to-table feast before the first frost hits the ground. For more information on fall gardening and varieties, visit www.bonnieplants.com.
(NewsUSA) – The time-honored tradition of read-aloud storytelling to educate, entertain, and engage children is nearing a milestone.Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest retail bookseller, is approaching its one millionth kids’ Storytime since starting their readings over three decades ago.To celebrate, they’re hosting special readings at all 627 stores US-wide on Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8. They’ll include book-centric activities and book giveaways, while supplies last."It’s a special milestone for us, and we’re celebrating with a weekend of wonderful Storytimes for kids that will also evoke memories for adults who grew up with readings at their local Barnes & Noble bookstore," said Stephanie Fryling, VP of Merchandising, Children’s Books.Research proves that reading aloud to a young child bolsters many areas of development. When parents, teachers and caregivers read to a child, it fosters cognitive development, nurtures language skills, and prepares kids for school, according to the U.S. Children’s Bureau, a federal child advocacy agency. And we all know that bookstore readings have long been a way for stir-crazy adults to get their kids out of the house and into a child-friendly, educational environment.On Saturday, September 7 at 11am local time, booksellers in every store will read a newly published book by the beloved Dr. Seuss, "The Horse Museum." This fun story by one of the greatest children’s storytellers of all time takes kids on a museum tour, with a horse as their guide. It’s all about creating and looking at art. It will be exciting to experience this never-before-published book.On Sunday, they’ll read music-legend Paul McCartney’s "Hey Grandude!" an action-packed picture book about the fun adventures that grandkids and grandparents can have together. Sunday is also National Grandparents Day, so it’s a nod to grandparents everywhere. Grandparents bring your little ones!"It was important to mark this momentous occasion with a special event," Fryling said. "One million is undoubtedly a significant number to reach with anything. It’s an exciting time from which to look forward and launch our next million Storytimes.""Our booksellers are the centerpiece of the Storytime program," Fryling continues. "While we host a national Storytime every Saturday at 11AM, stores frequently hold additional Storytimes during the week with their community. At any given time, a bookseller can be found reading new kids’ books to kids, parents, and caregivers, sharing their love of reading with the next generation."For Mary Jane Leidal, a Children’s Lead at Barnes & Noble in Shelby Township, Michigan, Storytimes have been core to her work for over two decades. She appreciates that Storytime is often a first chance for young children and families to be in a group setting focusing on books and storytelling."For most of these young children, it’s the first exposure they have to sit in a group setting and interact with other children," she says. "It’s a wonderful place for families to gather. I’ve seen many friendships develop between families as they visit and chat in our welcoming children’s area."For more information about the One Millionth Storytime celebration, contact your local store or connect on: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest at #BNStorytime.