Monthly Archives: February 2016

  • 29%

    That's right - a reminder... at Midnight this deal ends... $29 off any order over $100! (well, a few exceptions, but almost any order)

    Hurry and save on  restocking your first aid kit or cabinet, preparing for Spring and Summer safety needs, or just buying something fun you've wanted... it's an extra deal for an extra day on the calendar!

    leap-day-sale-2016-29-dollars-off-Today

  • Getting Enough Sleep? Part of this may be WHERE you live!

    35% of U.S. adults do not get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep continues to be a problem in the U.S. What is fascinating is that this varies by State and Region in the US!

    Are you one of those sleep-deprived adults? 

    Here's some great information from the CDC:

    How much sleep do we need and what can happen when we're not getting enough?

    Sleep is an important part of good health.1 Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is linked to increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and poor mental health, as well as early death.2-4 Not getting the recommended amount of sleep can affect your ability to make good decisions and increases the chances of motor vehicle crashes.1

    According to professional sleep societies, adults aged 18 to 60 years should sleep at least 7 hours each night for the best health and wellness.5

    How much sleep are we getting?

    About 1 in 3 (an estimated 83 million) U.S. adults reported usually sleeping less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period, based on data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey that was done in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not getting enough sleep is a problem that affects a large number of Americans. If you are not getting enough sleep, you should make sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits. You should also talk to your healthcare provider about how much sleep you get and any other sleep problems you might have.

    Does your part of the country get enough sleep?

    In the darker blue states (mostly Great Plains states), a greater percentage of adults are getting the recommended amount of sleep.

    In the lighter blue states (mostly southeastern U.S. and along the Appalachian Mountains), a lower percentage of adults are getting the recommended amount of sleep.

    Map: Age-adjusted percentage of adults who reported 7 or more hours of sleep per 24-hour period, by state - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2014

    Age-adjusted percentage of adults who reported 7 or more hours of sleep per 24-hour period, by state - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2014

    • 56.1-62.1: Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, South Carolina, New York, West Virginia, Ohio
    • 62.2-64.0: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New Jersey, Tennessee, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Nevada, Virginia
    • 64.1-67.0: Florida, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Alaska, Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri, California, Arizona, Texas
    • 67.1-68.7: Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, District of Columbia, Wisconsin, New Mexico, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming
    • 68.8-71.6: Iowa, Vermont, Kansas, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Minnesota, Colorado, South Dakota

    Infographic: Did you get enough sleep last night 35% of adults are not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. Click to read what you can do to get more sleep.

    Who is at higher risk for not getting enough sleep?

    Everyone is at risk of not getting enough sleep, but the risk is higher for shift workers. Shift work— any shift outside normal daylight hours, such as night shift, evening shift, or rotating shift — is more common for some occupations:

    • Medical professionals (doctors and nurses)
    • Emergency response workers
    • Transportation industry workers (truck drivers)
    • Workers in the manufacturing, hospitality, or retail industries

    How can you get healthy sleep?

    Some habits that can improve your sleep health:

    • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
    • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
    • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
    • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
    • Avoid tobacco/nicotine
    • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
    Man writing in journalKeep a journal of your sleep patterns to discuss with your doctor.

    If you still have trouble sleeping, discuss your sleep with your doctor. Before your appointment, keep a 10-day sleep journal or diary to share with your doctor that includes when you:

    1. Go to bed
    2. Fall asleep
    3. Wake up
    4. Get out of bed
    5. Take naps
    6. Exercise
    7. Drink alcohol
    8. Consume caffeine-containing beverages

    If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleepy during the day after a full night's sleep, make sure to tell your doctor.

    References

    1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.
    2. Grandner MA, Chakravorty S, Perlis ML, Oliver L, Gurubhagavatula I. Habitual sleep duration associated with self-reported and objectively determined cardiometabolic risk factors. Sleep Med 2014;15:42–50.
    3. Liu Y, Wheaton AG, Chapman DP, Croft JB. Sleep duration and chronic diseases among US adults age 45 years and older: evidence from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Sleep 2013;36:1421–1427.
    4. Gallicchio L, Kalesan B. Sleep duration and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Sleep Res 2009;18:148–158.
    5. Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adults: methodology and discussion. Sleep 2015; 38(8):1161–1183.
  • Leap Weekend!

    We've told you about Leap Year and the Gregorian & Julian Calendars - we even explained that Leap Year is NOT every 4 years and offered you an amazing Leap Year Sale... now what?

    How about some Leap Year Trivia?

    frogHow Leap Year started 

    Ancient Egyptians first figured out that the solar year and the man-made calendar year didn't match up. This is because it takes the Earth longer than a year to travel around the Sun — to be exact, it takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. As the hours accumulate over the centuries, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official.

    Leap Day birthdays

    According to astrologers, those born under the sign of Pisces on February 29 have unusual talents and personalities reflecting their special status.
    Most have to wait every four years to "officially" observe their birthdays, but leap year babies typically choose either February 28 or March 1 to celebrate in years that aren't leap years.

    Leap Day traditions

    While leap day helped official timekeepers, it also resulted in social customs turned upside down when February 29 became a "no man's land" without legal jurisdiction.

    As the story goes, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in 5th century Ireland, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the fair sex having to wait for men to propose. Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man's hand in marriage.

    The tradition continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that on February 29 a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she fancied. Menfolk who refused were faced with a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves given to the rejected lady fair.

    A similar modern American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day, honors "the homeliest gal in the hills" created by Al Capp in the cartoon strip Li'l Abner. In the famous story line, Sadie and every other woman in town were allowed on that day to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in Dogpatch. Although the comic strip placed Sadie Hawkins Day in November, today it has become almost synonymous with February 29.

    The plot of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance revolved around Frederic's discovery that, because he is a leapling, he must remain apprenticed to pirates and serve another 63 years before he can join Mabel, his one true love.

    Other Leap Year trivia

    • The town of Anthony, Texas, organizes a leap year festival. It proudly calls itself the leap year capital of the world and leap year “babies”, or leaplings, around the world come to its parade.
    • Nothing really significant in history has happened on Feb 29, although the people of Haiti might see it differently. It was eight years ago to the day that power-hungry President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned.
    • In Greece, people believe it is bad luck to get married in a leap year. On the other hand, in Ireland, women can propose to a man.
    • According to a tale dating back to fifth century Ireland, St Brigid complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for men to propose marriage, and so he decided that in a leap year, women could take the initiative. However, if some sources are to be believed, Brigid was still a girl when Patrick died, which would make her a very precocious child!
      A Scottish law enacted in 1288 – although unsubstantiated – by the unmarried and supposedly five-year-old Queen Margaret that allowed women the right to corner a man with a proposal. Men who refused would have to pay a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress or a pair of gloves. Which would you have preferred?
    • There’s a similar custom in the United States that was born from the famous comic strip L’il Abner by American cartoonist Al Capp. In his fictional town of Dogpatch, there was a character called Sadie Hawkins, who couldn’t attract a husband because she was ugly. Her father then set up a day each year when women could literally chase after the bachelors in town in a race. The unlucky sod who is caught would have to marry the women who nabs him. While the event was held in November in the comic strip, it now seems to be associated with Feb 29.
    • Superstitious Chinese believe that more accidents and mishaps occur during the leap month in the lunar calendar. They also think that children born in that month are harder to bring up. Nor are they keen to start a business or get married then.
      US Presidential elections and Summer Olympic Games are both held every four years and occur in the Leap Year.
  • Sneak Peak for Leap!

    Here's a Head Start for our Readers... Since you follow our posts, we wanted to give you early access to our Leap Day Sale! Up to 29% off! Click and $AVE!

    $29 off $100 or more! That's as much as 29% off - an Extra Day this Year to save! $29 off $100 or more! That's as much as 29% off - an Extra Day this Year to save!

    Learn more about Leap Year: Leaping LizardsThe Pope KnowsIs Leap Year every 4 Years? No.

     

  • Is Leap Year every 4 Years? No.

    Most of us think Leap Year occurs every four year - that's not correct - in the Julian Calendar used prior to 1582, that was the case, but that was an inaccurate system that led to our calendar getting so far out of sync with the tropical year that when the calendar was reinvented and the Gregorian calendar was first adopted in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain in 1582, 10 days had to be removed to get us back to where we should be and calculation of leap years included the following changes:

    • Formula for calculating leap years:
      1. The year is evenly divisible by 4;
      2. If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
      3. The year is also evenly divisible by 400: Then it is a leap year

    Make sense? A little complex, but not as confusing as the more accurate Mayan calendar, and it keeps us better in tune with the sun.

    calculator-2

  • The Pope Knows

    Leap Year: Did you know Pope Gregory XIII is responsible for it? It's true... that and a mysterious 10 days that disappeared altogether.

    In 1582, Pope Gregory did away with the Julian (yes, named after Julius Caesar) calendar and took his first leap - he skipped forward 10 days to start the calendar most widely used calendar in the world today, thereby obliterating 10 days altogether - bummer if your birthday fell on those days!Julian_to_Gregorian_Date_Change

    This "Gregorian Calendar" is a solar calendar based on a 365-day common year divided into 12 months of irregular lengths. The previous "Julian Calendar" was inaccurate. It did not properly reflect the tropical year which is the actual time it takes the Earth to circle once around the Sun.

    Note: While Pope Gregory is responsible for imposing this new calendar and vaporizing the 10 days required to reset with the Sun, the Gregorian calendar is only named after Pope Gregory XIII. It is actually an adaptation of a calendar designed by Italian doctor, astronomer and philosopher Luigi Lilio (also known as Aloysius Lilius). He was born around 1510 and died in 1576, six years before his calendar was officially introduced.

     

  • Leaping Lizards

    Leap Year is here, and Leap Day is coming up fast... how much do you know about it?

    We'll be sharing information about Popes, Mayans, and Emperors over the next few days - all to enlighten you about this Leap Year (which of course is also the Year of the Monkey!)

    Stay tuned and learn how this "extra day" affects us all...

    2016+

  • National African American History Month: Preparing Communities for Disasters

    In celebration of National African American History Month on Thursday, February 25, FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar focusing on engaging the public on nationwide disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving African American communities.

    Title: National African American History Month: Preparing Communities for Disasters
    Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016
    Time:
    1:00-2:00 p.m. EST

    Featured Speakers:                                 

    • Linda Wilson, Chair, Delta Emergency Response Task Force, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will discuss how fraternities and sororities can support disaster preparedness and response.
    • Jacqueline Patterson, Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP will discuss what local civic organizations can do to increase preparedness.
    • Shamika Ossey, RN, BSN, PHN, Community Engagement & Resilience Consultant, South LA Teen CERT, will discuss youth preparedness and disaster response.

    How to Join the Webinar:

    african-american-history

  • Protecting Children From Scalds

    Just because Burn Week is over, doesn't mean awareness of scald dangers, and burn safety should end. Remember that 10,000 Children are Hospitalized with Burns and you should Prevent Scald Burns to Keep Your Family Safe.

    It may help you protect your children from scald injury if you think about it in three time frames:

    1. You can make some changes in your kitchen or bath area which will have a long-term impact.
    2. You can take certain steps right before children are in the area where you’re preparing hot food or beverages, and
    3. You can protect children while they’re in your immediate area when you are cooking and dining.

    While nothing can take the place of close supervision, certain household modifications can have a long-acting impact on scald injury risk to young children.

    • Draw the boundary of a “kid-free” zone on the floor or mark it with tape. At a very young age, children can understand “NO” when it refers to entering that zone.
    • Put away your tablecloths while children are little. Use placemats with a non-slip surface instead.
    • Use spill-resistant “travel mugs” as hot beverage containers. They have tight lids that can only be opened by pushing a lever.

    Here are some same-day steps you can take before small children are in the immediate area.

    • Keep friends, relatives, and sitters informed
    • Turn pan handles away from stove front
    • Observe safe microwave oven practices
    • Protect electric cooking appliances and cords

    Note especially the visitor rule:  When friends, relatives and babysitters arrive, you can tell them just what activities a small child is getting into lately involving the kitchen and dining areas. Even the most frequent visitors and caretakers may be unaware of recent growth progress that can place toddlers  even more at risk of scald injury.

    For example, household members may know they need to keep hot coffee cups off a low table a child has just learned to reach, but a visitor may not. If a toddler discovers and spills a cup of hot coffee placed on the table by a visitor, the resulting burn could cover a large area of a small child’s body and require burn center care.

    Be sure to turn pot handles away from the stove edge when you start cooking.

    Avoid using microwave ovens to heat baby bottles. And don’t allow young children to use microwave ovens themselves.

    Place electric cooking appliances where extension cords are not needed and keep appliance cords away from the counter edge.

    The following safety-oriented behaviors will further reduce the risk of scald injury when small children are right underfoot.

    Kid-Free-ZoneScald-safe child supervision

    • Supervise young children at all times
    • Encourage use of “kid-safe” zone
    • Never hold a child in your arm:

    –While preparing or serving hot food

    –While drinking a hot beverage

    • Keep hot food and liquids high and out of the reach of young children

    The best way to make household modifications and everyday preparations effective is to keep track of what young children are doing at all times. Inattention can undermine safety measures you’ve put in place.

    You’ve already taught children about the “kid-free” zone. While you’re cooking, encourage them to enjoy the “kid-safe” zone outside that area. For very young children, the best “kid-safe” place in the kitchen is a playpen or high chair.

    The most dangerous place may be in the arm or lap of an adult who is preparing or serving hot food or drinking a hot beverage. If a child bumps the arm holding the hot food or drink, the resulting spill could cause a serious injury.

    Keep hot food and liquids high and out of the reach of young children. Since microwave ovens do not always heat foods and beverages evenly, stir and test hot food portions before serving children.

    Burn Safety Supplies Burn Safety Supplies
  • Fire Safety for Older Adults

    Fires are a serious risk in colder seasons - and even more so for older adults and children - We have talked about many safety concerns for seniors, including Seniors and Scalding Burn InjuriesHelping to prevent falling at homeSeniors Staying Alone and special Winter Dangers for Seniors.

    Seniors-FireNow let's take a look at how home firs risks may be a little different for the elderly:

    According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), older adults – ages 65 and older – are more likely to be injured during a fire.

    It is important that older adults and their caregivers take steps to protect themselves from a fire in their home.

    USFA has safety recommendations for older adults and their caregivers, which may include:

    • Have a smoke alarm that works for you and the functional needs that you have.  For example, many smoke alarms have lower decibel ranges for those who are hard of hearing. Others may have smoke alarms with strobes or separate bed shaker. There are also smoke alarms with long-lasting batteries for someone with a mobility disability or vision loss.
    • Have conversations with household members, caregivers and friends about your fire safety plan.  Develop and test an escape plan that works for you and your household if you live in a single family home.  If you live in multi-level housing such as an apartment or high-rise building, know your evacuation plan.
    • Take in consideration any additional items you may need to take with you quickly. For example, keep any devices such as wheelchairs, canes, eyeglasses and hearing aids in a consistent place so you can get out quickly;

    For more information about how to protect older adults in your family or community, visit the USFA website.

    Fire emergencies and the need to evacuate go hand in hand. Being able to safely and efficiently vacate the premises is imperative to your health and survival. Our fire evacuation supplies offer the tools needed to cautiously and successfully leave the vicinity and should be readily available in every home as well as private and public business buildings.

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