Friday, October 30, 2009

Jake’s Ice Cream to Serve Spotted Ice Cream, Inspired by “The 101 Dalmatians Musical,” at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, November 1

Enjoy the Family Musical and Delicious Treats to Benefit the Gwinnett Humane Society

Atlanta Broadway Series invites you to experience a delicious scoop of “101 Smiles,” the Dalmatian-inspired flavor offered by Jake’s Ice Cream in honor of “The 101 Dalmatians Musical.” The ice cream expert will be on hand to serve up this spotted treat beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing throughout the “The 101 Dalmatian Musical” Send-Off Spectacular on November 1. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Gwinnett Humane Society.

WHAT: 101 Smiles, Jake’s Ice Cream
Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Large Chocolate Chips
$4 a cup, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Gwinnett Humane Society

WHEN: Sunday, November 1, 2009, 1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria ParkwayAtlanta, GA 30339770-916-2800

WHY: Bring the family together for a fun-filled afternoon that satisfies their sweet tooth while benefitting Gwinnett Humane Society.

HOW: Event entry is FREE; however, tickets to the show must be purchased. There’s still time to get great seats at, by calling 800-982-2787 or at the Cobb Energy Centre box office. Prices start at $15.
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CPSC Warns: Don't Be Haunted by Burn and Laceration Hazards this Halloween

Soon the ghouls and goblins of Halloween night will prowl neighborhood streets in search of treats. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to ensure that candle flames from jack-o-lanterns, decorative obstacles on the porch or lawn, and sharp edges on costumes and accessories don't keep kids from enjoying this annual tradition of trick-or-treating.

Incidents involving burns from flammable costumes and lacerations related to pumpkin carving lead the list of Halloween-related injuries.

"Using inherently flame-resistant fabrics in home-made costumes and using battery-operated candles when decorating the house for Halloween can help keep children safe," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

Make this year's holiday a safe one by following a few simple safety tips:


* When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

* Purchase or make costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.

* For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be light-colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.

* Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.

* Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls.

* Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.

* Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing their vision.

* If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.

* Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.


* Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.

* Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters under three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use and present a choking hazard.


* Keep candles and jack-o'-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.

* Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.

* Indoors, keep candles and jack-o'-lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other items that could ignite. Do not leave burning candles unattended.

* Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.

* Don't overload extension cords.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

“The 101 Dalmatians Musical” Send-Off Spectacular on Sunday, November 1

Enjoy the Family Musical and Celebrate its Final Atlanta Performances

Atlanta Broadway Series invites you to grab the kids and come enjoy the final performances of “The 101 Dalmatians Musical" at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. During this free family event on Sunday, November 1, the fun will continue after the curtain call with a Dalmatian celebration.

WHAT: The 101 Dalmatians Musical Send-Off Spectacular

Guests will be entertained with music, games, contests and prizes. The Gwinnett Humane Society and its furry friends will be on site for pet adoptions. To educate families about fire prevention, the Smyrna Fire Department will be stopping by to answer questions. Families can also check out the special “Doggie Palace” that the furry stars of “The 101 Dalmatians Musical” call home during the national tour.

WHEN: Sunday, November 1, 2009, 3:30p.m

WHERE: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339770-916-2800

WHY: Bring the family together for a fun-filled afternoon with their favorite Dalmatians.

HOW: Event entry is FREE; there’s still time to purchase tickets for the show at, by calling 800-982-2787 or at the Cobb Energy Centre box office. Prices start at $15.

Parents Reminded to Check Their Window Coverings

/PRNewswire/ -- The Window Covering Safety Council is reminding parents and caregivers of potential window-cord dangers and urging them to make the right choice and only use cordless window products in young children's bedrooms and sleeping areas. Owners and renters should replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today's safer products.

According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1990, more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.

"Parents who replace their window coverings with the cordless products available can feel more confident about their child's safety," explains Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) Executive Director, Peter Rush.

To maximize window-cord safety when young children are present, consumers are urged to follow these safety guidelines:

-- Install only cordless window coverings in young children's bedrooms
and sleeping areas. Replace window blinds, corded shades and
draperies manufactured before 2001 with today's safer products.
-- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window
cords, preferably to another wall.
-- Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of
children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and
continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall.
Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit
movement of inner lift cords.
-- Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are
lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.

The Window Covering Safety Council is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings. Consumers wishing to obtain additional information can contact WCSC at or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Safe Trick-or-Treating Tips From the American Humane Association

/PRNewswire/ -- "Trick-or-Treat!" The phrase has been used for decades as wide-eyed children eagerly hold out pumpkin pails, plastic bags or pillowcases to receive candy from neighbors -- many of whom are strangers. It is a fun tradition for both children and adults, but simple and important precautions should be taken to ensure a safe Halloween experience for all. Please consider these safety tips from the American Humane Association:

-- Children should always be supervised by an adult while
-- Carefully inspect each piece of candy. Only allow children to eat
candy that is wrapped -- never give candy to a child if the wrapper
has been opened or is torn.
-- Never let children go into someone's house or car, even if invited.
Explain your reasons why ahead of time so children are prepared to say
"no" if asked.
-- Always stay in well-lit areas -- don't travel off the beaten path. Try
to stay on sidewalks, go to well-lit houses and always go to the front
-- Make sure your children are carrying a flashlight or glow stick, or
make sure there is reflective tape on costumes to ensure that they are
visible to cars and other trick-or-treaters.
-- Don't put out jack-o'-lanterns with real candles, as costumes might
get caught in the flame. Safe, battery-operated tea lights can be used
-- Have fun buying or making your kids' costumes, but be sure they are
flame resistant, allow the wearer to see clearly, and do not pose a
tripping hazard.

If you are not comfortable taking your children around the neighborhood to trick-or-treat, there are several alternatives you can consider, such as:

-- Trick-or-treating at your local mall, community center or other public
location. Watch your local TV news or newspaper for information.
-- Throw a Halloween party for your family and friends. Plan fun games
and give away prizes -- you could even invite neighbors!
-- Organize a neighborhood or school Halloween parade where kids and
adults can show off their costumes and decorate spooky wagons or

The Children's Division of American Humane is a national leader in developing programs, policies, training, research and evaluation, and cutting-edge initiatives to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect. At the same time, the organization works to strengthen families and communities and enhance child-protection systems at the state and county levels. For more information, please visit

The American Humane Association wishes everyone safe and happy trick-or-treating this Halloween. For more information about American Humane, go to Follow us on Twitter (, MySpace ( or Facebook ( The information contained in this release may be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

For Parents of Kids with Food Allergies, the Scariest Thing at Halloween is the Trick-or-Treat Bag

/PRNewswire/ -- The haunted happenings of Halloween are upon us and soon we'll be carving pumpkins, dressing in costumes and telling spooky stories. But if your child has a food allergy, what's at the bottom of his or her trick-or-treat bag may be more frightening than any ghost or goblin.

According to a new national survey of 678 moms of children with food allergies - whether to peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs, eight out of ten say Halloween causes a great deal of anxiety because they fear their little ones might eat candy containing peanuts or another allergen.(1) Their anxiety is heightened by the fact that food allergies can cause a potentially life-threatening severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is caused when an allergic reaction becomes so severe that a person may stop breathing. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict when a child with food allergies might experience an anaphylactic reaction.

According to the survey, 40 percent of moms said that this time of year makes their children feel alienated because the child can't fully engage or participate in Halloween activities.(1) The fear is so great that nearly half of these moms said they are thinking about having their child skip trick-or-treating altogether.

In spite of these concerns, less than half of moms surveyed are adequately prepared to handle a life-threatening allergic reaction - 43 percent of moms surveyed said they carry or have immediate access to an epinephrine auto-injector, such as EpiPen® (epinephrine) and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors 0.3/0.15 mg.(1) EpiPen® Auto-Injector is a self-administered medicine that is used in the emergency treatment of a severe allergic reaction, including an anaphylactic reaction.

"The Halloween season can be an emotionally troubling time for children with food allergies because they are often faced with the temptation of delicious treats they can't eat and parties they can't fully enjoy. Halloween is also a frightening time for many parents who fear that their child might accidentally eat an allergen-containing piece of candy or treat while at school or out trick-or-treating," said Stacy DeBroff. "But there's no reason your son or daughter needs to miss out on all the fun this Halloween. With a good plan, they can still have an enjoyable time and be prepared."

The new survey was conducted by Mom Central, a one-stop web resource dedicated to providing busy moms with smart household and parenting solutions. Dey Pharma, L.P., a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) sponsored the survey. A total of 678 moms of children with a known allergy completed the online survey. The survey also found that:(1)

-- 61 percent of children have been prescribed an epinephrine
auto-injector; however, only 23 percent of them carry it with them at
all times.
-- One in five moms is unsure how they feel about their school's
emergency plans in place to deal with a severe allergic reaction.
-- While many moms feel they have good information on food allergies,
they also expressed a clear desire for more: 78 percent of survey
respondents say they would benefit from additional information on food
allergies and how best to prepare for and treat allergy-related
medical emergencies.

"Parents of children with food allergies need to be vigilant throughout the year, and at Halloween when the temptation for sweet peanut-based or chocolate treats may be especially high. Even a child who has experienced a mild allergic reaction to foods in the past may be at risk for a more severe allergic reaction - or even anaphylaxis - in the future, so it's vital that every parent and child is prepared," said Dr. Phil Lieberman, Clinical Professor, Medicine and Pediatrics University of Tennessee College of Medicine. "Whatever you do this season, make sure you know if you or your child has allergies that are severe enough to put them at risk for anaphylaxis, and if they are, be sure to ask your healthcare provider if you or your child should have access to and carry an epinephrine auto-injector like EpiPen® Auto-Injector. In the case of an anaphylactic emergency, prompt administration of this medication can help save the child's life."

Tips for an Allergy-friendly Halloween

For parents of children with food allergies, monitoring Halloween candy is just one way to avoid an accidental allergic reaction. Stacy DeBroff from Mom Central offers additional tips for enjoying an allergy-free holiday:

-- Find Allergy-Free Activities: With a little research, you can find
many festive activities right in your own backyard. Take the family
pumpkin picking, on a hayride or for a scavenger hunt.

-- Bring the Fun to Your Child: Consider hosting your own costume party
for your child's friends. Invite everyone over for pumpkin carving,
bobbing for apples, spooky stories, a scavenger hunt and other
Halloween-themed games. This way, your child can still have fun and
you can control all the goodies that are being passed out.

For those children who do go trick-or-treating, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) offers these helpful tips:

-- Never Go Alone: Always accompany younger children trick-or-treating
and have older children go out with friends.
-- Inform Others: Make sure all the adults and friends in your group know
about your child's food allergies and what to do in an emergency.
-- Pack Medication: While out for Halloween, make sure you or your child
is carrying an epinephrine auto-injector. Make sure your child's
friends or other adults know how to administer this medication.
-- Provide Safe Snacks: Provide your close neighbors and even your
child's teacher at school with safe treats or even non-food items like
stickers that can be given to your child.
-- Check the Goodies: Carefully read labels or check the candy company's
Web site to make sure the product doesn't contain something that can
cause an allergic reaction. It's important to remember that the
ingredients of 'fun size' candy bars may differ from the regular-size
-- When in Doubt, Throw It Out: If you can't find information on a
treat's ingredients or are simply not sure if it's safe, then throw
the candy away or stick it in a treat jar that is out of the reach of
the child.
-- Avoid Snacking: Eating dinner before trick-or-treating might curb your
child's urge to sneak goodies from the bag.

About Food Allergies

Food allergies are three to four times more prevalent among children than adults and are a leading cause of anaphylactic reactions, causing an estimated 30,000 emergency room visits and 150 deaths annually.(2) Studies of deaths from anaphylaxis caused by food allergies have found that nearly half of all such deaths occur in children aged 10 to 19. Even though most of these children had known allergies to food, most of them were not carrying their self-injectable epinephrine or had never even been prescribed the medication.(3,4) Unfortunately, the vast majority of deaths from anaphylaxis occur in people who do not receive epinephrine in time.(5)

Learning More About Food Allergies

Parents of children with food allergies should consult their healthcare provider to learn more about the causes of allergies, possible medical treatments, and emergency action plans in the case of an anaphylactic reaction. Additional information about allergies and treatment can be found at the Center for Anaphylactic Support(TM) ( The Center for Anaphylactic Support(TM) provides a range of free information and support services for people with severe allergic reactions and their caregivers.

About EpiPen

EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr (0.3 and 0.15 mg epinephrine) Auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for patients who are at increased risk for these reactions.

EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are designed for you to use immediately in an emergency, to treat an allergic reaction fast and help give you time to get to a hospital or medical center. EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are not a substitute for emergency medical treatment.

As with any medication, the EpiPen® Auto-Injector has an expiration date printed directly on the unit and shelf carton, and should therefore be replaced when the unit expires. The product should be stored at room temperature and never refrigerated or kept where it might be exposed to extreme temperatures, such as in the glove compartment of a car.

Dey Pharma, L.P., the worldwide distributor of EpiPen® Auto-Injectors, offers patient support through free membership in the EpiPen® Center for Anaphylactic Support (CAS) Program(TM). This program provides helpful tips, resources and an expiration reminder program. Information on how to join can be found on the patient insert dispensed with the product and by visiting

Important Safety Information

Each EpiPen Auto-Injector contains a single dose of a medicine called epinephrine, which you inject into your outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTRAVENOUSLY. DO NOT INJECT INTO YOUR BUTTOCK, as this may not be effective for a severe allergic reaction. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment.

Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.

Side effects may include an increase in heart rate, a stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness or shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness, or anxiety. These side effects usually go away quickly, especially if you rest. If you have high blood pressure or an overactive thyroid, these side effects may be more severe or longer lasting. If you have heart disease, you could experience chest pain (angina). If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels may increase after use. If you have Parkinson's disease, your symptoms may temporarily get worse.

EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors are intended for immediate self-administration as emergency supportive therapy only and are not intended as a substitute for immediate medical or hospital care.

See accompanying full prescribing information or visit for full prescribing information.

Talk to your doctor to find out if you should be prescribed an EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injector.

About Dey

Dey Pharma L.P., a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) , is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, severe allergic reactions and psychiatric disorders. The company puts patients first and facilitates efficient, cost-effective partnerships with customers. For more information, please visit

About Mylan Inc.

Mylan Inc. ranks among the leading generic and specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world and provides products to customers in more than 140 countries and territories. The company maintains one of the industry's broadest and highest quality product portfolios supported by a robust product pipeline; operates the world's third largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer; and runs a specialty business focused on respiratory and allergy therapies. For more information, please visit

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements", including with regard to the EpiPen Auto-Injector and the treatment of severe anaphylaxis. These statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties, actual future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: the effects of competition; changes in third-party relationships; decisions by regulatory authorities; exposure to lawsuits; uncertainties and matters beyond the control of management; and the other risks detailed in the periodic filings filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.

DEY®, EpiPen®, EpiPen 2-Pak®, and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak® are registered trademarks of Dey Pharma, L.P.

Center for Anaphylactic Support(TM) (CAS) is a trademark of Dey Pharma, L.P.

© Dey Pharma, L.P. 2009. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA for USA residents only.

(1) Mom Central Survey, September 2009.

(2) Report of the Expert Panel on Food Allergy Research. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, 2003.

(3) Bock SA, Munoz-Furlong A, Sampson HA. Fatalities due to anaphylactic reactions to foods. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001; 107(1): 191-93.

(4) Bock SA, Munoz-Furlong A, Sampson HA. Further fatalities caused by anaphylactic reactions to food, 2001-02. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007;119(4):1016-18.

(5) Sampson H, Mendelson L, Rosen J. Fatal and near-fatal anaphylactic reactions to food in children and adolescents. N Engl J Med. 1992;327:380-84.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Studies: All Infant Formula Contains Fluoride at Tooth-Discoloring Levels

/PRNewswire/ -- All infant formulas, whether ready-to-feed, concentrated or organic, contain fluoride at levels which can discolor developing teeth, reports the October 2009 Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA)(1).

Fluoride, added to some bottled and public water supplies ostensibly to prevent cavities, is also in many foods and beverages, including infant formula. Excessive fluoride discolors and/or weakens permanent teeth (moderate fluorosis).

Researchers measured fluoride content of 49 infant formulas. See:

The research team concludes, "Most infants from birth to age 12 months who consume predominantly powdered and liquid concentrate formula are likely to exceed the upper tolerable limit [of fluoride] if the formula is reconstituted with optimally fluoridated water (0.7 - 1.2 ppm)."

Surprisingly, the study reveals that all 6-month-olds and younger will also exceed the lower "adequate intake" (0.01 mg/day) from all formulas (concentrated or not) risking moderate dental fluorosis from formula, alone.(2)

Breast milk contains about 250 times less fluoride than "optimally" fluoridated water and isn't linked to fluorosis.

"Babies don't need fluoride, and fluoride ingestion doesn't reduce tooth decay," says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. "So why are U.S. babies still exposed to unnecessary fluoride chemicals via the water and food supplies, and why aren't parents informed of the consequences?" asks Beeber.

Up to 48% of school children have fluorosed teeth - 4% severe, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)(3).

Both the CDC and the American Dental Association's web sites advise parents to avoid mixing fluoridated water into concentrated infant formula, but they have never effectively broadcast this information to parents or the media(4,5).

A review of human studies by different researchers published in JADA (July 2009) concluded, "Our systematic review indicated that the consumption of infant formula [concentrated and ready-to-feed] is, on average, associated with an increased risk of developing at least some detectable level of enamel fluorosis."(6)

"Parents, protect your children since dental and government agencies won't. Petition local and state legislators to stop adding unnecessary and harmful fluoride chemicals into public water supplies and, thereby, into our food supply," says Beeber. "Further, demand that the fluoride content of all food products be required on labels."

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Verizon Wireless Announces Plans for Teen Dating Violence Educational Campaign in Georgia

/PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless announced today their plans to create a new program in Georgia designed to foster open communication between parents and their teens regarding healthy relationships. The Letter to My Child campaign, intended to prevent teen dating violence, will be launched in the spring of 2010. Over the next few months Verizon Wireless will develop an online community for parents to turn to for communication tips and help from other sources and peers. The website will provide online resources for parents and teens to inform them about teen dating violence and sexual assault and offer additional resources to seek help.

"Our hope is that this homegrown program will reset the expectations, norms and behaviors of our young men and women, ultimately keeping our teens safer, happier and healthier," said Jeff Mango, president, Verizon Wireless Georgia/Alabama Region. "Through Letter to My Child, we will encourage parents to write letters to their teenagers, opening up the conversation regarding healthy relationships. We think the spring is a good time to launch this program, considering April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and that teens are getting ready for prom season, when there is much dating pressure."

With the Letter to My Child program, Verizon Wireless will ask Georgia's parents to write their teens letters encouraging them to seek healthy relationships and defining unhealthy behaviors. The program's aim is to educate parents about the role they play in preventing dating violence while also teaching teens about the signs to look for in their friends' and own relationships, their options and helping them make healthy choices.

Verizon Wireless is a recognized corporate leader for its commitment to preventing domestic/dating violence and raising awareness of the issue through their HopeLine program. HopeLine is a multifaceted program that includes a successful phone recycling and re-use effort, financial support for local and national domestic violence organizations, community and corporate awareness programs, and partnerships with law enforcement agencies, professional sports teams, educational institutions and corporations nationwide. Via their work with HopeLine, the company recognizes the need to teach young people about healthy relationships at an early age.

Consider these facts:
-- 1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit,
punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner.
-- 1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in relationships reveal they have
been pressured to perform or engage in sexual activity.
-- More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship (26%) report enduring
repeated verbal abuse by their partner.
-- If trapped in an abusive relationship, 73% of teens said they would
turn to a friend (not a parent) for help; but only 33% who have been
in or known about an abusive relationship said they have told anyone
about it.

"We have been very involved for years with organizations and shelters that help victims of domestic violence in Georgia, through grants, phone collection efforts and hands-on volunteerism," said Mango. "We now want to reach out specifically to teens, when they start building romantic relationships, with a goal of preventing domestic violence before it starts."

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Monday, October 19, 2009

New National Study of Crash-Involved Children Reaffirms Recommendations for Booster Seat Through Age 8

/PRNewswire/ -- A study released today in Pediatrics by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia offers updated evidence that children ages 4 to 8 who are restrained in the rear seat of a car in a belt-positioning booster seat are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash compared with children using a seat belt alone. Furthermore, the study showed there was no difference in the level of protection offered by backless versus high back booster seats. Of those riding in booster seats, children involved in side-impact crashes saw the greatest reduction in injury risk.

Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention studied more than 7,000 children ages 4 to 8 involved in real-world crashes between 1998 and 2007.

"We wanted to take a fresh look at booster seats' effectiveness to reduce injury among this age group, because when we first evaluated the protective benefits of booster seats in 2002, most children using them were 4 and 5 years old," explains lead researcher Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D., Director of Engineering at CHOP's Center for Injury Research and Prevention. "Since then, usage rates among older kids ages 6- to 8 have tripled, and we wanted to be sure these older kids were as well-protected by booster seats as the younger ones, now that we had more data. We found that injury reduction offered by booster seats remains significant even when a greater proportion of older children are included in the study."

Researchers attribute the sharp increase in booster seat use among older children, in part, to many states passing upgrades to their child restraint laws that require booster seats for children older than age 4. The upper age limit of these booster laws varies by state and ranges from 6 through 8 years. Passage of these laws is associated with a nearly 40% increase in child restraint use among children up to age 8. While 47 states have booster seat laws, only 25 states and the District of Columbia require booster seats for children up to at least age 8. Florida, Arizona, and South Dakota have no booster seat law. The CHOP researchers recommend policymakers work to close these gaps in the laws to cover children to at least age 8 so that parents have the best information to protect their children.

"Based this new analysis of a decade's worth of data on children involved in crashes, policymakers, pediatricians and health educators should continue to recommend as best practice the use of belt-positioning booster seats once a child outgrows a harnessed based child restraint until he/she is at least 8 years of age," says Dennis Durbin, M.D., M.S.C.E., Co-Scientific Director of The Center for Injury Research and Prevention and study co-author. "Additionally, these results can give confidence to parents and health educators that choosing between a high back versus a backless booster seat for their child does not represent a compromise in safety."

More information about this study, along with videos and fact sheets for parents about how to choose and install the right child restraint for your child and you vehicle are available at Additionally, an up-to-date chart of state booster seat laws and information is available at

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ten Things Parents Can Do to Make Halloween Safer

/PRNewswire/ -- Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but sometimes the most hectic for parents. Nearly 94 percent of children between the ages of four and twelve participate in Halloween activities each year. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reminds parents to take a moment to consider basic safety precautions that will make Halloween a safer night of fun.

-- CHOOSE bright, flame-retardant costumes or add reflective tape to
costumes and candy bags so children are easily seen in the dark. In
addition, carry a glow stick or flashlight.
-- PLAN a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit
streets. Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, streets that are isolated,
or homes that are poorly lit inside or outside.
-- NEVER send young children out alone. They should always be
accompanied by a parent or another trusted adult. Older children
should always travel in groups.
-- ALWAYS walk younger children to the door to receive treats and don't
let children enter a home unless you are with them.
-- BE SURE children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless
you are with them.
-- DISCUSS basic pedestrian safety rules that children should use when
walking to and from houses.
-- CONSIDER organizing a home or community party as an alternative to
-- MAKE sure children know their home phone number and address in case
you get separated. Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.
-- TEACH children to say "NO!" or "this is not my mother/father" in a
loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept
anything other than a treat, or leave with them. And teach them that
they should make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and
-- REMIND children to remain alert and report suspicious incidents to
parents and/or law enforcement.

"Child safety is important year round, but Halloween is an especially important time for parents and children to pay extra attention to their surroundings and not let their guard down," said Nancy McBride, National Safety Director of NCMEC. "It is important that parents exercise a few basic safety precautions to help ensure that Halloween is both fun and safe."

This year the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children observes its 25th anniversary. NCMEC has played a role in the recovery of more than 138,500 children. Today more children come home safely than ever before. In 2008, NCMEC helped recover more children than any other year in the organization's 25-year history, raising the recovery rate from 62 percent in 1990 to 97 percent today. And more of those who prey on children are being identified and prosecuted. Yet too many children are still missing and too many children are still the victims of sexual exploitation. There is much more that needs to be done.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How to help your newborn ‘sleep like a baby’

(ARA) – Whoever coined the phrase “sleeping like a baby” probably never had the frustrating task of trying to get an infant to fall – and stay – asleep. Most parents know good rest is as vital as good nutrition for the health of their newborns – even if they can only dream about getting a good night’s sleep themselves.

Women’s health nurse practitioner and award-winning author Barbara Dehn offers a few tips to help mothers get through the restless newborn nights and ease into a better bedtime routine.

“On average, an infant can sleep a total of 16 to 18 hours over the course of a 24-hour period,” Dehn says. “During this time, a baby’s body is growing and developing at rapid speed, while adjusting to a natural sleep cycle. Parents can help support their baby’s natural sleep patterns with a few simple changes to their routine.”

Dehn suggests you support your baby’s natural sleep patterns with these few tips:

* “One of the first things I always tell new moms is to lose the guilt,” she says. It’s inevitable for new parents to feel nervous, unsure and often guilty when caring for their infant – especially when it comes to sleep. Moms and dads should go with their gut feeling on all fronts and follow their infant’s lead. If your newborn tends to fall asleep in his swing or rocker – go with it. Not allowing yourself to feel guilty during the first few months will only help your baby acclimate to a schedule. Typically, confidence and a bit of relaxation will follow.

* Moms can maintain their baby’s natural sleep patterns and overall health with a proper feeding schedule. By establishing both day and night feeding routines that follow your infant’s natural hunger cues, you are helping your baby receive the nourishment that will support growth and development. “When my patients ask about feeding with formula, I recommend Similac, which offers a wide range of specialized formulas and products all designed to support a baby’s natural growth and development process by providing excellent nutrition no matter what time of day or night,” Dehn says. Try Similac Advance EarlyShield – designed to support your baby's natural immune system and digestive health. That's because it has important immunity building-blocks similar to those naturally found in breast milk. It also gives your baby a strong start in life with DHA and ARA, important for brain and eye development, and calcium for baby’s growing bones.

* “I’m often telling new moms to turn off the TV,” Dehn says. Feeding time is often a good opportunity for mom to kick up her feet and unwind. Use this time to connect with your baby and avoid your regular relaxation routine like flipping on the TV. The light and noise can distract your newborn and interrupt his eating.

* Bath time does not always need to take place before bedtime. Some infants are extremely agitated from a bath, regardless of the calming scents, soft sounds and soothing touch you use. If you notice your baby is relaxed and calm without a bath before bedtime, go with it. Changing the bath-time routine can make the overall experience more enjoyable for both mom and baby. This can also help your newborn develop daytime and nighttime routines.

* Keep safety top of mind. As a new parent, keeping your newborn safe and healthy is extremely important. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts recommend that caregivers place babies on their backs to sleep – for naps and at nights. Placing an infant on his back to sleep is the most important step to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in a natural and effective way.

To learn more about infant nutrition, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Monday, October 5, 2009

What To Do When Your Child Has Trouble Reading

(StatePoint) When children struggle at reading, not only does schoolwork suffer, studies point to long term consequences -- from being left back in school to having trouble at work and earning less than peers.

It's important for parents to recognize early when kids are having difficulty reading and to help improve this skill, according to specialists at the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).

Here are some tips for parents of struggling readers, from the NCFL, just in time for National Family Literacy Day this November 1st:

* Seek help immediately. Parents often wait too long. The window of greatest opportunity for helping a struggling reader is in the early years. Children should be reading pretty well by the end of third grade. Check with your child's teacher to learn how to help.

* Reading is a skill that gets better with practice. Make reading fun. It is not all about drill.

* Encourage reading everywhere! Have your child read street signs and T-shirts. Get him to help with cooking; reading recipes, labels and shopping lists. Have your child keep track of family activities on a calendar.

* Give your child choices in what he reads. Magazines are appealing. They have short articles with colorful pictures. Poems are another great way to motivate. They are short and give the child a sense of accomplishment when read.

* Set reading goals. Reward reading with incentives of importance to your child. Learn what interests your child and connect that to reading. Is there a museum near your home that would be of interest? Read about famous athletes in a favorite sport or a favorite movie.

* Read everyday as a family. Make learning new words fun. The more words a reader knows, the more he comprehends what he reads or hears. Have conversations about interesting words. Give your child a "kid-friendly" definition and then use the word in conversation.

* Help your child write a letter to a grandparent, family friend or pen pal.

* Show your child reading is important in your life. Be sure your child sees you enjoying reading for pleasure.

For more tips, visit

Above all, families can get kids on the right track. Byron Pitts, contributor to "60 Minutes" and chief national correspondent for CBS News, knows this well. When he was growing up he hid the fact that he could barely read.

"In elementary school a therapist determined I was functionally illiterate," says Pitts whose new book, "Step Out On Nothing," chronicles his battle with illiteracy. "I had to start with the basics, relearning the alphabet around the age of 11. It was a time of great shame in my life."

Family can make the difference, he stresses.

"There was no single greater force or advocate in my journey to literacy than my mother," he says. "Her encouraging words drowned out those who said I was 'slow' or 'stupid.' There may be no greater force in a child's life than their mother or father."

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Movie Ratings Get Thumbs Down, Says Study

Parents don’t like the way Hollywood rates movies, primarily because it is inconsistent and vague, according to a new study published in Emory’s online Journal of Family Life. In addition to the rating, such as G, PG or PG-13, study participants said they want more specific content information so they can make more informed decisions about what films they will allow their children to watch.

In general, parents said the rating system relies too much on age to determine ratings, and is unable to take into account individual maturity levels of children. They also expressed concern that standards have loosened over the years, and more risque material is available to younger audiences. They wanted more specific information about violence, language and sexual situations, the research showed.

The study, “Parents Speak: Parental Utilization of and Satisfaction With the Motion Picture Association of America's Film Rating System,” was done by Patricia A. Williamson, of Central Michigan University. She convened focus groups with mothers and fathers of children of various ages. Parents were unanimously dissatisfied with the system, Williamson said, even though some said they used it when deciding whether to let their kids see certain movies.

The Motion Picture Association of America film rating system has been in place since 1968. While MPAA-sanctioned surveys show parents are satisfied with it, increased criticism by special interest groups, parents and film industry insiders has brought it under scrutiny.

Williamson’s research is one of the first academic studies that allowed parents to voice opinions of the film ratings in their own words, without conforming to preconceived categories on a closed-ended survey. Some parents said they had taken their children to a movie, only to walk out, kids in tow, because of something they saw or heard during the film.

“Sometimes we'd get in there and I would think, what was this rated? And I would actually get up and go look and think, ooohh, I disagree. You gotta be kidding me! This isn't PG or PG-13... this is R,” one mother said.

Journal of Family Life is published by the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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