Friday, June 25, 2010

Manual removal key to getting rid of head lice

Head lice make children scratch their heads. Getting rid of them can make parents want to pull their hair out.

"Head lice are common among all classes of people,” said Paul Guillebeau, an entomologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. "They know no socioeconomic or ethnic boundaries. And, having them doesn’t imply a lack of cleanliness.”

Martin Parker’s son Matthew was sent home twice this year because of head lice. Most schools, like Matthew’s DeKalb County, Ga., elementary school, have a “no nit policy.” This means a student cannot return to school until he is nit-free.

Nitty-gritty

Nits are grayish-white to brown eggs the female head louse lays on hair shafts. To make matters worse, nits are resistant to pesticides and are difficult to remove without a nit-removing comb.

Each time his son gets head lice, Parker strips the bedding from all his beds and thoroughly cleans his home with Lysol. He also covers the mattresses with plastic and sets them outside for a few days.

Guillebeau says Parker’s house may be cleaner, but his efforts didn’t do much to remove the lice from Matthew’s head. Other parents panic and misuse pesticides or resort to unapproved treatments, like kerosene, he said.

"Head lice are not an emergency," he said. "They don't pose any health risks. But misusing pesticides or spraying pesticides unnecessarily does put your child and your family at risk."

No pesticides

Guillebeau urges parents never to treat homes, cars, furniture, beds, pillows or clothing with pesticides in an attempt to control head lice.

Knowing a little head lice biology can help parents not overreact. Head lice can't live off a human host for more than 24 hours. They can't reproduce in carpets, bedding or other home furnishings. And they can't live on pets or stuffed toys.

To kill head lice on bedding and clothes, wash and dry them as usual. Wash brushes, combs and hair accessories with hot, soapy water. For peace of mind, place stuffed animals in a sealed plastic bag for three to four days.

Manual removal is the best method for removing head lice from a person, Guillebeau said.
“If you use a lice shampoo, be sure to follow the label instructions exactly,” he said. “Misuse can be ineffective and dangerous.”

Step-by-step removal

To manually remove head lice, follow these steps:

1. Work in a well-lit area.
2. Brush hair to remove tangles. Use a hair detangler spray or hair conditioner to help.
3. Divide the hair into sections and fasten off hair that is not being worked on.
4. Use a lice comb to detect and remove adult lice and nits. (Lice combs are available in most pharmacies.)
5. Comb the hair section from scalp to end. Nits are usually found close to the scalp.
6. Dip the comb in hot, soapy water or use tape to remove lice, nits and debris.
7. Sift through the hair section and look for attached nits and live lice.
8. Move to the next section of hair and repeat steps 4 – 7.
9. Continue process until the entire scalp and all hair have been checked.
10. Screen the infested person every day for 10 days and regularly thereafter to make sure lice and nits have been removed.

Back in Atlanta, Parker has the local barber shave off Matthew’s curly locks. He then puts olive oil in his hair and makes his son wear a shower cap for an hour. He then uses the lice comb.

“The nit comb was the lifesaver,” said Parker. “I had him sit in my lap, I put on my reading glasses and combed and combed to get them out.”



By Sharon Dowdy
University of Georgia

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cell phone usage at school not all bad, must be monitored

Less than 20 years ago, cell phones were considered luxury items used only in emergencies. Today, 4.1 billion people worldwide own cell phones. Most families have at least one, and often multiple, cell phones. Children often are the heaviest users of the technology.

“About 75 percent of 4-H-age children have cells phones,” said Arch Smith, interim state leader of the Georgia 4-H program. “And they aren’t using them just to talk to their friends and family members.”
Ninety percent use their phones to send text messages, 85 percent to take photographs, 68 percent to send photographs and 55 percent to record videos, he said.

“They make 230 calls per month or eight calls per day, on average,” Smith said. “That’s nothing compared to the 1,742 text messages the average teenager types in a month.”

Set boundaries

Even though cell phones have become a part of everyday life, parents should set boundaries for their use both at school and at home, says Diane Bales, a human development specialist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

“The biggest problem with cell phones is the number of students who are addicted to them,” she said. “They spend all of their time texting and not enough time listening.”

Bales has seen the overuse of cell phones first hand in the college classes she teaches at UGA.
“When a student texts in class, he’s not listening,” Bales said. “If he were texting about what he’s learning that would be different, but he’s probably not.”

Many schools have rules about cell phone usage including setting limits on when the phones can be used, where the phones can be used and, in some cases, banning their use on school grounds entirely.
“Cell phones aren’t inherently bad, kids just need guidance from teachers and parents on appropriate usage,” she said. “Texting at the dinner table is not an appropriate use.”

Bales once observed a student texting on her cell phone while standing at the front of the classroom during a group presentation.

“I have it spelled out in my syllabus that it’s inappropriate to text in class and that students will lose points for doing so,” she said.

Multi-tool

According to a survey by Common Sense Media, more than one out of three teenagers admits to using a cell phone to cheat at least once. They also admit to using their phone’s internet access to find answers to test questions. The survey also showed that one out of four teenagers feel accessing notes stored on a cell phone during a test isn’t cheating.

“Some of the newer phones have cameras that students could use to take photo of their classmates’ test papers,” Bales said.

Bales suggests teachers encourage students to use their cell phones, and other technical devices, to help them with their school work.

“If a student has an iPhone, first I’m jealous, but he could use it to work on a research project,” she said. “The technology allows him to look something up on the Internet, find a good source of information and never leave the classroom or his desk.”

Bales says teachers and parents should guide students to appropriate resource websites to ensure they use reliable sources of information.

In this way, modern technology is being used to benefit the student and spark his interest in new media, she said.

According to a survey by the Family Education Network, 85 percent of respondents feel cell phones should be allowed at school, but their usage should be controlled by school administrators.

Whether a cell phone is being used at school or at home, Bales recommends having a definite list of rules and consequences for breaking the rules.

Students should have a cell phone-use curfew and cell phone-free times, such as during homework hours, she said.

“Teenagers have a hard time recognizing limits,” she said. “They need to be told what is appropriate and what isn’t in all aspects of their lives. Cell phone usage is just one area.”




By Sharon Dowdy
University of Georgia
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bring back the summer memories and share them with your kids

(ARA) - Remember the summer days when you held a camping adventure under the stars in your own backyard, played board games with your parents or enjoyed an ice cream bar on a hot night? Do you remember learning to ride a bike through the neighborhood, waving to everyone sitting out on the front porch or working on their landscaping?

Now that you have children of your own, summer is a great opportunity to repeat those memories and share them with your kids. Here are some ideas to bring back the memories:

Camp in the backyard
Remember making s'mores and chasing fireflies while camping in your backyard? Recruit help from your kids to set up the campsite and then spend the afternoon playing games, looking at the clouds and talking about bugs. After grilling out and roasting marshmallows over a fire pit, make the experience an educational one and teach your children about the planets and stars they'll be sleeping under.

Decorate the sidewalk
Who hasn't drawn oversized pictures on the sidewalks and driveway? Bring the kids outside for a day of fun and creativity - decorating the sidewalk with chalk drawings is a creative outlet for young artists. Trace the outlines of your kids' bodies and teach them about different body parts. And there's easy clean-up - either wait for rain from Mother Nature or wash away the art with a hose for a clean canvas.

Cool off with an ice cream treat
For 90 years, the familiar jingle of the Good Humor ice cream truck has brought smiles to many children in neighborhoods across America. And for adults, the ice cream man brings back special happy memories from their own childhoods. Memories of when they played hard all day and their moms let them visit the truck when dinner was finished. Parents can treat their families to classic nostalgic frozen treats all summer when they see (or hear) the ice cream truck coming down the street. It's the perfect opportunity for parents to share with their kids stories from when they were young.

This summer, that specially marked 4 oz. single-serve Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Eclair, Toasted Almond or Candy Center Crunch bar could win you $10,000 - or one of 10,000 instant-win prizes. Check the stick to see if your ice cream bar is an "instant winner" or, for free instant-win game play, mail a 3x5 paper with your name, date of birth and full address to Good Humor. Log on to www.GoodHumor.com to redeem prizes, enter to win the $10,000 cash sweepstakes and review the full sweepstakes rules.

Announce a family games tournament
The games of your childhood can entertain your children for hours - especially if they haven't played them before. Organize various competitions and races, such as an egg-carrying race, an obstacle course and a soccer ball dribbling contest. Fashion a challenge to see who can create the most delicious or craziest ice cream sundae. Bring all the fixings to the patio, and if there's a mess, turn on the sprinkler for a fun way to clean up sticky hands and faces.

Create a backyard adventure
Bring back the homemade stage by having your children bring their favorite books to life. Don't forget to share the stories you loved when you were a child - they might become favorites of your children. If there's a sandbox, dress as pirates and have a buried treasure hunt. For mystery fans, set up a scavenger hunt with clues hidden around the house and yard. And for young playwrights, the backyard area provides the perfect stage to decorate, dress up and play out a scene.

About the sweepstakes
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The 10,000 Winners Sweet-Stakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc. doing business as Unilever. Open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., ages 13 and older (for Maine residents, 18 and older). For free game play, send a 3 inch by 5 inch paper with name, date of birth and full address to: Good Humor Request, P.O. Box 7999, Melville, NY 11775-7999, by Sept. 14. The contest ends at 11:59:59 p.m. pacific time on Sept. 6. For official rules, visit www.GoodHumor.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Conservation Quest at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

July 3 – September 12, 2010

Go green – join the quest! Children will be on a mission to discover the many ways they can save energy and protect the planet. They will learn about what energy is, where it comes from, and the countless ways that they can conserve energy every day. Children will be inspired to become environmental stewards during Conservation Quest at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta from July 3 through September 12, 2010.

“Conservation Quest will help children realize that they can do something every day that will reduce their energy use and help preserve the environment,” said Jane Turner, Museum executive director. “Children can continue the quest to be green at home by practicing conservation as a family.”

Hands-On Exploration Helps Children Learn about Saving Energy

Home: Explore energy uses and choices from electricity, heating, and lighting to transportation, waste, and recycling.
Energy Smarts – Computer interactive helps children make green energy choices with electricity, appliances, heating and cooling, recycling, transportation, and more
How Do You Stack Up? – Stack blocks to represent the amount of electricity various appliances use and learn how to reduce electricity use
Watt’s the Use? – Use watt meters to compare electricity use by different electronics and appliances
Bright Ideas – Turn a crank to compare the amount of energy required to light up an incandescent light bulb, a CFL, and a LED
Switch and Save – Explore good, better, and best choices when it comes to water, food, batteries, and shopping bags
Sort the Waste – Sort items into their proper containers: Plastics, Glass, Paper, Metals, Garbage, Compost, Donations, and Other

Park: Investigate where food comes from, the environmental benefits of plants, and how far food travels to get to us.
Food Miles – Find out how far food travels to get to us and that transporting food uses energy and can pollute the planet
Food Is Fuel – Learn that food is energy for people
Murals – Seek and find positive examples of energy use and conservation

School: Discover where energy comes from, learn why it’s limited, and investigate renewable sources.
Energy Report – Learn what energy is, where it comes from, and which sources are limited
Clean Energy – Explore how water, wind, and solar energy are used to generate electricity
Connect It! – Create a circuit to power up LED lights, fans, and alarms
Energy Posters – Energy posters define energy, from what it is and what types exist to renewable sources of electricity
Green Favorites – Check out an interesting collection of innovative energy-saving inventions
Map of the World – Investigate energy production and consumption around the world
Book Nook – Enjoy reading children’s books about energy and conservation

“The exhibit’s activity stations, combined with the Museum’s programming, will provide a rich learning experience that will make children excited about finding their own ways to conserve energy at home,” said Karen Kelly, Museum director of exhibits and education.


Conquer the Energy Vampire in Mini-Musical “Operation Green!”

Going green will become more entertaining than ever with our interactive programming led by the Imaginators, our troupe of professional actors and educators. The Imaginators will also perform an original mini-musical titled “Operation Green!” Jamie’s family uses so much energy that they’ve created an Energy Vampire. Children become Junior Agents and help Agent Green reduce the power of the Energy Vampire by switching out light blubs, recycling trash, and exploring renewable energy sources. Children learn that everyone has to do their part to use less energy and keep our planet green. Playwright: Marc Farley, Imaginator. Director: DeWayne Morgan, Imaginator. Musical Director: Jerry G. White, Imaginator. Music by: Abe White. Families will also enjoy other special programming such as Recycle Relay and Go Green and Read story time.


The Environment in Mind with a Green Design

Conservation Quest was designed and produced using environmentally friendly materials and practices. Green design signs call out sustainable features throughout the exhibit.
Eco-friendly graphics (banners, board, wallpaper, canvas, and aluminum)
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood and water-based stains and sealants
Fiber drums for cabinetry
Eco-resin used instead of plexiglass
No plastic laminates
Marmoleum
ENERGY STAR® electronics


Exhibit Information and Sponsors

Conservation Quest was developed by Stepping Stones Museum for Children. Conservation Quest is presented locally in Atlanta by GE Energy with additional support from Georgia Power, The Coca-Cola Company, The Kendeda Fund, The Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation, and Publix Super Markets Charities. Media sponsorship from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brochure design and printing courtesy of Primerica.


Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta is a smart place to play and a non-profit organization offering a family-friendly space filled with interactive, educational exhibits and programming for children ages eight and under. The Museum’s mission is to spark imagination and inspire discovery and learning for all children through the power of play. The Museum’s four permanent learning zones consist of bright, creative, hands-on exhibits that are designed to give children an opportunity to learn through play. Imagine It! also offers parties, memberships, summer camp, field trips, and facility rentals. Museum hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Admission is $12.50 plus tax for adults and children ages 2 and above; children under 2 are free. Imagine It! is located at 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW. The Museum is closed for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information or to support Imagine It!, visit their website at www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org or call 404.659.KIDS [5437]. Connect with us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/imagineitcma and Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImagineItCMA.


Major funding for Imagine It! is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.


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July at Imagine It!

Opening of Conservation QuestSM Exhibit and All-American Fourth of July Celebration for Children

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta offers children unique, hands-on learning opportunities and sparks imagination through the power of play. Below is a schedule of feature exhibit information and special programming taking place at Imagine It! in July.


Feature Exhibit

Conservation Quest
July 3 – September 12, 2010

Go green – join the quest! Join the quest to learn about energy and conservation. In this exhibit, children explore science concepts and learn about water, wind, and solar energy at interactive stations while finding new ways to save with light bulbs, electricity, and recycling. See how much electricity your family uses and connect circuits to power up lights, radios, and fans. Through a computer interactive, discover the greener choice when it comes to energy.

Conservation Quest was developed by Stepping Stones Museum for Children. Conservation Quest is presented locally in Atlanta by GE Energy with additional support from Georgia Power, The Coca-Cola Company, The Kendeda Fund, The Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation, and Publix Super Markets Charities. Major funding for Imagine It! is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council. Media sponsorship from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brochure design and printing courtesy of Primerica.

Operation Green!

Mondays-Fridays at 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM; Saturdays at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM;
Sundays at 12:00 PM

In this original 20-minute mini-musical, Jamie’s family uses so much energy that they’ve created an Energy Vampire. Children become Junior Agents and help Agent Green reduce the power of the Energy Vampire by switching out light blubs, recycling trash, and exploring renewable energy sources. Children learn that everyone has to do their part to use less energy and keep our planet green. Playwright: Marc Farley, Imaginator. Director: DeWayne Morgan, Imaginator. Musical Director: Jerry G. White, Imaginator. Music by: Abe White.


Recycle Relay

Tuesdays-Saturdays at 2:00 PM

Children will join the Imaginators and race to the finish line to see who can sort and recycle everything in their trash bin the fastest!


Go Green and Read

Tuesdays-Fridays at 3:00 PM; Saturdays at 4:00 PM

Join the Imaginators for a reading of “Michael Recycle” by Ellie Bethel. Children learn about the adventures of a young superhero whose power allows him to teach people about recycling.


Laugh and Learn: Energy Games

Mondays-Saturdays at 10:30 AM

Meet Recycle Rick, Conservation Carl, and Mr. Eco as you learn about conserving energy by playing Recycle Relay, Wheel of Misfortune, and In or Out and On or Off.


Special Events

Under the Big Top Circus Programming

June 9, 2010 – July 2, 2010 (except on June 19 – Cow Moo-ving In Celebration)

Run away to the Circus with the Imaginators as they perform circus stunts with you in the center ring! Prepare to be awed as you learn how to juggle and be dazzled as you hear the magical tales of the circus. Check the Museum website for hourly programming schedule at http://www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org/visitors/calendar.


Under the Big Top – It’s Circus Time!
Thursday & Friday, July 1 & 2 at 11:30 AM

Run away to the Circus with the Imaginators as they perform circus stunts with you in the center ring! Do you want to be a lion, monkey, elephant or a clown? They’ll teach you how to juggle and walk the tightrope. There will be a magician with a rabbit in his hat, stilt walking, parades, fun make and takes, songs, games and stories galore!!

Special Events

All-American Fourth of July Celebration for Children
Sunday, July 4
Celebrate Independence Day with some all-American family-style fun!

Grand Ole’ Flag
Sunday, July 4 at 2:00 PM

Learn all about the stars and stripes and what makes our flag such a special symbol of freedom. Then, kids can make their own flag and join in a marching parade around the Museum!

Batter Up!
Sunday, July 4 at 3:00 PM

Enjoy America’s favorite pastime as the Imaginators act out the famous poem “Casey at the Bat” with YOU on home plate! Gather around the baseball diamond and enjoy this classic story of a beloved baseball player who steps up to bat for his team to try and save the day.

Ongoing Events

Eat a Georgia Rainbow
Every Sunday at 11:00 AM

Join the Imaginators in Fundamentally Food as you search for fruits and vegetables that are in season and grown in Georgia. Then, listen to a story and make a tasty take-home treat!


Target Free Second Tuesdays

Second Tuesday of Every Month – January through December 2010 (July 13 from 1:00 PM-8:00 PM)
Special Summer Target Free Second Tuesday Hours (Jun-Jul) 1:00 PM-8:00 PM
Regular Target Free Second Tuesday Hours (Jan-May & Aug-Dec) 1:00 PM-7:00 PM

Through a sponsorship by Target, admission is free for all visitors who come during these special hours. Free tickets will be available at the Museum starting at 1:00 PM during each Target Free Second Tuesday, and the Museum will close at 7:00 PM (or 8:00 PM in June & July). The free tickets are issued on a first come first served basis as Museum capacity permits. Once the Museum reaches capacity, tickets are only issued as capacity in the Museum becomes available. Reservations are not accepted. http://www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org/visitors/target_tuesday_faqs

Read It!

Every Sunday at 3:00 PM (Special Read It! Programs: Fourth of July on July 4)

Children are encouraged to delve into the world of books during Read It! This half-hour story time, sponsored by McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, is devoted to fostering literacy and encouraging young children to embrace the magic of books. Children join a special guest or an Imaginator as a colorful, creative storyteller extraordinaire who arrives with an armful of stories.

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta is a smart place to play and a non-profit organization offering a family-friendly space filled with interactive, educational exhibits and programming for children ages eight and under. The Museum’s mission is to spark imagination and inspire discovery and learning for all children through the power of play. The Museum’s four permanent learning zones consist of bright, creative, hands-on exhibits that are designed to give children an opportunity to learn through play. Imagine It! also offers parties, memberships, field trips, and facility rentals. Museum hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Admission is $12.50 plus tax for adults and children ages 2 and above; children under 2 are free. Imagine It! is located at 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW. The Museum is closed for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information or to support Imagine It!, visit their website at www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org or call 404.659.KIDS [5437].

Major funding for Imagine It! is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.
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1 in 7 Kids Is Solicited for Sex Online

USNewswire -- Two new items are now available for kids between the ages of 8 and 12 that are not only fun but also teach them how to stay safe while on the Internet. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Sprint (NYSE:S) announced today that in honor of Internet Safety Month the popular child-focused Internet safety website www.NSTeens.org has been expanded to include a new animated video and educational game created for the "in-between" tween audience of 8 to 12 year olds. The new video "Mike-tosis," is already on the site and demonstrates how quickly information spreads through the Internet, on mobile phones, and other technology that is widely used today. In addition, a new online game "Cyberbully Zombies Attack," will be released June 30 and allows players to use Internet safety tips, trusted adults, and technology as tools to stop cyberbullying zombies from reaching their school.

The statistics are alarming: 1 in 7 kids is solicited for sex online; 1 in 33 kids receives aggressive online solicitations to meet in person; 1 in 3 kids receives unsolicited sexual content online; and 34% of kids online indicate they communicate with people they don't know.

"Today children have more access to the Internet that ever before in history. The majority of all households today have at least one computer and we know that most teens access the Internet from multiple locations," said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. "Kids already know that the Internet is a wonderful resource. They also need to understand the potential risks and the simple things that they can do that will help them stay safe. That is why NSTeens was created. It is designed for tweens but also can serve as an educational resource for parents and teachers. We are grateful to Sprint for their continuing commitment to help keep children safe while online."

As a part of Internet Safety Month, Sprint and NCMEC have also partnered again and have scheduled an online chat about Internet safety at 1:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, June 29. Nancy McBride, National Safety Director for NCMEC will be available to answer questions about online safety. The live chat can be accessed at http://community.sprint.com/. Questions can be submitted during the hour-long chat or can be submitted beforehand at http://community.sprint.com/. No advance registration is required for this event.

"There is perhaps nothing more important than protecting our nation's children," said Debby Ballard, Director of Community Affairs for Sprint. "The Internet provides many opportunities for fun and learning, but can also be the source of many potential dangers. As such, it's crucial for businesses, non-profit organizations, communities and schools to partner together to make sure our young people are safe online. We are pleased to work with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to expand the online-safety tools available for children, parents and educators in the effort to keep children safe."

NSTeens.org's animated videos feature a multi-ethnic cast of comic-book-style characters and are accompanied by real teens talking about their online experiences. "Mike-tosis" and all other NSTeens videos include activity cards to help teachers build the videos into their lesson plans and open a dialogue with their students. The new video and game, as well as all of the content on www.NSTeens.org, is available in English and Spanish.

NCMEC created the popular website www.NSTeens.org in 2007 in partnership with Sprint with the objective of providing a resource for the often overlooked "tweens" who are ages 8 to 12. NSTeens is an expansion of NCMEC's successful NetSmartz Workshop which is a web-based safety program designed specifically for children. Sprint provides funding for NSTeens through its Internet safety initiative, 4NetSafety(SM).

Both NetSmartz Workshop and 4NetSafety offer free resources to teens, parents, and teachers. Issues like online gaming, cyberbullying, and social networking are addressed through animated videos, games and other content. Since www.NSTeens.org was launched, the site has grown and expanded with new content added each year. NSTeens.org materials are also used in presentations by NCMEC's NetSmartz Workshop and have now been distributed to more than 550 schools and more than 250,000 students in grades 6-8.

Sprint's 4NetSafety Internet safety program is conducted in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the National Education Association Health information Network and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The program is funded through Sprint Project Connect(SM), Sprint's charitable wireless recycling program. For more Internet safety tips or information about how to recycle a wireless phone and/or accessories, visit www.4netsafety.com.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Research Breakthrough Kindles Hope For Diabetes Vaccine

(NAPSI)-One day it may be possible to stop, prevent and even cure type 1 diabetes--and that day may be coming sooner than many think. That is the belief of the researchers behind the Diamyd diabetes drug currently being tested across the U.S.

Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes, is a serious disease, which renders a child dependent upon daily insulin injections for survival for the rest of his/her life. More than 1 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes, and the number of new cases among children is growing at an alarming rate of 3−4 percent every year. Unlike other medical conditions that may wane or be cured, you never have a day off from type 1 diabetes, and have to constantly check blood sugars, inject insulin and juggle the daily factors of food intake, stress, exercise, moods, growth and everything else that affects blood sugar levels.

A Vaccine to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes--and an Eventual Cure?

The underlying cause of type 1 diabetes is that the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the cells that make insulin. By the time of diagnosis, most of the cells have been destroyed, and the trick is to keep the remaining ones from being killed off, too.

One of the latest efforts in this area is the DiaPrevent diabetes research study investigating the use of a drug called Diamyd, or GAD, which appears to stop or delay the autoimmune attack against the insulin-producing cells. The treatment consists of a few simple injections and has an impressive safety profile from previous trials. The scientists behind the DiaPrevent study hope to find that Diamyd preserves the remaining insulin-producing cells in children recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. "GAD therapy may soon contribute to a paradigm shift when it comes to how to treat new-onset type 1 diabetes," says Dr. Jerry Palmer, lead investigator of the nationwide study and professor of medicine at the University of Washington.

GAD may eventually even be used as a vaccine to prevent type 1 diabetes altogether. A pilot prevention study was recently started in Sweden with healthy children who have a high risk for developing type 1 diabetes, and further prevention studies are planned.

If the autoimmune attack is stopped, it may allow for regeneration of the lost insulin-producing cells to actually cure the condition in those already living with the disease. A smaller study combining Diamyd with drugs that stimulate regeneration of insulin-producing cells is evaluating this concept.

Be the First to Access the Vaccine

The DiaPrevent diabetes research study is actively enrolling participants between the ages of 10 and 20 who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes within the past three months. Those interested in participating or learning more can visit www.diaprevent.diamyd.com.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

President Bill Clinton Honors 179 U.S. Schools For Combating Childhood Obesity

/PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, today recognized 179 schools that have transformed their campuses into healthier places for students and staff. President Bill Clinton, American Heart Association Chairman Neil Meltzer, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey presented awards during an event in New York City.

The 179 schools hail from across the country, though the cities of Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Lincoln, Neb.; Los Angeles; Miami; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and San Antonio all boast multiple awardees. Many of the schools have diverse student populations, and more than two-thirds are located in lower-income communities. Each has distinguished itself with healthy eating and physical activity programs and policies that meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance's Healthy Schools Program.

"The 179 schools earning recognition today - the most in any year in the Alliance's history - join the ranks of schools from all over the United States that have shown exemplary commitment to the health of their students and staff," President Clinton said. "The Alliance is pleased to assist in these efforts in more than 9,000 schools in all 50 states to make innovative and healthy changes that will turn the tide on childhood obesity."

Among the schools and healthy achievements honored today:

-- Memorial High School, in West New York, N.J., made sweeping changes to
its cafeteria; increased physical activity for students and staff
before, during and after the school day; and required that every
student take health and physical education annually. Memorial is the
first and only school to earn a Gold National Recognition Award from
the Healthy Schools Program.
-- Bumpus Middle School, in Hoover, Ala., pulled deep-fat fryers and
sports drinks out of its cafeteria and brought in whole grains, fresh
fruits and vegetables, water, and one-percent and nonfat milk.
-- Wilkerson Elementary School, in El Monte, Calif., provided physical
education training for all classroom teachers regardless of their
subject area expertise. School administrators supported this
commitment with the purchase of new athletic equipment and encouraged
teachers to make physical activity a part of every school day.


"Although the Healthy Schools Program aims to make all schools healthy, it has a special focus on communities most affected by the childhood obesity epidemic," Lavizzo-Mourey said. "The successes celebrated today show how much can be done from the cafeteria to the playground. At these schools, tough budget times and other challenges are no match for the commitment and creativity of administrators, teachers, parents and students."

The Alliance's Healthy Schools Program provides free assistance to more than 9,000 schools nationwide to help them reverse the national epidemic of childhood obesity. Schools are eligible for Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum National Recognition Awards as a result of implementing health-promoting programs. More than 350 National Recognition Awards have been presented to schools since 2006.

"There is no single cause and no single solution to the childhood obesity epidemic, which is why the Healthy Schools Program's comprehensive approach to making substantive changes in the culture of a school is so critical to its success," Meltzer noted.

In addition to the Healthy Schools Program, the Alliance brokers and implements voluntary agreements with industry leaders to provide young people better access to healthier foods, beverages, physical activity and health care. In March 2010, the Alliance announced the results of a three-year effort with the beverage industry to remove full-calorie soft drinks from U.S. schools and replace them with lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverages. That initiative helped to reduce calories from beverages shipped to schools by 88 percent from 2004 to fall 2009.

Earlier this year, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation became a Founding Member of the Partnership for a Healthier America, the independent, nonpartisan organization created to support the goals of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign.

"It is clear that the momentum is building. In the past year, we have seen the Healthy Schools Program grow from 5,000 schools to more than 9,000," said Ginny Ehrlich, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. "We hope that every person interested in making a difference in the health of a school will join our Healthy Schools Network and become eligible to be nationally recognized for their efforts in future years."

The Healthy Schools Program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Any U.S. school can enroll and receive free assistance and support to become a healthier place for students to learn and staff to work. Find out more at HealthierGeneration.org.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ten Ways Parents Can Keep Children Safe This Summer

/PRNewswire/ -- School is out and summer is an exciting time for kids. What are your child's plans? Will he or she be spending time home alone or going to local parks and swimming pools with friends? The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says there are ten things parents can do to keep their children safe this summer.

1. MAKE SURE children know their full names, address, telephone numbers
and how to use the telephone.
2. BE SURE children know what to do in case of an emergency and how to
reach you using cell phone or pager number. Children should have a
neighbor or trusted adult they may call if they're scared or there's an
emergency.
3. REVIEW the rules with your children about whose homes they may visit
and discuss the boundaries of where they may and may not go in the
neighborhood.
4. MAKE SURE children know to stay away from pools, creeks, or any body of
water without adult supervision
5. CAUTION children to keep the door locked and not to open the door or
talk to anyone who comes to the door when they are home alone.
6. DON'T drop your children off at malls, movies, video arcades or parks.
These are not safe places for children to be alone. Make certain a
responsible adult supervises your younger children at all times when
they are outside and away from home.
7. TEACH your children in whose vehicle they may ride. Children should be
cautioned to never approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless
accompanied by a parent or other trusted adult.
8. BE SURE your children know their curfew and check in with you if they
are going to be late. If children are playing outside after dark, make
sure they wear reflective clothing and stay close to home.
9. CHOOSE babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends,
and neighbors. Many states now have registries for public access to
check criminal history or sex-offender status. Observe the
babysitter's interaction with your children, and ask your children how
they feel about the babysitter.
10. CHECK out camp and other summer programs before enrolling your
children. See if a background screening check is completed on the
individuals working with the children. Make sure there will be adult
supervision of your children at all times, and make sure you are made
aware of all activities and field trips offered by the camp or
program.


"Child safety is important all year, but summer is an especially important time for parents and children to include safety in their activities," according to Ernie Allen, President & CEO of NCMEC. "Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Your children are your best source for determining if everything is okay. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away and practice basic safety skills with them. Make sure they know they are able to tell you about anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused."

NCMEC also recommends that parents be sure all custody documents are in order and certified copies are available in case your children are not returned from a scheduled summer visit.

For additional safety tips and information visit www.missingkids.com or www.netsmartz.org.

NCMEC is the leading nonprofit organization dealing with the issues of missing and sexually exploited children and operates a 24-hour toll free national hotline for reporting missing child cases. NCMEC has played a role in the recovery of more than 151,000 children and today, more children come home safely than ever before. Last year alone we helped recover 13,075 children, improving our recovery rate from 62 percent in 1990 to 97.4 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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Monday, June 7, 2010

Ten Steps to Help Prevent Common Illnesses at Summer Camp

/PRNewswire/ -- As summer sets in, nearly six million campers will attend summer camps in the U.S.(1) And while summer is typically not know as cold or flu season, illnesses and injuries - some very serious - occur every year at hundreds of camps.

Flu viruses and infectious diseases spread quickly through camps due to the close contact of campers, soiled skin and surfaces and sharing of towels or clothes. Infectious diseases cause 20 percent of all illnesses among campers and staff members.(2) Additionally, sports camps have the added feature of common sports injuries that then make campers susceptible - through open wounds - to infection.

To help prepare for camp, parents should understand how to help prevent these illnesses and talk to their children.

"Talking about how to stay safe from infection and illness is a very important part of preparing for camp," said Grant Doornbos, M.D. in Louisville, Ky. and former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athlete. "Especially those going to sports camps, if you have to show them what some infections look like in pictures, while sometimes scary, it can help them understand what to look for on their skin or their teammates' skin."

Ten prevention tips parents should share with their campers:

1. Throughout the day, wash hands with antimicrobial antiseptic soap or
alcohol sanitizers, if a sink is not available.
2. Wash hands and forearms above the elbow immediately before sports using
an antimicrobial wash or wipe that contains chlorhexidine gluconate
(CHG), such as Hibiclens soap or Hibistat® wipes. This protects the
skin from bacteria for up to 6 hours during skin-to-skin contact
sports.
3. Shower as soon as possible after sports activity in hot water with an
antimicrobial cleaner with four percent CHG, which kills germs
(including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA], a type
of staph infection that is resistant to many common antibiotics(2)) on
contact and for up to six hours after washing.
4. Clean sports equipment after use and ensure it dries completely after
cleaning. Use antimicrobial wipes or sprays on equipment that cannot
be washed. Make sure the contact time is observed from the label
instructions to insure disinfection.
5. Keep wounds covered with clean, dry bandages. Have them checked by a
doctor if they are red or won't heal or if flu like symptoms develop
(fever).
6. Put dirty clothes and towels in a separate bag, not in backpacks or
sports bags with clean clothing.
7. Wash and dry clothes and towels on the hottest setting possible. Make
sure all fabrics are completely dry before removing from the dryer.
8. Do not share any personal hygiene items, towels or clothing with
others.
9. Know the signs and symptoms of common skin-to-skin contact illnesses
including impetigo, ringworm and MRSA.
10. Tell a coach or camp counselor about a rash, bite or painful sore
immediately.


"I wish there had been sprays, wipes and soaps that killed these potentially dangerous bugs when I went to wrestling camp," said Dr. Doornbos. "I had to experience too many of these infections myself before I knew how to prevent them. Now, I don't go anywhere, especially the gym, without Hibistat wipes. We still see too many cases of athletes with bad infections that could have been prevented."

Free educational materials are available at http://www.hibiclens.com/parents.html to help parents, coaches and campers. Hibiclens® and Hibistat® are available at drug stores including CVS, Rite Aid and Stop & Shop in the first aid section. Hibiclens is available at Walgreens, Walmart and Target in first aid as well.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vacations From School Can Be Learning Opportunities

(NAPSI)--Vacations from school can serve as opportunities for children and teens to brush up on essential skills-and reinforce what they learned during the school year.

Research shows that if students are not actively engaged in learning and practicing skills during vacation months, they lose some of what they were taught during the school year. According to the National Summer Learning Association, students typically score lower on tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of the summer.

Many students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to keep their children engaged and interested in learning.

Here are a few tips to help:

• Schedule in visits to museums, trips to points of historical interest and exposure to nature through zoos and aquariums. All of these can be great learning experiences and lead to further reading and discussion.

• Take your children to the library. If your child likes movies or television shows, watch them together and then encourage your child to take out books on related subjects.

• Use online resources such as those provided by Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content to schools across the country.

These resources include:

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, an environmental sustainability challenge for grades K-12.

Ready Classroom, a program that educates parents, teachers and students of all ages about severe weather and disaster preparedness for classrooms, families and even pets.

The Take Me FishingTM "Explore the Blue" online initiative, which engages teachers, students and parents in the importance of outdoor recreational activities and conservation.

Energy Balance 101, a free wellness resource for elementary teachers, students and families, which aims to deliver tools and information to help students make decisions for a healthy lifestyle.

To access these free resources, visit http://school.discoveryeducation.com. Discovery Education is a division of Discovery Communications, whose networks include Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

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