Get On Your Knees, Please, For Your Baby

There are really too many items in a common household that can be considered
dangerous for toddlers and young babies. In order to keep the baby safe, to understand
what those innocent tykes can get up to, you need to get down on your hands and
knees. Now that you are on their level, think about what your baby is seeing, and
imagine the curiosity your baby naturally has for touching and tasting.

Start in your kitchen and see if there are any electrical outlets within your baby’s reach.
Hopefully you’ve planned ahead and bought some of those plastic guards that fit into
the outlets you’re not using. After taking care of that, open the bottom cupboards and
see what’s in them. Any kinds of soaps or chemical cleaners can be hazardous if your
baby ingests them or even breathes them in. Remove the dangerous items and place
them up high on a shelf, until your kids are at least five years old.

Now crawl into your drawing room or den. See that standing lamp in the corner? Does
it look like it could be knocked or pulled down easily? It’d be best to put it in the garage
until the baby grows up. Anything with dangling or trailing wires will be tested by
your inquisitive child. It is up to you to find good ways of hiding the television set and
computer wires, as they are often hazards for teething babies. Bend down and scan
under your couch for loose change and pen caps. These can definitely choke a curious
toddler. Since you can’t put everything away for a few years, it’s best to get used to
closing the doors of any rooms that may be full of grown up toys.

Moving on to the bathroom; it would be a good room to keep closed while not in use.
Just consider the germ factor alone. Here again, move cleaners to an upper shelf in
a store room. Even if you do keep the bathroom door closed, do get those cupboard
safety catches for the bathroom cabinet doors and drawers. There are even safety
catches for toilet seats, if your toddler likes to play in the toilet water.

If you think that just rearranging cabinets and putting away knick-knacks is enough,
remember that your baby will be crawling on dirty floors and dusty carpets if you
allow it. No one said that having a baby would be easy, and now that you’ve taken the
plunge, be responsible, loving, and sanitary while keeping the baby safe to the best of
your parental ability.

-Christine Levy

Chewing Tobacco- It’s Worse than You Thought

People are always talking about how smoking can give you a myriad of problems, the worst being lung cancer. Many teenagers don’t seem to care, but the ones that do seem to use chewing tobacco. They think that they’re not inhaling it into their lungs, or swallowing it, so it must be much better. Unfortunately, they’re wrong, and chewing tobacco is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. About 23% of teenagers in high school use chewing tobacco, and most of them became addicted before the age of 13. Peer pressure is one of the main reasons that so many teenagers use it. Many end up getting brands that have more nicotine, which makes the addiction even stronger.

Chewing tobacco became very popular due to baseball players using it. You’d often see
a baseball player with a bulge in his mouth, and spitting into the field. Many baseball
players who used it regretted it deeply later; they developed tumors and cancer which
ended their lives. One example is an outfielder named Bill Tuttle. He was a baseball
player who was always seen with a bulge of chewing tobacco in his mouth, and later
on in his life he developed a different type of bulge. A massive tumor came from his
cheek. Much of his face had to be removed, including his jawbone, a lot of his teeth and
gum-line, his taste buds, and his right cheek bone. Cancer took his life in 1988. Since he
began chewing tobacco as a teenager, it ruined his life, and he spent the rest of his life
trying to convince people not to use it.

Some other effects of chewing tobacco, besides brown-stained teeth and bad breath,
would be receding gums, increased risk of having strokes, mouth sores, cracked and
bleeding gums and lips, and also cancer. Cancer and tumors due to chewing tobacco
happens to about 30,000 Americans every year. It is a very real problem, and teenagers
need to learn to quit before they suffer from tobacco effects.

Some tips to quit chewing tobacco would be to use a nicotine patch, which should
help nullify the urge for chewing tobacco. Some teenagers will feel the need to have
something to chew on, so it is best to keep foods like sugarless gum, hard candy, beef
jerky, and raisins around. Getting into exercising will also help the quitting process,
while also being a good distraction. It will take time, and it’s best to get support from
friends and family who can help along the way.

-Christine Levy

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