Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Teaching your Kids to be Smart with Social Media

Social media has become an essential part of all our lives. For kids and teens, social media has become a lifestyle. Social media has its benefits for young people but can also bring about issues for concern. It’s up to parents to teach their children how to use social media in a positive and beneficial way.

Good ways social media can be used for:

Helping kids stay connected with family and friends
The ability to get involved in a charity, campaign or cause
The opportunity to enhance their creativity by sharing ideas, art or music
Interact and meet others with similar interests

Despite all these positives, social media can be a place for things like cyberbullying or questionable activities.  Without realizing it, kids and teens can share more online than is necessary.  The majority of young people on social media post information like their real names, birthdates, where they attend school and where they live.  All this exposed information makes kids an easy target for online predators or someone who has the intent to cause them harm.

Teaching your kids to be smart:

Tell them to be nice and not make mean or hurtful comments to others.
Remind your kids to think twice before hitting ‘enter’ because once it’s out there; it’s out there for good.
They should avoid posting their location or “checking in” to locations.
Highlight the importance of using privacy settings and to never share their passwords with anyone.
“Stranger danger” should apply online. Tell your children to never friend a stranger and use the block feature if necessary.

You should always monitor your child’s online activity. This doesn’t mean you have to pry to the point they alienate themselves from you.  You can still make sure they are safe while respecting their privacy and letting them enjoy their time online.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Things your Family can do on Spring Break

Spring break season is here again and parents are checking their child’s school calendar and planning activities or vacations accordingly. Sometimes parents aren’t able to take out-of-town vacations with their families because of work obligations or they can’t afford to take their children on vacation. Luckily, you can find things in your local community that can still make spring break enjoyable and affordable for the entire family.

Here are a few ideas:

Visit a local animal farm. Children who love animals will consider a trip to an animal farm a real treat. Many farms have petting zoos, pony rides, and other fun activities that are also educational.

Take a hike or bike ride. Visit a state park and expose your family to nature by hiking on a trail or biking.  While you’re there, you can set up a scavenger hunt activity and hunt for rocks, leaves or any objects found in the wilderness.

See a free concert. Many communities offer free concert shows for local bands to perform. All you need is a blanket and some snacks and you’re good to go.

Visit a museum. Hanging out at a museum is a great way to mix education and fun. Many museums offer interactive areas or activities tailored specifically for children.

Help at a community garden. Not only will you teach your child how fruits and vegetables are grown, you can also teach them responsibility. Tending to a garden will show that patience and hard work yields to results.

These activities are healthy alternatives for your kids and prevent them from being cooped up in the house when they’re off from school. If you keep them active when they’re on vacation, it will make the transition into the normal routine much easier later on.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Getting Your Children to Volunteer

Today’s idea of “family bonding time” involves the whole family sitting together while everyone has a screen in front of their face.  Gadgets have taken over households and even parents fall victim to their influence. It can become a challenge getting your children to participate and engage as a family. This is because they have their own friends and many other distractions or activities they’d rather be doing.

Something you can incorporate into your family life is volunteering. It’s never too early to teach your child the value of helping people or places in need. The earlier you start the better, as it can form a lifelong commitment to selfless giving. In order to get your child involved, find something that they like to do and see if there is a way they could be a volunteer for it. For example, if your child is the artistic type, try finding a way they could make arts and crafts for sick children. If your child enjoys reading, see if they can mentor children in lower grade levels to improve their reading comprehension.

The point is to find something fun so it doesn’t seem like a chore. Find something you guys enjoy doing as a family. For example, if your family has animal lovers, find a way the whole family can volunteer to walk dogs or groom them. If you family is the active type, try joining in walkathons together.

Everyone knows that family life can be busy and some parents might wonder if there is time for volunteering. The trick is to incorporate volunteering into the family schedule so that it becomes a priority. If your family gets used to the routine of having volunteering, it becomes easier for them to give their time to the cause. The benefits of volunteering are many, and it creates a way for you to bond with your family while instilling core values that your children will most likely carry into adulthood.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Drive Safely Work Week

Road safety is high on the priority list for the Lewin family! At this time of the year, especially, being on the road can get stressful. With school zones and higher traffic volume, things are more hectic than ever. That’s why we love the fact that the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety in the U.S. dedicates a whole week to their Drive Safely Work campaign! The campaigns mission is to focus on integrating the fundamentals of safe driving into an organizations core safety culture.

Driving to work especially during this time of year when school is going on can be a hassle, but incorporating policies, procedures, communication tools and tips related to safe driving could make a huge difference for employees around the county. Whether employers decide to hold a workshop, hand out brochures, send e-mail blasts, or even set up a town hall meeting –emphasizing the importance of road safety is very important not only during Drive Safely Work Week, but year-round.

The NETS has compiled a downloadable tool kit for all employers who wish to reduce the number of accidents that impact the workforce and community as a whole. This kit, which can be found at http://ow.ly/CfoxU, is a four-step program that highlights ways to lead, engage, extend, and sustain the core guidelines for safe driving when on the road. While topics like executive leadership, the importance of using seat belts and not using mobile devices are discussed, there’s also a section that reiterates the use of helpful tools like off the job safety and wellness programs that could positively impact the workforce in general. The Lewin family believes that solidarity, awareness, and safety go hand in hand –and Driving Safely Work Week is the perfect combination of all three!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Read and Rise

By now it’s probably not major news that my family and I love helping the community! My company, 1-800-411-Pain, is known for helping accident victims but we’re also heavily involved in promoting literacy and the importance of reading. Around 32 million Americans don’t know how to read, which is why 1-800-411-PAIN along with Scholastic Book Fairs, are on a mission to bring national awareness to this increasing epidemic. This campaign is all about stomping out illiteracy, not only in South Florida, but all across the nation. The main goal I got 1-800-411-PAIN involved with the Scholastic Read and Rise Campaign is to benefit students and families in insufficient schools who have suffered major budget cuts and simply cannot afford to purchase books of their own.

The fact that some children can’t afford to buy books breaks our hearts and is the reason why our company teams up with the campaign every year. I love advocating for a program that encourages young students to enjoy reading, and, as a result, get a chance for a better start in life. The efforts of 411 PAIN, and the Scholastic Book Fair, will give more than 12,500 at-risk students in 25 low-income elementary schools throughout Broward and Miami-Dade County a gift certificate to purchase new books at their schools’ Scholastic Read and Rise Book Fair.

We always look forward to the 1-800-411-Pain Scholastic Read and Rise Campaign. It not only brings awareness to the importance of literacy to our children, but gets kids excited about reading while raising funds so that every child at the fair can receive a $5.00 Reading Certificate. This certificate allows the children to explore the Scholastic Read and Rise Book Fair and buy their own books. By having the freedom to buy their own books, they get excited in finding and reading the books they pick themselves. Since many children who participate in the program haven’t been able to afford to purchase books at past fairs, the gift certificate is a perfect incentive that’s guaranteed to create genuine interest towards reading! These campaigns bring the community and families together and is a tremendously beneficial cause that will positively affect all of our futures. 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Study Shows Pregnancy Increases Risk of Car Accident



According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, women are 42% more at risk of getting into a car accident while pregnant. The study concluded that around 1 in 50 women get into a car accident at some point in their pregnancy. Although they haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly why their risk increases, but they take into account fatigue, distraction, nausea and other common early pregnancy annoyances.

Since the women in the study didn’t see an increase in car accident injuries when they were passengers but rather when they were drivers, it’s clear that it has something to do with being pregnant and driving. The study found that the safest month for women to be driving is the last month of their pregnancy. They noticed their risk decreased dramatically when compared to the first or second trimester of pregnancy. Instead of telling pregnant women not to drive, though, the study promotes not the idea of limiting drivers but of making sure they drive more carefully and are more aware of their surroundings.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Franklin or any other city in Tennessee –call the Law Offices of Schwed, Adams, Sobel, McGinley, P.A. at 1-800-411-PAIN. They will fight for your rights and get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Don’t forget to follow 411 PAIN on Twitter (@411PAIN) and keep up with the conversation at #411PAIN!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies



The Lewin family believes that while being a safe and alert driver is the most important part of being on the road, keeping proper emergency essentials in the car at all times is just as important. No matter how safe you are while you’re behind the wheel –anything can happen. 

            To ensure you and your passengers are ready for any situation (an accident, a flat tire, a dead car battery, running out of gas, etc.), there are several items that you’d benefit from keeping in your vehicle at all times. AAA sells emergency safety kits that include a booster cable, flashlight, first aid kit, an emergency whistle, a pair of gloves, an emergency poncho, a roll of duct tape, a Philips and flat head screw driver, a utility knife, a bungee cord, cloths and cable ties –all in one bag. 

An emergency kit a great place to start, but other items like spare tires, a tire pressure gauge, matches, energy bars and bottled water, maps, a seatbelt cutter and window breaker, reflective triangles, blankets, clothes and an ice scraper are all things that could go a long way in ensuring your safety if you’re ever caught in a difficult situation on the road. Taking precautions and preparing for the worst is essential when you’re behind the wheel.