Thursday, July 3, 2014

Best Places to Road Trip in Florida with Your Family This Summer

Spending quality family time during the year is hard. Luckily, summertime is upon us and with the kids out of school there is more time for family activities. My family usually goes on road trips every summer, so I want to share with you some of the tips we follow to make sure we have a good time all while staying safe in the car. Whether you’re driving 10 hours or 2 –the time you spend in your car during the road trip is special and should be held with importance. Follow these tips and it could go a long way in avoiding any unnecessary accidents or incidents. 

            There are parts of your car that need to be in optimal shape before you take off for your summer road trip. If you can’t schedule a checkup for basic maintenance, there are things you can do yourself. First, you want to check the fluids in your engine like the engine oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze/coolant, radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid and power steering fluid. Next, make sure the hoses and belts in your engine are connected properly and not loose. Of course, you always want to check your tires to make sure they are road trip worthy. Check the treads to make sure they are deep enough for proper traction and always check your tire pressure before driving.

            After you have determined that your car is safe to drive, prepare an emergency kit to take along with you. Make sure your emergency kit includes a flashlight with extra batteries, blankets, first-aid kit, and basic tools. It’s also a great idea to keep bottles of water in the trunk just in case. If you’re driving with kids you know how important it is to have snacks on board as well. Prepare your family by bringing plenty of snacks, games, videos, books, music and water to keep them comfortable and occupied while you’re on the road. 

            The most important tip is to make sure you drive safely, follow the rules of the road and stay alert at all times. Wherever you end up on your family summer road trip, make sure you stay safe and of course, always have fun!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Keeping Kids Safe in the Car

The Lewin family takes vehicle safety extremely seriously. As a parent it’s important to know the proper safety standards when it comes to child passenger safety. Many laws regarding seatbelt use and how old one must be to sit in the front seat vary state-by-state –but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline the safest possible ways to regulate this issue. 

From birth up until the child turns 2 they should be seated in a rear-facing car seat, in the backseat, until they reach the highest weight or height limits of the specific seat, which will be explained in the owner’s manual. Depending on the weight and height regulations, typically from age 2-5 the child can sit in a forward-facing car seat in the back. Usually after age 5 (depending on the specific regulations), the child can graduate to using a booster seat and always accompanied by the use of a seatbelt. Once the seatbelt fits properly (lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach and across the chest, not the neck) it is not necessary for the child to use a booster seat.

As for when the child should be allowed to sit in the front seat, the laws do vary state by state, but the CDC suggests that all children ages 12 and under sit buckled in the back seat. Airbags can actually be dangerous for young children and sitting in the front seat could be fatal. Usually, by the age of 12-14 the child is at a height (4 feet 9 inches) where the airbag is no longer a safety hazard. When your child is at a height where they can sit in the front seat, make sure they know how to properly wear their seatbelt before moving the vehicle. It’s especially important to note that using a seatbelt is always necessary to ensure safety while in a vehicle and the best way to set a good example for children is to always wear a seat belt when you’re in the car.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Autism Awareness Day

Autism Awareness Day

The percentage of children that get diagnosed with autism is growing every year and the Lewin family takes this issue very seriously. A new development has arisen –showing that the prevalence of autism is on the rise.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there has been a 30% increase in the amount of children who suffer from the disorder in the span of two years. It had been believed up until recently that 1 in 88 children suffer from autism but the most recent study shows that in reality it’s 1 in 68.

There could be several attributes that explain this rapid increase. It’s possible that doctors are just getting better at identifying and diagnosing the disorder or there could be a growing amount of children with high intelligence who are also autistic. It could also be the combination of both.

The Lewin family believes that in order to help those who have autism it’s important that every child get screened in the early years of their life. Identifying the disorder can happen as early as two years old but most children aren’t diagnosed until they are at least four. This gap, whether it be one year or five, changes everything.

The month of April is Autism Awareness Month. Autism organizations celebrate by putting on fundraising and awareness-raising events all over the world that educate the public about autism and the issues surrounding it. In this way, funds are raised that go toward finding a cure or prevention for autism while also funding educational programs that go a long way in helping those affected.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Car Seat Safety

Car Seat Safety

The Lewin family believes that car seats are vital when ensuring your child stays safe while in a vehicle. Depending on age, weight and height children should be using a car seat or a booster seat before transitioning to a seat belt alone. From birth to age 2, the child should be using a rear facing car seat until they reach the weight or height limits on the specific car seat. From age 2-5, generally, the child should be in a front facing car seat. Booster seats should be used when the weight and height limits of the front facing car seat have been met.

To determine whether a child is ready to use a seat belt, check to see if it fits properly. Proper fit means the seat belt will lay across the upper thigh of the child, not on their stomach. The seatbelt should also lay across the child’s chest and not their neck. The recommended height that a child should reach before wearing a seatbelt is 57 inches or around age 10. The safest spot for a child to be buckled in is the middle of the back seat.

Using a car seat or a seatbelt is crucial. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat-belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50%. Leading by example is the best way to make sure your child wears a seat belt and makes it a habit that could save their lives.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dog Rescues in South Florida

Dog Rescues in South Florida

The Lewin Family loves animals. The idea of animal welfare and rescue took over
America in 1866 when Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City. Ten years later in 1877, the Humane
Society was formed. Pets are a huge part of the Lewin Family. According to The
American Pet Product Association’s 2013-2014 National Pet Owner’s Survey there are
83.3 million dogs owned and of those 20% were adopted from shelters. Even though it
sounds like a large number, there are still about 2.7 million pets that remain not
adopted every year. 

South Florida is home to many dog shelters. Rescue shelters like Paws4You in Miami,
Animal Aid in Oakland Park and Good Karma Pet Rescue in Ft. Lauderdale are just a
few that are actively saving dogs and trying to find them a forever home. They
strive to get the public to adopt or foster dogs by listing the animal’s online,
showcasing photos of them as well as a background story, health status and sometimes
even videos. They also host adoption events that focus on getting the public
interested in pet adoption by offering things like doggie fashion shows, pet
photographers and raffles while showing off the adoptable animals that are

Every animal deserves a home and thankfully, there are tons of organizations in
South Florida that aid in the effort to do so. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Welcoming Our New Pet, Sandy

The Lewins and the 411-PAIN team have recently made a new addition to their already large family.  Sandy is now part of the gang!  This beloved golden-doodle dog gets its name from the movie Annie, in which an orphan girl escapes the orphanage to find her parents.  She runs into Sandy, who happens to be a friendly and companionable dog.  She acts like the dog belongs to her by calling him Sandy when dog catchers are around. 

Welcoming a new pet into your home is not an easy task.  It requires a lot of patience, time and dedication to make it feel like part of the family.  Animals usually get very scared when they arrive at new places.  There are many local pet rescue centers where you can adopt a pet that has been abandoned or neglected.  It doesn’t matter what type of breed you choose, they all deserve a new home and a loving family.
Researchers have found interesting things about how pets can improve your health and can help you have a better quality of life.  For example, spending time with your pet lowers the level of hormones linked to stress.  Petting your dog lowers your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.  You get to exercise more when you take your dog for a walk.  It’s proven that pet owners have fewer heart attacks than those who don’t own a pet.  Also, medical patients that own pets will recover faster than those who don’t.  Besides all that, people who were raised with pets at home have a stronger immune system; and also, kids with ADHD benefit greatly from canines.

Adopting a pet can be the most rewarding thing in the world.  You’ll definitely have the perfect companion and life-long friend.  Sandy is a lucky dog indeed, and so is the Lewin family and 411-PAIN for having such an adorable golden-doodle.  The entire family is committed to Sandy’s care.
Hellen Keller, blind and deaf writer said: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.”  I’m sure one of those things was her adorable canine companion.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Tradition of Generosity

A Tradition of Generosity

The Lewins have been well-known for their generosity.  They have donated thousands of dollars for humanitarian purposes.  One of their latest contributions was at North Miami Elementary where 411-PAIN in partnership with Clear Channel Radio gathered at the school’s spacious cafeteria for a special event.  A large check was donated to the school for their sacrificial and continual dedication to educate and nurture our future generation.

411 PAIN in partnership with Clear Channel Radio picked North Miami Elementary for a special event held on Wednesday May 1, 2013.  We got the whole school together in their ample cafeteria to celebrate and read stories to the kids.  The school band played mirthfully as students walked in and sat orderly on the cafeteria benches.  The crowd applauded and their leader welcomed everyone to this amazing event.  Stories were read, music was played, and seven students held high a sign which read “THANK YOU 411-PAIN!” after a big $3085.00 check was presented to the school principal.

It was truly an inspiring event which reminded us about the purpose of giving.  The Lewins are so proud of North Miami Elementary for creating the environment our kids need to grow and become healthy adults.  Teachers and parents, a child will thank you ‘one day.’  Live for that day, any ordinary day can be it.