Happy Halloween! We couldn’t think of a more appropriate and ghoulish topic for the day than finding out what your body is worth. The excellent infographic below gives you a good body-part-by-body-part snapshot of your market value. (Click for larger). Or fill out a brief questionnaire for a more personalized version of your body’s worth in dollars and cents.
If you are feeling really macabre, you may want to visit the The Death Clock, which bills itself as “the Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away… second by second.” Enter your date of birth, sex, BMI and smoking status. You can choose to your results on a scale ranging from “sadistic” to “optimistic” – or just plain “normal.” If things look really dire, think about your life insurance coverage and update your beneficiaries. Oh — and we really can’t think of a better way to celebrate the day and ensure your longevity than to sign up as an organ donor.
That’s an easy one: “Nothing is scarier than a trip to the emergency room,” said Mark Cichon, DO, chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Loyola University Health System. “In a season devoted to frights, it is our goal to keep everyone safe.”
Pumpkin carving injuries, trips & falls and choking injuries are all among some of the most common Halloween-related injuries that could make for a scary unplanned ER visit. Dr. Cichon offers his excellent tips for a safe Halloween. Here are some of our safety tips:
When decorating, avoid candles – use LED lights and battery-powered lights instead.
Take care not to overload electrical circuits with lights.
Paper and dried plant decorations can easily ignite. Keep them away from flames, lights, and electrical cords.
Keep porches and walkways well lit and free of debris and clutter that might be tripping hazards; Put reflective tape on your steps and along your walkway.
Park your car in a garage, if possible. Mischief makers may egg your house or car.
Lock up bicycles, gas grills and other outdoor valuables.
Consider parties and visits to charity based Haunted Houses as an alternative to Trick or Treating
Equip kids with flashlights. Add day-glo or light-reflective tape to their costumes.
Make sure costumes are fire-safe and flame-resistant.
Ensure costumes and masks don’t impair vision or present a tripping hazard.
Make sure kids are dressed warmly and have comfortable, non-slip footwear.
Costume accessories and props should be short , pliable, and soft – no hard, long, pointy, or sharp objects
Inspect all candy before kids eat it. Be alert for choking hazards and watch for anything that is loose or unwrapped.
Don’t let kids walk while eating candy on a stick – very dangerous if they trip.
Don’t let kids eat homemade treats unless made by someone you know very well
Stick to familiar neighborhoods and familiar houses
Kids shouldn’t enter any homes unless they know the neighbors well
Kids without adults should keep in groups
Walk on sidewalks. Complete one side of the street, cross carefully, and complete the other side.
Use cross walks and crossing lights whenever possible.
Don’t forget about your pets – they could be upset by the unusual activity and may be skittish. Keep them inside and away from the door so they don’t frighten or nip at your guests.
Be careful not to let your pets eat candy, which can be toxic to them.
Call your agent
If you should suffer any damage to your property or have any accidents during Halloween weekend, file a claim as soon as possible to get the claim process in motion. Be ready with the details of where and when the event occurred, along with the names and addresses of any injured parties or witnesses to the event. If there is damage to your property, report it to the police, take photos, and record the details so you won’t forget them later.
How cyber-savvy are you?
Test your knowledge about the cyber security risks you face every day. Take the 11-question quiz to find out how cyber-savvy you are!
Whether on a desktop, laptop or mobile device, your password is often your greatest point of vulnerability. Is your password on the list of the Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time? If so, change it now!
Here are two tools from Microsoft that can help in formulating a better password:
October 19-25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year olds. Teenagers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than adults. As many of these 30% of these accidents involve alcohol. Distracted driving is also a key issue. The most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months of holding an independent license.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a Driver Education Toolkit with a variety of fact sheets on topics that are valuable to novice and experienced drivers alike:
It’s that time of year again – flus, colds, and allergies are kicking in. Flu season runs from October through May, generally peaking in February. When you get sniffles and aches, it’s hard to differentiate because these maladies have similar symptoms — but the treatment can be very different. The National Institute of Health offers a handy chart comparing symptoms, treatment and prevention: Cold, Flu, or Allergy? Know the Difference for Best Treatment
The flu can be serious for some groups: seniors (65+), children (especially those younger than 2), and people with chronic health conditions. Your best defense is a flu vaccine. The CDC suggests that everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine.
Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a location near you.
In addition to the flu, parents are quite concerned about virus affecting kids – while it is not a new virus, it seems to be popping up and causing concern. The CDC offers more resources to learn about Enterovirus D68, as well as some prevention tips.
Here are some video clips of great money-saving hacks for household products you probably already have in one of your your cabinets. Learn some of their less-well known uses and save on expensive alternatives.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.
How did your day start today? You probably wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up and find a camera filming you but that’s exactly what happened to an owl family recently — they woke up one morning to find a GoPro camera trained on their burrow. The curious birds spent some time investigating this intruder, which gave us the opportunity for a great up-close-and-personal look at some baby owls. (The baby owls make their appearance about a minute or so in.) Too cute!
And if you enjoyed that, you may also enjoy seeing Kuu the Screech Owl having a bath and being dried.
When there’s snow or ice on the road, drivers are cautious, but rain is such a frequent occurrence that drivers are sometimes over-confident. That’s a mistake that could be costly or even deadly. According to the Federal Highway Administration:
“Most weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement and during rainfall. Each year, 75 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on wet pavement and 47 percent happen during rainfall. Nearly 5,700 people are killed and more than 544,700 people are injured in crashes on wet pavement annually. Every year, over 3,400 people are killed and over 357,300 people are injured in crashes during rainfall.”
Edmunds offers a good refresher on best practice Tips and Techniques for Driving in Rain. But one condition that you should know about and prevent is hydroplaning or aquaplaning. According to SafeMotorist.com:
The term hydroplaning is commonly used to refer to the skidding or sliding of a cars tires across a wet surface. Hydroplaning occurs when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter. Water pressure in the front of the wheel pushes water under the tire, and the tire is then separated from the road surface by a thin film of water and loses traction. The result is loss of steering, braking and power control.
Rubber tires have tread (grooves) that are designed to channel water from beneath the tire. This creates higher friction with the road surface and can help prevent or minimize instances of hydroplaning.
The upcoming weekend forecast is for warm and glorious weather here in New England, a perfect time for getting out to enjoy the foliage. There’s leaf peeping, apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin festivals, country fairs and more – we’ve gathered some resources to help you make the most of the nice weather.
If you want current tracking of the weather in this or any other season, Twitter can be a very fun way to do that. Meteorologists have a strong and active presence — many issue updated foliage reports and photos along with the weather. We have a list of New England Weather Resources on Twitter that you can follow.
If you’re heading out for drives, we issue our seasonal caution to be alert for deer and moose. The Insurance Information Institute reminds us that fall is peak season for deer and auto collisions. “Deer migration and mating season generally runs from October through December, and causes a dramatic spike in the movement of deer population. As a result, more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year.” Plus, in northern New England, you need to be on the lookout for moose.