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Be Careful Where You Walk Your Dog This Summer

pet safety during summer

Taking care of others isn’t always easy. Often times, the other person or creature needs constant supervision to keep them safe and healthy. Without a constant, watchful eye, the dependent could cause trouble, get hurt, or worse. This is often the case with pets, especially dogs.

Dogs have a tendency to be more high maintenance than cats. Of course, this isn’t to say there are no high maintenance cats out there, but dogs take the lead. They need to be walked and cleaned regularly. Luckily, with summer here, walking dogs is no big deal. The mornings and evening in summer provide the best weather for taking a pup on a nice stroll around a park or along a hiking trail. However, there is a danger for dogs lurking along trails and out there in the wilderness, one that many people would not initially expect.

Foxtails Can Be Harmful to Dogs

Everyone knows that summer brings warmer weather with it. While this warmer weather can be enjoyable for going outside, it cooks the landscape. As plants begin to dry up, many of them begin to seed before dying. One grass in particular has what, at first glance, may appear harmless, but in actuality can be dangerous to dogs. These plants are called foxtail grasses.

Foxtail grasses are clumps of grasses that come in varying sizes. The grasses can be recognized by their fluffy looking flower and seed cluster. These seed clusters often hold hundreds of seeds that all look like tiny foxtails, which is where the name comes from.

A person has often encountered these seeds while hiking when they feel something poking them in their sock. These seeds are great at getting lodged into anything scraggily, such as socks, and can be very uncomfortable. Luckily, when a person feels the seed poking them, it can be removed easily enough with a bit of firm pulling to untangle it. Unfortunately, for fury companions, getting stuck with one of these seeds can be more harmful.

These seeds like to get lodged in dog’s furs, ears, and noses. Not only is this likely incredibly annoying for the poor pooch, it can cause a bit of harm to the pup if left untreated. The seeds can end up getting lodged further into the skin, where it can cause an infection. The infection can become lethal to the dog if left untreated.

In order to keep dogs healthy and happy, and owner needs to brush down their dog after any walk. This should remove any foxtails from the pup’s fur. Then the owner should checks for any foxtails in their dog’s ears, nose, and in-between paws. If any are found, they should be removed as soon as possible. If things start to get bad, the person should take their dog to the vet.

Keep an Eye out for Foxtails

After California’s surprisingly rainy spring, there are plenty of foxtails out their just waiting to get lodged in some poor dog’s fur. A dog owner should choose their walking locations carefully, and avoid any areas where foxtails. A person should also weed their yard and get rid of any foxtail grasses there to help keep the yard safe for dogs.

All any good dog owner wants to do is keep their pup healthy and happy, and keeping the pooch away from foxtails is a great way to do that. Has your pooch ever had a bad encounter with foxtails? Do you have any tips for dealing with foxtails, or for any other problems that a caring dog owner should know about? Share them in the comments below and help others keep their pups safe from harm.

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Beware of Extreme Heat This Summer

avoiding a heat stroke

Summer is in full swing here in California, and many parts of the state are feeling the heat. While for some this is a nice change of pace from the cold of winter, for others this is just another extreme to be dealt with. Just like the cold, the heat can become harmful and even deadly. That is why people need to take the proper steps to ensure their health and well-being this summer.

When the weather grows indescribably hot, there are several things a person should do to keep cool. At excessive temperatures, keeping cool isn’t just about comfort, it is about staying healthy. At high temperatures, a person can suffer from heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Both can be very serious conditions, have their own unique symptoms, and require their own responses to keep the person suffering from them safe. The following information comes from the National Weather Service’s website.

In addition, heat cramps could be a warning sign of these illnesses starting to take effect in the person. If a person has been in hot weather and is suffering from cramps, usually in their legs or abdomen, they should:

  • Apply firm pressure to the cramping muscle.
  • Massage the muscle.
  • Sip on water so long as the person isn’t nauseous.

Feeling Tired from the Heat?

Spending too much time in the sun, or even just a warm area, can cause a person to suffer from heat exhaustion. When a person is suffering from heat exhaustion, they will experience the following symptoms:

  • Cool, pale, clammy skin.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Fast, weak pulse.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Weakness.

If a person is suffering these symptoms, they should get to a cooler area as soon as possible. They should loosen, or if possible, remove clothing to help cool off. If the person is conscious, give them sips of water. Apply cool, wet clothes to as much of the body as possible.

If the person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention.

The Signs of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is another, more serious heat related condition. The symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Altered mental state.
  • Body temperature over 103 degrees.
  • Confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Faints.
  • Hot, red, dry, or moist skin.
  • Nausea.
  • Rapid, strong pulse.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Throbbing headache.

If a person exhibits these symptoms, contact 911 or get them to a hospitable immediately. If waiting for emergency services, move the person into a cooler area, preferably with air conditioning. Apply cool, wet cloths to as much as the body as possible or put them in a cool bath. Fan them only if the air temperature is under 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do not give the person fluids.

Stay Cool This Summer

During the warm summer months, it is important for person to keep cool, not just to remain comfortable, but to remain in good health as well. Not only does a person need to keep an eye on themselves during these warm times, but they need to watch out for those who can’t take care of themselves or those who are more susceptible to heat such as young children and the elderly. Doing so could keep them safe this summer.

It is also important to remember to stay hydrated when in hot weather. The human body uses water, in the form of sweat, to help regulate the body’s temperature. Without enough water, the body can begin to suffer from one of these illnesses.

What are some ways that you like to keep cool during the summer, especially while working? Let us know in the comments down below and help other people keep cool this summer.

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What Kind of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

video game rating

Parenting is not an easy task, but at least school is there to take the kids away for a few hours each day. That helps. However, summer is now here and the kids are free from school for the season. It can be tough for parents to figure out how to keep their kids busy and entertained over the summer.

Nowadays, many kids are easily entertained with a video game of some sort. Luckily, there are plenty of games to choose from to keep the kiddies entertained. However, a parent needs to make sure that the game their kid is playing is appropriate for them. Some parents don’t realize that there is a way to determine what is in a game without having to play it.

How to Rate a Game

Video games come in all sorts of “shapes and sizes.” There truly is something for everyone, so long as they are willing to look for the right game. One of the ways that people can tell what is in a game, aside from reading the back of the box, is to look at the rating system. Every single game in the United States has a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

The ESRB is tasked with providing consumers with the information to determine what kind of audience the game is made for. The ESRB examines a game and determines if its content is meant more for kids, or adults. Once a decision has been decided on for a game, the game receives a letter rating.

While some people may be confused by the letter system used for rating video games, it is actually pretty straightforward. The following letters can be used for ratings:

  • EC – EC stands for early childhood and are usually meant as educational games for very young kids. This rating isn’t used much in most games.
  • E – E stands for everyone, meaning that the game is suitable for all ages. An E game can contain minimal cartoon, fantasy, mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. Games like Pokémon fall into this category.
  • E10+ – E10+ stands for everyone age ten and up. These games can contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Minecraft falls into this category.
  • T – T stands for teen, meaning the game is meant for anyone 13 and older. These games can contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language. The popular battle royal style game Fortnite falls into this category.
  • M – M stands for mature, meaning a player should be 17 or older to buy or play the game. These games contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Any first-person shooter (FPS) game, like Call of Duty, typically fits into this category.
  • AO – AO stands for adults only, meaning a person should be 18 or older to play the game. Admittedly, this rating is very rarely used. These games can contain prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
  • RP – RP stands for rating pending, meaning the game hasn’t gotten an official rating yet. This is usually seen on adds for games long before their official release and therefore will never be on a game once it is available to purchase.
  • More information can be found on the ESRB website, as well as a helpful lookup tool, here.

    Be Wary of Loot Boxes

    Another thing a parent should be wary of in their child’s games, are loot boxes. Loot boxes are highly controversial at the moment with many people debating whether or not they constitute gambling.

    Loot boxes typically work as follows: A player acquires a box in game, sometimes by earning, though usually through purchasing the box with real world money. The player then opens the box is given a random in-game reward. If a player didn’t get the reward they wanted, they can always purchase another loot box to try again. This can very quickly add up to a lot of money.

    Some popular games that include loot boxes include:

    • Apex Legends
    • Counter-Strike
    • FIFA
    • Fortnite
    • Overwatch
    • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
    • Star Wars Battlefront 2

    Due to these questionable practices, many governments around the world are weighing in on whether or not loot boxes count as gambling. Until governments can come to any sort of decision on this front, parents should pay attention to games with these, as kids have been known to use their parent’s credit cards to buy a lot of these loot boxes.

    Pay Close Attention

    Video games can be a great way to keep a child entertained this summer, so long as a parent is aware of what games their letting their child play. When a parent buys a game for their child, they need to make sure that the game is appropriate. If they don’t want their child seeing anything super violent, then M rated games are out of the picture. No cartoon violence, then T games are out as well. E and E10+ games are usually a safe bet for young children.

    Unfortunately, if a parent wants to avoid games with loot boxes, they are going to have to a look a little more closely at the rating box on the game’s case. Loot boxes themselves don’t currently affect a game’s rating with the ESRB, however they should be listed next to the games rating under the category of in-game purchases.

    Do you have a favorite child appropriate game? If so, share it in the comments below and help other parents find a good game for their child this summer.

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    Does the ShakeAlert System Work?

    shake alert

    While people all over the country were celebrating the Fourth of July, Southern California got quite a shocking surprise. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near Ridgecrest, California struck around 10:35 am. People from as far away as Orange County and Las Vegas felt the shaking from the quake. The area remained seismically active for the rest of the day, with another 5.4 quake striking the area around 4:07 am.

    This quake was followed by a larger one, 7.1 magnitude, on July 5th.

    This was all an important reminder for Californians that larger earthquakes can and will happen here. This drew the usual concern about how people should prepare for earthquakes. Some tips that we have gathered in the past on how to do this can be found here. This also drew some concern as people in redlands wondered why they did not receive an alert from ShakeAlert.

    What Is ShakeAlert?

    ShakeAlert is an early earthquake warning system meant to alert people to earthquakes before they start shaking an area. The system began working in the fall of 2018. There are thousands of earthquake sensors all over the state of California. When one of the sensors detects a quake, it sends an alert to a research facility that then sends the alert out to anyone who has the app on their phone.

    It is important to note that this system does not detect earthquakes before they occur. It simply detects the shaking at the epicenter and alerts surrounding areas. Thanks to modern technology, an earthquake can be detected and an alert send to the surrounding areas almost minute before the shaking reaches those areas.

    The technology is still in development is largely being used by researchers to study quakes and fine tune the tech. they hope that they will be able to expand the system and give people greater early warnings. While a warning of less than a minute doesn’t sound like much, it can do a lot for people. This kind of warning can help prevent planes from taking off and landing during the shaking. It can stop people from driving onto bridges or into tunnels. It can help utility companies shut down systems and prevent fires from flaring up because of the quake. Those few seconds can actually make a huge difference.

    While this tech is amazing, many people in redlands realized that they never received an alert about the quake.

    Why Weren’t LA Citizens Notified?

    While many suspect that they didn’t receive an alert simply because the system doesn’t work, they would be wrong. The system worked, however it determined that the quake would not be strong enough to warrant alert residents of LA County to the earthquake.

    As it currently stands, the system only alerts LA County residents if either:

    • An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or stronger strikes within the boundaries of LA County.
    • An earthquake that happened outside of LA County will shake the area with an estimated shaking intensity of 4.

    While the recent July 4th earthquake was a magnitude 6.4, it was not located within LA County. The ShakeAlert system estimated that shaking in the LA County are would only be intensity 3. This is understandable from a scientific standpoint, as the difference in shaking between a magnitudes is bigger than people realize. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake is 10 times more violent than a magnitude 3.0.

    However, for many people, not being alerted to the shaking before it began worried them, and caused them to question the effectiveness of the ShakeAlert system.

    The System Does Work

    The thing to take away from this is that the ShakeAlert System does work. It only sends alerts to areas that are about to experience large amounts of shaking. This is likely done to keep the alerts more important. If the system sent out alerts for every single earthquake, which California experiences hundreds of little ones each day, people would begin to ignore the alerts all together. It would become a lot like the story of the boy who cried wolf. No one would believe the system when a big earthquake finally hit.

    Instead of getting upset that the system didn’t issue a warning for minor shaking, use this as a reminder to stay prepared. A person should have an exit strategy for any room they spend a lot of time in, whether that be at home or work. It is also a good idea to have some supplies stored away in the event that roads are too damaged to use and stores run out of supplies.

    Did you feel the Fourth of July quake? Tell us about it, and how well you handled the shaking in the comments down below.