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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?

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    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.

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    People May Enjoy Fireworks, but Pets Don’t

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    The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, and everyone is anxiously awaiting all of the celebrations. There will be food, parties, games, and fireworks. Celebrating the Fourth of July is a big deal, and a whole lot of fun. Everyone is looking forward to it, well, almost everyone anyways.

    While people are all very excited about the Fourth of July and how it is celebrated, there is one group out there that doesn’t enjoy the fireworks. Pets all over the United States have varying feelings about fireworks. Some are indifferent towards them, and others are outright terrified. A pet owner needs to consider this before they go out celebrating for the holiday.

    Pets Don’t Appreciate Fireworks

    Unlike humans, pets aren’t really big fans of fireworks. The problem usually lies in the fact that they don’t understand what the fireworks and explosions are. They don’t see all of the fuss as fun. All they know is that there are a lot of flashing lights and loud explosions that can shake the house. These sounds are already loud for humans, and are much louder for animals who have better hearing, such as cats and dogs.

    In order to make sure that a pet feels safe and secure this Fourth of July, a pet owner needs to be there for their animal. Here are a few tips for pet owners to help their pet stay safe this Fourth of July:

    • For starters, keep dogs and cats indoors for the night. This can greatly reduce the chances of the animals running away. This also means dogs should be walked in the late afternoon, early evening before any fireworks begin.
    • Pets should always have some form of identification on them, whether that is a collar or a microchip. This helps increase the chances of the animal being found again if it does run away.
    • Prepare a safe place or den for the animal in their favorite hiding spot. This way if they are scared, they can go someplace that makes them feel safe and comfortable.
    • Be calm and don’t yell at the animal. Yelling can stress out the animal even more.
    • Don’t force animals to cuddle if they don’t want to. Just allow the animal to do whatever it needs to in order to feel safe.
    • Close curtains and blinds to dampen light and noise coming in from fireworks. Also have a radio or TV playing, but not too loud, to help drown out the sounds.
    • Avoid leaving pets home alone on Fourth of July, this can cause more stress for them, and lead to them creating a mess in the house.
    • Never leave dogs tied up outside on the Fourth of July. That is a sure fire way to stress out the animal, which could lead to it hurting itself or running away.
    • Never take a dog to a firework show, even if they do not seem fazed by fireworks. This could still be a frightening experience for the pooch.

    Keep Pets in Mind This Fourth of July

    The Fourth of July is meant to be a fun holiday celebrating the nation’s independence. Unfortunately, while setting off fireworks is a fun for people, pets don’t appreciate the loud booms and colorful flashes. Fireworks can be absolutely terrifying for them. When a pet is scared, it is up to their owner to take care of them.

    Every pet responds to fireworks a little differently, so each pet will need its own unique solutions to help it stay calm. Do you have a pet that is terrified of fireworks? If so, do you have any tips to help keep it calm that aren’t on this list? Share them in the comments below and help other pet owners keep their furry companies safe and happy this Fourth of July.

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    Follow These Tips to Stay Safe This Fourth of July

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    There is no denying that the Fourth of July is pretty big deal here in the United States of America. What may be just another day for the rest of the world, is our country’s birthday. All birthdays should be celebrated with parties, and this holiday is no exception. Pretty much everyone across the country will be hosting or going to a party in celebration of the Fourth of July.

    One of the biggest ways that people celebrate this day, is by setting off fireworks. These fun explosives will light up the night sky on July 4th and fill the air with their booms and crackles. While setting off fireworks is tradition, and fun, a person needs to be careful. They do not want to end up rushing off to the emergency room because they mishandled a firework.

    How to Handle Fireworks Safely

    No matter how fun they may be, at the end of the day, fireworks are explosives. As such, they should be treated with the proper care and respect. If a person fails to do that, they could hurt themselves, or others. They could even cause property damage.

    In order to help prevent anything bad from happening this Fourth of July, here are few firework safety tips.

    • Children should not use fireworks. After all, fire is in the name and these are explosive devices. Children should not handle fireworks as they are much more likely to harm themselves or others
    • .

    • Don’t drink when setting off fireworks. Consuming alcohol makes a person more likely to make bad decisions and engage in reckless behavior. The same is true for drug use, such as marijuana. When a person is setting off fireworks, they need to be careful and fully aware of what they are doing.
    • Only light one firework at a time. When it comes to dangerous materials, a person wants to remain in control at all times. One of the best ways to do that with fireworks is to set them off at a controlled pace, one at a time. This reduces the chances of one misfiring and causing an out-of-control chain reaction.
    • Keep water sources ready and on hand. Used fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water to ensure they do not go off again unexpectedly. Meanwhile a hose or fire extinguisher should be kept on and nearby in case something needs to be put out.
    • Never attempt to fix duds. If a firework fails to go off, dump it in a water bucket and move on. Do not try to fix it. Doing so could accidently trigger it or cause it to catastrophically malfunction once triggered.
    • Designate one lighter. Again, fireworks should be set off carefully. Another good way to do this is to have one person in charge of setting them off. Everyone else should keep their distance from the launching area.
    • Set fireworks off on a stable surface. Wherever a person is setting off fireworks, it should be stable and level. Any slight deviation could easily send a firework flying in the wrong direction.
    • Never set off fireworks indoors. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
    • Follow local laws. California has strict laws about fireworks, and so do many cities across the state. A person should follow those local laws. They were established to help keep people safe.
    • Only buy fireworks from licensed vendors. California is very strict about what kind of fireworks a citizen can set off. These fireworks, labeled: Safe and Sane, can be found at fireworks vendors that pop up around the Fourth of July.

    Be Safe This Fourth of July

    The festivities common with the Fourth of July are meant to be fun. However, that fun can quickly be ruined if a person isn’t careful. One wrong action is all it takes to send a person to the emergency room, or to damage someone’s personal property. In 2017, around 13,000 people were hospitalized and over 18,000 fires were started by fireworks. That is why a person needs to be extra cautious when handling fireworks.

    Fireworks are spectacular sights to behold. Do you have a favorite Fourth of July or firework memory? If so, share it down in the comments below.

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    Shaming Parents Behind on Child Support Payments

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    Getting a divorce can be a pretty ugly mess, especially when children are involved. Custody battles can be terrible, and can cause rifts between both parents that last a lifetime. However, those differences should be put aside for the sake of the children, no matter which parent they end up with. After all, by having kids in the first place, both parents signed on to the job of taking care of and raising them.

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen after a divorce. Even though a parent may have lost custody of their children, they still usually have to pay some form of child support because children are expensive. If a parent doesn’t pay that money, the other parent will struggle to provide their children with what they need. This isn’t fair to the kids, which is why some California lawmakers are looking into ways to ensure that parents always pay their child support.

    Assembly Bill 1498

    In an effort to ensure that kids always get the support they need from their parents, some lawmakers here in California have authored a new bill. Under this new bill, some parents who are behind on their child support payments might get some extra encouragement to start making those payments.

    Assembly Bill (AB) 1498 was authored by California Assemblyman Tom Lackey and introduced to the State Assembly earlier this year. The bill proposes creating a new website that would publicly display important information about parents who are behind on their child support using a similar method that a few other states have adopted. Some of the information that would be on display includes:

    • Name
    • Photo
    • Amount of child support owed
    • Zip code
    • Number of children

    The idea is that by displaying this information in a public way, the parent will be peer pressured into making up those missed child support payments. It is important to note that not every parent who is behind on child support payments will be listed on the site.

    For starters, the ex-spouse of the parent would have to okay the act of putting the other parent on the site, since it could draw unwanted attention towards the children. On top of that, only parents who owe more than $5,000, have been delinquent for a minimum of 12 months, and have not made a payment in 6 months. The parent cannot be going through any financial trouble, such as bankruptcy, or be locked up in jail or prison to be eligible to be placed on the site.

    This proposed bill, of course, has supporters and opponents. There are those who that this sort of shaming is deserved if a parent isn’t doing their part in taking care of their child. However, there are those who argue that this is taking things too far.

    The Consequences as They Are Now

    Currently, when a parent is behind on their child support payments, there are some pretty big consequences. After all, this money is meant to help raise a child, and as such, falling behind on the payments is a very bad thing. Aside from the basic penalty of acquiring interest on the late payments, there are harsher consequences as well. Some of the consequences for falling behind on child support include:

    • Revoking the parent’s driver’s license.
    • Intercepting the parent’s wages and transferring them directly to the custodial parent.
    • Intercepting the parent’s tax returns or unemployment.
    • Placing a lien on the parent’s property.
    • Deny passport, or other government, applications.

    In cases where the parent has the money for the child support, but refuses to pay it, that parent could face legal trouble and jail time.

    Child Support Is a Very Big Deal

    Paying child support is a very big deal. In theory, it is money that would have been there had the parents not become separated in the first place. That money is meant to ensure that the child is provided with everything he or she needs growing up. That is why it is such a big deal when a parent falls behind on child support payments, and why lawmakers here in California are looking for more ways to ensure that parents keep up with parents.

    Lawmakers like Assemblyman Lackey hope that by publicly shaming parents who are behind on their child support payments, the parent will be more likely to avoid falling behind, or work harder at making up those payments. The idea is to use peer pressure in a good way.

    What do you think of this proposed bill? Is it a good thing, or are lawmakers taking things too far? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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    Los Angeles County Redefines Smoking

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    In 2016, Californians voted to legalize the recreational usage of marijuana in the state. Since then California residents have been able to use marijuana however they want, within reason. However, this has caused some issues in certain areas as people smoke marijuana where other people would prefer they didn’t.

    On top of the rise of marijuana usage, electronic cigarette usage has also increased. It is no longer uncommon to walk down a street and see, or smell, someone vaping in public. As with regular smoking and marijuana, some people have a problem being around this as well.

    Due to this, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has recently expanded its definition of smoking. This new definition changes where people can smoke marijuana or electronic cigarettes within LA County.

    The New Definition in Los Angeles County

    On Tuesday, March 26th, the Board of Supervisors in Los Angeles County decided to redefine its legal definition of smoke and smoking. This new definition now includes smoke from marijuana and electronic cigarettes.

    What this means is that the smoking of marijuana, or e-cigs is now banned wherever smoking is banned in LA County. This includes county parks, government buildings, bus stops, outdoor bars, county-owned golf courses, beaches, and beach parking lots. Some of the beaches where smoking e-cigs and marijuana is now banned include:

    • Nicholas Canyon
    • Zuma
    • Point Dume
    • Dan Blocker
    • Malibu
    • Las Tunas
    • Topanga
    • Will Rogers
    • Venice
    • Marina
    • Dockweiler
    • Manhattan
    • Hermosa
    • Redondo
    • Torrance
    • White Point

    This has all been done in an effort to remove a loophole and help keep the air clean in smoke-free zones. Now non-smokers will not have to worry about second hand smoke from e-cigs and marijuana.

    This change simply reflects state laws surrounding marijuana usage that were already in effect. The same law that legalized marijuana in the state also outlined when and where it can be used. One of the stipulations is that marijuana cannot be smoked or used on or around government buildings or property. This new definition of smoking just further enforces this law within LA County, reminding people that smoking marijuana in public places where smoking is banned is illegal.

    Smokers Need to Choose Where They Light up Carefully

    The city of Los Angeles looks to further look into the matters of smoking marijuana and e-cigs, especially in regards to minors. They plan on looking at how other cities are handling these issues, and learn from those cities. One such example could be San Francisco, which is really tightening down on e-cigs, even looking to go as far as banning the production of electronic cigarette products within the city.

    So, while this new ban may seem strict, some of it was technically already in place due to the passing of Prop 64, at least as far as marijuana usage was concerned. However, for people who use vaping products, this could make things more difficult for them.

    What do you think of Los Angeles County’s new definition of smoking? Should other counties and cities follow suit, or is this taking things too far? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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    Could Banning Facial Recognition Become the New Norm?

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    Today’s modern world has a lot of technology that a one point had simply been considered science fiction. Things such as earbuds, video calls, and mobile phones were just cool, out of this world ideas when they were first depicted in books and movies. Nowadays, they are a part of everyday life for most individuals. While many of these things are welcomed with open arms, some technologies are a bit invasive.

    One such example of invasive tech would be facial recognition. With cameras everywhere, law enforcement agencies are able to use this kind of technology to locate people of interest in cases and bring them into justice. However, these electronic eyes are always watching, and this causes some concern amongst some people. That is why one US city is considering banning the use of this technology, or at the very least, limiting its uses.

    San Francisco May Be the First to Ban Facial Recognition

    The city of San Francisco is no stranger when it comes to creating new laws in uncharted territory. The city has been doing this for years now, and is currently considering a ban on facial recognition technology due to its invasive nature. The current proposed law would prohibit the San Francisco police from using the software, but not affect businesses or people from using the software. It also would not prevent the software from being used at San Francisco International Airport or the Port of San Francisco.

    While Facial recognition technology is an incredibly helpful tool, especially for law enforcement agencies, it is also very invasive. Essentially, any camera out there in the world can be used to locate a single person. This is very helpful for manhunts, but can be dangerous if used by people with less than honest intentions. According to the New York Times, there is a fifty percent chance that a person’s face is already in a law enforcement’s database by the time they reach adulthood.

    Another problem comes from a recent study published by MIT Media Lab. The study found that the facial recognition software tended to make mistakes with identifying a person’s gender if they were female or had darker skin.

    It is the possible invasion of privacy and large room for error that gives some people cause for concern. However, while some people are against the technology, they do recognize its practical uses. This leads to some people supporting some sort of limitations on the technology, instead of an outright ban. This way, it can be used as needed, or allowed to come back once the tech has a better success rate.

    What This Could Mean for the Rest of the Country

    Other cities and states, such as nearby Oakland and even Massachusetts, have also considered placing bans on facial recognition technology. It is safe to assume that they, along with other locations, will be paying close attention to San Francisco. Depending on how things go there, they may copy the ban or make alterations to better suite their needs or beliefs.

    There is no denying that facial recognition software has many benefits, especially in the law enforcement field. The technology can help officers locate wanted criminals, or track down missing children. This is a very powerful tool. However, its strength comes at the cost of privacy. This technology looks at everyone, whether they want it to or not, and once they are in the facial recognition database, they likely aren’t getting out of it, if they ever even realize that they are there. That is what scares some people, and causes them to look for some sort of restrictions on the technology.

    What do you think of facial recognition software? Is it a helpful tool for police officers, or is it too invasive to a person’s privacy? Is San Francisco right in the idea that the tech should be outright banned, or should they do something a little less permanent? Should other cities and states follow suite? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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    People Do What Before Getting Into Public Pools?

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    With the weather quickly heating up, many people are starting to pull their swimsuits out from their winter hiding spots. With California’s thousands of miles of coastline, there are plenty of places to go to the beach. However, the beach isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to cool off without having to worry about sand getting everywhere. That is why some people prefer going to a pool.

    In addition to the lack of sand at pools, they are often cleaner as well. The water is maintained by humans, instead of being left alone. However, despite the chemicals, mostly chlorine, put into pool water to keep it clean, one recent survey found that pools aren’t always as clean as one would hope.

    Public Pools May Not be as Clean as You Think

    The clear blue water of pools often looks a heck of a lot cleaner than ocean, lake, or river water. Those waters typically have all kinds of debris floating beneath the surface, making them hazy. Pools lack this haze due to the chemicals put into them to kill bacteria, and the filtration systems in them to pick out the bigger particles like bugs and leaves.

    However, despite all of that, pools can still contain bits of harmful bacteria, bacteria that is typically brought in by swimmers. A recent survey conducted by Water Quality and Health Council found that 51% of Americans used pools as a way to rinse off after performing sweat inducing activities.

    The survey, which polled 3,100 American adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7%, also found the following information:

    • 24% of people would go within a pool within an hour of having diarrhea.
    • 40% of adults peed in pools.
    • 48% admitted to not showering before entering a pool.
    • 53% didn’t know makeup affected the chemistry of the pool.
    • 55% didn’t know deodorant affected the chemistry of the pool.
    • 64% acknowledge the fact that pools don’t eliminate the need to shower, but use pools as a reason not to shower anyways.

    While chlorine does help keep pools cleaner, it isn’t an infinite source of cleanliness. Think of the chlorine in a pool like a bar of soap. Every time it is used to clean something, it becomes smaller and less effective until it is all used up. However, chlorine is not a replacement for soap.

    Chlorine keeps pools clean by causing chemical reactions in the water that kill microorganisms and bacteria. By adding other chemicals to the mix, bodily fluids, makeup, and deodorant, a person reduces the strength of the chlorine in the water, thereby reducing its effectiveness.

    Help Keep Public Pools Clean

    Some of the findings in this survey are more than a bit disgusting. Hopefully, they will serve as a reminder to everyone that there are times when they shouldn’t go swimming, and more than that, they should shower before getting into a pool. Doing so can help keep the water cleaner, longer.

    Pools are a great way to beat the summer heat, and most are likely maintained on a regular basis. So long as a pool’s owner keeps up with the maintenance of the pool, its filter system, and the chemical makeup, there is no reason to not go swimming in it. All public pools in California are required by law to be kept at safe and sanitary levels at all times. If a person suspects that this isn’t being done at a local public pool, they can report the problem to their local health officials.

    As things begin to heat up this summer, be sure to help keep pools clean by not using them as bath time, and showering before getting into the water. This will help keep the pool water clean for everyone.

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    Sharing Your Summer Plans Online Can Be a Bad Idea

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    As the weather begins to warm up and chase away the cold winds of winter, people begin to emerge from their hiding places of warmth and safety. Spring allows people to venture outside once again and enjoy some fresh air. The season signals the end of winter and heralds in the warmer months of summer.

    With the inevitable approach of summer inching closer, people begin to make their plans for the season, namely their vacations. Everyone needs to take a break from their day to day lives from time to time, and a vacation allows this. It is a chance to break away from the normal and have an adventure, or just a chance to relax. No matter what a person chooses to do on their vacation, they know they will have fun.

    As with anything that is exciting in a person’s life, there is an intense desire to share the experience with loved ones. While this used to mean having them come along on the trip, nowadays, it can simply mean posting about the vacation on social media. However, doing so can actually cause problems for the person in question.

    Talking about Trips Online Can Be an Invitation for Thieves

    With all of the social media sites and apps out there, it can be hard for a person not to share their life with others. It has practically become second nature to share with others online. This can be a bit problematic when it comes to vacations. Anyone going on a vacation wants to post about it, however, they may be sharing this information with the wrong people.

    Social media sites are great because they allow us to share with the world. Unfortunately, this means that world has access to information about us as well. While, for the most part, only loved one look at one another’s social media, thieves have learned to use these sites to their advantage. For instance, posting the dates of an upcoming trip tells a would-be thieve exactly when the house is going to be empty.

    It is very important for people to realize that they can overshare information. As a general rule of thumb, most people are aware that they should never share personal information, such as a home address or social security number, online. However, it is also a good idea to not post about upcoming or current trips as doing so could be an open invitation for thieves. It is a good idea for people to not share the specific dates of their vacation online. They also shouldn’t share vacation photos until after they have returned home since doing so during the trip is just another sign that the person isn’t home.

    Having social media accounts set so that only approved people can see what is posted is a good idea, but not always foolproof. Sometimes friends, who may or may not have strict privacy settings, can share information with their friends. This could make it so that thieves still learn when a person isn’t home.

    Don’t Overshare about Your Vacation

    Everyone needs a little vacation from time to time. However, no one wants to come home from their relaxing trip to find that their home has been robbed. That would completely erase the relaxation felt from the trip and cause an untold amount of stress. In order to avoid that unnecessary stress, a person should be careful about what they post online about their vacations and other planned trips. They do not want to advertise to the world that their home will be empty for the next few days. Thieves see that as an open invitation to let themselves inside.

    Since talking about any upcoming summer trips online is a bit of a bad idea, why not share some of your favorite vacations? What is your favorite summer trip that you think others would enjoy? Let us know in the comments down below.

    underage drinking laws

    Who Is Liable If a Minor Drinks at a Party?

    underage drinking laws

    From time to time, people get adventurous and decide that they want to throw a party at their home. Maybe they haven’t seen their friends and family members in a while, or they have some big event to celebrate, whatever the reason, they want everyone there.

    Hosting a party is no easy undertaking. Figuring out what to serve to guest can be challenging, especially if kids and teens are going to be around. While the adults might enjoy a bit of alcohol, the younger crowd will need their own beverages.

    Providing alcohol at parties can do a lot more than just get people drunk. In some places, it can get the host into legal trouble if one of the attendees gets too drunk and hurts someone. This law is often referred to as social host liability. This can apply in a number of different scenarios, especially if minors are involved. A party host needs to really pay attention to what is going on at their party if they want to avoid getting into any trouble.

    What Is Social Host Liability?

    Social host liability is a term that most people aren’t really aware of, despite the fact that many people have thrown parties in their lifetime. However, despite the lack of knowledge on the subject, it is still very important to know, since it could keep a person out of trouble.

    Essentially, social host liability holds a party host responsible for any damages a drunk partier could have caused. For example, say Bob is at a party hosted by Karen. Bob has too much to drink, and then decides to drive himself home. He gets into an accident and hurts another driver. In some states, that driver could then turn around and sue Karen because she provided Bob with the alcohol and allowed him to drive away from her party.

    This kind of law varies from state to state. Here in California, Civil Code 1714 states: “the furnishing of alcoholic beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries resulting from intoxication, but rather the consumption of alcoholic beverages is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person.”

    What this means, is that the person who drinks an alcoholic beverage is responsible for their actions, not the person who gave them the drink in the first place. This applies in most cases, except when a minor is involved.

    Who Is Responsible When Minors Drink at a Party?

    In the state of California, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly give alcohol to a minor, even the minor’s legal parent or guardian. This provides an exception for Civil Code 1714. In these instances, the term “knowingly” can become tricky. In some instances, a host can get into trouble even if they told the minors that they couldn’t have any alcohol, but the minor snuck some anyways. This means that knowingly providing alcohol doesn’t just mean giving the alcohol to a minor, it can also mean having alcohol available for adults at a party that minors are also attending.

    If a minor gets drunk and causes an accident after leaving the party, the host could be liable for any of the damages caused by the minor. This can be very costly, and harmful. That is why it is in a party host’s best interest to ensure that minors do not consume alcohol at their party.

    Party Hosts Need to Keep an Eye on Whoever Drinks

    Throwing a party is a hard enough task on its own. The host has to make sure that there is entertainment and enough food and drink for everyone. They also have to make sure everything runs smoothly over the course of the whole event. With the addition of social host liability, the host also needs to make sure that no minors drink and cause trouble.

    Throwing a party can be a stressful thing, but it shouldn’t be. After all, parties are supposed to be fun. A host needs to make sure that no minors drink at their party, and make sure that anyone who does drink, gets a safe ride home that doesn’t involve the drunk person driving themselves, because that is never a good idea. By doing that, a host can reduce the chances of themselves getting into any legal trouble and have a good time.