Have a Happy and Safe Halloween

Pittsburgh Halloween, Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is creeping up fast and many consumers may not realize how frightening this scary night could be for their personal safety, their property or their bank accounts. Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents can help families and businesses better prepare for Halloween hazards that may approach in disguise or under the cloak of dark.

To help individuals, families and businesses enjoy the spooky holiday and protect themselves against scary Halloween risks, Trusted Choice®, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers, offers the following safety tips: [Read more…]

Tips For an Allergy-Safe Halloween

Tonya HeadshotBy Tonya Winders

Halloween laughs and legends live on in family lore. Scaring up a memorable costume is often the most fun part.

For parents, keeping kids safe as they run from home to home, event to event, dressed in costumes and masks and trailed by candy wrappers all the way, is always a top priority.

Thoughtful preparation is key – especially if food, latex or skin allergies are part of the mix.

When Choosing a Costume

• Does your child have eczema or sensitive skin? Avoid plastic costumes or those with materials that will cause your child to sweat – a sure irritant. Choose a fabric that can be washed, and launder it before wearing to remove some of the harmful chemicals. Wear a cotton shirt and pants underneath the costume. Better yet, make your own costume.

• Does your child have latex allergy? Check labels on costumes, masks and accessories, as many are made with latex. If the label isn’t clear, contact the manufacturer directly and ask for consumer relations.

• Does your child need to carry a bronchodilator inhaler or an epinephrine auto-injector? Make sure the costume has secure pockets, or sling a purse or pouch over the shoulder. Do not put medication in any bag the child is likely to put down or misplace.

• Have the child try on the costume a week or two before Halloween to make sure it doesn’t irritate or trigger an allergic reaction. [Read more…]

Ross family bakes more than 7,000 treats for distribution during holidays

For much of two weeks, Janet and Martin Ramaeckers and their culinary crew of family members have been rolling out of bed around 6 a.m. to start rolling out dough to make cookies, and they often don’t quit until well after midnight.

The Ross couple, with the help of their parents, annually bake about 7,000 Christmas cookies, which they give to family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers — and then, they drop off the remaining hundreds of cookies at the North Side Light of Life Rescue Mission’s kitchen.

They use dollies to transport the cookies and load and unload boxes of the goodies into and from their SUV. They have been doing this sweet project for 15 years.

Read more.

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Observe “Safe Toys and Gifts Month” This December

The holiday season is a wonderful time to give gifts to the children in our lives, but pediatricians at Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health encourage gift givers to exercise caution when selecting presents for little ones.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treated approximately 256,700 toy-related injuries in 2013, with 73 percent of those younger than age 15.

“People are excited about gift giving at this time of year, and we all want to give our children and grandchildren the new toys they desire, but shoppers need to remember several safety factors before they make their purchases,” said Dr. Anthony Pearson-Shaver, Chief of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.

[Read more…]