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Author Archives: WSS News

Local Docs Recommend ABCs of Back-To-School Health

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Avoid potential health hazards before hitting the books

Local families are scrambling to check off their back-to-school lists, buying supplies, clothes and more. But doctors say it’s important to add one more item to that list — a checkup for your child’s health. That’s why doctors at local American Family Care and AFC/Doctors Express centers have created the ABCs of Back to School Health.

“Making sure your child is up to date on immunizations and is physically fit for school can prevent a number of problems down the line,” said Dr. Bruce Irwin, CEO of American Family Care and AFC/Doctors Express, a local medical practice. “Our clinics offer back to school physicals and immunizations daily, and we’re open late, so busy families can fit a visit into their schedules.”

Athlete Awareness:  Heat-related illnesses often strike during summer/ fall sports prep. A recent study found that athlete heat death rates are rising with 18 deaths between 2005 and 2009, and 20-22 more since 2010. High school football players account for most of the deaths.

The National Athletic Trainers Association says athletes can do their part to stay healthy in the heat and avoid dangerous conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
•    Work slowly to build up endurance in hot situations.
•    Get plenty of sleep
•    Drink lots of fluids before, during and after workouts.
•    Quick cooling is key to preventing deaths; ice baths can save lives.

Better Backpack:  Heavy backpacks can strain kids’ muscles and can cause long term damage over a period of time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found the average sixth-grader carries a backpack weighing more than 18 pounds, with some reaching as much as 30 pounds. The academy recommends that backpacks weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s weight.

The AAP offers some tips for better backpacks.
•    Backpacks with shoulder straps and padded backs can better distribute the weight of a backpack. Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps on their backpack. Putting the entire weight of the backpack on one shoulder can strain muscles.
•    Organize your child’s backpack with heavier items close to the center of the back.
•    Use the available compartments to distribute items equally throughout the pack.
•    Rolling backpacks can be great for heavier loads, but your child must be able to carry it up the stairs or through inclement weather.

Clean Hands and Surfaces:  Since children are highly likely to be exposed to germs at school, here are some of the most common illnesses that strike children during the school year.
•    Meningitis and meningococcal disease
•    Influenza
•    Norovirus
•    MRSA (staph)
•    Pertussis (whooping cough)

Simple safety tips like regular hand washing and up-to-date immunizations can help prevent the spread of these infections. Local doctors say a back to school checkup can make sure your child is healthy enough for the school environment. A quick checkup offers a chance to catch up on vaccines, get a doctor’s note for necessary medications at school or get a sports physical.

(Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, National Athletics Trainers Association, National Institutes for Health, Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, U.S. News and World Report)

Misee Harris Calls Out “OUR GENERATION” Dolls and TARGET for Racism

Misee Harris (left) calls out OUR GENERATION Dolls and TARGET for racism and discrimination

Misee Harris (left) calls out OUR GENERATION Dolls and TARGET for racism and discrimination

Media personality, Misee Harris, is calling out OUR GENERATION Doll Maker on the representation of their sole African American doll, Abrianna, and TARGET for selling the brand in its stores.

“A doll company that prides itself on representing who we are as a community and a generation has gotten it wrong’” insists Misee Harris.

OUR GENERATION Dolls offers four categories: The “Regular Doll” is simply a doll with no added accessories; the “Deluxe Doll” which comes with clothing, grooming and activity-related accessories; the “Retro Doll;” and the “Hair Play Doll” with its long, straight locks. At TARGET, which has a whole aisle dedicated to the company, The Deluxe Doll retails for $31.99 and includes a full suite of accessories. The Regular Doll retails for $29.99, and her accessories must be purchased separately. “Abrianna,” the company’s only African American doll, is sold in select TARGET stores and comes with no accessories.

“For $2.00, there is a huge difference with what you receive,” points out Harris.

There is no option in the OUR GENERATION Doll Collection for a Deluxe African American doll that includes accessories and retails for $31.99.

“After searching several TARGET stores for an African American Deluxe OUR GENERATION Doll to showcase and giveaway on my YouTube Channel,” states Harris, “I finally found “Abrianna” at a TARGET in a neighborhood with a large African American population. In order to buy all of the extras for Abrianna, which come included with each Caucasian Deluxe Doll, I had to spend an additional $60.00.”

Misee Harris has created a YouTube channel at YouTube.com/MiseeHarris, where she gives away her favorite beauty, style and collectible items to her subscribers, which her and her team curate. On her most current video, Misee used her platform to bring awareness to this issue regarding the OUR GENERATION Dolls, stating, “We are a generation of all ethnicities. As an African American woman who is a doctor, business owner, professor and outspoken advocate for the positive and accurate depiction of African American women, I can assure OUR GENERATION Dolls and TARGET that this is not a good representation of minorities.”

If OUR GENERATION is really just that, our generation, shouldn’t it reflect that? “We are a country made up of little girls and women who are Caucasian, Asian, African American, Indian, Latino and Multiracial backgrounds. That is our generation,” states Misee.

“I challenge OUR GENERATION Dolls to re-think their product and how they are represented on retail shelves, and I challenge TARGET to exhibit greater social responsibility and sensitivity with the products it carries in its stores,” concludes Misee Harris.

About Misee Harris

A pediatric dentist and professor of dentistry at Meharry School of Pediatric Dentistry by trade, Misee made waves in the media throughout the past year with her public campaign to become television’s first black Bachelorette. Appearing on HLN’s Showbiz TonightThe Hallmark Channel’s Home & FamilyMSNBC’s TheGrio.com and HuffPost Liveamong other outlets, Misee has stated her case for the equality and positive depiction of African American women in the media. Misee’s platform has been dissected and written about in The New York Times and on countless blogs, including SheKnows.com. Misee is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

iEfficient.com Empowers Inland Empire Water Users to Cut Waste

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Cities, water agencies collaborate to launch new web tool for IE residents

INLAND EMPIRE, CA -Nearly 20 water agencies and city governments across the Inland Empire have collaborated to launch iEfficient.com, a comprehensive water conservation website supported by a coordinated multimedia public outreach effort urging Inland Empire residents to end water waste.

At iEfficient.com, which went live today, visitors can connect to existing conservation resources and information about how to protect the region’s precious water supplies. Along with a mobile app under development, the site links users to their water providers and the water-saving rebates and programs available to them.

The regional effort will be supported by advertising in local media outlets and theaters, on billboards and buses, and through social media. The goal is to encourage and empower thousands of local residents and businesses to do their part to end water waste in the Inland Empire.

“Local cities and water agencies recognize just how important water conservation is to the vitality of our region,” said Bob Tincher, manager of water resources, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. “That’s why we’re working together, and also why we need people all over the IE to help end water waste in their homes and yards. Our collaboration can set an example for the rest of the state.”

iEfficient.com is one way local agencies are meeting the state mandate to cut water use 20 percent by 2020. Due to historic drought conditions, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and asked all Californians to cut their water use by 20 percent. Real impacts are being felt across the state and the Inland Empire is no exception. Drought photos, news and information are also available on the site.

“This drought is not going away any time soon,” said Amanda Kasten, water conservation coordinator for West Valley Water District. “By making conservation a way of life we can secure our water resources now and in the future.”

To learn more about iEfficient and to do your part to end water waste today, visit iEfficient.com.