Showing posts from 2009

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

The Official Girl Scout Cookie Sale for Girl Scouts of the Green & White Mountains begins on January 1, 2010. Girls and Troops in New Hampshire and Vermont will be selling cookies to raise money for their troops.

Girls will be going door to door selling cookies in January and early February. Mid-February through mid-March Troops will be hold Cookie Booth Sales.

You can check out all the varieties of Girl Scout Cookies offered by our GS Council here.

Girl Scouting has specific safety rules for the girls to follow when doing door to door sales. Thus many girls are only able to take orders on the weekends and may not be able to visit every home in their neighborhood. If you are in NH or VT and would like to place an order you can contact the Girl Scouts of the Green & White Mountains Council office and they will take your information and have a local troop get in touch with you to take your order.

Trying new recipes

Lately I feel that I've been in a cooking rut. I'm always cooking the same things. So today when I finally checked my email I found this yummy looking recipe in my inbox:

This is "Ham and Cheese Foldover Sandwiches" from the Bisquick website. Of course when I make it, it looks nothing like the picture. Mine looks like:

And of course I omitted the Dijon mustard (which I don't have and no one in my house really likes anyway), and I substituted Cheddar cheese for the Swiss, which again is an ingredient I didn't have. And the recipe called for thin deli slices of ham and used dices leftovers from my Christmas ham.

Anyway, it came out good! The kids liked it which is all that mattered.

Wordless Wednesday 12/23/09

I drive by this several times a week and have been wondering what it was. I was thinking funky wind turbine, some sort of antenna.... A friend today confirmed it was a wind turbine. If anyone knows where in Southeastern NH or Southern Maine you can find these please post! I'm rather interested in this as it would take a much smaller footprint than a traditional wind mill.
Apologies for the crooked pic, took the shot w/ my phone leaning over the passenger seat to catch it through the open passenger window of my car while waiting at the traffic light.

Support your local toy drive

I saw an article in the paper today, the demand for donations to local charities has gone up, but so have the donations. There was a great picture of a local food pantry that I've the fortune to visit with my Girl Scout Troop.

Many non-profit and charity groups provide a wealth of services to our communities. One we don't often think about are toy banks. Christmas is just days away, and local toy banks are still struggling to meet the need of families who are just not financially able to provide Christmas gifts to their children. We see the trees with gift request tags at banks, credit union, churches and other businesses; as well as donation boxes at shops and in our workplaces. But have you taken a moment to pick a tag or purchase a gift to donate? Many of these requests are not selfish requests for electronic toys, but rather "A warm coat that fits me", "personal care items for a teenage girl" or "size 3 diapers". These aren't necessa…

Beer keg to heart anatomy and physiology lesson

Borrowed from a CPR instructors group on Google Groups that I belong to:

If I want a beer and I pump the keg 5 times and pour 1 lousy beer, the pressure drops back down (G1992)

If you and I team up and pump the keg 15 times and pour 2 OK beers, pressure still drops (G2000)

If we team up and pump the keg 30 times we get 2 really good beers (G2005)

If we pump the keg 50 or 100 times it kills us before we get a beer (50:1 & 100:1 studies)

This ends our beer keg to heart anatomy and physiology lesson for today.

Interesting analogy on the progression of compressions to ventilation ratios.

Wordless Wednesday 12/16/09

EMS Dinner!

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

When the heart cannot pump blood efficiently or effectively to the body it is called Congestive Heart Failure. This can be caused by narrowed arteries leading into the heart, damage to the heart muscle, scarring on the heart and infection. Over a half a million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure each year and it is estimated that almost 5 million people lead normal lives with this diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure can include:
* Early fatigue with exercise or activity
* Difficulty breathing with activity or when lying down
* Swelling of the ankles and lower legs
These symptoms are caused by a build up of fluid as blood returning to the heart cannot be pumped efficiently through the heart.

Diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure can only be made by a physician. Treatment option can include rest, modification of activity, proper diet and medication. Many people are able to live normal lives with mild to moderate Congestive Hear…

Safely decorating with lights this Holiday Season

Bright shining decorations make the Holiday season colorful and festive. These same decorations can also be dangerous if they are damaged or used incorrectly.

Before putting up electrical strings of lights check them for exposed and frayed wires or cracked light sockets. Replace any damaged wires with new UL approved light strings.

Don't put up electrical light strings with nails or staples. Use clips or hooks that are designed for holiday decorations.

Don't use indoor holiday light strings outdoors. Indoor light strings are not designed for outdoor use and may not hold up to the outdoor weather.

Check the packaging or directions on light displays to see how many strings you can safely connect together. Some brands may have a limit on how many strings you can safely connect.

Lastly if you are using outdoor electrical decorations make sure they are plugged into a properly installed outdoor outlet and any extension cords you are using are approved for outdoor use.

For more information…

Shopping safely with children during the holiday season

Like most parents I fear losing my children in a crowded store when we're out shopping. That coupled with my less than stellar patience with crowded environments means that you won't find me in any stores on Black Friday! But with a little advanced planning your shopping trip can go smoothly.

Don’t take younger children shopping when it is close to nap times or during a time of day that they usually have a lot of energy. Those times of day can mean cranky, energetic or less-than-politely behaved children. If your child typically likes to run or hide from you, realize that they are going to do that in a crowded store as well and look around at areas that you think they’re like to hide in.

Do you need to shop at a busy time of day? Do you need to take your children to the early morning Black Friday price-slashing sale? Can you shop at a different time?

Talk to your child beforehand. Explain to them that the store may be crowded, there may be a lot of fun things to look at, but th…

Help out your local Food Pantry this winter

A few years ago my daughter's Girl Scout Troop was working on a food and nutrition badge. As we discussed some of the badge requirements in the Troop meeting we got to discussing who does not have access to good, healthy foods. Not surprisingly the girls first started listing off several impoverished nations. So they were surprised to find out that many people locally do not have access to fresh healthy food because it is usually more expensive. This led to a great service project that year with a local food pantry.

This year our Troop is again doing a Food Drive. Our last collection day is Wednesday 11/18 as we're delivering our donations the following day. If you're in Newington, NH feel free to drop any non-expired food or household item (detergent, soap, personal care items) off at the Newington Town Hall. We will be visiting the Seacoast Family Food Pantry with our donations.

The need for food is greater this year than ever. So many families are struggling to mak…

A new way to teach relief of choking

In most of my CPR courses I'm asked how effective the Heimlich maneuver is. We can practice where to place our hands, but this is not a skill that can be practiced on someone who is not choking and is not easy to practice on a CPR mannequin.

But today I found this really neat product and video.

This would be an easy and effective way to teach proper hand positioning and technique. Unfortunately for me it is a bit cost prohibitive. But I wanted to share the video as it is a good training aid just to see how effective proper hand placement and technique are to successfully relieve choking.

You can read more about this product at

Germs, germs go away....

After my last post on hand washing vs. hand sanitizer I received a great question about other ways to prevent the spread of germs in public places.

It would be impossible to prevent all germs from being spread around. But there are a few precautions we can take to limit germ sharing.

When my two school aged daughters were younger their classroom teachers did a fun project with them every year. The kids got to grow germs. They went around the school like little scientists and swabbed different things and parts of the building. Where do you think they grew the most germs from? Not the restroom.... from door handles, light switches, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Places we don't often thinking of cleaning.

Most commercially available disinfectant sprays and wipes can take care of limiting germs on these surfaces. A quick spray or wipe can help kill germs and bacteria and prevent their further spread. If you work in a public place or large office and/or share workstati…

Hand soap vs. hand sanitizer

Last week in two of my classes we had a big discussion on hand washing vs. using hand sanitizer. There was a story on Good Morning America about this which I went searching for this weekend. Both classes the participants insisted hand sanitizer was the best way to go, but some parents are concerned about accidental (or otherwise) ingestion of hand sanitizer by their kids. So what method is the best way to prevent the spread of germs? The study recommended good hand washing.

Good hand washing techniques wash germs away. It doesn't kill germs, just washes them down the drain. It really doesn't matter if you use regular soap or antibacterial soap. The study done at the University of Maryland demonstrated that use of antibacterial soap did not do a significantly better job than just hand soap. What made the difference with hand washing was the technique used. Wash for at least 20 seconds or more. Statistically they found that most people just do a quick rinse. It is the …

Change your clocks, change your batteries

Daylight savings time ends early tomorrow morning. On November 1st at 2am Daylight Savings Time it will become 1am Standard Time. One great benefit is that we all gain an extra hours sleep tonight!

But before you decide whether to set your clocks back Saturday night or Sunday morning, take a few minutes to pick up some new batteries for your battery operated smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Battery operated detectors need to have good working batteries in order to operate correctly. A good way to remember this is to change the batteries every time we change our clocks. So tonight when you're thinking about when to change your clocks take a minute or two to figure out what type of batteries your detectors take and pick some up. And then either tonight before you go to bed, or tomorrow morning when you get up, as you reset your clocks replace your detector batteries. In less than 5 minutes you can ensure that your detectors will be able to alert you in the event …

Halloween Safety

Halloween is only a few days away. Different towns have Trick or Treat on different nights. Irregardless if you have children out that night or not, we all need to exercise extra caution during Trick or Treat.

If you're driving at dusk or later watch carefully for kids darting out between parked cars or crossing the road. While many costumes can be bright and colorful, some are dark and may not be reflective. It can be easy to get distracted looking at bright Halloween displays, but keep your eyes open for costumed kids near the roadway.

Like most parents I’m finishing up my kids' costumes. When you look at your child's costume think about how it will look at night. If it is a dark color does it have any reflective striping on it to help them appear more visible at night? You can make your child's costume more visible by adding reflectivity - reflective tape is sold at most fabric, craft and pet supply stores. They can also wear glow sticks and carry a flashlight…
I'm trying out


I used to have an "unofficial" routine. It worked well and I was getting things accomplished so I didn't really think about it. However over the summer the routine slowly disappeared. I think I never really noticed it until recently when some days I've found it has been a struggle to get several things accomplished in a single day. Sometimes we don't understand the importance of routines until we realize we've lost them.

Monday I tried to return to a routine. I blocked out times for different projects and activities. It worked really well until my youngest decided not to take a nap. I was counting on her nap time to get caught up on some computer work. Since the kids had watched some TV earlier in the day while I did some quality housework I really didn't want to rely on the 'electronic babysitter' for a second time. So the really ambitious routine fell apart.

So today on Day 2 of the new routine we're tweaking it a bit. Yes I still h…

Have you changed your Smoke Detector batteries?

One of the taglines I miss this time of year is "Change your clocks, change your batteries". Now that the change from daylight savings time has moved it doesn't coincide with Fire Prevention Week. This year we will return to Standard Time on November 1st.

Fire Prevention week has just ended, but have you checked your smoke detector batteries? Have you tested your smoke detector? This is a good time to do so. In many parts of the U.S. and Canada the weather is really getting colder, we are turning on our heat or using our fireplace or wood fired stoves. A working smoke detector and working carbon monoxide detector are important to have. Unfortunately I know this first hand, we almost had a fire last winter. Fortunately I smelled the smoke, but discovered that we had malfunctioning smoke detectors in our basement.

In my brief smoke detector research this morning I found this neat website will all sorts of Fire Facts, in fact it is The site has g…

Wordless Wednesday 10/7/09

A friend posted this on their facebook page the other day. When municipalities cut budgets and cut municipal positions our safety is what is put at risk when there are fewer and fewer firefighters and police officers on duty.

You can create your own neat posters at

Fire Prevention Week 2009

October 4-10, 2009 is Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Stay Fire Smart, Don’t Get Burned”. The focus is on fire safety and burn prevention. Burns are painful and easily avoided if we all follow some basic safety guidelines.

Burn prevention is simple, but yet we all probably don’t think of these simple safety guidelines:

Keep hot things away from the edge of the table or counter. It is tempting for young children to try to grab things just on the edge of their reach. It is also easier for us grown ups to bump or knock over things that are too close to the edge.
Keep young children away from hot appliances; this includes stoves and ovens, but also curling irons, hair dryers, irons and heaters. Don’t use or leave hot heating pads in a child’s reach.
Keep your hot water heater thermostat set no higher than 120 degrees. Extremely hot water can scald young children and older adults very easily.
Don’t rely on thermometers to check water temperature when bathing young childre…

Starbucks Via

Anyone who knows me knows that I love coffee. I truly do. It's pretty rare to see me teaching or at work without coffee in my nearby vicinity. So it is probably no shock to anyone that I was at my local Starbucks this morning to taste test the new Starbucks Via, their instant coffee.

Well I was able to tell which coffee was the instant and which was the fresh brewed, which is probably not a surprise either. However this was no ordinary instant coffee. Now don't get me wrong here - I do enjoy a mug of instant coffee from time to time. Usually later at night when I'm wanting another cup and don't feel like brewing it. Starbucks Via is very much Starbucks. Strong, rich flavor - and it did take me about half of the cup sipping back and forth with the regular blend to figure out which cup was the Via and which was the regular brew.

So if you love Starbucks coffee, but want the convenience of instant; you'll love it! If you're not a fan of Starbucks and/or don&…

Wordless Wednesday 9/30/09

Today we visited the Pink Fire Truck. These guys and gals drive these pink Fire Trucks all over the U.S. to raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer. You can see and read more about them on their website at and their blog at

Ouch! I sprained my …

Previously I posted about sprains and breaks. Sprains are more common, so I thought I’d write a bit more about them.

In general terms a sprain is when you stretch a ligament beyond its normal reach. This occurs most commonly when you roll your ankle, or fall and bend your wrist back further than it would normally go.

Sprains hurt. They can hurt a lot. Your basic treatment is to apply ice, immobilize the injured area and seek medical attention. The ice will help numb the pain and will reduce any swelling. Immobilization will help the injured area to rest and will make your trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room a lot easier or at least a bit more pain-free.

With minor sprains you can probably just use ice, immobilization or rest, and keep the injured area elevated. With more severe strains you will need medical treatment. How do you know the difference? You may not know on your own, hence the suggestion to seek medical attention. A mild sprain can be treated easily; a mor…

Wordless Wednesday 9/23/09 #2

This is AFTER the first scrubbing. No, this is not paint - it is (was) hot pink nail polish. You can purchase nail polish remover by the gallon at Sally Beauty Supply

Wordless Wednesday 9/23/09

Thanks to for this classic picture. I am thinking that this First Aid Kit has not been restocked in a while....

Is it a sprain or a break?

You fall and go boom and something hurts ...

Is it is sprain or did you break something? Clinically the only method to truly know is with an X-ray, but basic treatment right after an injury is the same: Ice, elevation (if possible) and immobilization until you can seek medical attention.

Broken bones or fractures are often not as dramatic looking as we may see on TV or in the movies. When we (or our kids, significant others, friends, etc.) break a bone, our arm (leg, hand, wrist, ankle, foot, toes, fingers... you get the idea) does not bend out at funky angles or have bony pieces sticking out of it. Yes, occasionally that may happen to someone, but most likely it will look normal. Except that it hurts if we try to move it or put weight on it. That pain is good for a reason, it will keep us from moving it. Our first step is to put ice on it. Ice numbs the pain and also helps reduce any swelling. Our second step is to seek medical help to determine if it is a break or sprain. Tha…

Wordless Wednesday 9/16/09

Like many of you I receive a lot of emails of funny poems, pictures, 'please forward to 200 of your closest friends to receive luck' types of emails on a somewhat regular basis. Most I just delete. Today I received an email with some of the funniest pictures I've seen in a while. This was just the perfect thing for me today. The message I'm receiving here is "Just Think on Your Own, don't rely on someone or something to do it for you".

Happy Wednesday!

Remembering 9/11

Today is September 11, 2009. Eight years ago our country was shockingly and tragically attacked. There are so many political and social ramifications that day has had on our country, our politics and our minds ever since.

I don't know the exact numbers, but over 5,000 people died that day. What numbers I do know is that 343 New York City Firefighters and 23 New York City & Port Authority Police Officers also made the ultimate sacrifice on that morning.

All of these folks woke up on a beautiful morning, went to work or the airport, and like us right now were probably thinking ahead on what they were doing that day, the next day and the upcoming weekend. That is over 5,000 immediate families who will wake up today missing that member of their family. For over a million they are missing a member of their extended family.

There will be a lot of talk and references to that fateful morning today, this post is probably just one of thousands (or more). My message is to cherish each …

Shopping, with kids: Our unhappy soccer cleat shopping tale.

We're just finishing up the second week of school and we've already had to go shopping several times for various things. My husband took the easy job of taking the girls for their back to school supplies. I get the fun jobs like taking the kids for sneakers and soccer cleats. Oh, yeah - don't let me forget to mention that he has had a lot of overtime the past few weeks so the whole gang was able to go shopping in force.

So this post is a major slight rant. I'll apologize for it in advance.

The rant is not about shopping with 4 kids to buy 2 pairs of soccer cleats. It is about the lack of customer service we were able to experience at a very large sports box store. It was the week before soccer practices start for most public schools. We're new to soccer, the girls have never played before. We found (on our own) the soccer section. No signs pointed us the right way, we just happened upon it wandering around the store (with 4 kids). My oldest is tall for her …

Hurricane surf

I think it is natural human curiosity to want to see our natural world when it is altered by weather. I base this assumption on the number of weather documentaries and large crowds of people who flock to the beach during storms. However majestic those large crashing waves look, we all need to remember that storm charged surf can be very, very dangerous.

When a storm or hurricane passes off short it creates storm surge. This is an increased tide caused by the pressure of the winds around the storm. The
National Weather Service has a really good webpage that illustrates this.

Waves are very powerful and heavy. According to the National Weather Service water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard. This is strong enough to damage buildings, and can more than certainly knock you off your feet into the surf. You can be pulled away from shore or pushed back on to it.

Despite the draw of going to look at the rough surf - please refrain from doing so. During storm surge it is bes…

Back to school shopping - the medical checklist

In some parts of the U.S. kids are back to school already. My older children return to school in just a few weeks. The stores are busy with all their back to school sales and we're all getting ready for the first day of school.

When you're getting your kids ready to return to school there may be some additional school supplies you'll need to shop for - updated prescriptions.

If your child has a prescribed medication that you provide to the school nurse this is a good time to review if your prescription is current and won't expire during the school year. If you provide epi-pens, asthma inhalers, nebulizers or other medications, read the packaging for expiration dates. If it will expire before the end of the school year take the extra time BEFORE school starts to refill the prescription. Three months from now when everyone is busy with school, sports and other extra curricular activities you may not remember to replace the expired epi-pen that you gave to the school n…

So what's in your first aid kit?

Okay, the title is a bit of a play on those credit card commercials: ".. so what's in your wallet?..." the character on the screen asks. My question is "So what's in your first aid kit?". What is the one thing in your kit that you use the most? For me that would be adhesive bandages, aka 'bandaids'. Like most households with kids, we have a lot of skinned knees, toes, elbows, shins, hmmmm... almost any part of the human body! So I stock up on all different sizes of adhesive bandages to keep with my kids cuts and scrapes. A long time ago B.C. (before children) my most used first aid supply was probably the insect repellent I kept in my kit.

So what do you use the most of out of your first aid kit?

What is an AED?

I frequently am asked what an AED is. An AED is abbreviation for an Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is used in conjunction with CPR to try to restart the heart during Cardiac Arrest.

Using an AED is very simple. Different models and manufacturers of AED's can look different but they all operate the same way. AED's have voice prompts that will guide you through how to use it, in addition there are step by step directions inside the front cover. The are actually very few steps to operate an AED, but to make it even easier I've broken it down into several steps:

Step 1 Turn the AED on. On models with a hard cover the button to open the cover is the on/off switch. On models with a soft cover there will be a green on/off button.

Step 2 Take out the package with the AED pads. Open the package and place the pads on the person following the pictures on the back of each pad. Each pad will have a picture of where it should be placed. Please note that the pad must be a…

Life is short

I'd love to say with no hesitation that CPR saves lives every single time. But the reality is that it doesn't. For some people when it is their time to pass away, it is just that. It is their time - and we have to accept that.

This is not meant to be a morbid post, but rather a reflection upon how short life can be. Tonight I attended a wake for a former co-worker who is not that much older than I am. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a community that he was heavily involved with.

As I drove home I started to think about how short life can be and sometimes how much time we waste on things that perhaps are not as important in the bigger picture. I have had a very stressful week full of car problems, extra bills (thanks to my car) and some hurt feelings at home. But tonight I realized that all those things that I stressed and obsessed about all week really shouldn't define or direct how I live my life from day to day. Many others have said that we define and set …

Do your kids know their address?

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I work part time as an emergency dispatcher. I had a call recently from 2 children ages 8 and 10. Fortunately they were not in any danger but our response to them was difficult because they could not tell us their home address and were calling from a cell phone that was only enabled for 911 so we had no actual return number to locate an address from. This was challenged by a bad cell phone connection and their vague description of where they were.

As your children become old enough to play outside without a parent in attendance make sure that they know their street address and home phone number. This information is important if there is an emergency so that we can find them and locate their parents.

Reorganizing Priorities

Lately I’ve been neglecting my blog, my social networking and my business. This is hard because I enjoy all of these things. But I’ve been working and reading a bit more lately. One of the books I’ve been reading has a great quote that sums it all up, Life gets in the way.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the myriad responsibilities that have come my way lately. I know I volunteer way too much and I also am not good at saying NO when asked to help out. This is also a slow period for my business so I have been working more at my part time job. So when I have a free moment (hah!) there is so much that needs to be done that I can’t figure out which to do first so most of it does not get done. And I know that this is not unique to me and that this probably happens to a lot of us.

A good friend at work recently lent me two books. Both are inspiration and thought provoking. I’m taking my time to slowly read and reflect on them. I need to reprioritize my life, add more fun fami…

Is phone courtesy dead?

I have a part time job at a dispatch center. As a part-time dispatcher with 4 kids, a husband with an odd work schedule and my own small business, I don’t work all that frequently. So when I answer the phone not everyone knows who I am and vice versa, I can’t recognize everyone’s voice. And since we dispatch for over 20 towns there is no way I could know everyone anyway.

So I have this interesting non-emergency phone call the other day, it goes like this:

Me: I say the name of the agency and my last name
Caller: “Who is this?”
Me: I say the name of the agency again, and then “how can I help you?”
Caller: says the name of their ambulance service and asks for some info
Me: “Hold on while I look that up”
Caller: then begins talking to someone else in the room, WHILE HOLDING THE PHONE IN FRONT OF HER MOUTH, “I don’t know who this is, I don’t recognize her name”
Me: “Hi, Are you talking to me? I’m still here”
Caller: “I’m not talking to you”

So I ignore her, but quite frankly if you’re going to…

One little thing that makes it all worthwhile

Tonight I had the most wonderful experience. My mom was up visiting and my husband and I decided to go out by ourselves. This alone was a wonderful thing, but the best part of our evening was when we stopped at the supermarket on our way home. We were in the cereal aisle when a woman with a older infant came up the aisle as well. We struck up one of those 'supermarket' conversations about the price of Cheerios when she said that I looked familiar. At first she thought I worked for the local hospital, which I don't, but I mentioned that I taught CPR. Turns out she was in one of my classes almost a year ago. Then she tells me "You saved my daughter's life". Her daughter began to choke on food a few months ago and she successfully performed infant back slaps and chest thrusts to remove the object. Her daughter is almost 13 months old and was happily sitting in the shopping cart smiling at us. We hugged in the aisle. It probably looked odd to anyone el…

Ticks & Lyme Disease

With summer now here I thought I'd share some info on Lyme Disease & ticks. Sometimes you don't need to be in the woods to pick up a tick, they can be almost anywhere other animals travel through. Lyme Disease is primarily carried by Deer Ticks, but those ticks can attach themselves to other host animals. I've had the kids pick up ticks just a few feet from our house and not in the woods out back. Ticks like warm dark places, so they will attach along your ankle, under your sock; behind the ears or along the hairline; and around the edges of your clothing. Since most of us tend to use sunscreen and insect repellent during the day it is a good idea to check for ticks each night when you shower off. Especially check your kids and pets. Household pets can easily carry ticks into the house. If you have a tick the best way to remove it is to use a pair of tweezers or a tick removing device (a fancy pair of tweezers). Grasp the tick as close to the head as you can a…

Does it take the strength of 10 men?.....

I did a CPR review class recently for the local chapter of Mothers of Multiples. What a fun group! I visited them during one of their meetings to give them the chance to practice their CPR skills and to answer any questions they might have. It wasn't really a class and they had some great questions - some of which I had to really think about! I think it's good to get stumped by questions when I teach, it keeps me on my toes and reminds me why I should be reading all those updates and studies.

One of the moms in the group asked me a really interesting question though. She had been told that she was "too small" to do CPR on an adult male. She was rather petite and slender, but I had never heard of anyone being too small to do effective CPR. My immediate reply to her, as a mother of TRIPLETS she probably has more upper body strength than I do! I don't think I could pick up more than 2 kids at a time!

But looking at the physics & body chemistry involved in …

The value of CPR & First Aid

Cost of CPR Barrier Sheet: $9.50
Cost of Pocket Mask: $12.25
Cost of CPR course: $40.00
Cost of First Aid Kit: $10.00
Cost of First Aid Course: $40
Knowledge that you can make a difference for someone in an emergency: Priceless

In our current economy a lot of us are watching our budgets and trying to get the best value for our money. Taking courses is no exception to that. Prices for CPR and First Aid courses vary depending upon location, who is offering the course, etc. Sometimes I hear that courses are too expensive or I'm asked if discounts are available. So what exactly does the course charge cover and what is the value of knowing CPR and First Aid?

First let's take a look at what goes into the cost of a course.

I can only speak from my experiences as an American Heart Association Instructor, but the AHA does not set the prices for the courses, it is up to individual instructors to set their own prices. For my business I set up a formula. It is based on a minimum class size …

How would you find a CPR course?

My last posts on online CPR courses hit a few nerves and there are a few good comments and a lot of interesting Twitter posts about Online CPR courses. When most people think of taking a course the first programs that come to mind are those offered by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Both organizations offer good programs, but they are not the only programs out there. If you searched for CPR courses on the web you'd get thousands of hits back, some from companies you've never heard off. So how do you find a course?

There are basically three types of CPR courses: Classroom, online and self-directed.

Self-directed courses are programs you can purchase with equipment to learn and practice on your own. The American Heart Association's CPR Anytime and Infant CPR Anytime at are good examples of this. You purchase a kit which contains a DVD and a small inflatable mannequin. The program does not lead to certification or a CPR …

Be wary of some online BLS courses

Previously I've written about Online CPR courses. They're easy to take, convenient and affordable. My earlier post was about the Online American Heart Association Courses. There has been confusion about them in the past and some clinical providers didn't realize that the online portion was only Part 1 of the course. There is also a Part 2 (or Part 3) which involves a practical skills component. Overall if you follow the guidelines, complete all the required parts, and successfully pass any online or practical tests you will receive your certification.

However you have to be rather careful about which online courses you take. Recently I had a nursing educator unfortunately get scammed by an online site promising her a card, which she was able to print her own card at the end of the online course. However the large Red Flag for me was when she called me to schedule a practical exam and then told me she was able to print her own card, AHA programs do not allow participants to …

NH Heartwalk fun!

This past Sunday the kids and I walked in the NH Heartwalk. This was our second year doing it and we had such a great time! All of the event organizers and volunteers were so positive, upbeat and genuinely friendly to all the participants. This was our first year walking the Heartwalk in Manchester, NH as this year the Seacoast Heartwalk merged with the Central NH Heartwalk.

My older daughters initially didn't want to walk this year, but became really excited when we they found out the walk would start and end at the Fisher Cats Stadium. We're not that familiar with Manchester so we looked the directions up on the web and headed off. For such a large city the stadium was very easy to find and we had no problem finding nearby parking.

It was slightly overcast and lightly raining, but registration and vendor tables were all set up in the grandstand out of the weather. We (I) took the Healthy Heart Pledge and visited the Go Red for Women table. The kids had their faces paint…

Heat emergencies Part 2

In Part 1 I wrote about Heat Exhaustion. This post is about Heat Stroke, the more serious and potentially life threatening heat emergency.

Heat Stroke occurs when the body becomes so overheated that it begins to shut down. Your skin becomes hot, red and you lose the ability to sweat. As your body temperature rises you become confused, disorientated and can have a seizure. Eventually you will become unresponsive and permanent brain and tissue damage can result.

Heat Stroke can be fatal. This is a life threatening situation. If you suspect someone is suffering from Heat Stroke call 911. Begin cooling the person with cool water and move them to a cool environment or shade.

The best way to treat Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion is to prevent it. When we're outside in warm weather it is easy to get preoccupied with what we are doing and forget to take breaks or drink water. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. When the forecast is for hot weather or if the heat stress index is ve…

Heat emergencies Part 1

Summer is quickly coming and while our prequel to summer temps in NH is over this is a good time to get ready for the heat of summer and keeping ourselves and our kids safe in higher temps.

Heat emergencies are when our bodies get overheated. This probably happens to a lot of us quite frequently in the warmer months. The trick is to recognize the symptoms and take action before a true emergency develops. There are two types of heat emergencies; heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion is when we move beyond just feeling overheated. We begin to feel flushed, hot and very sweaty. Kids will begin to look very hot with reddish and sweaty skin. We begin to feel very weak, lethargic and sometimes irritable. Our kids may seem sleepy or develop upset stomachs. To treat this we need quick but gentle cooling. Move to a shady and cool area. Fan yourself or your child. Placing a towel or scarf soaked in cool water on your neck, shoulders or head can also cool you down. The trick…

Gearing up for the NH Start! Heartwalk

Okay, so we're all getting excited at home for the NH Start! Heartwalk in Manchester on May 17th. Unfortunately we seem to be running into some snags on the fundraising aspect of the walk. I know times are tight, so I thought I'd throw out a few things that the American Heart Association does with your fundraising dollars.

Research on the effectiveness of CPR and how we teach it.
Has it been a few years since you've taken a CPR course? Did you know we know do 30 compressions rather than 15? Have you heard of the new guidelines on "Hands Only CPR"?

Public Awareness of Heart Health
Do you know your risks for Heart Attack or Stroke? You can find out at Go Red for Women or the American Heart Association website.

Research on Heart Health and Risks

So it doesn't need to be much, every little bit helps!

A Safer Table Saw

This morning my husband was showing me a brochure and a video of a new table saw. He's a Firefighter and has been slowly renovating our house. So when he saw a video of a safer table saw at our local woodworking store yesterday he was really excited about it.

We've all heard the sad and horrible stories of accidents involving power tools, especially saws. However this company has patented a new technology that stops and retracts the blade when it senses skin. I have no idea how this works, but I understand the general principal and I think it is amazing.

Disclaimer - I do not have this saw and I have not personally seen this saw. I am expressing my opinion solely on the brochure and video on their website. However if the folks at SawStop,, want to lend us one to review my husband would be thrilled and I'd be excited to see some movement on our home improvement projects.

The website states: SawStop saws detect contact with skin.
The blade carries a small …

Baby's 1st First Aid Kit

When you're getting ready for a new baby's arrival it can seem overwhelming sometimes all the things that we need! Even more overwhelming is the selection of things when we go to shops specializing in baby gear. I remember when I was expecting my first child going to large baby stores with my mom in the Boston area. The selections and choices were overwhelming! Even your local baby gear store can have more strollers or crib bedding to choose from than you could have previously thought!

One item that there can be a lot of choices on are First Aid kits. Baby gear stores sell them, your local department stores also sell them. There are number of brands and choices - so what is the right kit for a home with a new baby? I'm not able to recommend or endorse any one kit at this time, but I can share with you what to look for and what to be cautious of.

Most kits have most of these basic staples:
*Absorbent compress
*Adhesive bandage (aka band-aids)
*Adhesive tape
*Antibiotice ointmenet

A Passion for Pork

Several weeks ago I got an interesting email about one of my nutrition posts. I meant to really jump in and reply and well, life got in the way. I think most of the folks who read my blog are similar to me in that we fit a lot of things in our lives, family, work, volunteering, etc. and sometimes we just get really busy.

His email was very enthusiastic and I have to say I felt really excited that someone had taken the time to really read my blog and not just comment, but to actually email me. Which is where the name of this post comes from, I felt he really had a passion for pork.

No big surprise, the link he provided me with goes to the Pork Board. No, this is not about government spending - despite the title! But Pork as in, "The Other White Meat". The big emphasis was on a study in last month’s British Journal of Nutrition that revealed that eating a calorie-restricted diet with additional protein at breakfast, including Canadian bacon and eggs, led to increased feeli…