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Hearing dogs are changing deaf children’s lives
Hearing dogs are changing deaf children’s lives
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Quoted by BBC News: "Dogs are commonly known as man's best friend, but it turns out they may also be a child's – particularly if those children are one of the 45,000 deaf children in the UK.

"Hearing dogs", as they are known, could transform many young lives by offering companionship, confidence and independence.

Not only that, but these specially trained dogs could improve behaviour at school and lead to better academic performance, a recent study has found.

James Cheung is 11 years old and the owner of Kurt, a golden labrador retriever.

Kurt is specially trained to respond to household sounds that a deaf child cannot hear, like a door bell ringing, a telephone sounding and any alarms going off in the home.

But Kurt has proved to be much more than just a dog who hears.

"He is a wonderful accompaniment to our household," say James's mother Louise, from Derbyshire.

"I can't remember life without him."

Sleep companion

Although they have had Kurt for less than a year, he has become a close companion for James, who is an only child, and a reassuring presence around the home.

"James had sleep anxieties, which he was being treated for, but now that Kurt sleeps with him in his bedroom he feels much less isolated when he takes out his hearing aid at night."

Kurt has also helped James' social interaction, which he had always found difficult because of a speech disability.

"James is now mad keen on dogs, even his teachers have noticed. He researches them and talks about them. It's an interest which helps him initiate conversation with people.

"Before he would have avoided dogs. Now he adores them."

The study, carried out by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, looked at the impact of hearing dogs on the lives of 12 deaf children and their hearing families in the UK since 2008.

It found that hearing dogs had a positive effect in a number of areas, such as helping parents get the child's attention, making bedtime and sleeping easier, and giving the child confidence – particularly in social settings.

Parental concerns about the child's safety also fell dramatically, the study found.


Michele Jennings, chief executive of the charity, says this is because they can feel more relaxed about everything.

"Parents are concerned about dangers around the home but we train dogs to respond to smoke alarms, to alert a child to alarming noises, even things like ambulance sirens when they are out and about.

The responses of the families involved in the study said the dogs helped the children stay safe near roads and prevented them wandering off in public places.

But there were other noticeable benefits to placing hearing dogs with deaf children.

Their teachers noticed better behaviour at school and parents experienced happier family times at home.

The child was also more likely to wear a hearing aid, which often led to better academic progress and improved speech.

Most importantly, the dogs became their friends – often "best friends".

Hearing dogs are trained to alert children by nudging the child with their nose or, in the case of an alarm clock, wake the child up by putting two paws on the bed and pulling the duvet off.

Loving bond

Hearing dogs can also be used by the parent to fetch the child when needed and to carry written messages in a small purse, which the child can then respond to in the same way.

"The dog is a great conduit between parent and child – it gives the child independence," Michele Jennings says.

The majority of the dogs trained by the charity are cocker spaniels, miniature poodles, labradors and golden retrievers – dogs that can cope in most situations and be obedient, loving family dogs.

Volunteers offer to socialise the dogs when they are puppies, and when they are 10 or 11 months old, they start their sound skills training.

They are then introduced to a recipient deaf child and the bonding starts to take place.

There are currently 750 working hearing dogs in the UK for adults and, following the success of the trial, the charity wants to train many more dogs to work with deaf children.

It's a costly process though, with each dog costing £45,000 to be trained during its lifetime.

All hearing dogs are retired at 11 years of age but they are usually kept on by the families.

"The bond between family and dog and child and hearing dog is so strong. It's a joy to see. They just become part of the family," says Ms Jennings."

Child Wellness

Top Home Dangers and How to Solve Them...
  Maintaining a safe home is quite a bit like becoming a healthier person. While exercise equipment or a gym pass will help, those who want to enact long-term changes are going to need to actually create new habits as the dynamics in their home change. Here is a look at a few great ways to improve the safety of your home and your family starting today.  

Create a Monthly and Yearly Safety Checklist

One of the first steps that every family should take is to create monthly and yearly safety checklists. These checklists generally need to be nothing more than a 10 or 15 items that should be checked every 30 days or 12 months such as signs of water damage in the basement, carbon monoxide
detector batteries, smoke detector batteries, and expiration dates for medicine and fire extinguishers. You can also set up emergency plans for your family, discussing various contingencies such as how to escape the house if it’s on fire, where to meet up if your family was split up for some reason, and how to survive an earthquake and other natural hazards. All family members should keep lists of critical phone numbers of home service providers and the like in case guardians and heads of the home are incapacitated.  

Become a Better Neighbor

One simple and free way to improve your family's safety and the safety of your possessions is to do nothing more than become a friendly neighbor. When a neighbor has a general idea about your habits, who should be visiting your home, and any medical concerns, they can notify the authorities when something is amiss such as a suspicious individual on your property. If something concerning has happened on your property, like you suspect someone has stolen goods from you, inform your neighbors and offer to watch out for their homes as well. Contact the police early to establish a paperwork timeline so you can have a higher chance of pressing charges and profiling suspects should the events continue.  

Install an Automated Security System

Modern security systems are comprised of high-tech devices that require little or no maintenance from homeowners. Most will find that they need to only set their preferences once and these systems will do the rest. Touchscreen and wireless controls can be used to lock doors, check in on security cameras, or be notified when motion sensors are tripped. Northstar Alarm reviews and those of similar companies can give you a glimpse into the strengths and weaknesses of various systems.  

Be Safe with Renovations

Homes that were made before the 1980s may have a number of toxins in the paint, insulation, and even the pipes. When any home renovations are carried out, owners of older homes should first have an inspector check on these materials to ensure that there are no dangerous chemicals such as lead. If chemicals are found, the family may need to relocate while professionals remove these materials permanently.  

Remove Toxins and Allergens

Parents may be surprised to hear that, pound-for-pound, children breathe nearly 50 percent more air than adults. This means that they are especially susceptible to toxins and allergens that are lingering in the home. HVAC filters should be changed as often as possible with a full inspection of the ducts at least once a year. Parents should also consider professional air quality testing if their family has been experiencing chronic respiratory problems. Comprehensive safety and security in the home requires much more than a few locked doors and occasionally checking smoke detectors. Every family should take a fresh look at the safety devices throughout their home at least a few times a year to ensure that they are working properly and do not need to be upgraded.  
Adoption 101: Preparing to Receive a Great Bl...
  Children are such wonderful blessings. One of the greatest joys most of us experience is the opportunity to become a parent. If people decide they would like to become parents, but decide to forgo the nine months of pregnancy and labor, adoption is an excellent choice. There are many children who would love to be placed in a home filled with loving care. Fortunately, there are adoption advertising agencies like Adopt Connect that help families find children in need of homes. Even with the help of agencies and a great support system, there are many different points to review when preparing for a new adopted child. Listed below are four main details to consider if adoption is desired.    

1. Is the Home Prepared for a New Child?

A child drastically changes the lifestyle of the parents. While it is a blessing, it is also an adjustment. The home is no exception. Depending on the age of the adopted child, it may be really important to child-proof the house. If children are already in the home, make sure there is another room to house another child. It makes no sense to invite a new child into a space that is already crowded. Be sure to make sure the members of the family are well-aware of this transition to make it as smooth as possible.    

2. Know the Costs

Children are very expensive. While there may be financial assistance for a family who adopts a child, there should always be a way to stay on top of the finances. Take a long, hard look at the family budget. Think long-term as well. Expenses for education, childcare and extracurricular activities add up quickly. Be sure another child is able to live comfortably under their new roof.    

3. Will Services be Needed?

In addition to enrolling a child into their new school, consider whether aftercare may be needed. Hiring a nanny or babysitter is an option. Extracurricular activities are another great option to keep children occupied after school hours as well. During the summer, think about enrolling children in a summer camp. Just remember that leaving children home alone while they are under aged is not an option. For extra support, the US Department of Health and Human Services offers lots of different assessments, options and services on their website for adoptive families.    

4. Make Sure the Documents are in Order

When adopting a child, stay on top of the access to their social security card, birth certificate and other important legal documents. When the child is adopted, they will receive the family last name. Be sure to get the name changes completed and verified within a timely manner.     These are just a few of the many things expectant parents can do when preparing to receive a child into the home. It is natural to be nervous about the process, but if these major components have a check mark next to them, everything else should fall in place.    

Family Medicine

5 Sure - Five Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy...
  As the holiday season rolls around, you will encounter an abundance of sugary treats. While this is a big part of the holiday cheer, it's significantly less cheerful for your teeth. However, these five tips can help you keep your teeth healthy without putting a damper on your enjoyment.   1. Eat a Balanced Diet Be sure to balance those sweet treats with plenty of healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. These foods help improve salivary production, which is your mouth's first line of defense against tooth decay. Saliva helps remove leftover bits of food and washes away the acids and bacteria that can damage teeth. Furthermore, the minerals in these foods will help to reinforce tooth structure.   2. Take Care with Sticky Candies Chewy treats like caramels and taffy are especially bad for your teeth. These foods adhere to the nooks and crannies in your teeth, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and plague. In addition, the acidity of the sugar can also wear away at tooth enamel, causing decay and pain. It's best to limit your consumption of these candies, and when you do eat them, make sure you brush afterward.   3. Rinse Even after you eat non-sticky candies and foods, there will still be ample amounts of sugar and acids left behind. Not only can these contribute to bad breath but they can also cause decay if left there. Fortunately, there's a quick solution that can be done anywhere. Simply rinse out your mouth with water when you're finished indulging.   4. Go Sugar Free There are a wide variety of candies available that are sugar-free, yet taste just as good as conventional options. Those meant for diabetics are often sweetened with xylitol, a sugar alcohol that has actually been shown to protect teeth from decay. It does this by preventing oral bacteria from metabolizing sugars into erosion-causing acids. If you have to have candy, try substituting sugary candies for sugar-free ones whenever possible.   5. Be Wary of Hard Candies Hard candies are popular holiday treats. However, as tempting as they might be, you may want to consider avoiding them. They're responsible for a surprisingly large number of tooth injuries, like cracks and breaks. These conditions can be very painful and may necessitate an emergency visit to your dentist.   The holiday season holds many perils for your oral health. Tooth decay, cracks and breaks and tooth pain are all things you must take into consideration. By following these five tips and paying a visit to a quality dental clinic like Brantford Mall Dental Office, you can more effectively protect your teeth without sacrificing the holiday cheer.    
Dental Emergency! Quick Steps to Save Your To...
  Our teeth are important. They are not only used for chewing food, but they are also an important part of the structure of our face. Losing a tooth, especially a front tooth, is an unnerving and scary situation. When a person has a tooth knocked out, they may feel that there is nothing they can do to save it. Thankfully, this is not the case. Fast action, fast thinking, and a little bit of good fortune is all that is needed to save a tooth that is been knocked out.  

Find Your Tooth

First, find the tooth that has been knocked out, and pick it up immediately. When grabbing the tooth,
avoid touching the roots, as this can cause irreversible damage. Instead, pick up the tooth by only touching the crown.  

Clean Your Tooth

Next, clean the tooth. This must be done in a very gentle but also thorough way. Dentists suggest using warm water to gently rinse to tooth. Avoid scrubbing the tooth as this can remove tissue attached to the roots that is necessary for reattaching it. In order to prevent the tooth from falling down the drain, place a rag or washcloth over the drain in the sink.  

Replacing and Transporting Your Tooth

If possible, attempt to put the tooth back into the socket. Use a finger to hold it in place. If the tooth will not fit back into the socket, then it will need to be stored for transportation to the dentist. When storing the tooth, remember that it must be kept moist. If the roots dry out, the tooth will be lost. There are a couple ways to store the tooth for transport. One way is to transport it in your mouth between your cheeks and your gums. Another way is to transport it in a container that has either a tooth-saving solution or milk. It is not recommended to transport a tooth in water. The cells that make up the tooth will not survive long when submerged in water.  

Contact a Dentist Immediately

Immediately contact a dentist. It is recommended that in dental emergencies a person should arrive at the dentist within 30 minutes. Anything after 30 minutes severely minimizes the chances of the tooth taking and remaining viable.   Most dentists have time set aside for emergencies. In addition to things like cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and sedation dentistry, providing emergency dental care is an important part of what these dentists do. Do not to be afraid to contact them because the emergency took place outside of business hours. When it comes to repairing your tooth, time is of the essence. Do not delay!   Information Source: Abougoush Professional Corp


What To Do If You are In a Serious Auto Accid...
  You drive down the road in your favorite car. It's a normal day like any other day until someone runs a stop sign and barrels into the side of your vehicle. It all happened so quickly that you didn't even realize it until it was over. Your car is completely damaged, and by now your body isn't feeling too well. What should you do immediately following a serious auto accident?  

Seek Medical Care

You may not be able to collect information and talk to witnesses if you are hurt badly. Hopefully the police will take care of this. Your first order of business is to get to the emergency room. Make sure to get a detailed account of any injuries from the doctor. Keep copies of x-rays and other body scans. A well-documented medical exam will go a long way toward a claim approval from the insurance company.  

Contact a Lawyer

You don't have to commit to anything if you contact a lawyer. All you have to tell them is that you were in an accident and you would like to know your legal options. Tell them that you will be contacting your insurance company shortly to file a claim. If you like the lawyer, you may be able to enlist their help in representing you against the insurance company if they don't approve your claim. Make sure to tell them about the damage to the vehicle as well as your personal injuries.  

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you are involved in any kind of accident you must get in touch with your
Meyer's Insurance Ltd insurance company. As long as you have the right type of coverage on your vehicle, they should fund a replacement and help you through this trying time. Your insurance company may also cover your medical bills if you need it. They would then sue the insurance company of the other driver to recover the money they used to provide you with financial support. As long as the accident wasn't your fault, your insurance rates shouldn't go up.   An auto accident can be one of the most stressful incidents in your life. Your body hurts, and your car is totaled. Make sure you document the damage to your vehicle as well as the injuries you sustained in the accident. Consult an attorney to figure out what your legal options might be if the insurance company won't cooperate with you. Be sure to give detailed reports to your insurance company so that they can quickly and easily approve your claim.
Four Injuries Where You May be Entitled to Co...
  Sometimes, accidents just happen. You may fall down a perfectly clean and well-lit staircase due to losing your balance, or your car may hit a patch of black ice and slam into a pole. However, some injuries occur due to someone's willful actions, inattention or negligence. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation to cover you medical bills, pain, suffering, future loss of income and other expenses. Here are four types of injuries that may entitle you to compensation.    

Domestic Animal Bites

It is the pet owner's responsibility to make sure their animal is well-trained and does not harm others. If a pet can't be trusted, it should be kept muzzled or in another room. However, some pet owners are irresponsible. These injuries can be disfiguring, as well as can cause emotional disturbances such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you've suffered a mauling or animal bite, you are likely entitled to some compensation.    

Hit by a Drunk Driver

Driving while intoxicated is perhaps one of the most irresponsible things a person can do. Not only is it a crime, it's the sort of behavior that has the potential to hurt many others in addition to yourself. If you were hit by a drunk driver, there is no excuse. Whether you were driving, cycling or walking, you need to speak to a lawyer about your specific case.    

At-Fault Car Accidents

Not every car accident involves clear fault, but many do. If the driver causing the accident was texting while driving, was driving carelessly or violated traffic laws, you likely have the right to compensation. This is also true if the driver who caused the accident was speeding or acting recklessly. Talk to a lawyer before you sign any paperwork or accept any deals, especially if their insurance company is pressuring you as this may be a sign that they know they are liable.    

Failure to Properly Maintain Property

Anyone can lose their balance and fall down a flight of clean, dry, well-lit steps. However, business owners are required to make sure their properties are well maintained. If you slipped and fell on ice or tripped over a hole in the carpet, you may be entitled to compensation.     Not every accident involves fault. However, there are plenty of injuries caused by incidents that could have been avoided all together had the person or persons involved been more careful. If you have been injured in an accident where someone else was at fault, you should speak to legal counsel before accepting a settlement.     Information Source: