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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

Should I Give My Baby a Dummy?...
  Written by Jenny Catton   Dummies (sometimes called pacifiers) are one of those things that split parents’ opinions. Some swear by them as they are useful for calming and soothing babies whilst others think they should be avoided, believing that using a dummy can lead to long-term problems. But when faced with a crying baby, most parents will try anything to help them settle; so if you’re looking for a way to calm your baby, should you consider using a dummy?   Yes – Lynn I have three children and each one of them has used a dummy with no long-term problems. I have experienced disapproving glances from other dummy-less parents but I’ve learnt to ignore them. After all, only the parent of a child can decide what is best for them. In my case, I found that my babies struggled to settle at night. Once I gave them a dummy they were much happier, slept better and cried less. If you don’t use a dummy you can experience other problems as the baby looks for alternative things to suck on for comfort. For example, some children will start sucking their thumb which is a much worse habit as it can last for years and you can’t physically take your child’s thumb away from them. And for women who are breastfeeding, a dummy can be a lifesaver as it gives the baby something to suck when they just want comfort rather than food – which can really help avoid sore nipples. I weaned my babies off using a dummy by the time they were a year old and haven’t experienced any problems. If you have a baby that struggles to settle, I’d suggest trying a dummy – after all, it’s got to be better than you and your baby being constantly tired or stressed.     No –Isobel I gave my baby a dummy out of desperation when he refused to settle himself to sleep during naps. It worked initially but I’m regretting my decision now as my son is almost three and refuses to give up his dummy. I’ve tried taking it away or hiding it but he just screams until I give it back to him. I’m now worried about how it will affect his teeth as I’ve heard that some children need their teeth straightening after using a dummy for too long. It’s also frustrating when he tries to talk with his dummy still in his mouth – I’m forever telling him to ‘talk properly’ which worries me that his speech isn’t developing as quickly as it would normally. Other mums have also told me that a dummy can cause confusion for babies who are trying to breastfeed as they can’t always tell the difference between the dummy and a nipple. I really wish I’d found a better way to settle my son, rather than resorting to using a dummy. It might have worked at first but trying to get him to give it up now is proving to be a real battle.  
At Risk in Your Home: 4 Health Dangers Most P...
  Some dangers found in the home are well-known, such as frayed electric wires or chemicals stored for cleaning. However, there are some items found in the home that pose a danger that many people overlook. These dangers account for over $800 billion in expenses due to death, injury or property damage according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. These four common household items can pose a severe risk to you and your family if not used properly.  

Pressed Wood Products

If you have furnishings made of pressed wood, which is common among furniture purchased from big box outlets such as Ikea, you may have inadvertently added a danger to your home. Pressed wood is created from bits and pieces of logs which are pressed together to form a board. They may be known as particle board and fiberboard. In older homes, paneling may be made of pressed wood as well. In the past, manufacturers have used a glue that contains urea-formaldehyde, which can cause watery, itchy eyes. It can also cause difficulty breathing and an increased risk of asthma attacks. Hot, humid weather may promote the release of formaldehyde, although, as the wood ages, less of the substance is released. Although newer pressed wood products do not contain the dangerous substance, older pre-fabricated and mobile homes or furnishings that are older may still have traces of formaldehyde.  

Air Fresheners

Although air fresheners keep our home smelling clean and fresh, when used in small, unventilated areas or when they are used excessively, air fresheners can release toxic pollutants. Some air fresheners can contain nitrogen dioxide, which has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice. In addition, some contain paradichlorobenzene and may be hazardous to humans. Although using air fresheners to keep a home smelling clean is not dangerous in itself, over-use or failure to ventilate when using them can pose a danger to those living in the home.  


Although most people are aware that pesticides can be dangerous, more than 46,000 calls come in to the poison control centers each year. Most of the time, exposure to pesticides occurs indoors as people use over-the-counter products to eliminate pests in the home. Although some over-the-counter products may be effective, it is recommended that homeowners use professional pest control companies to treat household pests. Professional pest control in Woburn, MA, or your particular area can provide you with information on the chemicals they use and will inform you when pets or children should be protected.  


Many cosmetics use a product known as plasticizers as the substance increases the durability and flexibility of fragrances while also binding the color of cosmetics. Plasticizers are hormone-like chemicals that have recently been linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animals. Some states have banned the use of them in toys for children, pacifiers, rattles or teething rings. According to studies, the chemicals have shown to lower sperm count in boys and cause premature breast development in girls.   These are only a few hidden dangers in the home that people may not be aware of. In order to keep your family safe from harm, it is important to recognize that even items that are considered safe, such as furniture or air freshener, can have hidden dangers.  

Family Medicine

Breaking Down Braces Options for Adults...
  More adults are looking to straighten their teeth using braces. Thankfully, there are more options available for those looking for braces than ever before.  


Invisalign is a teeth straightening system that employs molded plastic tooth trays that are molded to fit the patient’s teeth. The trays are designed to align the patient’s teeth. Every two weeks, the patient will change out the trays as their teeth straighten. According to studies performed by the American Dental Association, Invisalign aligners make oral hygiene easier, thereby reducing the risks of oral infections, which in turn can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. The downsides of Invisalign are the price, which is considerably more expensive than traditional braces, and the fact that they are not designed for individuals who need serious dental correction.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces appear invisible because they are designed to run across the flip side of a person’s bite. Like traditional braces, they are made up of wires and metal brackets customized to fit the patient’s teeth. Lingual braces are a good option for individuals who have moderate to severe problems with spacing between their teeth. The downside to these braces is that they are more expensive than
conventional braces. Also, because of their location in the mouth, they can be difficult to keep clean.

Self-Litigating Braces

While similar in appearance to conventional braces, the main difference is that self-litigating braces use tiny plastic bands referred to as ligatures that connect to hooks on the face of the braces to hold the wire firm against the patient’s teeth. These braces are relatively easy to clean, and because they have a smoother surface, they are less irritating to the mouth. Additionally, adjustment times are shorter because the dentist will not have to replace the ligatures every time they tighten the arch wire. The number one con of these braces is that they are not entirely invisible.

Ceramic Braces

With ceramic braces, the brackets that are attached to the teeth are made of a translucent or tooth-colored material. At first glance, they seem almost invisible because they blend in with the patient’s teeth. The cons of this form of teeth alignment is that the ligatures are made from latex, which means that they can stain, thereby defeating the purpose of the translucent quality of the brackets. Ask Dr. Bruce Hartley or a dentist in your area what foods to avoid so you can keep your ceramic braces as clean and clear as possible. The number one complaint people have about going to the dentist either to have braces applied or have other dental work done is the anxiety, the worry, and the fear about discomfort while at the dentist. However, advances in dental care sedation techniques allow dentists to provide anxiety free, pain-free dental care. A straight smile is an essential part of having confidence and feeling good about oneself. The various forms of braces that are available for adults makes the goal of having a straight smile a reality that you can attain.
4 Major Warning Signs That You Need a Dentist...
  There are four major warning signs that you need to see the dentist right away. Dental health is extremely important. Your oral health can very easily influence the well-being of your entire body. If you see any of these four major warning signs, make a call to your dentist right away.  

Tooth or Gum Pain

Tooth pain can be caused by many different factors. If you have injured a tooth, it may become sore and possibly become loose or fall out. Another cause of tooth pain is sensitivity to hot and cold. There are several causes for sensitive teeth including:
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  • Tooth decay near the gums
  • Gum disease
  • Inflammation due to gum damage
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Mouthwash use
  • Plaque buildup
  Only a dentist can make an accurate determination of the cause of your tooth pain and show you how to help your teeth be pain free.  

Bleeding in the Mouth

If you see bleeding of the gums or around the teeth, you need to make an appointment with your dentist right away to determine the cause. Sometimes brushing with a hard-bristled brush or over- zealous flossing are the only causes for bleeding from the mouth. But bleeding can also be caused by infections or oral cancers, as well. The only way to know for sure is to check with your dentist.  

Loose Teeth

Loose teeth can be caused by several different events. If you had an accident involving your mouth and have a loose tooth, have a dentist look at it right away.
Morrell M. Russell DMD or a dental professional in your area will be able save a broken or damaged tooth. If infection, cavities or disease are the reason for the wiggly tooth, your dentist can prescribe a round of antibiotics or other treatments to heal the tooth. If the tooth really must come out, your dentist can make sure that the tooth is removed and replaced with a dental implant if the situation indicates it.  

Headaches and Jaw Pain

If you have recurring headaches and pain in your neck and jaw areas, you may have a bite problem that is giving you those headaches. Jaw misalignment or grinding you teeth while you sleep may be the cause of chronic headaches. Your dentist can painlessly help you through these problems and any other dental problem you might have, so contact your dentist right away if any of the above problems occur.  


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: ColoradoLaw.Net    
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a P...
  People who are injured are often not responsible for the events leading up to the situation. The injury could have been caused by the negligence of someone else, a defective product or improper safety measures in the workplace. This can lead to a dispute about who is liable for the injury. You should do several things if you are involved in a personal injury dispute.  

Save All Documentation

The first step is to start saving all documentation related to the incident, injury and medical treatments. Save everything from reports and receipts to communications from insurance companies and the liable parties. Keep the documents in a safe place and make copies whenever possible. This documentation can be invaluable for proving your statements.  

Visit Doctors Even For Minor Problems

Do not ignore minor injuries or problems with your body. Visit a medical professional whenever you think something is wrong. Some very mild or almost unnoticeable issues are symptoms of a much larger injury. Additionally, some injuries grow worse over time and can become permanent disabilities. Get to a doctor or hospital whenever you suspect something is wrong.  

Try To Gather Evidence/Keep Records

Evidence of what happened when you were injured will start to fade away almost immediately. This is especially true if the injury occurred in a public place or a storefront. Try to gather as much evidence as possible as early as you can. Ask friends to help. Get photos of the location. Look for witnesses who saw the event. Write down a description of the event on paper just as you remember it. Solid evidence is important for winning a personal injury dispute.  

Do Not Talk About the Incident with Other Parties

It is important not to talk about the details of the incident with the liable parties or even with insurance companies unless you have representation. You might inadvertently say something that can be misinterpreted later. You might be tricked into admitting liability for the injury or stating that the injury is not serious. Answer basic questions only and wait until you have representation to go into more detail.  

Contact a Lawyer Right Away

If you are involved in a personal injury dispute, then contact a lawyer right away. A personal injury lawyer will defend your personal rights and assemble a strong case. Your lawyer will help to collect evidence that can be used in negotiations and in court if necessary. Hiring an attorney gives you the best chance possible of winning fair compensation for everything you lost due to the injury. 
Las Vegas personal injury resources & information is a great place to go if you are looking for more information   Do not let insurers or the liable parties intimidate you from pursuing compensation for your injuries. You sometimes need to fight in order to prove your claim. With patience and the help of a lawyer, you can eventually get fair compensation to cover you damages.