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Is Teen Obesity Becoming An Epidemic?

Posted in Featured Articles

Obesity amongst our teens, pre-teens and adolescent children is seeing a sharp rise over the last few years. It is estimated that in upwards of 30 percent of the youth populations of Canada and the United States are overweight. Obviously this brings about concerns among parents, doctors and educators.

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Is A Youth Volunteer Program Right For Your Son Or Daughter?

Posted in Featured Articles

As parents we often worry about our kids. How are they doing in school? What will they be when the grow up? What types of adults are we raising? These questions are asked by every parent. One way to raise your child to become a good adult, experience life, and gain some history of working with people are through volunteer programs. But what types of programs are available and how do they fit into a long term plan?

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Helping A Teen Cope With Suicidal Thoughts

Posted in Featured Articles

If you are a teen considering suicide, or, if you are a parent, sibling or loved one who knows someone who isn’t happy with life, you should know there are many options for help. First, you must understand that thoughts of suicide amongst youth are unfortunately a fairly normal experience. Growing up brings it challenges, and sometimes things seem quite overwhelming. If you are searching for help for your friend or family member in this predicament here are some thoughts to help you help them.

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Recovering from a Break-In

Posted in News

When moving to a new place you never expect to experience a break-in. You've just arrived in your new home and in a new place. It seems like the world is at your fingertips! It does take a few months to get accustomed to your new home and surroundings. You must get acclimated to the environment and even the new customs you will come into contact with. The last thing that you're thinking about it a potential break-in. You can never truly prepare for a break-in. Of course, you can make sure your home is alarmed with with latest in security systems. You can also make sure to double lock your doors and even put sensors on your windows. Unfortunately though, sometimes a break-in can't be avoided. 

As long as no one is hurt in the break-in and you have homeowner's insurance, you can rest pretty easily. Of course the emotional trauma that results from a break-in can't be reversed. You may feel extremely invaded upon. As long as you can replace the things that are most important to you, you have to put your emotions to the side and ensure that your home is prepared for another potential break-in. Unfortunately, if someone felt it was easy to invade your home once, that could be incentive enough to try again. 

It is important that you first and foremost file a police report to ensure that the incident is properly recorded. Just as importantly, you need to secure your home immediately. Calling a local locksmith could be the best option for you. They offer many services apart from just getting into your home or car upon losing a key. Locksmiths offer 24 hours services. For example, better locksmiths, like Southampton Locksmiths, offer 24 hour service, 30 minute response time and burglary repair services. In a way, a reputable locksmith should be your next call after contacting your local police department because they will be able to cover your safety immediately from "soup to nuts." 

Don't let your new oasis be a target for potential break-ins. Make sure to take the necessary steps to safety proof your new home and get back into the swing of your new environment! 

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Successful Job Placement Program for Youth

Posted in News

In today’s economy, it is getting harder and harder for youth to find gainful employment. In an effort to assist youth in the pursuit of productive, wage-earning jobs, more non-profit agencies are starting to jump into the action. But how does a non-profit society make sure the youth they are seeking to help, are actually placed in appropriate positions and stay at those placements for the desired minimum of six weeks? Why six weeks?

The biggest hurdle in many youth obtaining jobs is the unfortunate but very real lack of experience. Obtaining such experience requires an employer to take on a youth willingly, train them, and give them adequate hours to learn to do the job well. A six week time frame is considered the bare minimum. Some jobs may take longer, some less, but for the purposes of our discussion, we will assume the average number of weeks required.

A well-run placement program begins with soliciting employers to come on board. You’ll need to contact a large number of employers to begin with, in order to build your list of potential placements. Each employer will need to give you the name of one or more supervisors who are willing to act as mentors for the youth in your program. Once you have a decent database of placement opportunities, it’s time to consider scheduling. Matching up a youth to an employer and then ensuring they fulfill their respective obligations used to require more paperwork, phone calls and follow ups than necessary. You do need to do such things, but the amount of effort can be greatly reduced with employee scheduling software.

When scheduling software is used properly, it will let you know which employer your youth should be at each day for the six weeks they are in the program. The schedule can usually be emailed to the employer and youth, as well as printed for their records and yours. In addition, a decent employee scheduling program will let you build a database on both employers and youth, allowing you to record any special needs of the youth, any special requirements of the employer, note the youth’s mentor or supervisor at each job, feedback on the youth’s performance and any anything else you want.

Non-profit societies run on a strict budget as it is, but scheduling software can help reduce the cost of paper, ink and storage associated with manual record keeping. Just make sure the software you choose lets you enter employer’s business name, phone number, street address, email address, supervisor/mentor’s name, positions offered, hours offered, and notes to hold special requirements. Your software should have an area where you’ll enter the youth’s name, phone number, email address, mailing address if they have one, resume details, and any special needs they might have along with hours they are willing to work. Decent software will then assist you in matching youth to employers. Digital records are just as important as physical records, so don’t shortchange your organization by skimping out.

Your organization will be glad it made the effort to organize the schedule for work placements. Once such an administrative foundation is in place, everyone can concentrate on support the youth as they begin to establish themselves as part of the workforce. Make the investment, and your youth will thank you by becoming productive citizens of your community.

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Teenagers Learn to Enjoy Leisure Time

Posted in News

When children are in their teenage years, they start developing friendships as well as relationships, and they also start experiencing changes in their own bodies. What the children engage in at this point is very important because it might either benefit or ruin their life. As a parent, you should be very concerned about how your children spend their leisure and advise them on what may be helpful to them and what may harm them. Some of them may spend their leisure time on social media sites such as Facebook, some of them may just play video games, watch TV or text their friends, but you should be concerned about the effect such activities are going to have on your child.

In order to make sure teenagers engage in activities that benefit their bodies, minds and their general well being during leisure time, there are many non-profit organizations with healthy leisure activities to engage the teens. With the many concerns raised across the world about childhood obesity, many of the organizations focus on providing recreational activities which will not only entertain the young people, but they will also help them to stay fit. Engaging in fitness activities also helps the teenagers to improve their social skills and general attitudes toward life.

Activities such as playing video games, watching TV and chatting on social media sites or via text messages are not all bad. However, they may not have great benefits when it comes to the growth of the child mentally, socially and intellectually. It is useful to look at more physical activities such as camping, cycling and fly fishing. If you take camping for instance, there are a lot of lessons that a teenager can learn from it. It helps them to learn how to be caring human beings, how to socialize with other people, how to survive, how to be successful individuals and most importantly to embrace who they are really are.

Activities such as playing video games do not provide the teenagers with a good opportunity to improve their social skills as well as their personal involvement in social groups and settings. The leisure activities by the non-profit organizations are usually aimed at helping the teenagers grow into individuals who can establish positive interaction of social bonds with family, friends and other members in the society. Children who are brought up in a setting where they are allowed to go outside and play sports and hang out with the friends are more likely to go on to be far better adjusted adolescents as well as adults.

Volunteers such as fly fishing enthusiasts help parents expose their teenagers to healthy leisure activities that will benefit their lives positively. With fly fishing materials such as the ones found at Great Feathers, your youth will have a great fishing experience. Visit them at: It is important to let the teens experience all aspects of leisure without confining them to passive leisure activities in the house such as playing video games and watching TV. Allowing the teenagers to go out and cycle, fish, play their favorite games and so on will help them to grow up into happy, well-adjusted and independent adults.

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Recommended Destinations for the Ecotourist

Posted in News

Summer is fast approaching and it is time to make plans for that much-awaited holiday. If you are making travel plans at the moment, then why not consider being an ecotourist? By definition, an ecotourist is one who travels to destinations that give priority to environmental conservation and well-being to the local population. These areas aim to minimize the impact that visitors make while developing environmental and cultural awareness.

Most people shun ecotourism because they think that this only involves being in the wilderness, where convenience and luxury is sacrificed for the sake of the environment. This is not the case, however, since there are vacation sites that provide luxurious accommodations without doing harm to the environment. Listed below are three of them.

Cradle Mountain Lodge in Tasmania, Australia
If you are the outdoors type, this holiday destination is tailor-made for you. Cradle Mountain Lodge is located in the Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair National Park, listed as one of the world’s heritage sites. The wildlife in this area is indigenous and cannot be found in any other parts of the world. You can hike in one of the lodge’s twenty walking trails to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the wilderness. If hiking is not to your liking, you can still go horseback riding or go around in a mountain bike. The lodge is eco-friendly because it actively implements a conservation program for the plants and animals found in the site.

Danube River Cruise, Europe
The renowned Danube River meanders through several countries in Europe. Exploring it by ship will provide you the opportunity of discovering the interior of these countries and you will be met with the most picturesque sights of mountains, castles and quaint villages that literary masters have written about long ago. While enjoying the sights, you won’t have to worry about comfort since the cruise ships will provide you with accommodations that will rival the best hotels in the world. In keeping with the Europeans’ fastidiousness about the protection of the environment, cruise ships run on hybrid engines that are very efficient in power consumption and use less fuel. There are several European river cruises to choose from. Visiting will help you pick one.

Camp Ya Kanzi in Kenya, Africa
In terms of abiding by the principles of ecotourism, few can compete with Camp Ya Kanzi. You get to stay in a community eco-lodge, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture while experiencing the Africa’s wildlife and beauty of the wilderness that has remained untouched. When the safari camp was built, no tree was ever cut and only local materials were used for construction. Water is heated with solar power and cooking is done with the use of locally-made charcoal.

For this summer, why don’t you think about taking a trip to these destinations or others that are eco-friendly? You will be enjoying your holiday more, knowing that you not just doing your part in preserving the environment but being more culturally aware as well.

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Things to Watch out for when looking for a Summer Job

Posted in News

When school is finally over, many teenagers are usually itching to find a summer job. Now that school’s out, some of the more industrious teenagers out there would want to earn a bit of money in order to finance their plans of going out with friends, pay a bit for their tuition or buy some of the latest trendy gadgets out there in the market. The first place that teenagers would look at is of course, the Internet. Be warned though, not all that glitters is gold, for the Internet is chockfull of scammers that would rob you blind if you fall for it.

Scammers, Scammers Everywhere
Sometimes they are crafty–sometimes they just put it out there in the open. Internet scammers try their best to lure would be victims through easy promises and outward lies. Oftentimes, you might receive an email saying that this company so-and-so is under staffed and that they need someone who could man the fort temporarily. This deal is particularly attractive for teenagers who aren’t looking for any permanent status of employment yet.

Lately, job scammers are even using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to have access to a wider range of people. You will also find companies promoting home business scams such as the A to Z Cash System and present them as if they were actual jobs.

Job scammers often use the attractiveness of working from home in order to ensure that they can get the fullest attention of their would-be victims. Teenagers have the propensity to fall for this since they are usually internet savvy, and would be happy not to get out of their own houses and do some manual labor in order to earn a bit of money.

Another reason why teenagers might be tempted to take their chance with such companies is that, the state of the economy nowadays is looking rather a bit too grim. Companies just could not afford to take in new hires, especially teenagers who are not qualified enough or are certified by any schools to possess necessary skills. This is why we should always be on the look-out for job scammers so as not to push our teenagers in deeper muddles.

Avoiding Job Scams
Don’t be too cynical about things though. Legit online jobs exist. You just have to look at any State approved job sites to find the job that you are looking for. Still, whenever you browse this website, take it with a grain of salt. There are still some scammers out there who can get through the scrutiny of the State. For good measure, try to look out for the following signs:

If the job requires you to pay some money out front, turn it down immediately or look for something else. No legitimate employer would ask for money outright from its would-be employees. Anyone who asks money this way should be treated as a suspect.

Be especially wary of jobs that say that you can work at home, with plenty of fringe benefits. Although this “employee” package can be very attractive, you can be sure that this is a fake. Any entry-level fringe benefits is but a pie in the sky, for fringe benefits are granted when you work your way up the ladder—not when you are starting out at the bottom rung. Also, stay-at home jobs are sometimes too good to be true. Chances are, it isn’t real.

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Choices For Your Older Teen’s Future Career Path

Posted in Youth Careers & Jobs

When it comes to your teenage child’s future, as you know, you have several choices. Sometimes your children are dead set on going to college. In your research, you might find that a vocational school or the military might be better options. Here, we attempt to give you the pros and cons of each since your children’s future is so important. When thinking about your child’s educational future, several factors come into play – cost, length of time to get a job, what your child’s passions are. We offer the following information for each type of potential program:

College Bound:

Blonde college student wearing a blue scarf works on her computer waiting for class to startMost of us would likely prefer our child to attend the tried and true college route. It goes without saying that four-year colleges are very expensive and let’s face it, four years is a long time to go to school without the guarantee of a job. If you are thinking of an Ivy League College (Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc.), then you can plan on spending several hundred thousand dollars to complete their degree. Of course it might be possible for your child to get a scholarship of some kind but you should plan on having excellent grades and lots of community volunteer work. As you know, our site is all about youth and community so read our other articles for more information.

Vocational School Option:

If your child doesn’t seem to be the college type, then a vocational school can be a great option. Whether they want to become a medical assistant or a forklift driver training program, there are vocational school options for you to consider. Most will only cost between $5,000 and $10,000 as opposed to the six figure cost of a 4-year college degree. There are vocational schools all over the globe regardless of where you live.  Are you in Canada, the UK, or elsewhere? No problem – you will find a vocational school close to you. Also, if you don’t want to physically go to training class, sometimes you can find all types of training that is video-based.


If your child doesn’t want to attend college or a vocational school, then the military is another option. Whether they are considering the Army or Navy (if they are U.S. Citizens), or The Canadian Forces if they are from Canada, the many benefits of military life should not be underestimated.  Usually, military enrollees get excellent medical care, retirement possibilities, and decent pay. If your child doesn’t know what they want to do with their life the military should be considered, particularly since the cost of other types of education is so expensive. Most training programs in the military are absolutely free.

As you can see when you are thinking about what your child will do as they become adults, the options are many. The best bet will be for you to do your research. There are so many options perhaps this is the best advice we can give you:  Make sure you take your child’s personality into account as that will determine their success level regardless of the path they choose.


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Youth Volunteer Project: Yard Cleanup At a Seniors’ Home

Posted in News

Yard cleanup is recommended as a youth volunteer project at a seniors’ home. Not only are the youth more than able to use a rake or a shovel for cleaning a yard, this is a safe outdoor activity that will benefit both the youth and the senior citizens, not to mention the entire community.

An Untidy Yard

A messy yard can breed bacteria hazardous to the sensitive health of senior citizens not to mention the fact that walking across an overgrown yard can be dangerous in terms of mobility. In addition, learning how to use a rake or a shovel will help the youth learn a life skill that they can use for their own yards later on.


This is a good opportunity to encourage volunteerism among the youth of the community. This job is doable by any person who is able to handle a shovel and a rake. There are other methods of keeping yards looking beautifully. For example, hiring a landscaping company to recommend the addition of turf, soil, pavers and pebbles and where to place these will create a world of difference in curb appeal. Not only will this create a more pleasant environment that seniors will enjoy, it will encourage serenity and calmness in the residents.

Benefits of a Clean Yard

Very pretty lawn and flower bedWhen senior citizens can count on their yard looking trim and neat without having to do any work themselves, this will promote relaxation and create a stress-free environment. Volunteers may want to check with a professional landscaper who has a strong understanding of landscaping and plants to ensure that they are giving the yard optimal care. Having a good-looking yard will become a source of pride for seniors who live in the home. Neighbors will admire how neat and clean the surrounding area of the home is. All volunteers needs is the right rake or tool for performing tasks of landscaping. A professional landscaping company can show the youth volunteers the ropes. The yard can then be maintained with regular tasks done by youth volunteers.

To What Extent

The extent of work that a yard requires will vary depending on each yard. One senior home’s yard may involve flower bed winterization while another home may simply need the leaves raked. As a general recommendation, a landscape that is more demanding will benefit from a consultation with a professional landscaper.

What Is Involved?

Depending on the season, the services involved in cleaning up the yard will change. In the spring time, yard cleaning will need to focus on the removal of winter-accumulated debris. This includes removing insulation such as mulch that you placed in your yard. It also involves fertilizing and thatching the grass, preventing the growth of weeds by applying herbicides and pruning plants to prepare them for the season of growing. In the fall, yard clean up focuses on tasks such as making the yard ready for winter. Generally, this includes raking pine needles and leaves as well as their disposal. The lawn must be mowed one last time and the grass fertilized. Tasks also include pulling out annual beds or the garden, adding insulation materials around sensitive shrubs and plants and performing any pruning in the fall just before winter.

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Success Story of At Risk Youth Job Placement Programs in a Construction Site

Posted in News

Job placement for at risk youths can be one of the best platforms to help the young ones grow and develop the necessary skills in life. However, it is also one of the challenging opportunities, especially if you are running a construction site and have to give the young ones an opportunity to work with you as your helpers for six weeks. You might have to contend with the issue of losing your valuable equipment and tools through misplacement, not knowing who took what and where a certain equipment could be at any given time.

Normally, this is not your challenge alone, I have seen people who have had to contend with this problem and the stress involved is huge. Everybody and especially if you own a construction site would want to have a clear inventory of all the equipment involved, while at the same time tracking the placement of each and every at risk youth for better accountability. However, it is easy to register a success story and I know of construction sites where many such job placements have successfully produced great minds who have gone ahead to make great strides despite the fact that they are within at risk youth bracket.

In the success story mentioned above, I noted that both the construction site owner and the youth given job placements had their own share of challenges which required to be addressed carefully for success to be registered. One of the challenges that the site owner had to contend with was to ensure that all his tools were in good shape at all time and that he could account for each and every one of them at the end of each and every day. On the other hand, the at risk youths also wanted to prove themselves and this involved hard work while at the same time giving proper accountability to the site owner and especially making sure that they did not only take the tools they needed but also were accountable at all times.

This helped in ensuring that the construction site run like a well-oiled machine and after years of working with different groups of youths under job placement, the owner registered a hundred percent success rate in ensuring that all his tools were intact, none was lost and those that needed repairs were repaired on time. It was however amazing that despite the fact that many other construction sites and companies had a long list of complaints regarding misplaced and lost equipment, the site owner registered on one such case throughout the year. This he attributed to the efficient use of two software namely fixed asset and check in/out software solution. I learnt that these two solutions were the wheel behind his success in keeping a proper inventory of all tools and equipment and not only so but that they are cost effective and dependable.

That apart, the mechanisms employed in the running of the company plus the hard work and accountability from at risk youths sharpened their skills in a way that positioned them in a better position for employment after their six weeks of job placement. Most of the youths who have gone through job placement in this construction company have gone ahead to land amazing opportunities in other construction sites and through their wise input, most of the companies where they are employed ends up embracing fixed asset and check in/out software solution for their use.

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Reviews of Some Youth Employment Programs

Posted in News

Unemployment is not just a problem that adults face. The youth of today are also affected by the poor state of the job market. Currently, 20% of youths are unemployed and not in school. Compared to those still in school and those who hold a stable job, this 20% is in danger of facing negative long term effects on their employment prospects and salary. The good news for unemployed youths is that many organizations and the government have recently been proposing initiatives that aim to reduce youth unemployment rates. I am actually writing this post to talk about some of these initiatives. More people should become aware of these proposals and push for their implementation.

One of the proposed programs for curbing youth unemployment is the introduction of a “labor market program” Through the labor market program, youths are continuously guided and given help with regard to employment issues. Youths are also given more priority and a few other benefits so that they are able to get employed without having to waste too much time. Another program proposed to deal with youth unemployment is the creation of a “youth employment fund.” With the creation of such a fund, all the incentives and funds which are meant to benefit the youths will be integrated into just one incentive program. This way, youths will be able to get much needed financial help in a more timely manner.

Arguably, the most promising proposal is the one which aims to create a financial education program. Under the financial education program, youths will be taught all about investment as well as other financial matters. Through the financial education program, youths who are over the age of majority will be taught to do binary options trading at This part of the program looks very promising because whether employed or unemployed, people can make a stable income through binary options trading. Doing it is very simple as traders only need to predict whether the values of assets go up or down to make a profit. Banc de Binary should also prove to be a good partner for this program as there are no banc de binary withdrawal problems - Banc de Binary has the best money withdrawal system among all binary options brokerages. With Banc de Binary’s trading platforms, the youths learning experience when it comes to dealing with assets will surely end up running smooth. Considering all of these things, the partnership should prove to be a very daring move on the part of the government – if it should succeed, many unemployed youths will be given the chance to earn a sound living.

The youth should not be facing unemployment problems, yet they are. Hopefully, at least one or two of the proposals mentioned in this post will be implemented. These proposals will surely go a long way towards curbing youth unemployment. The future will always be shaped by the youth, so it is only important that both the government and the private sector do what they can to help them. Hopefully, this article will get people to help push for the implementation of sound youth employment initiatives.

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Should You Buy Life Insurance As A Young Adult?

Posted in Youth Financial Issues

If you are a young adult the last thing on your mind is probably life insurance. What the heck do I need that for you might be saying! The majority of us do not begin to think about investing toward our future or our family’s future until about middle age when life is beginning to wind down and retirement is in the not so distant future. While we are still relatively young and carefree we seldom stop to consider what would happen if the unexpected and sometimes worst-case scenario events came to visit our lives and the impact they would have not just on us but on our loved ones as well. We think about buying into health insurance and automotive insurance policies because they impact us in the here and now, but we should also take time to think about how life insurance will help invest in the future as well.

The market for life insurance policies can be daunting and confusing without a doubt. You will probably find yourself asking questions such as:

What dollar amount should I invest in for life insurance?
What type of policy should I purchase, term, permanent, or whole life?
What monthly premium can I afford?
How long will it take for my policy to mature?
What benefits can I or my family collect on while I am still living?

The answers to these questions will be very different depending on what your income, expenses, and profession are. An individual who works in an office setting will likely not need the same coverage as someone who works with heavy machinery because their work environment carries less risk of injury. Another important consideration is if you have family members who are dependent upon you for support, if you do then you will want to safeguard their means of living.

It is also important to note that insurance companies look at important factors of risk when selling policies and base the cost on those risks. If you are young and in good health, the premiums on a life insurance policy will be significantly less than if you purchase in later years and health problems may have had a chance to manifest themselves and will make a policy not only more expensive but harder to obtain.

Many employers offer term life insurance benefits to their employees at excellent rates, but should you decide on additional coverage with living benefits where you can borrow from the equity you have paid into your plan to cover life anticipated or unexpected events you will want to research such coverage thoroughly. There are a variety of outlets to research and buy policies extra coverage should you choose, and the internet puts information at your fingertips. Before you buy, it may be an excellent idea to enlist the help of an experienced insurance agent to talk about circumstances specific to your lifestyle. They can help you decide whether to purchase and where to purchase to ensure a bright financial future. After all is said and done, if you are a young adult you will have many tough decisions ahead of you. It is part of growing up.

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How To Protect Your Kids From Fire Dangers

Posted in Youth Home Life

If you are a parent then you will likely face a child that plays with fire at some point in their life. To kids, fire is an interesting thing and it is fun to create. By the same token, fire is an extremely dangerous thing that can have grave consequences if not treated with respect. If you have kids in the home, you will want to follow the following tips to keep your children safe from fire fire.

Firefighting A Large BlazeFirst, you should absolutely have fire alarms in each room of your home. These are sometimes referred to as smoke detectors but they are essentially the same thing. The alarms should be installed very close to sleeping areas like bedrooms so that they will awake residents should a fire break out. As a general rule batteries for these smoke alarms should be replaced at least annually or per the recommendation from the manufacturer. However, perhaps a better way is to replace them during Daylight Savings Time. This is often used as a great time to remember to change the batteries in fire alarms. Also, you should perform some light maintenance on your fire alarms by keeping them free of dust and making sure they are operational.

If you have a fireplace in your home make sure that you keep it in good working order. Most people don’t realize that they need to perform basic maintenance on their fireplaces at least annually if not sooner. Minimally, you need to make sure all of the soot is cleaned from the chimney. The reason for this is that as you have fires, they soot rises and sticks to the inside of the chimney. This material is actually quite flammable so it needs to be cleaned out. If you can’t do it yourself make sure you call a professional chimney sweep.

Children should take part in a family evacuation plan. Sites like discuss how to have a family fire drill and this is imperative. Why? Because in the event of a fire children should know precisely how to exit the home, where the escape routes are, and alternative exits from the home. An educated child is a safe child so do not take this lightly. Teach your children about fire and particularly the dangers of fire in the home.

Also, as a parent one of your jobs is to keep an eye on your child’s behavior. You should look for signs of your children playing with fire. Things like burnt matches or the smell of smoke on your child are sure signs that something is going on. Matches or lighters found in your child’s room is another warning sign that should be investigated.

Perhaps the most important point of all of this is to discuss the dangers of fire with your children. Part of our duties as a parent is to inform our children about dangers to them and to keep them safe. Be honest with them and have a frank discussion about fire safety. It could end up saving their life, and yours. FEMA has a great website about how to talk to your children about the dangers of fire and it can be found here.

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Tips For Taking Your Children On An International Vacation

Posted in Youth Travel

If you have children then taking a family vacation can be quite an adventure. There are issues with kids traveling, particularly when they travel abroad. As you know, kids have lots of needs: food, sleep, entertainment, etc. Oftentimes this can lead to a lot of stress on your family vacation. Gone are the days, where you as a parent, can lounge about by the pool without a care in the world. All that being said, we intend to offer you some positives to taking the kids on your next vacation out of the country.

On the positive side taking a family trip abroad can be fairly cost effective – depending on where you are going of course. If you travel to a South American or Central American country then you can count on good prices for lodging and food. Traveling to say Costa Rica, you will find very nice hotels, lots of cheap eco-tourist activities, and very healthy and low cost food choices. Most Latin American countries have very reasonable prices and make it possible to take the whole family for a song (or at least a low cost low dollar vacation).

Costa Rica is actually a recommended vacation spot as several of our staff members here at have taken trips there. Almost unanimously, we recommend going to Manuel Antonio National Park which is a tropical paradise filled with wildlife, adventure, and fun for all ages. You can tour the jungle, see more wildlife than you can imagine, or visit the nearby white sand beaches. Yes it’s true – both a tropical jungle paradise as well as beach resort. How can you go wrong?

Eternal Rain ForestIf you are interested in outdoor activities then Latin American countries once again take the cake as far as variety, and cost. You can choose between ziplining (quite an experience by the way), nature walks, and take tours of the rain forest. Since we are a site that focuses on children, we highly recommend a trip to The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest which was started by a small group of children in Swedish countryside. Yes, you heard that right – A group of kids from Sweden! They were so impressed by the rainforest they started raising money to buy a small parcel of land, protect it, and continue raising money to continue. This is quite a story, and one that your kids might enjoy hearing. Activism is alive and well amongst the youth of our world.

Other choices for travel include Europe, the United States, or Asia. What would your kids like? Europe is a great choice for children as it is rather “civilized” and most countries speak English. This truly can help kids while traveling as they feel comfortable communicating with residents of the countries that you are traveling to. Of course safety should always be a concern when traveling with children and you should always be aware of your surroundings. Also, the Federal Aviation Administration has a webpage devoted to kids, and flight safety that we recommend you check out.

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How To Help A Teenager Get A Job

Posted in Youth Careers & Jobs

As you may or may not know, young adult unemployment levels are quite high. Why is this? Quite honestly there is a lot of competition for jobs in this bad economy atmosphere. So, how can you help a teen find a job? Here are some of the best tips on setting them up for success!

First, you will want to have your teen jobseeker craft a resume. This is usually a stumbling block for most teens as they don’t have experience, or at least much experience to speak of, and they are at a loss as to what to list for an employment background. The key here is to be honest. It’s a fact that everyone has to start somewhere and teens usually don’t have much in the way of work experience or job history. So, you will want to list things like education, sports teams, volunteer or charity work. If by chance you haven’t done any of those things, just list things like your interests, schools you have attended, and what type of job you are looking for. Keep in mind, this will really set you apart from those other teens who don’t have a resume. The potential employer will see the effort you put into your resume and will think that you are a higher quality, more attention to detail candidate than those without a resume.


Now that you have a resume, you will want to begin applying for jobs. As a teen your options for jobs are scarce. Most start with jobs in the fast food industry or other repetitive style environments. The good news here is that fast food establishments are usually hiring and they will almost always give a chance to a new employee who is a teenager. So, start applying for as many as these types of jobs as you can. You should start with those jobs close to your home so that it is convenient to get to and from work. As a teen, you might not have a car or other transportation so a job within walking distance would be ideal.

Now that you have applied for jobs you need to get ready for the interview. Often interviews are very scary for those who have never been through one before. Just remember, they are interviewing you because they want to hire you. They need the help or they wouldn’t waste their time talking to you. So, be ready to answer any and all questions honestly. If you need further help with the interview process, here is a great resource by the Canadian government to help you prepare for a job interview.

If you have already finished your public education, and are looking to actually start a career as opposed to getting into fast food, there are some programs available depending on what you are interested in. If you would like to learn how to drive a forklift you could get certified fairly easily at a site like or, you could also attend a trade school of some kind. Keep in mind however, that this veers away from finding a job right away, however through most of these programs the jobs do come after successfully completing the program.

To summarize, if you are a youth looking for a job you should follow the above steps as a reference guide. Get your resume, apply, and go through the interview! Don’t like the types of jobs you are applying for? Then get some education from a college, trade school, or certification program. Any way you slice it having a job is a great goal for any youth.

Photo by Ann Arbor District Library / CC BY

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