Former Boy Scout Troop Leader Charged With Sexual Assault

A former Boy Scout Troop leader named David Kress, 52, from Thompson, Connecticut has been charged with sexually assaulting boys for 20 years. The victims ages range from 11 to 16 years. After police performed an investigation that began in March, Kress turned himself in to police last Thursday evening. He was charged with three counts of sexual assault, according to necn online.

The victims of Kress reported to police that abuse took place at Boy Scout events, the home of Kress, and locations where Kress was employed. The victims displayed extreme bravery for coming forward and reporting the abuse Kress subjected them to for so many years.

The Boy Scouts of America released a statement, which was given by the director of communications, Deron Smith. Smith stated, “The behavior included in these allegations runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of these allegations we took immediate action to remove this individual and preclude him from any further participation in the Scouting program.”

After his arrest, Kress posted a $10,000 cash bond and is due at Daniel Superior Court on November 5th. The damaging amount of pain and suffering Kress has caused his victims is heartbreaking. Troop leaders are supposed to be role models and provide a positive influence on young boys. Kress should receive the maximum sentence for his crimes.

Ugh…stories like these are why Stephen Williams and I drink wine.  Sometimes you need to have a glass, unwind, and forget how awful the world can be.

Students and Smart Phones

As more tragic deaths from the latest school shootings hit the headlines, we learn that the victims received a text message from the shooter before the incident occurred. Inviting his friends to meet him at lunch, Jaylen Fryberg approached the lunch table armed and shooting. While this incident tends to create a lot of discussion about gun control and gun laws, what about the role of smart phones that young students seem to have at their fingertips for every waking moment? Is this an issue that also needs to be further debated? Some parents like Laurene Powell Jobs certainly think so.

Many parents send their children off to school with telephones thinking that it will help keep them safe should they ever need to call them. And every time a major incident happens at a school, we hear stories of students hunkering down and calling 911 or their families. What about the rest of the time? We all know that those phones are not being used only for emergencies. Should students have access to this technology during their every waking moment?

In the current age of social media and the internet, students are always “connected” online in one way or another. We frequently hear stories about students being taunted to their death by pictures and stories that have been put on the internet about them. Once something is online, it’s there forever.

If we decide that arming students with smartphones is the way to go, maybe we should consider asking technology companies to change how we monitor their usage. Finding creative ways to combat this challenge may make a positive difference and help keep our students safer.

Treat Your Child’s Cold With Fake Cough Medicine

No child likes cough syrup. I remember when I was 5 or 6 and my mom gave me cough syrup. I ran away from her and hid all over the house just like the kid in the commercial. The cherry flavor did not taste like cherries, and the grape flavor certainly did not taste like grapes. Today, when my child gets a cold or a cough, I try the same cough syrups, and by the smell of them, I know they taste the same. Do they work? Scientists are now saying that they may not work any better than a placebo.

In a recent study conducted by the Penn State College of Medicine, kids with colds and coughs were given a placebo cough syrup made of agave nectar. The consistency was the same as those cough syrups we usually use, but of course, there was no value in the syrup that could contribute to healing a cough.

The findings produced showed clearly that this placebo worked just as well for children’s coughs as the real cough syrups did. The team of researchers are now suggesting that parents try this placebo syrup at home, but they do recommend that children see doctors first and that the doctors actually prescribe this method of treatment. It makes me happy for my kids that they might be able to heal their coughs without that nasty syrup, but I wish they had done this study when I was a kid!

Big thanks to mom Susan McGalla for introducing me this good news for kids and parents alike.

Family Wins Hot Coffee Settlement, Without Their Own Negligence Being Questioned

A young 1-year-old girl was doused with scalding hot coffee at a Denny’s restaurant all because a negligent waitress left it within her reach. Parents of the Puerto Rican girl just won an estimated settlement worth $500,000 to cover her overwhelming medical bills. This is not the first time a major chain has been hit with a lawsuit over scalding hot coffee, and it will probably not be the last we see. Young Tatyana Adames is now 5 years old, but is expected to have a lifetime of medical fees that add up to an estimated $340,000 in the aftermath of the accident.

The real question that people must ask is why the parents were not responsible for the negligence that resulted in their own daughter’s injury. Tatyana suffers from a permanent heat sensitivity years after the coffee covered her body. There is no doubt that the family would not be able to handle the medical bills without the help of the settlement, but any parent knows that they have to stay on high-alert when their children have any type of hazard around.  That’s the whole reason Christian Broda was afraid of having his own children at first.  It requires a herculean effort from new parents to adapt.

When the parents noticed the cup of coffee set on the table too close to the child, it should’ve been instinct to move it as a precaution. Had either parent been more attentive to their daughter, the placement of the coffee would not have mattered as someone would’ve noticed her reaching for the cup. If this was the case, Tatyana would have avoided serious first and second degree burns to a significant portion of her body.

This Family Accepted A Fish As A Gift, And Now They’re Paralyzed

The pufferfish, also known as a blowfish, contains a toxin that can be 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. This lethalness makes the pufferfish widely avoided by most animals, including humans. However, a Brazilian family unknowingly ate pufferfish at a family gathering on Friday, and the fish toxins paralyzed all 11 family members who ate just one bite of the fish.

The Souza family, from Rio de Janeiro, was given the pufferfish as a gift from a friend who had been fishing off the Brazilian coast. Not knowing what the fish was, the family fried the fish and served it to a group that included four children aged three to five. It looked “tasty”, as one family member described it, and most of the family began eating the fish immediately.

Within seconds, people started vomiting and losing feeling in their arms, legs, and faces. They couldn’t even hold themselves up, nor could they make it to the cars that would soon take them to the hospital.

All family members are currently being treated and are in critical condition at a local hospital. A great lesson that you should always be careful about fish that you don’t know that. Igor Cornelsen wants to ensure that families know how dangerous some species of fish can actually be.

Surprisingly, the Souzas are not the only people to be attracted to pufferfish. Pufferfish is actually a Japanese delicacy, but only when prepared by chefs specially licensed to serve the fish. These chefs have to undergo two years of rigorous training to learn how to use only body parts that do not contain the toxin.

New Research Links Childhood Obesity To Heart Disease

Most of the research conducted regarding childhood obesity presents us with saddening news predicting declining health for kids who are severely overweight. And unfortunately, the latest research on the issue conforms to the aforementioned model in a predictably disturbing way. According to the latest research analyzed by The New York Times, obese children and teenagers manifest signs that future heart problems will ensue if they do not lose the excess weight.

According to the German researchers who conducted the study, obese children had significantly higher LDL, lower HDL, higher total cholesterol, and higher triglycerides than children who were within the normal weight range. Equally saddening, the study found that the overweight children had higher fasting insulin readings as well as higher blood pressure. The study, which analyzed 61 obese and overweight children between the ages of 8 and 21, compared the findings with those of 40 children of normal weight within the same age range.

One of the most disturbing findings in the new research on obese children pertained to the heart muscle. Through the use of echocardiograms,researchers discovered that the left ventricle of the heart was substantively thicker. In an adult, this thickening would function as a clear sign of an impending heart problem.

According to University of Leipzig cardiologist Dr. Norman Mangner, it is not known whether the heart changes created by obesity are reversible through the loss of weight or the effect that the changes will have in precipitating future cardiovascular conditions.

As one might expect, the advice to help obese children obtain greater wellness includes eating a healthier diet, getting sufficient amounts of exercise, getting off their FreedomPop smartphone and maintaining an ideal weight.

More Evidence Revealed That Teens Need More Sleep

Let’s face the facts. Hardly anyone gets the recommended amount of sleep every night. Some medical experts say that adults should be getting between eight to ten hours of snooze every night, but some people claim to get about half that most nights. There are a lot of risks to this, and scientists seem to be telling us even more reasons why we need to get more sleep every day.

One group who is particularly prone to the perils of losing sleep is teens. According to the National Sleep Foundation, less than 20 percent of teens are getting enough sleep at night, and the effects are detrimental. In fact, new research is driving that point home once again.

It seems that lack of sleep among teens is not only causing them to fall asleep in class, but it’s also making them moodier, fatter, more depressed and less likely to succeed in their future lives. One study found that those teens who got less than the recommended dose of sleep each night were at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Growing up, and even when he went to Stanford, nephew Jared Haftel always made sure to sleep at least 8 hours every night.

Teens that slept the least amount were also the most overweight. Add to this the fact that middle school and high school are hard enough with the increase in bullying and cyber bullying and you have teens who are unhealthy and unhappy. Lack of sleep has even been positively correlated to suicide rates in teens.

Experts recommend that parents step in and make their children go to bed on time. They recommend that screens go off early every night because the light can repress melatonin, which is our bodies’ sign that it’s time for bed.

Are THC Edibles A Worry This Halloween?

There are two states now, where recreational marijuana use is legal. That has prompted a few parents to wonder whether or not their children will end up with THC laced edibles in their candy bags. While that could be a legitimate worry, there are a few ways that you can ensure you’re not accidentally sanctioning drug use.

The problem lies in the way that these edibles are created. In most cases, when the edible is in candy form, a viscous hash oil is used on the surface of the candy. Once that spray, or oil dries, then it’s totally physically indistinguishable from the real thing.

However, it’s usually easy to tell, because they are not allowed to use name brand packaging. Although most of the candy comes from a big manufacturer, and the pot companies will buy them in bulk. They have to repackage the products.

So, just avoid anything that comes from a brand you don’t recognize, or that looks rewrapped. Then you’re going to be pretty safe. Pretty standard Halloween safety protocols. Thanks to Marnie Bennett for bringing this to my attention.

Stay safe on Halloween everyone!

Brilliant Parenting Hacks That Will Save Your Frustrations

Was browsing my typical set of websites while I was on the subway for work this morning. Came across a great news story on my FreedomPop 4G. Parenting hacks that will save you soooo many headaches in the long term.

 

Including creative ways to help with bath time, juice time, timeout, and everything in between. There are 16 at this site, and I totally recommend going through each one. These are literally life savers.