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choosing the right sunscreen for your family

Choosing the best sunscreen for your family

FAM, health By April 1, 2022 6 Comments

Choosing the best sunscreen for your family isn’t easy. The number of brands – new and old – packing the shelves seems endless and researchers are constantly churning out new findings on what ingredients are deemed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for our health. For safe, effective protection for your family, here are 7 tips to keep in mind when choosing your sunscreen this summer.


Pool Safety for Kids and Summer Fun

FAM, health, kids By July 7, 2021 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Summer fun happens in the pool. For all the fun that happens there, pool safety for kids is really important. Keeping safety in mind is the best way to avoid joining the scary statistics around drowning. The dangers of pools and swimming shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ve compiled some handy tips so you can enjoy the summer fun.


What to Expect at Mass Covid Vaccination Centres in Toronto

FAM, health By March 17, 2021 7 Comments

I had the honour of accompanying my father-in-law on the first day vaccinations opened at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We booked him in the day the system went live, and I couldn’t find anything anywhere on the internet about what to expect at Toronto’s mass-vaccination spots so decided to write some tips so you can plan the visit. Where to park? Should I bring a book? Can he walk the distance? Before I go through it, I must say that the experience was sterile, super-friendly, and very efficient. There were far fewer people being vaccinated than I expected, but on the first day I suspect they were testing the systems and protocols.

Teeth straightening orthodontist

Joining the Ortho Club

FAM, health By October 1, 2020 1 Comment

There are a couple of things that have always scared me a bit. Maybe it was lack of knowledge. Maybe it was fear of the unknown. Possibly just being copasetic. I remember browsing the course catalogue for university and not knowing exactly what engineering was. Seriously. Similarly, when friends got braces in high school I would just smile and nod. My teeth were straight enough – the top ones anyway. Everyone else was part of some club who got dismissed early for their ‘ortho’ appointments and I just sat and watched them leave, as if they were venturing to mars. I should have done some research. Little did I know that braces aren’t just cosmetic. Crooked teeth and overbites can affect speech, jaw stress and cause unnecessary wear on other teeth as time passes.

It's time for Contact Lenses

My Hiking Wake-up Call. It’s time for Contact Lenses

beauty, FAM, GEAR, health By July 29, 2020 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

As a woman and a mother there are a few things that top my priority list.  One is health for the whole family – being active, having regular checkups and doing a mental health scan every so often.  The other big priority I have is to be a well-rounded, confident woman.  My kids need to see that.  I want to be a role model and inspiration.

Blue and Gunmetal Springfree Trampoline

How Play Changes Perspective

FAM, health By April 29, 2020 No Comments

Perspective as parents can be tough, and even harder for kids to gain. We continually tell our kids things can always get worse. This is some ethereal notion that makes the little ones roll their eyes and tell us we are overreacting and doing a guilt trip on them because they can’t possibly send their broccoli to the kids in another country. Once I wished that the next generation could experience something so immense, it would give us all appreciation and curb feelings of entitlement. I should be careful what I wish for.

Living As if it's the Great Depression

Living As if it’s the Great Depression

FAM, health By March 23, 2020 1 Comment

I grew up in Nova Scotia, and even though my parents were early baby boomers, born in 1945, they lived like it was 1930. My grandparents and great aunt had suffered and found no reason to change their frugal behaviour once the economy had turned around. As a little girl, I was baffled that my grandmother used each tea bag twice, and now I am so very glad for all of the lessons I was given. Frugality is also the same type of behaviour that reduces greenhouse gasses – reducing, reusing and recycling – so I have been doing a few of these things for years. Now, not knowing if the sugar supply could dry up or toilet paper is a past luxury, I’m wracking my brain to remember how my grandmother lived. Every day was about saving and making a little go a long way.

17 Things You can Do to Help Others Through the Covid-19 Pandemic

17 Things You can Do to Help Others Through the Covid-19 Pandemic

FAM, health By March 17, 2020 1 Comment

Every day, the news seems worse and worse. I know it will soon get better, though, and hopefully we can all thrive from lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Caremongering” is a new term that is now being thrown around and it makes my heart soar. Above all, working as a community and helping others could be the silver lining. Here are 17 things you can do to help others through the Covid-19 pandemic. (Washing hands and staying at home is assumed).

guide your family through self-quarantine.

How Not to Go Bananas During Self-Quarantine

FAM, health By March 13, 2020 3 Comments

It’s hard to write about or think of anything else besides Covid-19 right now. News flows in hourly, and at the moment, my family will have to self-quarantine for 14 days on return from Miami. The thought of this actually makes my heart soar. Time is a gift. Togetherness is an even bigger one. But avoiding the pitfalls of endless gaming in a dark basement will be imperative. Here is my plan to come out of Coronavirus avoidance with deeper connections and enhanced knowledge.  This is my two cents on how to guide your family through self-quarantine.

Home Lead Testing Kits

Home Lead Testing Kits

FAM, health By February 22, 2020 Tags: , , No Comments

Recent recalls of toys containing excessive amounts of lead have resulted in an increase in the promotion and use of home lead testing kits. Health Canada’s Product Safety Laboratory has evaluated a number of home lead test kits available on the Canadian marketplace and found that the results they give are not fully reliable. Test results vary considerably from one brand of test kit to another and are also affected by the type of product or material being tested.

Unreliable Lead Testing Kits

Lead is a soft, heavy metal which is poisonous when absorbed into the body. It is a naturally occurring element that is found in trace amounts everywhere in the human environment. Lead is especially toxic to young children, and can cause serious learning and behavioural problems even at very low exposure levels. Regulations under Health Canada’s Hazardous Products Act restrict the amount of lead which can be used in children’s products, such as toys and children’s jewellery.

Since the test kits indicate the presence of lead by a colour change, the results may be affected by pigments present in the tested product. Also, the test kit may not detect lead in a product which has a protective or decorative coating. The test results are hard to interpret since a positive reading does not necessarily mean that there is enough lead in the product to create an exposure risk. The kits have a limited shelf life, and performance can be affected by the age of the kits.

Because of these concerns, Health Canada does not recommend the use of home lead test kits by consumers.

What You Can Do to Protect Children From Lead

If you suspect a toy, children’s jewellery item, or other product may contain lead, immediately remove it from the reach of children.

  • If the product is low cost, it can be thrown away in normal household waste.
  • If the product is not a low-cost item, contact the manufacturer or retailer regarding your lead content concerns.
  • Remove from children’s reach any product which has paint peeling off any of its surfaces. Children may eat peeling paint containing lead.
  • If you believe your child has swallowed an object containing lead, seek immediate medical attention. There is a serious risk of severe or fatal lead poisoning if an object containing high amounts of lead remains in the body.
  • If your child has sucked or chewed regularly on a product which you think may contain lead, ask your doctor to test your child’s blood for lead.
  • Check Health Canada’s website regularly for up-to-date product recall information. You can also check company Web sites for information on products they have recalled.