Marked for Life

Most people accumulate minor scars in the course of their childhood and while they may occasionally be unsightly, they are usually unnoticeable. However, there are times when an injury is severe enough to leave scars that are disfiguring. In a society that values regular features and smooth skin, scars can have a deep psychological impact on an affected individual, lowering self-esteem and promoting humiliation.

Aside from the aesthetic aspect, scars can also lead to limited mobility and function. Burn accidents can twist limbs, fuse fingers, and damage tendons necessary for both macro and micro movements. Compound fractures can also impede a person’s ability to walk normally or have a full range of motion even when fully healed due to scar formation on bones, tendons and joints. These types of severe injury and scarring may require multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy to correct, and even then function is seldom fully restored.

Such accidents do happen, and it is unfortunate. But when it occurs because of someone’s negligence, then it becomes doubly horrific, because in all probability it was preventable. Some of the most common causes of scarring include:

  • Work accidents
  • Surgical error
  • Automobile accidents
  • Defective products
  • Electrical or chemical fires

Even when victims of these types of third-party negligence survive their ordeal, they are marked for life. Such reckless conduct must be punished by making the responsible party pay for the harm they had done. While nothing can erase the pain and suffering that individuals have endured from a scarring or broken bone injury, pursuing a lawsuit can help provide the financial compensation necessary to pursue recovery.

4 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy and Like It

If I know anyone who’s a picky eater, I’d definitely have to say it’s my son. Typically, if something is good for Tommy, he doesn’t want to eat it. Luckily, I’ve stumbled upon ways to get him more excited about and involved in mealtimes. If your kids are picky eaters like mine, try some of these ideas to get them to enjoy eating healthy.

One of the best ways to get a kid to eat something is to let them help you prepare it. Even if they do something as simple as adding a sauce or cracking an egg, that minimal involvement in the process of making a meal is often enough to get them excited about eating it.

eating healthy

You can also make fruits and veggies, foods that kids are notorious for rejecting, more appealing by adding a slight amount of sugar to them. They say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and that holds for veggies as well. Using dipping sauces is also incredibly helpful. Try using salsas or hummus to expose your kids to different kinds of foods and the wonderful world of dips and condiments. As a kid, I absolutely hated carrots, but when my mom offered them up with a little bit of ranch dip, I couldn’t turn them away.

In the same vein as adding condiments to foods they don’t like, you can also add these foods into those that they do. For example, adding onions to a meatloaf or including vegetables in a pasta can get your kids to eat their veggies without even realizing what they’ve done.

Kids are often afraid of new foods, so introduce them slowly. Talk with your kids to find out what they like and why. This can help you decide which foods to try to add to their diet, which can widen their acceptance of other foods, even those they’ve previously rejected.

Remember that some people simply don’t like certain foods, so don’t take it as a defeat when some of these ideas fail. Just know that your child’s tastes may one day change, and they may one day grow to love those healthy foods that they once resisted.

Stressing Over Overtime?

Most states do not have their own rules and regulations governing overtime pay. Instead, the regulations imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply. What does this mean for overtime claims in individual states?

This fact actually makes it less complicated for overtime claims to be made. Under the FLSA, employees are divided into non-exempt and exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are paid 1.5 times their hourly wage as overtime for all hours they work over and above 40 hours a week. The FLSA supersedes any company rule or policy which prohibits the rendering of overtime, or requires prior approval for overtime work. If a non-exempt employee does work beyond the 40 hours a week, he or she is entitled to overtime pay. It should be noted that the FLSA rules on non-exempt employees apply only to “white-collar” or office-based employees. Other types of employees are governed by different state or federal statutes, whichever applies.

Exempt employees are those whose job description and/or wage level renders them ineligible to receive overtime pay. These employees are not entitled to overtime pay because the nature of their work is considered a salaried (monthly-basis) position rather than on an hourly wage. In consequence, they are also exempt from certain rules that govern employees paid by the hour. Employees who fall under this category include:

  • Executives
  • Administrators
  • Professionals
  • Outside sales employees
  • Some computer-related employees
  • Highly compensated employees (annual compensation of $100,000 or more)
  • Blue Collar Workers
  • Police
  • Fire Fighters
  • Paramedics
  • Other First Responders

There are specific criteria for these FLSA exemptions, but can sometimes vary based on an individual’s position and job description. Fortunately, individuals who have been denied the fair and full compensation they have worked for may be able to take action against their employers to recover unpaid overtime wages.

Listeria-Contaminated Meat Recalled

Louisiana meat packing company Manda Fine Meats issued a massive recall of its products yesterday, a first in the company’s 65-year history, after learning that its products may be contaminated with listeria, a bacteria that can have life-threatening effects on humans.

The recall affects over 230 tons of meat, including turkey, pastrami, roast beef, ham, and corned beef. These products were distributed across a huge area that includes Texas, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia.

meat recallThe company is offering cash refunds to individuals who bought recalled meats and encourages customers to return the meats to the stores where they were purchased. Potentially affected meats will have a sell-by date on the packaging between May 13, 2013 and July 2, 2013.

Listeria is a bacteria that can cause headaches, muscle aches, confusion, and loss of balance. Infections are most likely to appear in pregnant women or those whose immune systems are compromised.

Remember to keep your eyes open for food recalls, since using contaminated ingredients in your cooking is a recipe for disaster!


Botox: Killer or Fountain of Youth?

The answer is: both. Botox is formulated from a neurotoxin (specifically botulinum toxin A) produced by Clostridium botulinum. When ingested in food, such as improperly handled meat, the toxin leads to a condition called botulism, which in serious cases leads to respiratory failure in humans and animals. The first sign of botulism is paralysis of the facial muscles, which is precisely the effect of Botox injections, but in a controlled way.

The therapeutic uses of Botox have been well-established since the 1960s. The use of Botox as a cosmetic treatment, however, only received US Food and Drug Administration approval in 2002. Other medical applications received FDA approval in 1989. The most common usage for Botox includes treatment of:

  • Blepharospasm
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Severe underarm sweating
  • Strabismus
  • Wrinkles
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)

As mentioned earlier, Botox is a neurotoxin that paralyzes specific muscles or blocks neurotransmission, but the effects are usually temporary. Treatments are effective for up to four months in some cases, such as wrinkle removal, and require regular applications.

The rationale behind Botox is relatively simple: prevention of certain muscles from moving. Wrinkles develop through the regular contraction of certain muscles that become more pronounced with age and loss of skin elasticity. What Botox does is to paralyze the muscles in the forehead, for example, to keep them moving and continually creasing the skin. Over time with regular treatment, the depth of the wrinkles will decrease. Any remaining creases can be smoothened out using “fillers.”

The application of Botox may seem like a simple enough procedure, but it is best administered by a medical doctor specializing in cosmetic procedures or a dermatologist. There are cases when complications may arise. Botox is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, those on blood-thinning medication or certain food supplements, and those with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

What You Should Know About Nose Jobs

Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, is a surgical procedure for reshaping the nose by altering the bones and cartilage that make it up. It can make a nose bigger, smaller, thinner, wider, change the angle, remove defects, or repair damage. In some cases, rhinoplasty is necessary to remove obstructions or to correct the set of a nose after it has been broken. In most cases, however, it is elective and cosmetic surgery.

Most people who are unhappy with their noses think of rhinoplasty as a way to solve their problem, and if it goes as expected it most likely will. While their problem may not be as bad as that of Edmond Rostand’s character Cyrano de Bergerac who hid his suffering under a bantering or belligerent attitude, it can still have a significant impact on their personal and sometimes professional lives. Unfortunately, nose jobs don’t always go as expected. There are a lot of well-known botched nose jobs that illustrate just how bad it can get, and highlight the importance of finding a reputable, experienced plastic surgeon.

Rhinoplasty is usually done by a specialist trained in plastic surgery or otolaryngology (ear-nose-throat specialist), for good reasons. It is very easy to do a bad nose job because it is right in your face, so to speak. Even the slightest error is immediately apparent, making the whole face look odd or off-kilter. And when things go wrong, a minimum wait of 12 months is necessary before most surgeons will perform a corrective procedure, so the patient will have to live with that mistake for that long. Hopefully, the next time will go better, but there’s really no guarantee.

Even when the surgeon is extremely skilled, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong. In some cases, the patient doesn’t heal well, or an infection develops. If you must have your nose done, make sure you get the very best doctor available if you want a good chance of getting the desired results.