Learning curve

Summer can be a challenging time for parents and kids. The National Summer
Learning Association says most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math computation skills over summer break. Keep those brains sharp through summer by practicing math skills with flash cards and trivia games.

Using water wisely

It’s no secret that water is essential to the well-being of pretty much every life form on Earth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States per day, with each American using 100 gallons. And it’s no wonder we use so much our bodies are made up of between 55-78 percent water.

A quick tip to reduce your water footprint: Per a 2014 study published in the journal PNAS, nearly 30 percent of the water we use comes from flushing our toilet. A low-flow toilet uses just 1.6 gallons per flush, less than half that of a standard toilet.

Summer safety

With a schedule full of family gatherings and outdoor activities during the summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these tips to have fun and stay safe:

  • Fireworks can cause severe burns even sparklers can reach above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Attend a display run by community professionals instead of using them at home.
  • Avoid dressing your child in bright, floral prints, as these can attract bees and other stinging insects.
  • Children love to help mom and dad with yard work, but keep the little ones away from mowers and other dangerous lawn care tools. Instead, have them plant seeds or water the garden.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated.

Mosquito sweet tooth

There is some evidence that mosquitoes like sweet blood. A report done by Rush University Medical Center says mosquitoes really do have preferences when it comes to whom they bite, according to the Entomological Society of America. This reaction may occur due to high levels of cholesterol, certain acids and concentrations of steroids. These factors cause smells that can attract the female mosquito, which needs bloods protein to nourish her developing eggs.

Less tech, more sleep

Staying connected day and night to emails and social media through your smart phone can keep you in the know. The Pew Research Centers Internet & American Life Project reported in January 2014 that 44 percent of cell owners have slept with their phone near the bed for easy access to calls, texts and updates during the night. According to a report from the Michigan State University Department of Management, this habit can also deprive you of precious sleep, leaving you feeling sluggish and groggy the next day. Their suggestion? Turn off cellphones and laptops before retiring for the night to eliminate those midnight emails and bright computer screens. The goal is to reduce the mental fatigue experienced the next morning.