Cost of day­care the same as col­lege tuition, study finds

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN 360 LIFE - By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­

Child­care Aware of Amer­i­can (yes, it’s a group that wants you to be aware of how much child care costs and change that) has some in­ter­est­ing sta­tis­tics for the new group of par­ents: Mil­len­ni­als.

In Texas, the av­er­age cost of hav­ing an in­fant in a child care cen­ter is $9,207. The cost of hav­ing an in­fant and a 4-year-old (a com­pletely plau­si­ble sce­nario) is $17,020. Turns out the cost of pub­lic col­lege tuition is al­most the ex­act same as the in­fant child care rate: $9,221 a year.

Par­ents who are mar­ried are spend­ing 11.5 per­cent of their in­come on in­fant care and 21.3 per­cent of their in­come on care for an in­fant and a 4-year-old. Sin­gle par­ents are spend­ing 38.5 per­cent and 71.2 per­cent.

And now you know why you have no money. Of course, as any par­ent knows, once you send your chil­dren off to school, even pub­lic school, you never re­ally seem to see that money re­turn to your bot­tom line. Soon there are ex­tra cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties and school fees that seem to take away the money you thought you’d now have.

Spring clean by re­cy­cling kids’ toys

Oh, I know there are toy boxes all over Austin that are full of bro­ken toys that don’t work, haven’t been thought of in years and will never see their for­mer glory again. While you’re Marie Kon­do­ing your home af­ter watch­ing the guru of home or­ga­ni­za­tion speak at SXSW, con­sider that those bro­ken toys that no longer spark joy at your house, can spark joy else­where.

Nat­u­ral per­sonal care prod­uct man­u­fac­turer Tom’s of Maine is work­ing with re­cy­cler Ter­raCy­cle to help you re­cy­cle those toys. If you go to the Tom’s of Maine Web­site, www.tom­sof­ less­waste, you can en­ter your con­tact in­for­ma­tion and be given a free ship­ping la­bel in your email. Then you just put your bro­ken toys — up to 10 pounds — in a box with the la­bel.

Your bro­ken toys will be re­cy­cled by Ter­raCy­cle to cre­ate park benches and pic­nic ta­bles.

It’s a win-win. You get the toys out of your house, Ter­raCy­cle and Tom’s of Maine gets to take toys of the land­fills and cre­ate the ma­te­ri­als for some­thing use­ful. Tom’s of Maine also has a #LessWasteChal­lenge on its site to en­cour­age peo­ple to re­duce waste by 1 pound a week. So far 198 peo­ple in Texas have taken the chal­lenge. New York is kick­ing our ecofriendly booties, though, with 463 pledges.

Keep poi­sons away from kids with these tips

It was Na­tional Poi­son Pre­ven­tion Week. These re­minders from the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Poi­son Cen­ter might seem ob­vi­ous, but more than a mil­lion times ev­ery year kids in the U.S. younger than 6 are ex­posed to poi­son.

Know what to do if this hap­pens to you: ■ Call 1-800-222-1222, or ■ Log on to poi­ to use the we­bPOISONCONTROL® tool (https://triage. we­ for on­line guid­ance based on age, sub­stance, and amount swal­lowed.

■ Text POI­SON to 484848 and you can save the con­tact in­for­ma­tion for poi­son con­trol or down­load the con­tact in­for­ma­tion at http://vcrd. co/poi­son/4222. Re­mem­ber to share it with any­one who is watch­ing your chil­dren.

Fol­low these steps from the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Poi­son Cen­ter to keep your child save:

■ Up, up and away! Keep med­i­ca­tions and poi­sonous house­hold prod­ucts out of your child’s sight and reach. Locked up is best.

■ Avoid con­tainer trans­fer. Some of the most dev­as­tat­ing poi­son­ings oc­cur when toxic prod­ucts are poured into food or bev­er­age con­tain­ers, then mis­taken for food or drink.

■ Read the la­bel and fol­low the di­rec­tions. Mis­us­ing prod­ucts has dire con­se­quences.

■ Use child-re­sis­tant pack­ag­ing. It’s not child­proof, but so much bet­ter than noth­ing. Sorry it’s in­con­ve­nient, but us­ing it could save a life.

■ Keep but­ton bat­ter­ies away from chil­dren. Swal­lowed bat­ter­ies can burn through your child’s esoph­a­gus and cause per­ma­nent in­jury or even death.

■ Keep laun­dry pods out of your child’s reach. They are as toxic as they are col­or­ful and squishy.

We­bMD now study­ing women who use its preg­nancy app

We­bMD is ask­ing women who are preg­nant and use its preg­nancy app to help gather in­for­ma­tion about preg­nancy risks.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol es­ti­mates that in the United States about 65,000 women a year have se­vere preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions and about 600 died be­cause of those com­pli­ca­tions.

We­bMD will be ask­ing preg­nant women to share some de­tails in­clud­ing med­i­ca­tion use, vac­ci­na­tions, pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, blood pres­sure and weight change, di­ag­no­sis dur­ing preg­nancy, as well as de­tails about the birth af­ter its hap­pened in­clud­ing size of the baby and an med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions. They can also con­nect de­vices like their Fit­Bit to record the amount of steps they are get­ting dur­ing the day and the amount of sleep they at night.

The We­bMD Preg­nancy App is avail­able on iTunes for free.

Be­cause laun­dry de­ter­gent pods pose a haz­ard for young chil­dren, they should be kept away from chil­dren’s reach.

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