Learning Through Play: The Power of Toys

Every parent knows that their children’s proper development is their #1 priority. But did you know how they play is significant for their development? There’s a reason why Montessori wooden toys and other accessories are in such high demand, after all.

Even while they’re infants, children discover themselves and the world around them as they play. And you can guide their young minds toward more efficient expansion by ensuring they’ve got the right surroundings and tools for beneficial playing.

Educational toys are crucial in this process – they give children some of the most elementary skills they’ll need and use throughout the rest of their lives. Through interactions with their toys, they learn their first notions of cause and effect, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. And these toys help them learn about sharing, increase their imagination and creativity, and develop essential skills – including gross and fine motor skills.

So, let’s take a look at how children benefit from well-designed educational toys from an early age.

Playing And Development For Babies

Did you know that kids start having their first beneficial interactions with toys when they’re just one month old?

And within the first year, they’ll gain a lot from the sensory play that stimulates and nurtures the development of their senses. As your kid keeps growing, they’ll also become better at hand-eye coordination – which is when you can start introducing more interactive toys.

In this period, children can benefit from their first problem-solving puzzles and toys – stuff that will introduce cause and effect and similar concepts they’ll need later in life. Plus, every time they figure out how something works and master a toy, they’ll experience their first confidence boosts that help build their general confidence in the long run.

Naturally, toys that help them develop movement like mobiles, portable toys, blocks, stackers, and learning centers they can crawl around are all beneficial as well.

Playing And Development For Toddlers

Once your baby crosses that vital one-year threshold, you will notice they’ve become incredibly mobile. They’re finally feeling the freedom to explore the world around them – with enough curiosity to keep them bumbling around for hours at a time.

At this stage, you can also help them learn coordination and balance by introducing the proper toys – while also satiating the curiosity they’ve developed with their mobility. As your toddler starts walking, you can also start introducing them to numbers – for instance, by counting their steps. Naturally, they probably won’t master the concept of numbers for a long time – but they’ll become familiar with the associated terms, even if the meaning still escapes them at this particular age.

Plenty of themed playsets serve as excellent educational toys for one-year-olds. Not only are they more attractive if they look like their favourite cartoon shows – but they also help them develop crucial recognition skills. And it goes beyond just stuff they’ve seen on TV or YouTube. If the theme of a playset revolves around animals, you can practice repeating the sounds they make, or describing their looks.

The latter also helps kids with language development, and they’ll start learning the names of shapes and colors. So, feel free to start using walkers, themed books and toys, push cars, and ride and stride toys at this stage.

Two Years And Beyond

When your kids become more active after the age of two, physical play becomes a more critical part of their learning experience. You can start showing them how to ride a safe tricycle and teach them about the vital importance of safety with stuff like helmets. Don’t underestimate the importance of this process – embedding the importance of safety into their minds at such an early age will do wonders for them later in life.

Plus, this is the age at which you can start giving them toys that focus on cognitive skills even more. Small motor skills will increase faster if you help them practice writing and drawing. There are also plenty of video games that can assist with literacy skills and stuff like name recognition.

Also, if you want your kids to develop reading skills at an early age, you can start reading books that have plenty of colorful pictures and a couple of words on every page. That will help your child become familiar with the whole concept of books, and how words appear on book pages.

Wrapping Up

As kids age, the toys they play with change as fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean any of the toys at each stage weren’t important – on the contrary. Your child will benefit immensely if you carefully introduce the appropriate toys for developing the right skills at the correct times. And, of course, don’t forget the other side of the coin – for any of this to work, your kid needs to have fun as well!

3 Science-Backed Ways Cannabis May Improve Your Quality of Life

There are many scientific studies related to the cannabis plant. It is composed of hundreds of natural ingredients. One of these ingredients is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance that can give you a temporary high. But unlike THC, there is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that won’t make you feel “high” and may also improve chronic health issues.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the component of the cannabis plant marketed as a remedy for a variety of ailments in both humans and animals. There is still a lot of research needed, and several marketing campaigns prematurely promote CBD as the end-all solution to health problems. But despite the unsubstantiated claims, there are some scientifically proven benefits to using CBD and THC. Here are three ways you can use these cannabinoids to improve your quality of life.

Decrease Chronic Pain

Health conditions like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis involve chronic pain, which can be hard to treat. There are about two million people who are addicted to pain medication. People with diseases like these may deal with widespread or localized pain constantly.

Healthcare professionals work to provide effective treatments for patients dealing with chronic pain without subjecting them to opioid addiction. It can be challenging to find effective treatment. The person may still be in pain after exhausting all options. If you deal with chronic pain, you know how it affects your quality of life. Some day-to-day activities are harder or even impossible at times.

Constant pain can negatively affect your mood, blood pressure, mental state, and overall health. Cannabinoids may be able to provide some relief from pain as 25 percent of senior citizens suffer from chronic pain related to the musculoskeletal system. More clinical trials are being performed on CBD and THC to help combat the growing issue of prescription drug abuse.

The drug, Sativex, was studied as an effective agent for chronic neurological pain without inducing a euphoric state. The results of the study were promising. People were able to treat their pain and not get high using cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD may counteract the euphoric effects of THC. Research also showed that suddenly stopping the drug did not cause withdrawals. There is hope for CBD and THC’s appropriate use as pain analgesics!

If you live in a state or country that allows you to grow your cannabis plants at home, you should take advantage of the luxury. You have the opportunity to grow your own plants and extract CBD and THC oils to use for pain treatment. With the right grow equipment, you could have a natural pain reducer in your backyard. Once you have verified it’s legal, you should also check with your doctor before using cannabinoids for treatment.

Reduce Inflammation

Another benefit of cannabinoids, which contributes to pain relief, is a decrease in inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body causes disease after an extended amount of time. Inflammation can cause joint and muscle pain and make you feel tired. If you want to improve your quality of life, you should focus on ways to eliminate or reduce inflammation.

A study performed on mice showed that CBD treatment helped reduce the presence of cytokines in the blood. Cytokines are the substances secreted by other cells in the body that stimulate an immune response, which leads to inflammation.

Your body’s natural immune response is necessary to keep you healthy. But when an inflammatory response happens with no threat, it creates an atmosphere conducive to disease over time. This is why it’s important to reduce chronic inflammation for optimal health.

If you suffer from inflammation, cannabinoids like THC and CBD may offer some relief. THC alone is twenty times more effective than aspirin at reducing inflammation! Both THC and CBD work together to provide the best results, so if you grow cannabis plants you will need to extract both oils and use them in a one-to-one ratio.

Decrease Anxiety and Depression

An anxiety or depressive disorder can be debilitating and lead to other health issues if not treated. Many people deal with anxiety, and like chronic pain, it can also be difficult to manage.

Studies show that CBD may treat anxiety and other mood disorders. More research is needed, but CBD may be a promising alternative to some synthetic anti-anxiety medications. If you suffer from anxiety and depression and you’re interested in natural remedies, CBD treatment may be worth trying.

Final Thoughts

The Cannabis plant contains hundreds of substances known as cannabinoids. The two most commonly studied cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Marketers in several industries have started promoting CBD as the solution for several health conditions. Although most of these claims have not been proven, there is some scientific research that offers hope.

Studies show that cannabinoids are effective at decreasing pain, reducing inflammation, and treating anxiety and depression. You should check regulations in your state or country and talk to your doctor before using cannabinoid treatment. But once you’re in the clear, you have the opportunity to benefit from a natural medicine cabinet in your yard.

Achieving Your Health Goals: How to Make a Lasting Change

Making a change for the better is a goal that many people strive to achieve. Whether it is in our personal or professional lives, we want to be able to make changes that will stick, and that will improve our overall wellbeing. For many people, achieving good health seems like an impossible goal. However, with the right tools and information, it is definitely within reach! Here are some tips on how to make a lasting change for the good of your health.

Health and wellbeing is something more of us are becoming aware of. In the backdrop of the obesity crisis, and with the prevalence of drug and alcohol addiction, individuals are gradually becoming aware of the serious consequences of not taking care of themselves properly.

But for those of us looking to set health goals and achieve them, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’re all aware of fad diets that don’t have a lasting effect. So what should you be doing to achieve that much sought-after lasting change? Here are some tips.

Work With A Coach Or Mentor

It can be difficult to stick to health goals if you’re going it alone. Having someone in your corner who is experienced and knowledgeable about discipline can make all the difference. Many people think they need to work with a health or fitness coach, but the problem most people experience is with the discipline of sticking to a health routine. A discipline mentor or coach will be able to provide you with support and guidance, as well as hold you accountable for your actions.

Set Realistic Goals

One of the main reasons people fail to stick to their health goals is because they’re unrealistic. If you set yourself a goal that’s impossible to achieve, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the start. It’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve, and to set smaller goals that will lead up to your overall objective.

When it comes to health and fitness, your first goal could be to start the day with a vitamin-packed shake, or to walk for 15 minutes every day. Once you start achieving easier goals, you will build the confidence and motivation to gradually build on them.

Make A Plan

If you’re serious about making a lasting change, you need to have a plan. This plan should include what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to go about achieving it. Without a plan, it’s all too easy to get sidetracked or give up entirely.

Your plan could involve setting yourself a daily or weekly fitness goal, and then tracking your progress. This could be as simple as recording how many steps you take each day, or how long you spend working out. By seeing your progress, you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan and achieve your goals.

Work With Other Experts

If you’re struggling to figure out what nutrition you need to get to stay health and achieve weight loss goals, or if you don’t know how to create an exercise routine that will work for you, consider working with some experts to help get you started. A dietitian and a personal trainer could be just what you need to set you on the right track. You don’t necessarily need to commit to working with them long term, but they might give you an important helping hand to get you started.

Start Small

When it comes to making a lasting change, it’s important to start small. Making drastic changes all at once is more likely to lead to failure, as you’re more likely to get overwhelmed and give up.

If you’re trying to improve your diet, for example, start by making one small change at a time. If you’re used to eating fast food for lunch, try packing a healthy lunch from home instead. Once you’ve made that change and it’s become part of your routine, you can move on to making another change, such as cutting out sugary drinks.

Keep Other Aspects Of Your Life Stable

When you’re trying to make a change in one area of your life, it’s important to keep other aspects stable. If you’re trying to eat better, for example, don’t try to make too many other changes at the same time, such as starting a new job or moving house. Making too many changes all at once is more likely to lead to overwhelm and failure. If you know you have a time of stress coming up, or if your birthday or big family celebration is just around the corner, consider waiting to start your new goals just after this. You want to start at a time when you will have a clear few weeks to get established in your new routine.

Have A Plan For Handling Temptation

When you’re trying to make a change, there will be times when you’re tempted to give up or go back to your old ways. It’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to handle these temptations, so that you can stay on track.

One way to do this is to have a list of reasons why you’re making the change, and referring back to this when you’re feeling tempted. Another way is to have a support system in place, such as friends or family who will help you stay on track.

If you’re trying to give up alcohol, have a new go-to drink that you will order at the bar instead. And if people ask why you’re not drinking, own your decision rather than being apologetic about it. You want to be healthier – other people don’t have a right to have a say in this!

Most Frequent Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

These days, pretty much anyone can start a WordPress blog. However, that doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily bloom into a successful business. As much as it’s romanticized as “easy work,” the most successful bloggers are professionals who realize that it takes attention, time, and effort.

And just as crucially, the best bloggers out there know all the pitfalls that must be avoided. Of course, if you’re going to blog as a hobby, you don’t need to pay much attention to any of this. But if you want to reach a global audience and monetize your content, you’ll need to avoid some of the most common mistakes – which we’ll discuss here!

Not Considering Your Audience

There’s a fundamental difference between growing your blog and hoping your blog will grow – and you definitely want to opt for the former of the two. If your content is going to perform well and get shared across the Internet, you’ll need to write something that will generate website traffic, attract leads, and in some cases, convert them into customers.

So, how do you achieve that? Unsurprisingly, you need to pay as much attention to your audience as you pay to your content. Remember, while you’re probably writing about something that interests you – you’re not the only one to read this. You need to appeal to a wide readership, even in the case of the most niche topics.

With this in mind, you need to define your target audience. Consider what matters to them, why they’re interested in the topic, and what kind of value they hope to extract from your content. Try to discern their “pain points” – in other words, the problems they’re trying to solve by interacting with your content.

Fail to do that, and you’re just writing content for the sake of content – which will never result in a successful blog in the long run, no matter how passionate or skilled you are.

Stiff, Boring Writing

If there’s a topic you’re intricately familiar with or a hobby you’re really passionate about, you’ve got an excellent foundation for a successful blog. However, at the end of the day, there’s one more skill you’ll need to master: great writing.

Or, to be more precise – at the very least, adequate writing. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to run a successful DIY home repairs blog, but you need to be familiar with some basic rules of the craft. That way, you won’t create content that’s difficult to read and ultimately unentertaining.

So, how do you reach an acceptable level of writing quality? For starters, you need to write blogs the way you actually talk in real life.

Remember, this isn’t a term paper – you’re supposed to come up with something people genuinely enjoy reading. And in most cases, people won’t read your whole blog, even if you’re a brilliant writer. Most people skim blog posts for specific information or content they’re interested in.

So, if you’re going to retain their attention, your writing style needs to be effortless enough to compel your visitors to keep reading. The best way to do that is to be natural and personable – in practice, your writing needs to be conversational and approachable.

While writing, don’t think about written content – instead, imagine you’re giving a short lecture on the topic at hand. Then, try to write the stuff you’d say to lead people through the topic, entertain them, and inform them in the process.

Overly Broad Topics

Once people start blogging, one of the first mistakes they make is tackling topics that are simply too broad. Just think of all the low-quality, poorly written blogs about topics like “How To Make Money Online.” Sure, a 5,000-word comprehensive guide or a mini-e-book could cover the topic in sufficient detail – but a short, shallow post on such broad topics will just turn people away from your website in the long run.

So, what’s the solution? To put it shortly: stick with concise, clear, and specific ideas. And if you feel like you’ve started writing about a far more nuanced and broad topic than you thought – no worries, there’s an easy fix! Just turn the topic into a series of smaller, more detailed blogs, and you’ll have half of your content strategy for the month covered!

Plus, if you nail an extremely specific topic, your post is more likely to be practically useful to people – which means it’s more likely to be shared with others online. Also, while choosing what to write about, start with a working title that isn’t necessarily final. Once you’ve completed the blog post, you can always tweak the title to fit the content below better – going the other way around will be much more complicated.

All in all, the ideation stage of the blog-writing process is the most difficult and most important one – once you learn how to come up with great concrete ideas for blog posts, mastering the different techniques and styles of writing will be the easy part.

When to Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident

After a car accident, you must remember your rights and responsibilities. You should seek medical attention, contact your insurance company and the police to report the accident, and exercise your right to legal representation. Many people try to handle the situation themselves but later regret not engaging an attorney. If you have been involved in a car accident, here are some signs that you should call a lawyer immediately.

You were injured in the accident

If you were injured in the accident and received medical treatment, your insurance company will help you to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company should provide financial compensation for any medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

However, sometimes the settlement offer from the other insurance company is not enough to cover your expenses. In these cases, you have the option to go to court or file a personal injury lawsuit with the assistance of a lawyer. Once you have filed the lawsuit, you will be required to appear in court and provide evidence that proves the other driver’s negligence and the extend of your injuries.

You will need a lawyer to file a legal brief on your behalf. This brief will lay out the facts of the case and explain why the court should rule in your favor. The outcome will depend on the evidence presented by your lawyer during the trial. With the help of a reputable attorney, you can convince the judge to support your claim and receive more compensation from the insurance company.

You are charged with a crime

Criminal charges associated with a car accident can include felony offenses such as vehicular assault, driving under the influence (DUI), hit and run, reckless driving, and other serious violations. If found guilty, you could lose your license or even be sentenced to jail time. You should contact an attorney as soon as you learn that you are facing criminal charges.

Remember that you have the right to remain silent until you have spoken with an attorney. Anything you say can be used against you in a criminal trial. If you are not a U.S. citizen, your immigration status could be affected if you are charged with a felony crime. Even if the charges are dropped later, having a lawyer on your side from the outset will ensure that your rights are fully protected.

You have suffered property damage

Your car may be damaged or your property stored in the car destroyed as a result of the accident. An attorney can help you seek damages for your losses, including the cost of repairing your vehicle or replacing it. They can also help you to seek compensation for any loss of income that resulted from not having access to your vehicle or property.

You may also be entitled to damages if your damaged property is not covered by insurance. For instance, if you had a laptop in your car that was totaled in the accident, your attorney may be able to obtain replacement funds from the insurance company and help you seek additional compensation from the manufacturer.

You think you were at fault

Even if you think that you were to blame for causing the accident, it is important not to admit fault or apologize at the scene. Instead, report the accident to the police and exchange insurance information with the other driver. Contact a lawyer immediately. Attempting to handle the situation without legal representation can have severe consequences.

Although you may have been speeding or distracted by your phone, there is still a chance that the other driver had a part to play in the collision. An experienced lawyer can help you to argue partial fault in the accident and reduce your level of responsibility. In certain states, even a small percentage of modified fault can allow you to secure significant insurance compensation.

The other driver was uninsured

If you are unlucky, you may have been involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. Some people have uninsured motorist coverage on their insurance that can help to cover their expenses in such situations. However, the coverage is rarely adequate. To be compensated fairly by the other driver, you will need to hire a lawyer to file a suit against them.

An experienced attorney can help you to determine whether filing a suit is a sensible course of action depending on the circumstances of the accident and the assets owned by the other driver. If the other driver has no income or assets to pay you with, your lawyer may recommend other avenues of securing compensation such as a third-party lawsuit against their employer.

You are not sure what to do

Car accidents are complicated enough. But many factors can make the situation even more difficult to deal with. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer even if an accident does not seem very serious. An attorney can provide you with the advice that you need to protect your rights and interests. They can also represent you in court if necessary. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident.

Things Every Aspiring Carpenter Needs to Know

Do you have a passion for carpentry? Are you interested in learning the basics of woodworking? Many people love the idea of working with wood, but what does it really involve? Here’s more crucial information on topics such as types of wood, tools of the trade, and safety precautions. So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working with wood for a while but want to learn more, read on!

Carpentry is the trade of cutting, shaping and installing building materials during the construction of buildings, ships, timber bridges, concrete formwork, and more. Carpenters traditionally work with natural wood and work on larger constructions such as framing, or smaller constructions such as furniture. Today many other materials are also used and carpenters are often involved in finish work and interior trim as well.

Whether you’re interested in carpentry from a professional perspective, or you want to do woodworking as a hobby, there’s a lot you need to know about what it all involves. Here are some of the key facts about carpentry.

You’ll Need A Range Of Tools

To be an effective carpenter or woodworker, you’ll usually need more than some wood and a saw, although this is a good start! You’re going to need a variety of hand and power tools to help you with different aspects of your work. These might include saws, hammers, screws, sandpaper, drills, measuring tape and more. It’s important to have the right tool for the job, as this will make your work easier and produce better results. When it comes to saws in particular, you’ll want to choose some good options for the type of work you want to do. You might not need a track saw at the start, but getting a benchtop table saw is definitely worth it.

There are Different Types of Wood

This might sound obvious, but different types of wood can also have very different properties. Different woods will have varying levels of hardness, density, strength and durability. They can also differ in terms of grain pattern, color and more. This is something you need to keep in mind when working with wood, as it will affect the results you achieve. For example, if you’re trying to create a delicate piece of furniture then using a harder wood might not be the best idea. But wood types that have good properties for durable furniture include oak and maple.

Some Woods Are More Expensive Than Others

The price of wood can also vary a lot, depending on the type of wood and where you’re getting it from. Some woods are more expensive than others, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better to work with. You might find that a cheaper wood is actually easier to work with and produces better results for your project. It’s important to do your research before buying any wood so that you know what you’re getting. Some people like the idea of using a type of wood that is a little more rare or exotic, such as mahogany, but this will also come at a higher cost. Consider what you really want out of your woodworking projects, and also what kind of environmental impact it will have. You may find pieces of wood you find at a junk yard will do the job just as well.

Woodworking Can Be Dangerous

Working with wood can be dangerous, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions. Always wear gloves when handling wood, as this will protect your hands from splinters. In addition, always wear eye protection when using power tools. It’s also a good idea to wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling any wood dust. When working with power tools, always read the instructions carefully and be sure to use them properly. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure there are no hazards that could cause you to trip or fall.

You Can Do It As A Hobby Or Profession

Carpentry and woodworking can be enjoyed as a hobby or taken up as a profession. If you’re interested in making it your career, then there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, you’ll need to get some qualifications and training. You can do this by completing an apprenticeship or taking carpentry classes at a trade school. Once you have the necessary skills, you’ll need to find a job with a carpentry company. Alternatively, you could start your own woodworking business. Carpentry can be a very satisfying career, as it’s both creative and practical.

If you’re doing it as a hobby, then you can simply enjoy working on projects in your spare time. There’s no need to get any formal training or qualifications, although it might be helpful to take some classes so that you can learn the basics.

You Don’t Just Use Carpentry Skills To Make Furniture

While many people think of carpentry as making furniture, this isn’t the only thing that carpenters do. They also build things like stairs, flooring, framing and more. If you’re interested in becoming a carpenter, then you’ll ideally need to be skilled in all of these areas. Although you could specialize in one niche, you’ll be a more versatile as a carpenter if you can apply your skills to different things. It’s also important to have good problem-solving skills so that you can figure out solutions to any challenges that come up during a project.

Carpentry is a rewarding and satisfying activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s important to have the right skills and knowledge to be successful at it. With a little bit of practice, anyone can become a skilled carpenter.

Signs You Need to Call a Plumber

Plumbers are used to emergency calls for leaking water, broken pipes, and frozen valves. However, if you catch issues before they become an emergency it will save you a lot of money, and your plumber will appreciate it.

Plumbing issues that aren’t addressed can become emergencies over time. One leak can cost thousands of dollars in repairs, remediation, and renovation. If you suspect you have an issue with your plumbing, you can save time, money, and stress by calling out your plumber right away.

Clogged Toilets

If your toilets seem to always be clogged you may have a child who uses too much toilet paper, or you could have a plumbing problem. This could be caused by having the toilet vent clogged, low water pressure from an old low-flow or malfunctioning toilet, or roots in your drain lines. Whatever the reason, you should get your system checked with a sewer camera to find the problem.

Slow Drainage

Pipes that consistently drain slowly could show an issue with your overall plumbing or with that specific drain. If you clean out the drain and there is no improvement, it’s time to call a plumber. He may need to clean or replace the trap, or there may be a clog somewhere in your drain lines.

High Water Bills

If your water bill is suddenly higher than normal, and you haven’t been using an unusual amount of water, you should worry about a leak. The best way to check for a leak is to shut off your water everywhere, including inside and outside of the house, and then check your water meter to see if it’s running. That indicates water is still running somewhere it shouldn’t be.

Signs of a Leak

Signs of a leak in your house include brown spots on your ceiling, bubbling and discolored paint, and mold. If your bathroom or kitchen floor is wet frequently and you don’t know why, or if you see wet areas under your sinks or near your bathtub, you may have a leak. Even a tiny leak can cause thousands of dollars of damage. By the time you see signs like bubbling paint, the wall is already very wet inside. Don’t delay.

Strange Sounds in Pipes

If your pipes make a hammering or thumping sound or you hear trickling water long after you are no longer using it, you should call a plumber. Your pipes should be silent except for the sound of running water when in use.

Discolored Water

Strange colored water is a sign of old pipes or mineral build-up in the hot water heater. While discolored water is usually safe to drink, it’s unsightly and can be a sign that your pipes are filling with mineral deposits or breaking down. This is especially the case if you only notice the discoloration after the water has been sitting for a while, like first thing in the morning or after vacation. While some tap water is naturally colored, if you are unsure or the color is new, call an expert.

Standing Water in the Yard

If you notice a puddle in your yard but it hasn’t rained in days, assume the worst- that you have an underground water leak or something wrong with your septic tank. Sometimes, you will have a extra-green patch of grass rather than standing water. It’s a good idea to see if your water meter is still running even with all the water shut off to check for a leak.

Low Water Pressure

Consistently low water pressure is not just annoying, it’s a bad sign. While water can have low pressure from other causes, such as maintenance on the main lines or the sprinkler system running, those will be intermittent or short term. Consistently low pressure could be caused by a leak diverting water from your lines, build up in the water heater, or clogged supply lines.

Sewer Smells

Any sewer or rotten egg smell is both annoying and a sign of an issue. You may need your venting system checked or you may have a leaking drain line. The seals and valves in your toilet might not be working correctly. You could also simply have a dry trap which is designed to hold water and keep odors out. If you have a tub or toilet that is rarely used, run water in it and see if that solves the problem. If not, call a plumber.

Discolored Pipes

If you notice discoloration on metal pipes, it’s a sign of aging and it might be time to get an inspection on your system. Corroding copper or iron pipes may be slowly leaking or wearing out.

Wobbly Toilet

A wobbly toilet may be a simple problem like a loose seat or it may be a more problematic issue like loose bolts or a wax ring that is breaking down. Try tightening the bolts and if you still feel like something is wrong, call a plumber. The wax ring seals the toilet where it enters the drain pipe and is necessary to prevent leaks and fumes.

Gurgling Sounds

If you hear gurgling or bubbling sounds from your toilet after you have flushed it, you may have air entering the line or a vent that is not working well. Drain water should run freely in your pipes and gurgling sounds, especially delayed gurgling, can be a sign of a partially clogged line somewhere.

How to Keep Your Plumbing Healthy

Plumbing is a fundamental feature of any property. We rely heavily on effective plumbing for our hygiene and health. That said, we may be unknowingly causing damage to our plumbing with our daily actions. Here are some ways that you can take care of your plumbing system so that it can continue to take care of you and your family members.

Clean up your cleansing ritual

If you look around your bathroom, you may notice soap scum on the surface of your tiles or bathtub. Just like soap residue can accumulate in visible areas, it can also build up on the inside of your pipes. The sticky soap scum catches other debris flowing down your drains to create a large clump that can clog up your pipes. To avoid this problem, switch out your soap bar for a body wash. Since body wash stays liquid the entire time, it eliminates the issue of soap-related blockages.

Body scrubs can create the same issue as well. Organic particles in your body scrub such as coffee grounds can still create clogs and non-organic particles like microplastic beads are almost impossible to break down. Look for body scrubs made with dissolvable elements like salt or make your own body scrub with raw sugar. Better yet, use an exfoliating mitt that can be reused numerous times and forgo the commercial body scrub.

Catch debris before they become clogs

Hair is one of the most common causes of bathroom clogs. The average person can shed up to a hundred strands of hairs daily, especially when washing their hair. Therefore, you should always have your bathroom drains fitted with a hair catcher. If you shave in the shower, look for fine-mesh hair catchers instead of those with bigger holes. Very short hairs from shaving can find their way past typical hair catchers and get caught on soap scum or shaving cream residue on the inside of pipes.

The same rule applies to your kitchen. Residue from cooking or rinsing your dishes may seem harmless, but these little bits of food can get stuck further along the pipes. Coffee grounds are notorious for causing serious clogs and food items like pasta can swell after soaking up water and create a blockage. To greatly reduce the possibility of having a clog, use a kitchen drain sink basket to catch all non-liquid items. Do not be tempted to wash food residue down the sink, no matter how small.

Watch what you wash down the drain

Many items that are marked ‘flushable’ are in fact responsible for causing clogs in your pipes. Flushable cat litter, baby wipes, and even some types of toilet paper do not dissolve quickly in your pipes and can get stuck in bends or become attached to sticky surfaces. Despite what the labels say, it may be best to have a separate bin in your bathroom for such items instead of flushing them down the toilet.

In the kitchen, never flush cooking oil, grease, or batter down the sink. You may think that these substances will be quickly flushed through your piping with water but they can get attached to the rough surfaces and build up over time, coating the inside of your pipes and making it harder for water to flow. Furthermore, grease can seep into your pipe joints and cause corrosion to the metal components of your sewage system.

Rinse off before coming in

People who garden frequently may rinse off soil in the shower. Similarly, if you live near the beach or have a sandbox installed for your children, you may often be washing sand down your shower drains. Soil and sand can accumulate in the bends or on the rough surfaces of your pipe and cause frequent blockages. The best way to avoid this problem is to install an outdoor tap or to use a garden hose to rinse off all sand and soil before entering the house. Although this may seem like an extra step, it is much more convenient than having to repair a broken shower drain.

Never use caustic cleaning chemicals

You may be thinking that it is no big deal if you get a clog. You just have to pour a powerful drainage cleaning product down the pipe and it will all be fine, right? Unfortunately, strong chemical drain cleaners may solve your immediate issue but can cause serious problems over the long run. Commercial drainage cleaners contain caustic chemicals such as bleach and lye that create chemical reactions to disintegrate blockages. However, the same chemical reactions can corrode your pipes. The heat generated from certain products can even cause your porcelain toilet bowls to crack.

Stay on top of your plumbing

A surefire way to keep your plumbing healthy is to identify potential issues before they occur. Schedule routine plumbing maintenance to be alerted to any bad habits that need changing. Be informed about the signs of plumbing problems such as leaks, slow drainage, rattling pipes, fluctuating water pressure, and rising water bills. Having a reliable plumbing professional on speed dial can make a huge difference to the health of your plumbing system. Look for a plumber that responds quickly and offers a 24/7 emergency plumbing service.

How to Maintain Your Copper Range Hood

When it comes to kitchen interiors, there’s nothing classier than gorgeous copper vent hoods. They add quite a bit of visual appeal to your cooking area – however, you’ll hear plenty of people telling you that copper is finicky in terms of maintenance.

In reality, a high-quality copper range hood is easier to keep in tip-top shape compared to most other materials available on the market. You just need to understand how copper “behaves” as a metal, and you’ll be just fine. With that in mind, we’ll detail how you can clean and maintain a copper vent hood below!

Maintaining The Exterior

Generally, you’ll probably spend the most time cleaning the exterior of your copper vent hood. And you can buy plenty of different cleaners for this specific purpose, both in liquid form and powder form.

In most cases, the choice depends solely on your personal preferences – and the specific manufacturer recommendations for each individual hood. However, we’ve found that most homeowners go for the powder-based cleaners simply because they’re easier to apply without messing up the cooktop below.

If you decide on a powder cleaner, we recommend you wipe down the hood with a damp cloth first – getting rid of annoying dust build-ups in the process and damping up the surface a bit before applying the powder.

Then, you can start applying your powder to the wet surface. Give it a few minutes to properly settle in. Once you see that a paste has formed on the surface, wipe it away with another clean cloth.

On the other hand, if you went with a liquid solution, odds are you can wipe it away quicker – just make sure to follow the instructions printed on the label.

Cleaning The Air Filter And Vent

Cleaning the surface of your hood was the easy part; however, you also need to do some maintenance on the vent to ensure your hood is as efficient as possible. And just to make sure you know what we’re talking about, the vent is the narrow, hollow duct through which contaminated air is expelled from your kitchen.

Even though it seems like only smoke and air passes through here, you’d be amazed at how much grease can build up in there over time. If you allow for too much of it, your fan motor won’t be able to operate at its required capacity.

So, start cleaning the vent by scrubbing off any excess grease. If there’s too much grease in your air filters, hot gasses won’t be ventilated out – and unpleasant odours may spread through your kitchen as you cook.

It’s a good idea to use a degrease while cleaning the air filters. Then, ensure they’ve completely dried out before you return them to their place in the range hood. And if they seem overly worn out from regular cleaning and excessive grease, you can always replace them with new ones.

Troubleshooting

From time to time, it’s advisable to troubleshoot your range hood and ensure everything is functioning as it should. The best way to do that as a layman is to switch it on and pay attention to how the motor or fan sounds. If you notice more noise than usual, something may be up with the fan.

Again, this could simply be a sign of dirt or grease buildup that’s making the fan work more to vent out the air. However, contact a repair professional if your range hood consistently fails to turn on or clear smoke in a reasonable time frame. There might be some DIY repair advice in your manual, but it’s always better to let a pro handle these kinds of repairs.

Preventing Damage

If you want to have a copper range hood that works at peak efficiency for a long time, the best way to ensure that is to take preventative measures. First, go through the operation manual in fine detail to ensure you understand how the whole thing works – and what some of the major dos and don’ts are.

Even if you don’t notice that the hood is “misbehaving,” cleaning it regularly is always the best way to ensure your filter and motor fans won’t clog down. Remember, grease particles are the number one enemy of even the best copper range hood. If you don’t address this issue on a regular basis, you may need to deal with expensive repairs sometime in the future.

How Often Is Cleaning Necessary?

Naturally, this also depends on your cooking habits. If you don’t prepare a lot of food frequently, cleaning the hood once per season will be more than enough. On the other hand, if you cook all the time (meaning each day), cleaning your hood every month or two is the smart way to go.

Of course, you don’t need to open up your range hood every time; the most regular cleaning will be necessary for the exterior surfaces due to the constant dust buildup no matter how often you use it. Still, cleaning the whole thing thoroughly after holiday feast preparations isn’t a bad idea.

Help! My Baby’s Skin Is Sensitive: Tips for Treating Sensitive Skin

If you’ve just had a baby, or if you have a young child who seems to always have sensitive skin, you’re probably looking for ways to help them. It can be really frustrating when your child’s skin is constantly sore and dry, and it’s hard to know what to do about it. Here are some tips for treating sensitive skin in babies and children, covering everything from using the right soap to taking care of eczema flare-ups.

Up to 20% of children in the world have eczema, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Eczema is a chronic condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and inflamed. Many babies who have eczema eventually outgrow it, but it can be difficult and sometimes painful to manage in the meantime.

Even if your child does not have eczema, they are likely to have some type of skin sensitivity. It is extremely common for babies and children to have sensitive skin. In fact, it is estimated that up to 40% of infants have some degree of skin sensitivity.

If you have a baby or young child with sensitive skin, whether it is eczema or skin that gets a little red or dry sometimes, you’re likely to be looking for solutions. No-one wants to see their child suffer, and when things like eczema flare-ups happen, they can be difficult to get under control again. What you’re actually looking for is a way to keep your child’s skin under control to start with, so that problems don’t even occur.

Here are some tips for treating sensitive skin in babies and children.

Soften Your Water

If the water that comes out of your taps is hard, that means it contains a high level of minerals. These minerals can dry out your skin, so if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use softened water for bathing and washing. Many people decide to get a water softening system installed in their home, such as this water softener system Los Angeles. The benefit of getting it installed in your home is that all the water you use will be softened, so it will be gentle on your skin as well as your hair and clothes. Soft water is also better for your home’s infrastructure, such as your heating and plumbing systems, and some of your appliances.

Use Creams and Bath Emollients Regularly

If your child’s skin is dry, itchy, and inflamed, you should be using emollients and creams regularly to help soothe and protect their skin. Emollients are moisturizing products that can help to hydrate the skin and prevent it from becoming dry in the first place. Bath emollients are products that you add to your child’s bathwater, which help to moisturize their skin as they bathe. Look for products that are designed specifically for eczema-prone skin, and make sure they do not contain ingredients you don’t want to expose your child’s skin to, such as parabens.

Creams and emollients should be used every day, even when your child does not have an eczema flare-up. This will help to prevent their skin from becoming dry and irritated, and will make it less likely that they will have a flare-up in the first place. Many doctors recommend finding a regime of creams and emollients that work for your child, and sticking to it until they are at least four years old.

And if your child tends to get skin problems after swimming in a treated swimming pool, apply their cream before they swim. This can act as a barrier to protect their skin.

Choose The Right Soap

The soap you use on your child’s skin is important, especially if they have sensitive skin. You want to make sure you’re using a soap that is designed for sensitive skin, and that does not contain any harsh chemicals or fragrances. You also want to make sure you’re not using too much soap, as this can dry out the skin. Just a small amount of soap on a washcloth should be enough to clean your child’s body. When it comes to their hair, you can use a mild baby shampoo. Sometimes you need to trial a few products before you find one that suits your child’s skin. Ask companies for small tester bottles to help you decide, and to prevent waste from buying large bottles of soaps and shampoos that are no good for your child.

Don’t Overwash

It’s important not to overwash your child if they have sensitive skin. This will only dry out their skin more and make it more likely that they will have a flare-up. Just two or three baths a week should be enough, using lukewarm water and a small amount of soap. You can also top up their baths with some colloidal oatmeal, which can help to soothe the skin. After their bath, make sure you pat their skin dry gently, rather than rubbing it. And apply a moisturizer to their skin while it is still damp to help lock in moisture.

If you follow these tips, you should see an improvement in your child’s skin. If their skin does not improve, or if they have a severe flare-up, it’s important to see a doctor or dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe medication that can help to clear up your child’s eczema. Sometimes skin flare-ups can be caused by an allergy to a type of food, so they can help you rule this out too. Plus they will be able to give you more specific advice on how to care for your child’s sensitive skin according to their particular symptoms.