How to Choose Allergy Medicine

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Your Best Family Reunion

For a stress-free reunion everyone will love, see these smart planning tips and creative ideas. Plus, try our quiz to help you determine what type of reunion will suit your family best.

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Heart Healthy at Every Age

You're truly never too young or too old to protect your heart. "The buildup of plaque in your arteries can silently start as early as your late teens and early 20s," explains Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., professor of cardiology and population health and senior vice president, office of community and public health, at the North Shore-LIJ health system. Lower your odds of developing heart disease by keeping an eye on these key factors and lifestyle habits in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

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Eat to Beat Osteoporosis

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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6 Workout Strategies That Work

Having trouble sticking to a workout routine? Don't give up! Research suggests that it takes 66 days—not just a week or two—for exercise to feel automatic. Our fitness pros offer six simple strategies to keep you moving in the meantime.

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Family Staycation Ideas

You'll love our sensational ideas for enjoying the last days of summer -- all in the comfort of your own home.

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Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Winter is prime time for this nutritious cruciferous powerhouse.

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Choose the Right Sitter

Choosing a babysitter is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a parent.

To help you find the fit for your little one, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers some tips for choosing a sitter:

  • Have the potential sitter over before the day you plan to leave the kids with her (or him -- increasingly boys are taking on this traditionally female job).
  • Conduct a detailed interview, asking about her experience and quizzing her on how to handle scenarios that could come up (a fire breaks out, the kids get hurt).
  • Be sure to check references. Many parents skip this crucial step.
  • Find a sitter who, at a minimum, has had CPR and first-aid training.
  • Even better, find someone who has taken a babysitting training course. The American Red Cross has a comprehensive course and many local hospitals offer similar ones. If you find a sitter you want to use often, consider paying for her to take a course. Locate a Red Cross babysitting course by visiting redcross.org.
  • The AAP recommends that a sitter be at least 13 years old, but the American Red Cross offers its training course to kids as young as 11. "The issue of age offers some latitude," says Dr. Denise Dowd, chief of the Section of Injury Prevention at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and spokesperson for the AAP. "It depends, of course, on the maturity of the sitter, but a good rule is the younger the kids, the older the sitter."

A Different Kind of Matchmaking

Genevieve Thiers, who put herself through college by babysitting, has put the Internet to work helping parents. Her site, Sittercity.com, is a database of more than 100,000 babysitters. It has profiles, references, customer ratings of sitters, and information on how to screen and interview sitters. "It makes finding a sitter easier and safer than before," she says.

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