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AA Homepage Articles | Family | Wellness |

Parents: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Social Media for Your Kids

3 minute read

At its roots, social media was meant to be an online platform for creating networks, communities, and collectives to share information, messages, ideas, and photos or videos.

And while it’s used for those positive things every day–with approximately 2.62 billion social media users around the world– it is also a breeding ground for “social comparison.”

Social comparison theory states that individuals determine their own social and personal worth based on how they stack up against others. People sometimes compare themselves to others as a way of fostering self-improvement, self-motivation, and a positive self-image. As a result, humans constantly evaluate themselves, and others, across domains such as attractiveness, wealth, intelligence, and success.

Jessica Abo, an award-winning journalist and author of Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media, refers to this as the “Compare and Despair Trap.”

Tips For Managing Your Kids’ Social Media Intake

To help your kids enjoy the connectedness of social media without damaging their mental health, follow these tips.

1. Stay Informed

Social Media is constantly changing, so it’s a good idea to keep up to date with which apps are appropriate for your child. Here are some of the most popular ones that children and teens are using right now:

2. Monitor Privacy Settings

Once your child is at an age where you have allowed them to create social media accounts, it’s important to make sure they keep their accounts private and their privacy settings updated. You should have access to all their account information so you can set their privacy to the maximum setting and ensure their content is hidden from anyone who might try to misuse it.

3. Set Guidelines/Rules for Social Media

This should be a team effort. By involving your child in the setting of the rules, it lessens the likelihood of them sneaking around behind your back or setting up fake accounts to get around the rules. You want to instill healthy/positive social media habits right from the start so they feel empowered to make good decisions without you watching over their shoulder.

4. Keep an Open Dialogue

You can’t monitor your child’s social media activity 24/7, (nor should you), so it’s important to communicate regularly with your child about what’s going on in their online world. Ask questions and pay attention to what they’re saying. What are they posting about? Why are they choosing to post that? What are their friends posting? How does that make them feel? If your child is showing signs of stress or anxiety when talking about social media, it’s important to address it.

5. Empathize with Them

You might not be able to relate to the disappointment of your first TikTok dance not going viral, or your crush liking your best friend’s latest Instagram picture, but you have felt left out and let down before. Don’t dismiss their feelings around social media as if they don’t matter, because, to them, it’s sometimes all that matters. Share with them about a similar situation and hopefully the lesson you learned or growth you experienced because of what you went through.

6. Set Aside Tech-Free Time

You can say this is for your screen obsessed teen, but the reality is we are all addicted to different forms of social media. Model a healthy relationship with your devices by creating some real life face time as a family every day. This is a great opportunity to check in with each other and ease some of the stress and anxiety that can come from checking your phone every five seconds.

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    get-kids-active-this-summer

    AA Homepage Articles | Family |

    How to Get Kids Active This Summer

    2 minute read

    Click play to listen to How to Get Kids Active This Summer article. 

    School is out for many children across the United States, leaving families with more quality time together and a lot more energy to expend. Travel plans will make for great experiences and memories. But don’t leave all the fun for the road! Let’s see some great ways you can keep the whole family engaged and entertained at home and in nearby areas.

    Parks and Beaches

    Can you name all the public parks and beaches near your hometown? Use the summertime to explore everything in your area, and keep a checklist to make sure you hit every one you’re interested in. Then you can narrow them down to your favorites, and visit those again and again! Use this handy park finder tool to get started.

    Indoor Adventures

    On days that are too hot and humid or when allergen levels are high, find indoor spaces with air conditioning and activities for everyone in the family. Museums and aquariums offer great learning opportunities, or you can visit a movie theater to check out the latest family-friendly summer blockbuster.

    Staycation

    Many families made upgrades to their home during the pandemic, making them more comfortable and full of entertainment options. So if you’ve got a new home theater setup or enough space for a blanket fort, don’t be afraid to spend some quality time right at home.

    Plus, simple activities like a board game or putting together a puzzle offer great, low-cost opportunities to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

    To make sure you stay comfortable for at-home activities all summer long, make sure your air conditioner is cleaned up and properly maintained.

    Home Cooking

    The best way to wrap up a day of activities is with a nourishing homemade meal. If you want to avoid turning on the stove or oven on hot days, try cooking with an air fryer or slow cooker. To get fresh ingredients, take your family to a local farmers market and pick out local items to take back home and prepare.

    And of course, the grill master in the family will take any excuse to fire up some outdoor cooking. In addition to proteins, add some fresh, seasonal veggies to the grill for an all-around satisfying meal.

    Indoor Exercise

    With all the different activities at your fingertips during the summer, it’s easy to forget about fitness and exercise. But on days with summer storms or extreme heat, getting the whole family moving indoors is a great way to burn off some energy and to create stronger bonds.

    Start with creating a healthy exercise space, then let each member of the family choose simple indoor exercises that everyone can take part in. Even if the workout lasts for only 10 minutes, it’s worthwhile and you’ll be glad you did it.

    If you want to get more creative, create a game or contest out of household chores. This gets the entire family involved in home responsibilities and creates a tidier, more peaceful space to enjoy.

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    AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Family |

    What to Know About Summer Travel 2022

    2 minute read

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    What’s on your travel list this summer?

    Most estimates show that travel for summer 2022 will return to or exceed pre-pandemic levels, with many people making up for lost time by taking domestic and international trips in the coming months.

    Your experience will vary whether you’re traveling by car for a road trip, or doing some globetrotting by plane. But in any case, you’ll want to keep in mind some basics around booking and planning, etiquette in crowds, and keeping your family healthy and safe.

    Booking Travel

    You’ve likely noticed that prices for things like plane tickets and hotels have risen dramatically in recent months (not to mention the increase in gas prices).

    This indicates that there’s a strong demand for these services, so it’s best to book as early as you can. You should also be prepared for last-minute changes to your itinerary, and know ahead of time who you’ll contact if you have a delay.

    You often have more control over your itinerary when you book directly with an airline or hotel, rather than through a travel agency.

    Travel Industry

    While the number of people willing and excited to travel is way up, many of the jobs in the travel industry haven’t been filled at the same pace. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the leisure and hospitality industry has lost 1.4 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.

    That means understaffing in airports, hotels, restaurants, and other vacation destinations. While the reasons behind this shortage are varied and intertwined, it will have a real impact on your travel, likely resulting in more time spent waiting and the unavailability of certain amenities.

    Try your best to build in time delays to your schedule, and remain patient in scenarios where understaffing is impacting your experience.

    COVID-19 and Masking

    Pandemic restrictions have been rolled back in many areas of the world. By deciding to travel, you’ll need to assume that it’s possible you and your family will be exposed to COVID-19 and other health risks.

    Masking is no longer required for air travel in the United States, and many restaurants, hotels, and events you attend may not require them either. Plan ahead for these scenarios, and keep in mind the best practices for avoiding airborne diseases, which include: not gathering in large crowds, keeping six feet distance from those you don’t know, and being outside to encourage airflow around you.

    Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their recommendations for those traveling this summer, recommending that everyone test for COVID-19 close to their departure date, regardless of vaccination status.

    Staying Healthy Away from Home

    Many of us have been stuck at home for the past couple years, getting us accustomed to immediate access to our daily medicines, food, water, and the bathroom. But keep in mind that this won’t be true while you travel.

    Plan ahead by getting the medications you’ll need for the duration of your trip. And be aware of when you need to pack along food and water for your family. Staying hydrated and nourished are important parts of staying healthy while you travel.

    Remember to have everyone wash their hands before eating, and educate yourself and your family about the risks of foodborne disease away from home.

    Interview with the American Lung Association

    AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

    Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

    4 minute read

    At AprilAire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why AprilAire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

    We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both AprilAire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

    Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

    “I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

    Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

    “The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

    How did AprilAire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

    “AprilAire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

    Since 2020, AprilAire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, AprilAire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. AprilAire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the AprilAire Healthy Air System™) and nine AprilAire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, AprilAire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

    Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

    “The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

    AprilAire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

    AprilAire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

    “Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, AprilAire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

    What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

    “Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

    One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

    Fight for Healthy Air

    At AprilAire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both AprilAire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

    *Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

    St. Vincent de Paul

    AA Homepage Articles |

    2021: AprilAire’s Good Neighbor Values

    2 minute read

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    We take the importance of caring for others to heart at AprilAire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

    We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

    While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

    “A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

    We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

    We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

    They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

     Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

    Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

    no-cook-delicious-summer-recipes-for-everyone

    AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

    Healthy Recipes for No-Cook Summer Meals

    < 1 minute read

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    Fuel your summertime adventures with these no-cook, delicious meals and snacks! Keeping the oven and stove off during the hot, humid summer months helps cut down on energy costs and prevents the buildup of harmful substances in your indoor air.

    There are so many ways to get creative with fresh, seasonal ingredients this summer. And to get you started, we’ve got five easy recipes that can satisfy everyone’s appetites without heating up the house.

    Caprese Salad

    Fresh, simple, and incredibly tasty. This salad works as an appetizer, snack, or one piece of a tapas-style dinner.

    Chicken Salad Sandwich

    Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to get a head start on this filling sandwich option.

    Air Fryer Radishes

    Cooking with an air fryer is a great way to enjoy a hot meal or snack without adding unnecessary heat to your home. These radishes transform from fresh out of the garden into a crispy, flavorful side dish or salad topper.

    Cowboy Caviar

    This dip can easily turn into a main course because of how hard it is to stop eating! The perfect combination of hearty and spicy, all this crowd pleaser needs is a bag of tortilla chips.

    Watermelon Sorbet

    Chill out with this quick and easy dessert using a classic summertime fruit and your freezer. (We won’t blame you if you linger in the cool freezer air while making this one.)