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News Filed Under Family

A hand holds a smartphone displaying finance apps on its screen.
June 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Technology, Basic Money Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When there never seems to be enough money to cover the bills, trying to set up and follow a budget can seem like a pointless and stressful activity.

Bekah Sparks, Mississippi State University Extension Service instructor in the Center for Technology Outreach, said a variety of apps and electronic tools can help make it easier to save money and spend wisely.

A gray-haired woman in blue shorts and a multi-colored striped shirt holds a pen over a pocket calendar to check appointments.
June 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics, Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Flight attendants instruct passengers to take care of themselves before helping others with oxygen masks for several good reasons that also apply to other caregivers and situations.

An African American woman with braided hair and wearing a white sweater shares a board book with her infant daughter who wears a coral shirt.
May 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative

Most parents are too busy for a college course in child development, but want to help their babies grow into children who are successful in learning and ultimately successful in life. (Photo by Canstock)

A pair of hands holds a stack of mail taken from a mailbox.
May 18, 2018 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Handling finances can be difficult at any age, but older Mississippians face even greater challenges when expenses rise and forgetfulness sets in.

At what point adult children need to step in with assistance is a personal decision for every family, said Susan Cosgrove, family resource management associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

A white bowl contains red grape tomatoes, sliced strawberries, sliced red apples, green sugar snap peas, orange carrots, and a dark purple grape.
May 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Food, Food Safety, Health, Nutrition

Every weekend before I go grocery shopping, I clean out the refrigerator and experience guilt.

Partially full yogurt containers past their expiration date. Shriveling squash. Browning celery. Leftovers I saved with good intentions but never ate. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Man seated on a step stool in an arena looks at a horse while a large dog watches cautiously.
April 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Equine Assisted Therapy Programs

WEST POINT, Miss. -- The groundwork portion of therapeutic horseback riding offers emotional and mental benefits to veterans who take part in a program at Mississippi State University.

Lance McElhenney of Webster County served in the U.S. Marine Corps around the world. Injured by a mortar fragment in Iraq in 2004, this Purple Heart veteran now fights a different battle -- with multiple sclerosis. One of his weapons is an old horse he named Archie, for Archibald Henderson, the grand old man of the Marine Corps.

Photo of a gray and white Craftsman style house illustrates a list of seven tips for making homes healthier.
March 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Healthy Homes Initiative

Taking care of your home will make it a healthier environment for your loved ones. (Illustration designed by Beth Barron)

Graphic with five tips for staying healthy during winter
January 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Family, Health

With more than 200 viruses that cause the common cold, it may seem impossible to avoid getting sick.
Flu cases in the southern states are unusually high this year, as well.
(Graphic by: Kim Trimm)

A gray squirrel pauses as it climbs a tree.
January 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Housing and Homebuyer, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The coldest days of winter do not seem to slow squirrel activity.

One significant reason is that mating season for eastern gray squirrels lasts through January, and babies arrive about six weeks later.

Most squirrels build nests for these babies in the forks of tree branches or in the hollows of tree trunks. Their nests are created mostly out of dry leaves and twigs.

December 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Diet and exercise are popular New Year’s resolutions, but sleep is just as important when cultivating healthy lifestyles.

Sleep deprivation can cause a myriad of health concerns in both adults and children, including excess body fat, said Lori Elmore-Elmore-Staton, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences.

“Sleep is related to obesity. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more hormones telling you that you’re hungry, and it releases less hormones telling you that you’re full. It thinks you need more energy because something is wrong,” Elmore-Staton explained.

Several rows of fruit including apple slices, tangerine segments, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and a pear are arranged on a white platter in the shape of a turkey.
November 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Food, Health

Need a healthy snack to keep everyone out of the kitchen while you cook on Thanksgiving? Or are you interested in skipping the cheesy contribution to the office party? Then check out this fun and easy fruit platter you can build in just minutes. If you have kids, you might get them to build it for you, and even snack on the fruit while they work!

A glass donation jar filled with dollar bills and coins has more money scattered beside it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians display their generous hearts through their high rate of charitable giving, but thieves sometimes take advantage of these soft spots in a variety of holiday scams.

“The Chronicle of Philanthropy” indicates Mississippians give an average of 5 percent of their annual gross incomes to charity each year. That generosity ranks them second in the country, just slightly behind Utah, in charitable giving.

Still life arrangement of a pair of knitted infants booties, a hospital ID band and a pacifier.
October 31, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

Identity theft takes many forms, but theft of a child’s identity is one of the most difficult frauds to detect and can go unnoticed for years.

The Federal Trade Commission defines child identity theft as another person using a child’s personal or financial information to make purchases, get benefits, file taxes or commit fraud.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County, said this theft often goes unnoticed until the child gets ready to enter college.

October 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Healthy Homes Initiative

A program designed to teach early childhood teachers and center directors how to provide a safe and clean environment for young children recently received national recognition. 

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences selected the Healthy Homes for Child Care program, developed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, as the Southern Region winner and a national winner in the Clean and Healthy Families and Communities category. 

a thumbs up symbol for remembering to say thank you while trick or treating.
October 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

Halloween brings back all kinds of memories from my childhood. From uncomfortable masks to itchy, thick face paint, not all of my brilliant costumes turned out as well as I had imagined. When I got too old to go out, I loved to answer the door and ask the kids to demonstrate skills related to their costume. 

Extension for Real Life header image
August 29, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting

Computers can be a pain in the neck – literally. But parents can help children prevent repetitive strain injury by following a few tips from Dr. David Buys, Extension health specialist.

An appropriately configured desk area encourages proper posture. When seated at a computer, both feet should be on the floor and the arms should be at a 45 degree angle to the keyboard.

There is no need to buy a completely new set-up to help children maintain proper posture during those late-night homework assignments. A few smaller purchases and adjustments can help

To prevent medical identity theft, store documents that contain personal information in a safe place, and shred them for disposal. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
August 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Fraud and Identity Theft

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Much attention is focused on preventing identity theft to safeguard finances, but medical identity theft can be just as devastating.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County, said medical identity theft occurs when a thief steals personal information to use to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs or commit Medicare fraud in the victim's name.

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August 15, 2017 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

We’ve all seen that child with what has to be a burdensome backpack. But parents may not know that their children can suffer short- and long-term pain from an overloaded backpack or from carrying a backpack the wrong way. 

Dr. Will Evans, a professor and head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion at Mississippi State University, practiced chiropractic health care for 17 years before earning a second degree in health promotion and epidemiology.

July 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Creating Healthy Indoor Childcare Environments

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Two state agencies are collaborating on a Mississippi program designed to keep child care centers healthy and safe.

Creating Healthy Indoor Child Care Environments is a workshop series that offers training to child care providers and continuing education credit required for licensure. The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi State Department of Health Office of Child Care Licensure sponsor the series.

Criminal minds find many ways to steal money and information from those they target. Consumers always must take precautions to avoid becoming victims of fraud. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- King Solomon wrote thousands of years ago that there is nothing new under the sun, a truth played out daily by unscrupulous people putting modern spins on the age-old practice of fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission reported 20,588 Mississippians fell victim to some type of consumer fraud in 2016. Another 2,378 were victims of identity theft.

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