News Filed Under Family
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.
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.
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.
By Jessica Smith
MSU Extension Service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service is celebrating National Healthy Homes Month by equipping Mississippians with knowledge to solve housing challenges.
The month-long celebration, coordinated by MSU Extension's Healthy Homes Initiative, provides opportunities to engage in local activities and empowers families to protect themselves from hazards in their homes.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Educators planning for next year can participate in a free, online train-the-trainer course that will help them teach children and adults how to recognize and combat cyberbullying.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service partnered with the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools to develop the program.
Law enforcement officers, school resource officers and other interested adults can also participate.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Spring has begun, and while that means warmer weather and blooming flowers, it may mean more pests infiltrating your home.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, explained the importance of integrated pest management and the steps that make up the IPM process. He said IPM focuses on common-sense activities around the house, with an emphasis on environmentally friendly and affordable practices over regular application of insecticide.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- As spring blooms outdoors, many people with allergies take refuge inside their homes, but indoor air pollutants can trigger allergic reactions, as well.
"Dust, pollen, cockroaches, pet dander, dust mites, and mold and mildew found inside homes can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms for many people," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Make routine cleaning a priority to help control these pollutants."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Homeowners have until March 31 to file for a homestead exemption, which may help lower their annual tax bills.
Jason Camp, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, said qualified homeowners may fall into one of three exemption categories, based on age, disability or veteran status. They may be eligible for a substantial tax exemption if they met these requirements on Jan. 1.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Half of Mississippians have lower credit scores than the average American, with Jackson area residents having the second lowest average score in the U.S., according to a national credit monitoring agency.
A recent workshop and new organization, both directed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, aim to help individuals improve their financial health through responsible credit use.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's humid climate creates a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, especially in cluttered, unventilated homes.
Many people recognize these fungi by their musty smells on clothing and dark spots on walls and ceilings, but growth usually begins in areas that are unseen or difficult to access.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Housecleaning and decluttering efforts can go a long way in preventing home-invading bed bugs from setting up residence where they can feed at night on human hosts.
Bed bugs are nuisance pests that often live, as their name suggests, in beds. Once the bugs are introduced into a home, their extermination requires professional services. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, through the Healthy Homes Initiative, is equipping residents with the knowledge to keep this problem out of their houses.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most bill payers are keenly aware of the importance of energy efficiency, but a new initiative is placing similar emphasis on environmental concerns.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said weatherization focuses on reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, but families need a more comprehensive approach to home improvements.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.
The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- When the new year rolls around, people often resolve to focus on personal fitness goals, but it is a great time to make sure homes are healthy as well.
"There are a lot of hazards our homes can pose that could be harmful to our health," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Some of these hazards give no warning signs."
Carbon monoxide, lead and radon are odorless, invisible contaminants that can cause serious health problems and even death if left unchecked.
LAUREL, Miss. -- Win or lose, competing in livestock shows would not be possible without the help of others.
"Everyone helps everyone else," said Rustin Anderson, 17, of Jones County. "We're all like family, even though we are competing against each other."
Anderson, who has been showing Brangus cattle since 2009, is highly involved with the Jones County 4-H program. He serves as president of the junior livestock exhibitors for the county. He said the family atmosphere is what makes the program unique.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Quality child care does not require a large budget. Dewberry Daycare and Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care and Preschool prove it.
Both centers attained a four-star classification in Mississippi's Quality Rating and Improvement System. Commonly referred to as Quality Stars, the voluntary program is designed to help licensed care and education centers meet and maintain high standards in five areas: learning environments, professional development, administrative policy, parent involvement and evaluation.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All the good smells of the holidays brought into the house by candles, cooking, live greenery and holiday plants can contribute to poor indoor air quality.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said indoor air quality affects human health in several ways.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Decorated homes and busy kitchens mark the holiday season for many families, but this time of year also brings an increased number of safety hazards.
Decor and cooking fires increase during the holidays, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as millions of dollars in property damage. Between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,070 home fires a year started by holiday decorations, including Christmas trees, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Before buying electronic educational gadgets to help children learn, adults need to recognize the difference in active engagement and passive entertainment.
Louise E. Davis, a professor of child and family development for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said children who are less than 2 years old should not be exposed to interactive digital media. Instead of screen time, she suggested playing with Lego bricks or large building blocks, as well as reading books together, as ways to encourage imagination.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- On the heels of a heated political season, make family peace a priority during the upcoming holidays.
Alisha Hardman, an assistant professor in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said holidays offer opportunities for family members to enjoy one another and make memories to last a lifetime.
"Some families have more trouble than others when it comes to controversial or sensitive subjects," Hardman said. "If something cannot be discussed in a constructive manner, it may be best to avoid the topic altogether."