Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. 200 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How? By working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community.
Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Nissan Cutting Prices on 7 Models; 2013 Nissan Altima, 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Nissan Rogue, 2013 Nissan Murano, 2013 Nissan Maxima, 2013 Nissan Armada & the 2013 Nissan Juke
Nissan is cutting prices on seven of its 18 models in the U.S., hoping its cars and trucks will show up in more Internet searches by shoppers.
The price cuts vary with the amount of equipment on each model and run from 2.7%, or $600, on the top-selling Altima midsize car to 10.7%, or $4,400, on the Armada big SUV. Other models getting price cuts include the Sentra compact car, Juke small crossover SUV, Murano midsize crossover, Rogue small crossover and the Maxima full-size car.
Jose Munoz, Nissan’s head of sales and marketing for the Americas, said the vehicles getting the price cuts account for 65% of Nissan’s U.S. sales. The sticker prices, he said, were higher than some rivals’ similar models, and that kept Nissan vehicles out of some Internet searches.
“In some of the customer searches we may not appear,” Munoz said. “This is an indication that we certainly want to be on the shopping list and we want to be considered by as many customers as possible.”
The company plans to reduce rebates and other discounts to offset some of the price cuts. The cuts come at a time when Nissan faces intense competition from U.S.-based automakers and its prime Japanese competitors, Toyota and Honda.
The price cuts are effective Friday for cars and trucks that aren’t yet on dealer lots. However Nissan will also make allowances to trim prices of cars now in dealer inventories. The cuts will remain in effect indefinitely.
Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has set a goal of taking 10% of U.S. sales by 2016 or sooner, and executives are under pressure to sell more vehicles to hit the goal. In the first quarter, Nissan’s sales (including the Nissan and Infiniti brands) through April are up 3.2% this year with an 8.2% share of the market, down from 8.5% in the period last year, according to Autodata.
Although Nissan denies it, industry analysts say the company can afford to cut prices because of efforts in Japan to weaken the yen against the dollar. That makes cars and parts made in Japan cheaper than goods made in the U.S. One analyst said it could be the start of a price war if other automakers follow.
Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit forecasting firm, said the weaker yen should help Nissan cut prices, as the company makes a bid to increase sales and market share amid intense competition.
“We could be looking at a price war,” he said. “If the yen stays where it is at and competitive pressure does as well, we could be looking at a more widespread battle for buyers.”
Nissan’s Munoz denied that the yen has anything to do with the price cuts, saying that four of the seven affected models are made in North America. Only the Juke, Rogue and Murano are made in Japan, and their sales are small compared with the other models.
Nissan makes about 75% of its cars sold in the U.S. in North America, and that should rise to 89% by the end of next year when the company shifts production of the Rogue and Murano.
Nissan isn’t the first automaker to cut prices this year. In January General Motors trimmed $300 to $770 off the sticker price of its slow-selling midsize Chevrolet Malibu.
At this exact moment, thousands of parents are thinking about hitting the highway for a family road trip this summer. Destination? Anywhere but here. It’s an exciting prospect for kids, but it’s also fraught with difficulties, including sudden back-seat fights and frequent retreats to the iPod Zone.
Kids think road trips are cool, at least in theory. The mere suggestion that the family might be heading out on a week long odyssey usually ignites serious excitement. As soon as the wheels roll, of course, the anticipation instantly morphs into “Are we there yet?” The challenge parents face is to keep the excitement and sense of wonder alive, even on the long, potentially boring stretches.
Here are 12 tips gleaned from my own childhood memories and from conversations with parents, children and grown-up kids with road-tripping pasts.
Dredge up some family lore. Think of your road trip as a time to share some “family lore.” Every family has its own oral history, and road trips offer lots of together time, making them ideal occasions for storytelling. Dredge up those old favorite songs and games, too. As a child, I was an impatient traveler, and I am sure my folks find it amusing that I now make my living writing about the “magic” of taking road trips, but much of my enthusiasm for the road comes from those early family jaunts. Not only do I love the driving and the scenery, I can also sing dozens of vintage songs, play every car game known to man, and tell all the old stories passed down through generations of my family. I’m sure I whined, “Are we there yet?” often enough to drive my parents nuts, but those aren’t the memories that linger.
Brush up on your history and geology. Another gift you can give your children is a basic appreciation for the history and geology of the areas you travel through. Even if they grumble, squirm and roll their eyes, they’ll listen. I’m not the only one who can attest to the lifelong value of such discussions, including the sense of personal patriotic pride that arises from actually seeing purple mountains majesty, fruited plains and spacious skies. As an adult, I’ve became aware of just how precious this brand of knowledge is, and I now consider those family road trips some of the best education I received during my first 16 years on the planet.
Get low-tech. Which leads me to my next topic: DVD players, iPods and other electronic gadgets Call me a curmudgeon, but if these devices are used too often on a road trip, you might as well stay home. Nothing insulates people from their surroundings better than ear buds and a video screen. Take electronic gear along if you must, but limit its use if you want to create lasting road trip memories.
Hold a family planning session. Get a big map and plenty of highlighter markers, and then talk about the cool places that would appeal to all members of the trip. Gather information about your route from guidebooks and the Web. Discuss the scope of each traveling day, including how much time in the saddle and how much spent sightseeing and hanging out by the pool. Consider making each child responsible for a one day’s stopping places and restaurants. Including everyone in the planning process invests everyone in the trip and helps ensure a fun adventure for all. One of the most important topics to cover in the planning session is how often the kids will be able to rotate into the front seat. Make the right front seat, the “official navigator’s seat” and whoever is sitting there is designated as being “in charge” (at least for a few moments). The real treat is that it is much easier to see from the front seat and gets everyone involved. Of course, very young children should not be in the front seats because of the inherent air-bag dangers.
Make a trip clipboard. I recommend creating a trip clipboard to hold printed directions to the motels where you plan to stay; these are especially handy if you should reach a city after dark. (I use this technique myself on every road trip.) You can also include directions and information about specific sites and restaurants that you’re planning to see.
Check out your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is reliable and ready to go. Of special importance is a check of the tires, coolant and engine oil.
Pack a “Go Kit.” Include bottles of water, a fire extinguisher, beach towels, personal pillows, maps and atlases. And here are some more suggestions.
Pack a “Car Kit” for each child. Choose age-appropriate items including crayons or markers, pads of paper, bandanas, personal travel pillows, games, small toys, a few treats and the first day’s “travel allowance.” Travel allowances allow kids to shop in gift stores and tourist traps without begging for money at every stop. Maps of your route are also good for children old enough to read them. They can trace their progress, learn to navigate and even stop asking “Are we there yet?” quite as often. Put everything in a bag or other container that the child can also use to hold souvenirs, interesting “finds,” and so on; nylon lunch bags or small daypacks work well. Let the children know that they’ll be getting their Car Kits the day you leave home. That will give them one more thing to look forward to, and you won’t have any trouble at all getting them out of bed. You can add to the Car Kits as the trip progresses, giving the kids a little something to look forward to each morning.
Pack electronic devices. Consider a CB radio, portable DVD player, GPS receiver, audio books and inverters. Electronic entertainment devices can be helpful if you’re stuck in a traffic jam or you’ve exhausted all other options. Audio books are a great way to be entertained and yet remain alert and focused on the tasks of driving. Many companies now offer rental GPS units, which are both useful navigational tools and a source of information about road conditions. Portable CB radios with magnetic mounts allow you to be in touch with other drivers on the road and to get accurate weather reports.
Pack good eats. Though the kids may argue this point, it is not necessary to stop at every fast-food joint along the way. In fact, it is possible to get good nutrition on the road. Make sure everyone drinks twice as much water as they might at home. Take a good cooler along and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prepare road trip snacks and consider packing a road trip picnic.
Eat and greet. Eat in unusual local restaurants at least sometimes, and make a point of speaking with locals or other travelers.
Keep it fun! Avoid vacationing at the same hectic pace as you live at home. A relaxing pace will be remembered more fondly than an overly ambitious one. Take the advice of a local or get off the highway at an unplanned exit and see what is to be found “around the next bend.” Drive fewer hours and spend more time lounging around the motel pool. By allowing time for serendipity, you will re-capture the wonder of the road trip adventure.
Got toddlers? Roadtrippers who are younger than five years old can sometimes present additional challenges. Consider organizing the traveling day so that you reach the motel after 8:00 pm, when the children are likely to fall asleep more easily. Pool time can be done in the morning. Spend the extra $$ to get as comfortable a car seat as possible. Plan to stop every two hours and let the little guys run, play, and blow off as much energy as possible. For more ideas, MomsMinivan.com has several good tips and suggestions.
As parents, you can design a family road trip that will give both you and your children memories to last a lifetime. Grab those markers and a map and start planning your escape!