Safekeeping - Health Living & Health Insurance

History of the Thanksgiving Meal

People Talking Celebrating Thanksgiving Holiday

The genesis of our modern Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621, bore a limited resemblance to our celebration today. The original feast included a gathering of approximately 50 Englishmen and 90 Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe who traveled for about two days for the event (Time.com). The colonists, having arrived on the continent in 1620, celebrated their first harvest in the fall of 1621, but the actual meal was light on vegetables. The Wampanoag brought five deer, while colonists contributed various waterfowl including geese, ducks, swans, and likely passenger pigeons (which at the time were abundant but are now extinct in the wild) (Smithsonian Magazine). The wild turkey is mentioned by some sources, though others argue there is no clear evidence of turkey having been served at all (New York Times). Though birds may have been stuffed, it was not the bread-based stuffing we are familiar with, but rather chunks of onion and herbs (Smithsonian Magazine). None of our commonly anticipated side dishes (mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie) were present at the original meal. The fowl and venison were accompanied by fish, shellfish, nuts, corn, and possibly squash, as these were readily available and part of … Read more

Remembering Our Nation’s Heroes

Veterans Day

At a time when there is so much divisiveness in our country, we would do well to recognize that there is also much to unite us. The people of our nation have varying opinions about what direction our country should head and what mistakes it may have made in the past, yet no one disputes that we all owe our military veterans the highest of honors.  Most of us have heard of Armistice Day, but not all may be clear on what it is and why it is significant. World War I, known at the time as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars,” officially ended on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting had actually ceased on November 11, 1918. This armistice (temporary suspension of hostilities) “between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” (US Department of Veterans Affairs). In 1938 legislation was passed to dedicate November 11 “to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’” (Military.com).  Following World War II and the Korean War, veterans service organizations prompted Congress to dispose of the … Read more

Halloween Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

Halloween 2020 two friends getting ready to trick-or-treat

While some families may opt-out of trick-or-treating this year, there will likely be those who still participate in the annual ritual. Though not all of the costumes will be scary, a few Halloween statistics surely are. According to the National Safety Council, “Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.”  While most little goblins and ghosts will be accompanied by an adult, twelve percent of children ages five and under are permitted to trick-or-treat with an older teen or preteen who is likely to be less attentive (Safe Kids Worldwide).  Be sure your young ones wear costumes that are easily seen in the dark. If their garments are not already reflective, add reflective tape to the costume and/or treat bag. Remind kids to walk, not run, keep their heads up, and avoid looking at screens while on the move. Younger children should be accompanied by an adult, while older ones should let parents know what their route plan is and when they expect to be home.  A few safety tips for drivers include driving at slower speeds and paying extra attention … Read more

Enjoy the Fall Without Getting Burned

Roasting Marshmallows Over Campfire

Enjoy the Fall Without Getting Burned As the leaves begin to change and the cooler weather of fall approaches, we renew our appreciation for fire. The warmth of a fire brings with it images of cozy gatherings and good food. Backyard fire pits have grown in popularity over the years and now offer a great way to socialize in relative safety as we can enjoy the company of friends and neighbors and still be outside. Like seemingly all good things, though, fire can be risky. According to the Journal of Burn and Care Research, “Outdoor fire pits represent an increasing hazard to young children who are particularly susceptible to burn injuries from falls in or around lit recreational fires.” On average, a fire injury occurs every 30 minutes, and each year approximately 3,400 burn injuries become fatal (Burn Statistics).  While backyard fire pits are one concern, what happens in the kitchen can be even more dangerous. Stanford Children’s Health indicates that home-cooking equipment is the “leading cause of home fires and related injuries.” While medical research has led to advancements that enable 96.7% of patients treated in burn centers to survive, the consequences of serious burns often include … Read more

Teen Drivers: How to Help Keep Them and Our Community Safe

Teen Drivers- How to Help Keep Them and Our Community Safe

Teen Drivers- How to Help Keep Them and Our Community Safe It is a sobering fact that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), every day about six teens die, and hundreds more are injured in car crashes. Along with the loss of life and pain and suffering also comes a staggering economic cost of accidents involving teen drivers: over $13 billion annually (CDC).  Why are teen drivers contributing to such grave statistics? Obviously, inexperience plays a role.  Teens are also more likely to speed and/or follow other vehicles too closely.  In addition to these risky habits, teens are the least likely age group to wear seatbelts (CDC). Since research has shown that “seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half,” the importance of buckling up cannot be overstated (CDC). While teens cannot legally drink alcohol, many do drink and drive, and intoxication only exacerbates the challenges of operating a motor vehicle for an inexperienced driver.  As if they don’t already face enough of a challenge to focus on the road, cell phones and other devices may also be competing for teens’ … Read more

Hit the Road in a Recreational Vehicle

Hit the Road in a Recreational Vehicle

Hit the Road in a Recreational Vehicle Many of us are thinking about finally taking the vacations that have been on hold for so long, and we might be considering new ways to travel. The assets of recreational vehicles merit their consideration, especially now. An RV allows for a great deal of flexibility–you can go where you want whenever you want. An RV also allows you to avoid the expense, crowds, and hassles of air travel. You can save money by cooking your own food, and when you are ready to head to your next destination, everything is already in the vehicle–no need to pack.   Seasoned RVers are also quick to point out how friendly people are. If you don’t know anyone when you arrive at a campground, you soon will. Another advantage is the view.  While traveling, the RV driver and his or her companion are seated higher off the road than car drivers, and the large windshield offers a broad view of the destination. RV travel offers a great way to experience the treasures that are our national parks and other great destinations while still enjoying the convenience of a bed and private restroom–go out sightseeing, … Read more

Protecting Your Assets

Protecting Your Assets

Protecting Your Assets As we accept some of the changes and limitations that life is confronting us with these days, we are learning to find fun wherever we can, and often this means recreating close to home. Home swimming pools, trampolines, swing sets, and treehouses are especially popular this year.  A home trampoline is a great way to get the kids and maybe even yourself outside and doing something active. Yet they are not without risk. According to Science Direct, “Trampolines account for up to 15% of pediatric orthopedic injuries requiring hospital care during the summertime.” You can take steps to significantly reduce the likelihood that your child will not become one of these statistics, such as allowing only one child to jump at a time, but what happens when a neighborhood kid escapes supervision and can’t resist the lure of your trampoline?  Another significant perk that is not without liability risk is the home swimming pool. Swimming is the joy of summer, and owning a pool for the convenient use of kids, grandkids, and even adults provide countless hours of healthy summer fun. Yet again, risks accompany the boon. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that “drowning … Read more

Waitte’s Insurance wishes you and your family a safe and happy Labor Day

Friends drinking spritz at cocktail bar with face masks - New normal friendship concept with happy people having fun together toasting drinks at restaurant - Bright filter with focus on left woman

Waitte’s Insurance wants to wish you a safe and Happy Labor Day On September 5, 1882, ten thousand union workers gathered for a parade in New York City. This event inspired the creation of the official federal Labor Day holiday in 1894. While initially created to celebrate the achievements of the American labor force, Labor Day has also come to symbolize, for us, the end of summer. While the usual parades may be on hold for this year, many parties and other social events will still take place, and the National Safety Council anticipates between 348 and 452 traffic fatalities. The NSC also estimates that over 45,000 non-fatal injuries will occur due to auto accidents that will be serious enough to need treatment by medical professionals. Now more than ever, we value our time with family and friends. So how can you enjoy this opportunity to socialize and still protect yourself?  Wear your seatbelt, only ride with a sober driver, and call Waitte’s Insurance to be sure you have the coverage you need before the celebration starts.    For further information, visit the following publications: NSC Labor Day – Injury Facts

Enjoying the Outdoors Safely

Enjoying the Outdoors Safely

Enjoying the Outdoors Safely While the past several months have thrust upon us many challenges, frustrations, and disappointments, there have also been a few positive changes.  Some of us are getting more sleep, enjoying more exercise, or spending more time with family. As many of us have been working from home, we are turning to walking and bike riding as ways to get out of the house and improve our health.   Just being outside can help reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, and improve mental health (New York Times). When we add some exercise in the mix, things only get better. However, there are some safety factors that we need to consider.   The fatality rate for pedestrians and cyclists has been steadily rising over the last several decades. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,590 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2019.  While the fatality rate of cyclists is lower, at 857 in 2018, it is still an unfortunately high number (New York Times).   What are some of the factors contributing to these numbers?  It’s no surprise that distracted driving plays a role. While it is illegal to text or talk … Read more

Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Keeping your home safe while on vacation

Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation Following months on lockdown that may have felt like years, many families are deciding it’s finally time to take a vacation. While there is plenty of focus on how to stay safe during the trip, it’s also a good idea to take steps before we depart to keep our homes safe.   According to the U.S. Department of Justice, on average, one home is burglarized every 18 seconds in the United States. Burglaries occur most often during the summer months, and any evidence that your home is unoccupied will make it a more likely target. Before you take off, consider taking the following steps to keep your home safe. Lock all windows and doors. Have mail or package delivery stopped.  A stack of mail or a package on the doorstep is a clear giveaway that homeowners are absent. Hire someone to mow your lawn or shovel your driveway.  Tell a trusted neighbor what your plans are. If possible, ask the neighbor to bring in your garbage cans if they will be outside and to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Consider putting some indoor and outdoor lights on timer switches.  This … Read more