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National Poison Prevention Week – Keep Your Detergents “Up, Up and Away”

 

Poison

Did you know that March 15th – March 21st is National Poison Prevention Week?

National Poison Prevention Week was created to remind people to consider the risks of poisonous and hazardous products and materials around your household and the potential risks involved. Those especially vulnerable are children and pets who can’t read or understand labels.

There are many products in your home RIGHT NOW that are poisonous and could make someone seriously ill, or worse yet, died from complications. Such products include household cleaners, pesticides, plants and medications.

90% of poisonings occur in the home. That is a very scary statistic.

When my children were younger I was very conscientious about keeping potentially deadly products out of their reach. I had child safety locks on the cabinets and door knobs (so they couldn’t open up certain doors). I also made sure to keep many products high up the top shelves in the cabinets out of their reach. In addition I had the number for the Poison Control Center prominently displayed on our refrigerator.

Poisonous

Tide and Gain have partnered with parenting & lifestyle expert, Rosie Pope, best known for her Bravo reality show Pregnant in Heels, to help parents across the country create safe (homes and) laundry rooms.

My family uses those “pillow” like laundry detergent products. I never thought about how potentially deadly they could be for children. I never thought about how tempting they could be for a child to play with or put in their mouths.

I took a look at the pods/”pillows” and realized that they had the look and feel of a gummy-like “candy.” They are also fragile so a child could easily squeeze the fluid on the inside all over themselves or worse yet – in their mouth!

Now I’ll never look at laundry detergent “pods” the same way. I’m glad my kids are teens and know better but we still have a curious dog and cats. I wouldn’t want my dog to eat one of these either.

Pods

Rosie has some great tips that parents, grandparents and caregivers should really take to heart.

Up Up Away

If the graphic is hard to read on your computer you can pull up a larger image (one you could save and print out) here – Up Up and Away Tips.

Additional safety tips can be found on the P&G website, www.PGEveryday.com/tag/Safe-Home.

These are some really great tips. Some tips seem obvious, like putting laundry and cleaning products high up on a shelf, but you would be surprised at how many people still continue to store poisonous products under their sinks or on low shelves.

Even if you put things on a higher shelf a child could still gain access to it. That is why it’s important to put a safety lock on all doors and cabinets regardless of how “out of the way” you think the products are. Children are crafty and resourceful. It doesn’t take a child long to realize that they can step on a chair or climb up on the counter to reach for something that interests them.

I like the tip about keeping products in their original containers. That is  great idea. That way you have all the necessary information about what the product is made of to give to the Poison Control Center in the event you ever need to call them (which I hope NEVER happens).

I also like the idea of getting down to a child’s level to look at your home from their eyes at their level. That can help you pick up on potentially dangerous situations such as uncovered outlets, plugs, wires and more.

Cabinet locks and other safety products are found at many retail locations.

Cabinet locks and other safety products are found at many retail locations.

In addition, the tip about doing a safety check every few months is a great idea. I think people should get in the habit of doing that at least 2-3 times a day. Perhaps you can make note to do that when the time changes, just like you would the batteries in your smoke alarm.

Now that I have you thinking about poisoning prevention I hope that you’ll take some time today or this week to look around your home for potential risks and quickly remedy the situation to avoid accidental poisoning.

For the National Poison Control Center please called 1-800-222-1222. Write this number down and display it someplace prominent in your home such as on the fridge or near you home phone. You can also add it to your contacts in your cellphone that way you have access to it when you are away from home or on vacation.

You can also visit Poison.org for more information.

Is your home protected? Do you keep your cleaning, laundry and other poisonous products high up on a locked shelf? If not, will you make sure to do that ASAP?

Do you have any experience with accidental poisoning? Feel free to share any tips you might have.

Poison Help

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I did receive a few laundry samples and a safety lock in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

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A Beacon of Hope: Silent Beacon Releases Innovative Personal Safety Device

 

CrimeThe statistics are sobering: violent crime occurs in the United States every 26 seconds, auto accidents occur every 8 seconds, and a college-aged female has a 1 in 4 chance of being sexually assaulted. People can’t always rely on police or campus security being nearby, and in certain emergency situations, getting help immediately can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why Silent Beacon was created – to help loved ones reach 911 and family members quickly and easily in the event of an emergency. With a single touch of a button, emergency personnel and loved ones can instantly track the user, speeding up the response rate – and ultimately allowing help to arrive faster.

The wearable, waterproof Silent Beacon is a Bluetooth device that connects wirelessly to a Smartphone so that users can immediately text, call, and email stored emergency contacts. Meanwhile, the Silent Beacon application utilizes technology in the Smartphone to push out data – without the need to fumble with passcodes or phone numbers during an emergency. Pressing the button on the app or device will activate the technology that notifies family and friends of the user’s situation and location, all in less than five seconds. In addition, the Silent Beacon device is capable of allowing users to talk directly to 911 or loved ones. Though the device itself is still in the final stages of development, the app is available for download now and can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/silent-beacon/id933730960?mt=8

Silent Becon

Other features of the Silent Beacon include: GPS real-time tracking, indented buttons to avoid inadvertently sending an alert, push notifications, custom message capabilities, and an add-on optional call center service. Currently, customers can pre-order the device at SilentBeacon.com. This enables the buyer to lock in on a discounted rate that is more than 30% off the retail cost of the unit. Devices will start shipping this April; however, when the Silent Beacon becomes available in retail stores, the $60 price will then increase to $99.

Founder and CEO Kenneth Kelley was inspired to develop the Silent Beacon after being involved in a serious car accident that rendered his cell phone useless. In that moment, he realized that it was imperative for people to have a faster and more reliable method for contacting emergency assistance. Today, Silent Beacon, Inc. is working to reach its goal that every person with a Smartphone will have the ability to contact, alert, and be tracked by loved ones – and emergency personnel – in the event of a crisis. The company strives to keep its commitment to safety, convenience, affordability, and customer satisfaction as they improve safety for the general public, while maintaining superior quality, integrity, and excellence.

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*This post is brought to you by Silent Beacon. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

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Sterilizing baby bottles (and more!) just got easier with UviCube

 

Baby Bottles

I would not consider myself a “germophobe”, but I am concerned about germs and bacteria and the harm it can cause my family. I’ve always been that way – ever since my kids were babies.

Most first time parents are overly cautious when it comes to germs. They even go so far as to make sure everyone washes their hands before touching the child. And heaven forbid a pacifier or teething toy falls on to the ground. I think most parents would rather toss it away instead of having to boil water to sterilize it again.

Our son was a preemie and we had to be extra careful to ensure he didn’t get sick. I still remember boiling huge pots of water to drop all his bottles, nibbles, pacifiers and other items that went into his mouth (teething rings, favorite teething toy…). It was time consuming to say the least. Every night (sometimes even during the day) I had to boil everything to make sure it was sanitized. I always dreamed of an easier way to make sure our children’s items were sanitized for their protection.

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There is a new product on the market that makes sanitizing your baby’s bottles and pacifiers quicker and easier. It’s called UviCube.

UviCube Dries, Disinfects and Stores. Unlike traditional sterilizing baby bottle methods, UviCube has a drying function for baby bottles, baby bottle nipples, sippy cups, pacifiers and other similar containers before disinfecting them with the power of UV light. This ability allows you to save time, including precious counter top space instead of having to lay out all of your baby’s items out to dry.

The UviCube looks like a small “microwave.”

UviCube

UviCube uses a low-heat infrared light to dry and UV light to disinfect. You don’t have to worry about burning your fingers like you would with boiling water.

It’s important that your baby’s bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups and other things they put in their mouths be sanitized. Their immune and digestive systems are not as strong as adults. They are still underdeveloped and weak.

I have actually seen mom’s pick up their child’s pacifier from the floor (after the baby dropped it), put it in THEIR mouth to suck it clean and then put it back in their baby’s mouth.

EEEEWWWWW!!!!!

That is gross on so many levels, not to mention completely unhealthy.

UviCube can house several bottles (depending on the size) so you can dry and sanitize several bottles at one time. Talk about a time saver. I wish we had something like this when my kids were little. It would have saved me from having to fill a pot with water, wait for it to boil, drop in the things I wanted to disinfect, watch them in the water for a few minutes, then take the out and let them air dry on the counter. With UviCube you simply pop the bottles (after you clean them) into the UviCube and in no time they are dry and disinfected. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

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You can even store your baby’s things (bottles, cups…) inside the UviCube to free up space on your counter top.

UviCube is not only for baby things. The UviCube can be used to disinfect and sanitize other things like remote controls, toys, cellphones and more. I like that it does more than just sanitize baby items.

Did you know that your cellphone has more germs and bacteria on it than a public restroom toilet? It’s true! Google it. Tests have proven that cellphones carry a lot of harmful germs and bacteria on them including E-coli and Staphylococcus (which causes Staph infections).

The UviCube is great for the whole family to use. It’s not just for baby items.

If you would like more information about UviCube visit www.UviCube.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

UviCube is not available for purchase – yet. You can sign up on their website to be notified when the units are available. However they have a Kickstarter campaign going on right now and they have surpassed their goal amount.

I’ve seen plenty of Kickstarter campaigns over the past couple of years and I can tell that UviCube is a very popular because they have surpassed their goal amount and they still have about a month and a half to go on their campaign. That is amazing! You can tell that people can truly see the value in UviCube.

You can see what others are saying about this campaign using the hashtag #KickstartUviCube.

There are different donation options for UviCube from $1.00 and up. There are special rewards for the various amounts donated.

For more information about the UviCube Kickstarter campaign, or the make a donation, visit UviCube on Kickstarter.

What do you think about UviCube? Does it look like something you and your family could use?

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with UviCube to bring you this information.

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Get peace of mind while your kids are at school with Safety Blanket

 

School

My kids are teenagers now; however I still remember how I felt the first day they went to school. My kids were always with me – 24/7. I knew what they were doing and if they were safe. As a mom I wanted to know my kids were always protected.

We had a bit of a scare when our son was not even two years old. He attended a special nursery school twice a week based on suggestions from his physical and occupational therapists. I hated the idea of leaving my baby with strangers, but I knew it was the best for him.

One Tuesday morning I dropped our son off like I normally do. Our daughter also attended a nursery school but she went to a different school on different days.

When I returned home from dropping our son off from school I was greeted by our neighbor who was freaking out. She was running up and down the stairs in our condo building in her pajamas shouting “They are dropping planes everywhere! They just dropped a plane on a mall in New Jersey! Oh my God! What is going on?”

I had no idea what she was talking about. She was in a total panic. So I ran inside and turned on the news. She was somewhat right. Planes were “dropping” – into the World Trade Center.

You guessed it. It was September 11, 2001. I was home with our daughter but our son was at his nursery school. Needless to say I dashed back to the school and grabbed him to get him home with me. I wasn’t the only parent to do that. Many others were at the school too.

I was relieved to have both kids home with me safe and sound. I felt even better when my husband got home.

I hope and pray nothing like that ever happens again.

Police

I do worry about other threats that could happen when my kids are at school. We live in the 10 mile “danger zone” of a nuclear plant (trust me, if I could move away we’d do it in a heartbeat). What if something happens at the plant?

I also worry about psycho people coming into the school with a gun shooting teachers and students. Sadly that happens far too often than it should. Unfortunately this has become a real threat to worry about.

Not too long ago the high school had a fire alarm go off too. It wasn’t a drill. Something caught on fire – I believe in the custodian’s closet if I recall correctly.

Needless to say things can happen when your kids are at school. I am NOT trying to frighten anyone. I am simply suggesting that parents, and schools, need to have something in place in the event of an emergency.

There is an application that can help. It’s called Safety Blanket.

Even if a school has plenty of safety measures in place (ID check, scanners…) things can happen.

Safety Blanket is a user friendly app. It’s for parents, teachers and schools. It’s a way for everyone to communicate with one another in an effective way so that everyone is on the “same page.” It helps to make sure that safety practices are being accounted for and that all communication is effective.

Anyone can use this app. There is no need for extensive training. The app is very easy to use and is easily seen through graphics so teachers don’t need to read through a manual to send an alarm. They can simply select an icon on the home screen that coincides with what is happening.

With Safety Blanket teachers and school can maintain live rosters. With the built in rosters, teachers are able to report what child is in their classroom and who is missing. This helps to keep a head count to ensure that every child present at school that day is accounted for. Many teachers still use paper attendance sheets which can get misplaced during an emergency. With Safety Blanket, the student attendance is right there at the teacher’s fingertips.

Safety Blanket lets everyone know if there is an issue involving fire, weather, hazardous materials, medical emergency or something else. It has five different alarms available with the touch of button. It also helps to connect schools with first responders in the event of an emergency (Police, Fire, etc.). The app streamlines communication across the board. It can even be set up so that administrators of the school district can be updated as well as parents.  In other words everyone knows what is going on in real time.

Safety Blanket Screen Shot

In addition to the live rosters and alarm system, Safety Blanket features secure texting where important messages can be exchanged. The app even keeps track of all drills to help better prepare year end reports and more importantly to ensure that all drills are effective.

I think that the Fire Marshall, Police Department and other first responders will appreciate this application. It should cut down on response time and get help sooner.

As a parent it would be great to be informed about what is going on at school at all times, rather than hearing about it when your child gets home from school or on the local news.

Check out this brief video for more information about this important application that all schools should have in place.

 

To sum it all up, Safety Blanket is an app that provides up to the minute tracking to ensure that kids are safe at school. The app includes live rosters and also has a series of alarms to alert teachers and even parents of what is going on at school. For school administrators, it streamlines communication with easy access through mobile and desktop portals. The app also evaluates drills to ensure that current safety procedures are actually effective, and it logs everything for future reference and review. The goal with Safety Blanket is to make schools safer.

If you would like to learn more about Safety Blanket visit Safety-Blanket.com. You can also check them out on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

If this sounds like something you would like to have at your child’s school, or in your school district, please contact your school’s administrators and tell them about Safety Blanket (be sure to give them the URL so they can check it out themselves).

As a parent it’s important for us to know what is going on with our children at all times – even when they are at school. Give yourself peace of mind, and stay informed, with Safety Blanket.

Safety Blanket App

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Safety Blanket to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Important Tips for Safe Sledding

 

My daughter playing with some snow (photo taken years ago)

My daughter playing with some snow (photo taken years ago)

The Northeast lucked out and missed being hit by a blizzard of historical proportions. Some areas of the Northeast were not as fortune, but most of the area lucked out and were spared being buried by 2+ feet of snow.

Most schools in our area are closed today. Since we were expected “snowmageddon” to hit us most schools and many businesses were closed to protect their safety.

Since most kids are home from school today they are looking for something fun to to do such as build snowmen, have snowball flights and of course go sledding.

I used to love to go sledding with my cousins during the winter. We had wooden Flexible Fliers. They were awesome! I miss them. I’ts on my “Bucket List” to get another one, just for sentimental reasons.

Back then we didn’t use our heads. We would slide down the hill in front of one of our neighbor’s homes and slide across the street to the other side of the road. It wasn’t a busy street at all, plus it as a dead end. None the less that was not very smart of us to do that. In hindsight I realize how lucky we were. As a mom I would never let my kids do that.

Over the years we’ve had fatalities as a result of sledding accidents. Just a few years ago a young girl was sledding in a local golf course and hit a tree and died on impact. Several years earlier a young boy slide across a parking lot and fell off his sled and hit his head. He was airlifted tot he hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Sledding is A LOT of fun and its a great activity to do during the winter months. Sledding can also result in serious injuries and fatalities.

My daughter sledding (photo taken years ago)

My daughter sledding (photo taken years ago)

Here is a great article and tips from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center here in New York. It’s a fantastic facility. Our son was at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for the first 33 days of his life in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). There is even a movie based on this children’s hospital and how it came to be called Louder Than Words.

If you have a child or grandchild, or have any children or teens in your life, I would recommend taking heed to these important sledding safety tips.

Sledding is a fun wintertime activity for families, however those exhilarating slides down neighborhood hills send more than 20,000 children to emergency rooms each year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics*. With winter in full swing, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center – the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County- is reminding parents, caregivers and snow-goers of all ages that sledding injuries are preventable, if the right steps are taken.

“During a typical winter season, our pediatric emergency department cares for dozens of children injured while sledding, snow tubing and tobogganing,” explained Darshan Patel, M.D., Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. “These injuries range from severe bruises and broken bones to facial injuries, fractured skulls and brain trauma.”

“Once sleds and snow tubes start moving down a hill they pick up speed very quickly and can be very hard for a child control. As a result, children sustain injuries when their sleds strike trees, fences and other sledders,” remarked Geralyn Flaherty, R.N. Assistant Nurse Manager of the Westchester Medical Center Emergency Department. “Often, the severity of the injury is compounded by the weight of a parent riding on the sled with the child. “The common thread among all of these injuries? They’re preventable,” expressed Flaherty.

Originally offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center shares the following tips for safe sledding:

  • Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
  • Children should be supervised while sledding.
  • Keep young children separated from older children.
  • Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
  • Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
  • Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes. Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
  • Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
  • Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow not ice, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.

Following these and other safety measures will help ensure a memorable family experience on the snow. “Families should end their sledding day with warm blankets and cups of hot chocolate, not a visit to our Pediatric Emergency Department,” concluded Dr. Patel.

Safe Sledding

Graphic.Safe Sledding

They even prepared a great infographic with more important information. To view it please click on the text link below the image.

Sledding is A LOT of fun, and it’s a great family activity. It can also be a good way to sneak some exercise in too (walking up the hills is a good workout). Just use common sense to avoid injuries – or worse.

As a parent I love the idea of using a helmet. My kids are teens and haven’t gone sledding in years. If they were still children I would make them wear helmets. That makes perfect sense.

Have fun and stay safe!

My kids having a snow "fight" using shovels full of snow (photo taken years ago).

My kids having a snow “fight” using shovels full of snow (photo taken years ago).

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted with permission for the benefit of my site readers. 

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An awesome solution to an ugly problem

 

Baby Gate

If you own a home with a pet, or an infant, chances are you have this product in your home. It’s a popular safety item. If you don’t own one, and have stairs, you should really consider getting one. It’s a pet/baby gate.

I remember when we had gates up in our home. We had one to block the sliding glass door so we could let fresh air in but keep our kids from going out. We also had one to block the kids from getting into the kitchen and one to keep them in their room when I had to cook so I didn’t have to worry about them. We also used the same gates to keep our dog confined to the kitchen and hallway area when we were not at home or at night so as not to have a bunch of “accidents” all over our carpet.

That was many years ago. My kids are teenagers now and our dog will be 8 years old this year. Needless to say it’s been a while since gates were needed.

Let’s face it, safety gates are not exactly nice to look at. If anything they are more of an “eye sore.” Regardless they are a must have safety product if you have young children and/or if you have pets you need to confine to a specific area.

If you have stairs you MUST have a safety gate in your home. You don’t want your child or grandchild to fall down the stairs. That could have some serious repercussions.

If you are like me you don’t really want to have those ugly gates all over your home.

Baby Gate

A mom inventor came up with a great idea that will not only keep your children and pets safe, but also deal with the issue of gates being an “eye sore” in your home.

A mom named Janelle wanted something that could keep her two children from going on the stairs, as well as keep her dogs from going up/down the stairs too. She was tired of the typical safety gates that are available on the market. She wanted something more appealing that would add to her home’s décor, or at a minimum not detract from it. She also wanted something that wouldn’t require drilling and wasn’t permanent so it could easily be removed when not needed or not in use. That is when she came up with the idea of The Stair Barrier.

You can read more of her story on the “About Us” page.

There are plenty of safety gates on the market, but not many specifically designed for the bottom of the stairs. Not only that it’s not always easy to get gates to work with the various types of banister designs.

To solve this problem some people have created their own barriers out of items from around their home. Not only is that an inconvenience to do, and un-do, it’s also not truly effective.

The Stair Barrier was specifically designed to go from banister to banister. It’s a safe and non-permanent way to keep your child and/or pet off the stairs. In addition, Stair Barrier is available in different designs. Future products looking to launch later on this year include collegiate designs, different color options, additional fabric options and even personalization. They are also planning on added a banister to wall Stair Barrier.

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The regular banister to banister collection is designed to fit stair way openings from 36″ to 42″ in width. The basic design is available in two different options – pet or home. There are also seven different personalization options. You can even choose your fabric and color to suit your home’s décor.

There is also a “wide” collection for stairs measuring 42″ – 52″ in width.

The Stair Barrier is also handcrafted in the United States.

Here are a few examples of the Stair Barrier.

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When the Stair Barrier is not needed you can easily undo it and put it to the side without having to find a place to store it or anything else that might be inconvenient. Living in a tiny condo it was impossible to hide the gates when we didn’t need them. We’d have to stuff them behind larger furniture (like the couch) to get them out of the way.

The Stair Barrier just rolls up to the side so that you can use your stairs when you need them. Plus it’s easy to remove and lightweight so you can take it with you where ever you go. For example, if your child or pet is going to spend the night at grandma’s house and she has stairs you can quickly and easily remove the Stair Barrier from your stairs, roll it up, tote it to grandma’s (it’s lightweight!) and quickly set it up on her stairs.

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As a parent, pet owner and home owner I can certainly appreciate the value of the Stair Barrier. We don’t have stairs in our condo (we have them out in the hallway in the common area) but if we did putting up a gate or barrier on top of and at the bottom of the stairs would be a must. Not only for safety reasons but also because I’d like to keep the pets from going into our bedroom when not at home (if that was the case).

I really like this idea. I love that you can easily attach it without making it permanent and I love that you can personalize it. I’m curious to see what new colors and designs they’ll have available later on this year.

If you would like more information about the Stair Barrier please visit TheStairBarrier.com. You can also check them out on the various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (other social media links found at the top right of the company’s home page).

What do you think about the Stair Barrier? Do you think it’s a “must have” product in your home? Do you use gates to prevent children and/or pets from getting up or down the stairs?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with the Stair Barrier to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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