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Be safe around pools this 4th of July!

Prevent Holiday Drowing

Prevent Holiday Drowning Spending time in and by the pool is a 4th of July tradition for many families. Unfortunately, the popularity of this activity coincides with an increase in drowning reports during this time of the year.

PoolSafety.gov was created to educate homeowners and families about the risks of drowning and to provide important safety tips to prevent these tragedies from occurring.

Tips include the obvious -- staying close to children and being alert -- to the less-so, like learning water safety skills and using a door or pool alarm if the house serves as the "fourth side" of a fence around the pool.

Be sure to check out the PoolSafety.gov website for all the safety advice and have a safe 4th of July!

Is purple your pleasure?

New Interior Design App

CSL may be an England-based sofa specialist, but don't let that fool you. Those Brits still know a thing or two about interior design.

To prove it, CSL has recently released the Colour My Room app, a free online and phone app that let's shoppers upload an image of their room and get instant advice on a sofa to go along with the room's color scheme.

All right, so it's an obvious sales app, but even consumers who aren't inclined to buy from CSL can still take the free advice and use it to find something similar from a store closer by.

The app uses four different color palettes in the same way that a professional interior designer would, analyzing the photo of the room and coming up with suggestions for complementing colors and sofa styles to fit the room.

Would you use the Colour My Room app even if you didn't want to buy a CSL sofa?

Yankees zealotry not included.

Ultimate Fan Boy Recliner

La-Z-Boy, that paragon of comfortable living, just released its XZipit accessory, which allows die hard fans to wear their heart on their sleeve and their team logo on their recliner.

The XZipit is a team logo panel that zips in and out of the recliner seat back, featuring a patented hidden zipper design that keeps the logo attached seamlessly to your sports nut's favorite place to be on a Sunday.

A nice, small touch from La-Z-Boy. It sounds like it's easy enough to swap logos in and out, so you can go from watching the Pats lose to the Bills to the Red Sox losing to anyone they are playing at the time and never feel like your support for your teams has wavered an ounce.

Would you grace your La-Z-Boy with an XZipit? If so, which logo?

One of the eight types of pool drain covers recalled.

1 Million Pool and In-Ground Spa Drain Covers Recalled Due to Entrapment Hazard

Eight different manufacturers have recalled a total of almost 1 million pool and in-ground spa drain covers due to an incorrect rating. The flaw means these products are incapable of handling the flow of water for which they were originally rated. This poses a possible entrapment hazard to swimmers and bathers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists the manufacturers and their individual websites so consumers can look into a replacement or retrofit.

Pool owners and consumers who own one of the recalled pool or spa drain covers should stop using the product immediately and contact the manufacturer.

There's a toll-free Drain Cover Recall Hotline to call at (866) 478-3521 and consumers can also visit the drain cover recall website at www.apsp.org/draincoverrecall.

Worse than Second-Hand Smoke?

Here's a convincing argument for chlorine-free pools: Children who spent more than 100 hours swimming in chlorinated pools are up to six times at risk of having asthma and allergies as other teens. "There is little doubt that pool chlorine is an important factor implicated in the epidemic of allergic diseases affecting the westernized world," said head researcher Alfred Bernard. According to Bernard, chlorine in swimming pools affects children's respiratory health more than secondhand smoke.

The study surveyed 814 teens ages 13 to 18 before arriving at the surprising (to this writer) conclusion. Researchers speculate toxic chemicals in the water and hovering in the air promote respiratory allergies. No coincidence that the most cases of asthma are in the countries with the most swimming pools. Learn more about switching to a self-cleaning chlorine-free pool.

Pool Safety

According to data from the CPSC, 300 children younger than 5 drown in pools and spas each year while close to 3,000 suffer pool-related injuries requiring a trip to the emergency room; 80% of the fatalities occurred in a residential setting. The CPSC has launched a new Web site, PoolSafety.gov, that serves as a source for information about drowning prevention. In short, homeowners should have a fence around their pool with self-closing, self-latching gates to prevent unsupervised access. Be safe this summer.

About one-third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 now live with parents, in-laws or friends due to reasons related to the recession.

Moving Back Home

Builder Online recently reported that roughly one-third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 are moving back in with their parents or their in-laws or are reverting back to a lifestyle with roommates due to ripple effects from the recession.

Based on a recent AARP report that Builder Online cited, 15 percent of people surveyed expressed a degree of likelihood that they'd move in with, or accommodate another, family member or friend. Out of those surveyed, the largest percent (about one-third) said that it would be due to a loss of income. About one-fifth said it was due to a change in job status, and most notably, about 8 percent of those surveyed said it was due to home foreclosure.

While these statistics underscore the recession's direct impact of people's home accommodation decisions, one-third said that they felt "somewhat comfortable" with that kind of a living arrangement while another third expressed that they would "not be comfortable at all" living with additional family members or friends.

Builder says that AARP expects the demand for universal design features like ground floor bedrooms and walk-in showers to increase in order to accommodate multi-generational, flexible living arrangements.

Read "Adding an In-Law Suite" to find out more about combining intergenerational households. Watch this video to see the addition of an in-law suite.

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