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Family Watchdog
Happy November everyone!

With the cold season fast approaching, we wanted to remind you that now is a great time to start winterizing your home and vehicle. Don't know how?

Here are some great tips and a checklist. We have highlighted these pages in past newsletters because of the great info:

Please make sure you and your family are ready for the cold season!
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Thanksgiving Dinner  Thanksgiving is a time for the 4 F's... Family, Friends, Food and Football. We here at Family Watchdog know you know how to get down in the Kitchen and make that passed-down recipe of the family's homemade pumpkin pie. But did you do it safely? Nearly 20% of food poisoning cases come from just the Holidays alone. Here is a great website by WebMD on how NOT to get food poisoning this holiday season: Click here

Wondering what to do with those leftovers? Click here to get some terrific recipes
Black Friday  What's more scary than spending a holiday with your great aunt pinching your cheeks every five minutes? You guessed it, Black Friday. While Black Friday is great for scoring some amazing deals, it is also a dangerous place if you are not careful. In 2008, a Walmart employee was trampled to death when the doors opened and the shoppers came in to the store. Click here to read more.

If you plan on scoring some amazing deals, make a gameplan. Some things you might want to consider:

Be careful driving in the wee-hours of the morning. ALWAYS wear a seatbelt.

•  Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
•  Shop online with companies you know and trust.
•  Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases.
•  Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards.
•  Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
•  Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
•  Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
•  If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.

Also, check out this site for some helpful shopping tips for Black Friday: Click here
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With the cold coming in and the dark coming upon us earlier, why not teach your children some self defense? With children coming home from friend's houses for dinner, it may be dark in your area. Make a game out of teaching them how to protect themselves. Talk with a law enforcement officer about what is legal and safe in your neighborhood for protecting yourself.

Do you know who your neighbors are? The world is getting to be scarier by the day. With all the crime and upsetting news, don't you want to protect your children? Please take the time - We recommend once every other week - to check our site and see who has moved in/out of your neighborhood. Registered Sex Offenders (or as we refer to them as, RSOs) come and go often. You and your family should refresh your memory of their faces as often as you can. Print out their pictures and hang them somewhere. Awareness is your best defense.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to be active in your child's life and community. If you suspect child abuse or any other illegal activity, report it. You can literally change a child's life. All too often abuse is not reported, even though there is a witness. Because someone is afraid. Every and any complaint can be made anonymous! Be a child's voice and report suspected abuse.

Also report things that are not directly connected to a child. Do you live near a park where children are being bullied? Do you know where a run away is staying? There may be underlying problems at the child's home that makes them act out in the way they do. Report it. Click here

Also, I want to stress - If you know of a child being abused or neglected and you do not report it, you can be punished by the law. Report child abuse and change someone's life.
We hope you take in the info that we provide in every newsletter. As always, we wish you safe, warm and Happy Holidays with your family and loved ones. Be Smart, Be Safe. Awareness is your best defense!

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