With summertime comes swimming - and the tragedy of kids drowning in pools and spas. Learn what you can do to keep children safe today at the H2O Expo, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's waterfront pool. Certified swim instructors will be there to evaluate kids' water skills, and there will be pool safety device and paddleboard demonstrations, plus games, prizes and refreshments. Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett will be there to sign autographs. FloridaSafePools.org is presenting the event. If you can't make it there today, check out the website for lots of useful information and resources. The USF pool is at 104 Seventh Ave. S.
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DO IT FOR THE KIDS: Parents, if the news this week that more kids than ever have asthma - and secondhand smoke is a major trigger - doesn't get you to quit smoking, maybe these facts will:
- Every year in Florida, an estimated 790 children lose their mothers, and 2,000 lose their fathers, to smoking-related complications.
- The top indicator for kids to pick up smoking is whether their parents smoke, and in Florida, more than 22,800 kids under 18 become smokers every year.
Those stunning statistics come from Tobacco Free Florida, which has a new ad campaign aimed at parents, just in time for Mother's Day and Father's Day. For more inspiration - and help to quit smoking - visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com.
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LESS IS MORE: On the theory that if a little is good, more must be better, a new survey tells us that while most Americans believe drinking wine is good for your heart, we haven't gotten the message about limits.
And on the theory that if it costs more it must be better, we also think that sea salt has less sodium than plain old table salt. Both revelations come from a new survey by the American Heart Association of 1,000 American adults. Specifically, 76 percent agreed wine's good for you, but only 30 percent knew that women should have no more than one serving a day; two for men. "We need to do a better job of educating people about the heart-health risks of overconsumption of wine, especially its possible role in increasing blood pressure," said Dr. Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist and professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Jacksonville.
More bad news: A serving of wine is just 4 ounces.
And about that sea salt: It's 40 percent sodium, just like kosher salt and table salt. Besides, most of the sodium we get is not from what we add, but what's already in processed food. Your daily goal: no more than 1,500 milligrams, according to the AHA.
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GIVE PILATES A TRY: Today is National Pilates Day, so if you've been wanting to try the strengthening, lengthening workout, look for a studio that's celebrating with free classes. Among local celebrations: Your Pilates Lifestyle in Seminole is offering free mat classes today from 8 a.m. to noon. They also offer one-day specials on all group and private packages, but call ahead. Go to www.yourpilateslifestyle.com or call (727) 421-7165.
If tai chi is more your speed, there are free demonstrations today in St. Petersburg and Dunedin. See today's calendar.
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NO SLIPUPS: If you need extra help to keep from slipping during tricky yoga poses, try a pair of Puretoes. They're moisture-wicking, antimicrobial foot covers with nonskid pads on the soles, and they leave your toes exposed. All that means you can practice on bare floors without slipping, making them great for traveling when you just don't have room for a yoga mat in your suitcase. They would also be handy for Pilates. Plus, they're the creation of Odessa resident Tina Goldfield, so you get the extra satisfaction of supporting a local entrepreneur. You'll find them in a variety of patterns for $20 at www.puretoes.com.