UM Charles Regional Medical Center Once Again Recognized as a Great Place to Work

Alliance for Workplace Excellence 2018 Award

We understand that providing great health care is only possible with the help of a talented team of professionals. And that’s why we’ve dedicated so many resources to make UM Charles Regional Medical Center a place where team members can thrive as they help others in their community enjoy healthier lives.

That’s why we’re so humbled to announce that our hospital has once again received the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval award and the Health & Wellness Seal of Approval award from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE). The hospital was also recognized with its first-ever EcoLeadership award.

These awards underline our ongoing goals to create a working environment that emphasizes professional and personal growth. In addition, the EcoLeadership award, in particular, is proof of the University of Maryland Medical System’s commitment to establishing environmentally sustainable workplaces and making efficient use of its resources.

Every year, AWE selects organizations for these designations based on a comprehensive assessment process that’s led by an independent review panel. This panel is comprised of a diverse group of professionals and graduate-level students who are leaders in the fields of business, psychology, human resources, environmental science, public health, diversity, and wellness.

This represents the 14th consecutive year that UM Charles Regional Medical Center has earned the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval and the 12th year that it’s received the Health & Wellness Seal of Approval. But while we are honored by these awards, we understand that there’s always work to be done, and, as always, we remain focused on promoting diversity, a healthy work-life balance, and open employee communication. After all, it’s the best way to ensure Southern Maryland is a great place to work and live.

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The Food Vendors and Sponsors Building a Delectable Menu for an Unforgettable Autumn Wine Tasting


If you’ve ever been a part of our Autumn Wine Tasting in Port Tobacco, MD, you know that the wine is only part of the event. Delicious food from some of the area’s most popular restaurants, bistros, and bakeries is one of the staples of the annual affair, and this year’s event — taking place on September 8 — is no different.

What’s on the menu this time around? Check out the food vendors already on the list:

Tickets are on sale now, and early bird pricing is available until August 26. Click or tap the button below to learn more and to purchase your tickets today.

Purchase Tickets


Recognizing Our Sponsors

Behind the scenes, several local businesses have already pledged their support to the event. Without these sponsors, this annual event wouldn’t be possible, and we hope you’ll join with us in honoring their support for this year’s Wine Tasting.

Maryland- & Chesapeake-Level Sponsors

UMMSBoris Naydich, Kathleen Settle, and Simul Parikh

UM CRMC Medical Staff

Patuxent-, Gold- & Silver-Level Sponsors

In addition, we would also like to thank the generous contributions of all our silent auction donors. You can see a full list of donors by visiting the Autumn Wine Tasting event page on our website.

Want to Get Involved?

There’s still time to become a sponsor or add your item to the silent auction. For more information or to register, visit the CRMC Foundation website or call Holly Gonzalez at (301) 609-4132. As always, proceeds benefit the CRMC Foundation, and this year’s event will help fund planning and construction of UM Charles Regional’s new Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health opening next year in La Plata.

Become a Sponsor

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3 Facts and 3 Myths About Immunizations

National Immunization Awareness Month

There’s a lot that gets said about the safety, effectiveness, and necessity of vaccines in the news, on social media and across the internet. Fortunately, National Immunization Awareness Month, which occurs every August, is the perfect time to highlight the facts and debunk the popular myths surrounding vaccinations.

So what’s the real story? Here are three of the most important things to know about immunization as well as three myths that persist in the public mindset.

Fact: Vaccines Protect You from Harmful Diseases

If you’re serious about taking a proactive approach to your health and wellness, getting vaccinated is an ideal and affordable way to do just that.

By shielding you from many of the devastating illnesses you grew up hearing about, such as the mumps, measles, influenza, etc., vaccines keep you safe and help keep money in your pocket, too. In fact, an analysis conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014 estimated that vaccines administered to children over a 20-year period saved nearly $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.

Myth: Getting Vaccinated Means You’re Completely Safe from Getting Sick

Even if you’re vaccinated for a certain disease, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get sick; however, in many cases, it can make illnesses less severe. On top of that, the more people around you who get vaccinated, the less likely it is that you’ll get sick in the first place.

Fact: Vaccines Can Help Eliminate Dangerous Diseases

Vaccines play a pivotal role in ridding the world of dangerous, life-threatening diseases. Most notably, the World Health Organization announced in 1980 that the world was free of smallpox — two years after the last person had died from the disease. The elimination of the virus, which once affected millions of people, was made possible as a result of expansive vaccination programs.

Myth: You Don’t Need to Get Vaccinated Because Many Diseases Are Already Eliminated

Although we commonly associate diseases such as polio, diphtheria, the mumps, and the measles with a time period before modern medicine, the fact is that these illnesses still exist and pose a real threat to children and those with compromised immune systems.

While many of the major diseases of the past are seen far less frequently than before, the only way to completely wipe out a disease is with the widespread use of vaccinations — and there’s still work to be done.

Fact: The United States Has the Safest Vaccine Supply in History

One of the main functions of the CDC is to study and monitor vaccines to ensure the safety of the American population. As a result, the United States continues to lead the world in regards to vaccine effectiveness and safety.

The CDC works closely with the Food and Drug Administration to carry out clinical trials to make decisions about whether a vaccine is ready for general use. After a vaccine has been approved for public use, it is monitored for effectiveness as well as any negative effects for groups that may have been underrepresented in clinical trials.

Myth: Vaccines Cause Autism

In 1998, a study published in a medical journal made note of a potential link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. The study was later deemed flawed and ultimately retracted by the journal that published it. Unfortunately, the study’s publication contributed to dropping immunization rates, which opened the door for the return of diseases such as the measles in the United States.

The World Health Organization states: “There is no evidence of a link between MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders.” Additionally, both the Institute of Medicine and the CDC have echoed these findings with their own studies.

Fact: Not Everyone Can Get Vaccinated

While the majority of people can receive vaccinations, age, specific health conditions, or allergies may be reasons why someone can’t get vaccinated.

The CDC includes a comprehensive list of vaccines and associated disqualifying factors on its website. If you have any questions about whether or not a vaccine is right for you, talk to your primary health care provider. He or she will be able to tell you if there are any risks you should be aware of.

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5 Youth Sports Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know


Whether your child is already participating in sports this summer or you’re getting them ready for the season ahead, you know that your top priority is to keep them safe out on the field or on the court.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million children are taken to the ER every year as a result of sports- and recreation-related injuries. But there are steps you can take as a parent to help your child avoid these injuries. Here are five of the most important tips you can follow:

Start with a Physical

One of the best ways to ensure your child is prepared for their season is to meet with a primary care doctor or pediatrician for a physical.

Physicals are required for participation in many youth sports leagues already, but even if they’re not, these exams are essential because they’ll ensure that your child is healthy enough to play.

Keep an Eye on the Temperature

Outdoor sports provide a great opportunity for your child to get out of the house and get some sun. But during the summer, high temperatures and limited shade make dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other serious heat-related illnesses a real possibility.

Of course, you should ensure that your child applies sunscreen and drinks plenty of water. But you should also keep an eye on the temperature during practices and games, and encourage coaches to schedule those earlier or later to avoid the hottest time of the day. You can also help by having your child wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing to reduce the impact of the heat.

Stress the Importance of Stretching

Although many kids are ready to get playing as soon as they arrive at practice or a game, stretching before physical activity begins is key to limiting injuries.

Stretching can help prevent muscle tears, strains, and sprains. And it’s up to parents and coaches to make a point of easing into more strenuous physical activity before anyone gets hurt.

Make Sure Their Coach is Prepared

Whether your child is playing baseball, softball, soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, or another sport, their coach should be prepared to handle any emergency situations.

It’s a good idea to find out if they’re certified in first aid and CPR, and they should always have a first aid kit available at every practice and game regardless. In addition, if your child is playing a contact sport such as football, their coaches should be able to identify concussion symptoms and know how to respond appropriately.

Set a Good Example

As a parent, you know that your children are always watching. They learn from what they see adults doing. That’s why it’s so important for you to set a good example for everyone participating in youth sports.

Good sportsmanship, playing by the rules, discouraging aggressive behavior, and using proper technique are all things that you should impart to your child. But overly hostile parental behavior is something that you should be especially cognizant of as well. Just remember, everyone should be there to have fun, make friends, and get some exercise.

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Mission of Mercy to Offer Dental Services to Those in Need on July 27-28

Mission of Mercy

Did you know that there are more than 100 million people in the United States without dental insurance? This means that there are likely thousands of adults in the Southern Maryland area who don’t receive adequate dental care. As a result, our community, like many others, faces a silent epidemic of dental and oral disease.

The Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy is working to change that with its next free dental clinic on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28, at North Point High School in Waldorf, MD.

What is the Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy?

Mission of Mercy is a free two-day adult dental clinic provided by volunteer dental professionals and other volunteer staff. During these clinics, the Mission of Mercy and its generous volunteers provide vital dental treatment and care to nearly 400 people per day — all at no cost to patients.

Who Should Attend This Free Clinic?

If you’ve gone without regular cleanings or a necessary dental procedure due to a lack of proper dental insurance, this clinic is for you. The Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy provides services to adults ages 19 and up (unfortunately, children cannot be accommodated).

For a full list of dental services provided at these clinics, visit the official Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy website.

When do the Doors Open on Friday and Saturday?

Doors open at 6:00 a.m. on both days and will close when the clinic is at capacity for the day, so we recommend arriving early.

Want to Learn More?

Additional information about Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy and its upcoming clinics is available online.

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Everything You Need to Know About the 21st Annual Autumn Wine Tasting

2018 Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction

We’re so excited to announce that our Autumn Wine Tasting and Silent Auction event is set to return for its 21st year in Southern Maryland. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event and the cause it’s benefiting:

What is UM Charles Regional Medical Center’s Autumn Wine Tasting?

This is an annual event that brings together an exceptional selection of wine, delectable food options, and one-of-a-kind auction items for one unforgettable evening in Southern Maryland.

Where is it being held?

It will once again be held on the grounds of the historic Port Tobacco Courthouse, located at 8430 Commerce Street, Port Tobacco, MD.

When is it?

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, September 8, from 6pm to 10pm.

Why should I attend?

With 30+ wines to sample, an open bar, cigar lounge, live music, plus more than a dozen cuisine stations to visit — all at a historic venue — it’s no secret as to why this is one of Southern Maryland’s most highly anticipated annual events. Better yet, it’s all for a great cause.

Proceeds from your ticket purchase directly benefit the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation and will help fund planning and construction of the new Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health here in La Plata.

How can I purchase tickets or get involved?

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by calling the CRMC Foundation office at (301) 609-4132.* There are three ticket levels available — purchase by August 26 to save with early bird pricing:

VIP Tickets ($150 each) – Includes on-site parking and exclusive access to the venue a full hour before general admission guests.

General Admission Tickets ($90 each until August 26) – Includes full access to the event from 6-10pm.

Designated Driver Tickets ($45 each) – Includes full access to the event, minus alcoholic beverages, from 6-10pm.

Purchase Tickets


If you or your business are feeling motivated to make a difference in your community, consider donating an item for the silent auction by contacting Holly Gonzalez at (301) 609-4319 or Additionally, we invite you to explore our sponsorship opportunities available for this year’s event. It’s a great way to promote your business and support a worthy cause all at once!

Become a Sponsor

*Tickets must be purchased in advance, and you must be at least 21 years old to attend.

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Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis Month

No, arthritis is not just an “old person’s” disorder. Yes, it does affect children, too. In fact, nearly 300,000 children in the United States alone have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.

This is a disorder that can affect the mobility, social life, growth, and overall wellness of a child who suffers from it. And that’s why we encourage you to join with us this July in learning more about juvenile arthritis and helping spread the word that this is something that can affect anyone at any age.

What is Juvenile Arthritis?

There are several forms of juvenile arthritis, but the most common form is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This is actually an autoimmune disorder that occurs when a child’s immune system attacks the body’s joints.

Juvenile Arthritis Symptoms

The symptoms of juvenile arthritis are wide ranging, but the most common signs are ongoing joint swelling, pain, or stiffness. Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling in Lymph Nodes in the Neck
  • Fever
  • High Fever
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Eye Inflammation
  • Difficulty with Normal Daily Activities (Walking, Getting Dressed, etc.)

These symptoms vary in severity and can go away/return without any regularity. Unfortunately, if left untreated, juvenile arthritis has the potential to cause bone growth problems or even damage to eye tissue that could ultimately lead to blindness.

Testing for Juvenile Arthritis

There is no easy way to tell whether or not your child has juvenile arthritis, but a consistent presence of the symptoms outlined above should compel your child’s doctor to conduct further tests. Physical exams, blood tests, and x-rays are just a few of the things a doctor may employ to determine an accurate diagnosis.

Juvenile Arthritis Treatments

Although research is ongoing to find and develop effective treatments for juvenile arthritis, funding for the disorder is relatively minimal, according to the Arthritis National Research Foundation. With that said, genetic studies continue to help doctors better understand what causes arthritis in children and how to best combat it.

Doctors specifically trained to help treat and manage arthritis, called rheumatologists, are generally the best resource for care. They’ll often prescribe a blend of medicines and physical therapy to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and improve mobility, and they will generally work closely with other medical professions, such as eye doctors, too.

Additional Resources for Juvenile Arthritis Awareness

If you’re a parent, knowing the signs of juvenile arthritis is key to ensuring you’re prepared should your child ever be at risk. Fortunately, in addition to this blog, there are plenty of resources available to help you better understand the disorder.

Be sure to check out the Arthritis National Research Foundation and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases websites. But, most importantly, talk with your family doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

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Essential Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites This Summer


Whether you’re traveling across the world for vacation this summer or simply getting your backyard ready for a family barbecue, mosquito season is in full force, and you’ll want to be prepared to prevent their bites.

What Diseases Can Mosquitoes Carry?

Most mosquitoes are just a nuisance and their bites are often nothing more than just an itchy annoyance. But there are some mosquitoes that do carry dangerous viruses that can make you and your family sick.

While Zika and West Nile virus have garnered much of the media’s attention in recent years, illnesses such as dengue, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, malaria, and yellow fever are just a few of the viruses that mosquitoes around the world have been known to carry. Many of these diseases aren’t prominent in America, but they do pose a serious risk for tourists.

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites and Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can limit the impact mosquitoes have on you and your family this summer. While there’s no one way to avoid all mosquito interaction, the following five tips are easy ways to prevent illness (and limit itchiness) all season long.

Tip 1: Use Insect Repellent

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid mosquito bites is to use insect repellent.

For the most effective protection, choose a repellent that includes one of the following ingredients:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Para-Menthane-Diol
  • 2-Undecanone

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted extensive research on DEET repellents and has found it to be safe for use when instructions are followed. But if you’re still not sure if you want to use a repellent that includes DEET or simply want to use something else, the EPA website features a handy repellent search tool to help you pick the right one for you and your family.

Tip 2: Be Mindful of Clothing Choices

As the summer weather heats up, it’s natural to want to shed the jeans and long sleeves in favor of shorts and other cool clothing. Unfortunately, this can open you up to bites.

If you know you’re going to be in an environment where mosquitoes thrive, such as the woods or in the backyard, consider wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts to cover as much of your skin as possible. But if that’s not feasible, tip #1 will be even more important to follow.

Tip 3: Protect Your Home

One of the best ways to avoid mosquitoes altogether this season is by preparing your home.

Give your windows, doors, and walls a visual check for any openings that may allow mosquitoes or other pests to enter. Using your air conditioning rather than opening windows and doors to keep your home cool is another way to reduce exposure to most types of bugs. If you do plan on keeping your windows open this summer, however, be sure to use screens at all times.

Keeping an eye on things outside of your home is another important step in limiting the impact of mosquitoes. Look for any areas that might be habitats for mosquitoes and other insects and work to eliminate them. Standing water, bird baths, and even potted plant trays can act as the ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Tip 4: Choose the Right Time to Be Outside

During the summer, Mosquitoes can be found at any time of the day, but some weather conditions are more favorable for them than others.

Mosquitoes have been found to thrive in humid conditions with relatively low winds, so being mindful about heading outside during those times is an easy way to avoid encountering bites during peak mosquito activity.

Tip 5: Talk with a Doctor Before Traveling

If you’re planning on traveling abroad this summer, you should meet with your primary care doctor who can help you plan ahead and understand the diseases carried by mosquitoes around the world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends meeting with your doctor within 4-6 weeks before your trip begins. It also notes that while there are no vaccines for many mosquito-borne illnesses, vaccines do exist for certain viruses. And your doctor will help you decide which vaccinations, if any, you should receive depending on where you’re traveling.

There’s plenty more to know about mosquitoes, the viruses they can carry, and preventive measures you can take. For more information and advice, check out this article from the CDC and visit the EPA’s official website.

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UM Charles Regional Medical Center Earns Top Marks in Stroke Treatment for Fourth Consecutive Year

2018 Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Award

We’re proud to announce that our hospital has once again been recognized with a Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and a Target: Stroke℠ Honor Roll Elite selection as part of the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke® program.

These prestigious designations are awarded on a yearly basis by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to hospitals that have demonstrated the ability to treat stroke patients effectively and efficiently.

Hospitals that receive these two awards have reached a high standard of treating stroke patients, specifically an 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. To achieve the Gold Plus designation, a hospital must meet these research-based guidelines over the course of 24 consecutive months.

Certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services, UM Charles Regional Medical Center has prepared itself to identify and intervene rapidly in stroke situations. This prompt response is key to helping patients receive comprehensive treatments early, which increases the likelihood of a speedy recovery after a stroke.

As your hospital, we are honored to receive this recognition for what it means to our community. We remain committed to maintaining a heightened state of readiness for stroke patients so that we can deliver timely, expert care when it’s needed most, right here in Southern Maryland.

About Get With The Guidelines®

Get With The Guidelines® puts the unparalleled expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Since 2001, Get With The Guidelines® programs have touched the lives of more than 6 million patients, all with the goal to save lives and hasten recovery. For more information, visit

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Follow These 7 Essential Tips for a Happy and Healthy Summer

Summer Safety Tips

The summer is the best time of the year for many people. Heading to the beach or just heading outside to enjoy everything the warm, sunny weather has to offer is something most of us have been waiting for since the end the holiday season.

Even with all the fun activities and happenings that the season brings us, however, there are a few things that can quickly derail your plans. But with some planning and common sense, you’ll be ready for an unforgettable summer ahead.

How can you make sure you stay safe and healthy this summer? Here are 7 essential tips to avoid injury or illness:

Stay in the Shade and Get That Sunscreen Ready

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in our country, and the American Cancer Society notes that more skin cancers are diagnosed in the U.S. every year than all other cancers combined. Even more startling is the fact that the number of skin cancer cases has been trending upwards.

Don’t be another statistic. Protect yourself from overexposure to UV rays produced by the sun by wearing a hat, slipping on a shirt, putting your sunglasses on, staying in the shade, and, most importantly, applying sunscreen. Apply sunscreen with an SPF value of 30 or higher at least 30 minutes before you head out the door, and don’t forget to re-apply every two hours to give yourself maximum protection.

Choose Water. Stay Hydrated.

Without water, your body’s ability to maintain the right blood pressure, deliver sufficient oxygen and nutrients to cells, or to rid itself of wastes is inhibited. For most, that means discomfort like cramps or headaches. But if you’re not careful, dehydration can ultimately lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

Drink plenty of water before you head outside and bring extra with you to replenish your body along the way. Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, or sugary beverages as these can ultimately have the opposite effect.

If you’re planning on exercising outside, the American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17-20 oz. of water two hours before you start exercising and then 7-10 oz. more every 10-20 minutes during exercise.

Know the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses and Injuries

Knowing the signs of a heat-related illness or injury is the best way to protect yourself and others. Some of the telltale signs of heat-related illnesses include:

  • Cramps
  • Moist, Pale Skin
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Dark Urine

Be Aware of Those Around You

Some of the most vulnerable to extreme heat during the summer are the elderly and disabled. Pay attention to those around you — your friends, family, neighbors or just anyone who you think may have difficulty getting help on their own. Pick up the phone and check in with older members of your family or your community, or simply stop by to check on those who require extra care and attention.

Keep Your Kids Safe at the Playground

The playground is the perfect place for your kids to get some exercise and enjoy the sun during the summer. Unfortunately, it’s also the place where thousands of injuries occur every year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 200,000 children are hospitalized every year in the U.S. for playground-related injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.

Keep a close eye on your kids while they’re playing, and give your playground a quick inspection before letting your kids play to help prevent these sorts of injuries. Look for things that might be tripping or falling hazards, and be sure to read any playground signs posted to ensure the equipment is suited for your child’s age.

Choose the Right Helmet to Prevent Head Injuries

If you or your kids are getting out to enjoy a bike ride, play baseball, or take part in some other summer sport, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right helmet to reduce the risk of concussions and other head injuries.

A person’s helmet should be well maintained, appropriate for their age, and designed for their specific activity. The CDC has fact sheets for nearly every helmet you’ll want to wear this time of year, so you’ll always know what you should be looking for.

Find the Right Times to be Outside

While the best part of summer is being able to go outside whenever you want, one of the best ways to avoid dehydration, sunburns, illness, or heat-related issues is to choose the right times to stay indoors.

It’s hottest in the middle of the day and often when it’s most humid, too, so you may be better off going out earlier or later in the day. You’ll also want to think about when mosquitos and other bugs are most active to avoid contracting Zika, West Nile virus, or other insect-borne diseases.

Want to learn more about staying safe during the summer? Visit the CDC’s website for its “Make Summer Safe for Kids” guide.

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