Sunday, January 21, 2018

Wild at Heart Rescue: Caring for the Coast’s Injured and Orphaned Wildlife

Have you, or one of your children, ever come into contact with injured or orphaned wildlife and wondered, “What can I do for this poor creature?” Now, there is a facility in western Jackson County, near Ocean Springs, that cares for injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife indigenous to the area: Wild at Heart Rescue.

Wild at Heart is an animal rescue and rehabilitation facility run by Missy Dubuisson and her partner, Doug Pojeky, who are permitted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to legally handle, possess, and treat wild animals that, for whatever reason, cannot care for themselves. Both are accustomed to handling all types of wildlife, including mammals, marsupials, reptiles, birds, raptors, amphibians and more. They advise families, however, that it is “safety first” when handling any wild creature. Not only because many wild animals can transmit diseases to humans, but because it’s best to avoid further injury or stress to the animal.

Read more: Wild at Heart Rescue: Caring for the Coast’s Injured and Orphaned Wildlife

The Latest “Lawn Games” for Family Fun

With the weather already warming up nicely in southern Mississippi and “National Get Outdoors Day” coming up in a few weeks on June 14, your family is surely ready to get outside and play. It's time to turn off the electronics, head outdoors and enjoy some good, old-fashioned family fun!

One of the easiest ways to spend quality time outdoors without even leaving your own property is to play lawn games. We all know of the standards, such as horseshoes and lawn darts. But why not consider some of the newest lawn games out there?

Read more: The Latest “Lawn Games” for Family Fun

The Doctor Speaks: On Caring for Our Children

I love being a physician! I find joy in figuring out what’s causing patients’ problems, in the opportunity to see new and different aspects of life, and, most importantly, in bringing health and relief to the afflicted. Every life level presents unique perspectives: the aged have frailties that create multiple issues; mid-aged adults have particular lifestyle influences; and the children … the children are innocents with inherent trust in the world.

“Children are not small adults,” says a golden rule in medicine. Their types of illnesses create a wholly unique and different list than that for adults; a child won’t present with problems caused by years of smoking and alcohol abuse. They have different body proportions; their delayed organ development results in altered reactions to medications and illnesses. Importantly (and thankfully), they heal more quickly; a fractured arm requiring two months of a cast on an adult will heal in a child in a couple of weeks with a splint and a sling. A fever of 104 degrees indicates critical infection in an adult; in a child, it might just be a cold.

Read more: The Doctor Speaks: On Caring for Our Children

The Facts About Mean, Mean Nicotine

Terrance the Rat, from Mississippi’s RAT (Reject All Tobacco) program, teaches kids that the “mean, mean nicotine” in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is an addictive drug. Some studies have found that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine and heroin.

People are often surprised to learn that nicotine is a poison, too. For many years, farmers used nicotine-based insecticides to kill crop pests until these products were taken off the market. Of course, nicotine can be harmful for people, too. Just one cigarette or dip tobacco pouch has enough nicotine to cause young children and small animals to get sick.

Read more: The Facts About Mean, Mean Nicotine

Is “Teaching to the Test” Hurting our Kids?

“With the emphasis placed on high stakes testing, a teacher usually struggles to achieve his or her goals without teaching to the test,” explained Lori Brennan, English teacher at Ocean Springs High School.

According to ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), scores on standardized achievement tests remain the primary factor in judging the success of the nation’s educational system. In other words, high scores indicate a successful school and low scores indicate an ineffective school. But according to some, measuring a teacher’s success -- or a student’s -- is not always that simple.

Read more: Is “Teaching to the Test” Hurting our Kids?

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