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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. DNR Focuses on Boating Safety throughout Next Week

  2. Social Security Administration Releases Top Baby Names for 2012

  3. Healthy Vision Month Resources Highlight Children's Eye Care

  4. Purdue Offers Free Lawn & Garden Publications Loaded with Summer Family Fun

School’s out, and summer’s almost here. It’s about time for a vacation! has trip ideas for everyone to help you explore your America. By using the website, you can explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Blue Ridge Mountains in Atlanta, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and more. This website will help you search & find parks, forests, campgrounds, and lodging by State and by activity. In addition to trip ideas, the website has an interactive map to search your travel interests. There, you can make reservations and get visit permits when needed. These and many other resources and tips are available to help you plan your perfect summer getaway, whether it is close to Indiana or on the opposite coast.  Here’s to summer and exploring your America!

Purdue Offers Free Lawn & Garden Publications

Are you ready to get your lawn and garden in tip-top shape for the summer?  Purdue University’s Turfgrass Science Program has tips for homeowners about lawn care. Check out the Turf Tips online newsletter and the various free publications covering topics from recovering from the drought, to weed and disease control,  to insect and pesticide information. Explore Purdue Extension’s Education Store for more free publications about gardening.  These resources include tips on identifying garden pests and preserving your summer harvest.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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DNR Focuses on Boating Safety throughout Next Week

Wear It IndianaMay 18-24 is National Safe Boating Week, sponsored by the National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants to increase safety on Indiana’s waterways. The DNR recently announced their efforts to get the word out about boating safety and promoting life jacket use for all boaters.

Here are some of the excuses that are used for not wearing a life jacket when boating:

  • It's too hot
  • It doesn't look ‘cool’ I know how to swim.
  • Nothing is going to happen to me.

In reality, approximately 700 people drown in the United States each year from recreational boating accidents.

During National Safe Boating Week, and throughout the boating season, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) remind boaters to WEAR IT! and be alert and aware while on the water.

"Most, if not all, drownings can be prevented by wearing a life jacket,” said Indiana Conservation Officer Lt. Bill Browne. “If we can keep people's head above water, we can prevent drownings. Wearing a life jacket is the only prevention measure that is foolproof.”

Conservation officers arrested 337 people in 2012 for operating a motorboat while intoxicated. Officers are also urging people to boat sober and to plan for a designated boat driver if alcohol will be on board.

Social Security Administration Releases Top Baby Names for 2012

Most Popular Baby NamesIs your name Jacob, Sophia, Mason, or Emma? You have one of the top-rated names for 2012! The Social Security Administration has listed the top ten baby names for 2012. You can search popular names by decade, by State, by U.S. territory, or by birth year. In addition to finding out popular baby names, you can find resources and information on how to get your baby’s first Social Security Number, children’s benefits, and other information related to children. Using the SSA website will also help with calculating your own retirement benefits and learning about the financial state of Social Security. Learn more by visiting their website.

Healthy Vision Month Resources Highlight Children's Eye Care

Healthy Vision MonthChild Check Ups
It’s important for children to have their vision checked at least once by age 6, even if there aren’t any signs of eye problems.

Healthy eyes and vision are very important to a child’s development. Finding and treating eye problems early on can save a child’s sight. Two common eye problems in children are:

Both of these eye problems can be treated if they are found early.

Eye exams are part of regular checkups.
The doctor will check your child’s eyes during each checkup, beginning with your child’s first well-baby visit. Around age 3 or 4, your child will have a more complete eye exam to make sure her vision is developing normally. If there are any problems, the doctor may send your child to a special eye doctor.

Is my child at risk for eye disease?
If your family has a history of childhood vision problems, your child may be more likely to have eye problems. Talk to the doctor about eye problems in your family.

Follow these steps to protect your child’s vision:

Talk to your child’s doctor.
Ask the doctor or nurse if there are any problems with your child’s vision. If the doctor recommends a visit to an eye specialist.

What about cost?
Vision screening for kids is covered under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010. Depending on your insurance plan, your child may be able to get screened at no cost to you.

Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan. For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit

If you don’t have health insurance, check these Web sites for free or low-cost eye care programs for children.

Look out for problems.
Schedule an eye exam for your child if you see signs of an eye problem, like if your child’s eyes:

  • Are crossed all the time
  • Turn out
  • Don’t focus together
  • Are red, crusted, or swollen around the eyelids

Know the warning signs of vision problems in children.

Protect your child’s eyes.

  • Don’t let your child play with toys that have sharp edges or points.
  • Keep sharp or pointed objects, like knives and scissors, away from your child.
  • Make sure your child wears the right eye protection for sports.
  • Protect your child’s eyes from the sun. Look for kids’ sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

Get more tips on preventing eye accidents.

Help develop your child’s vision.
It takes skill to match what we see with what we want to do – like when we want to bounce a ball or read a book.

Here are ways to help your child develop vision skills:

  • Read to your child. As you read, let your child see what you are reading.
  • Play with your child using a chalkboard, finger paints, or different shaped blocks.
  • Take your child to the playground to climb the jungle gym and walk on the balance beam.
  • Play catch with your child.

This information is brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services via the website.

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