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Issue Home May 13, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: The farmers in this vicinity seem to have much interest in joining together to get better prices for milk. With hay scarce and feed high, it seems they must run behind unless they soon get in line and bustle. Prices around two cents per quart do not pay.

LAWSVILLE: During a severe windstorm the roof of a barn belonging to Albert Bailey was blown off. The following Monday his friends and neighbors met at his home and before sundown Mr. Bailey was much pleased to find his barn once more complete with a new roof.

QUAKER LAKE: The Quaker Lake creamery opened Thursday of this week. Jerome Donovan is to be the manager.

BROOKLYN: Wade H. Barnes, the well known insurance agent, is in line with a new Ford automobile of the runabout model of 1908. ALSO A. E. Finn, State inspector of orchards, is engaged inspecting in East Bridgewater, Springville, and Brooklyn looking for San Jose scale and found the county generally quite free from it. The worst infection he has yet come in contact with was on the Gere farm in Brooklyn and he says his experience is that young orchards are found in worse condition than the older trees.

FOREST CITY: Prof. F. D. Taylor has assumed the principalship of the Forest City public school for the balance of the term, caused by the resignation of Principal Van Orsdale. Mr. Taylor has been principal of the Auburn schools for several years, is a graduate of State College, and the Forest City board is congratulating itself upon securing such an exceptionally able pedagogue on such short notice.

MONTROSE: Many have remarked about the handsome columns which are being used in the erection of the large piazza on Albert Miller’s residence on Public Avenue. They have a history. Few would suspect that they had once been used for a similar purpose in the first county court house that was erected in 1813, but such is a fact, and the fine hand carved pine that adorns the massive pillars is as sound today as it was nearly a century ago. Another interesting fact is that the house in which they are now a part (the old Webb property) was built in 1812 [by Charles Catlin, brother of George Catlin], and for many years they stood side by side, the old court house having been torn down to make a site for the school building, while the residence still stands. The columns were long stored in the W. M. Post barn, and Mr. Post presented them to the present owner. [The Miller property was torn down in 1952 to build an A&P store. The building was later converted into the County Office Building on the west side of Public Avenue. The old court house was torn down to make way for Montrose High School, built in 1891. The gym is now part of the courthouse complex.] ALSO A representative of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee school for colored young men and women was in town during the week soliciting funds for the school.

SHANNON HILL, AUBURN TWP.: Mrs. Elmer White met with a bad accident last Thursday afternoon. While looking for some little chickens in the barn a stick of timber gave way and she fell to the floor, striking on the tongue of the mowing machine and breaking both bones in her right leg at the ankle. Dr. Harrison was called and set the bones and she is resting comfortably. Mrs. White was cleaning house when the accident happened and had everything torn up, but some of the kind neighbors came the next day and finished the work, for which she wishes to thank them.

FAIRDALE: Jessup township lost one of its oldest and most respected citizens Saturday in the death of Milton Roy, who succumbed to a sudden attack from abscess of the brain. He was 83 years of age, a man wonderfully well preserved for his age, having conducted his meat wagon business almost up to the time of his death. The deceased was born in New Jersey and came to Jessup in 1870, where he has since resided.

FRIENDSVILLE: C. Byrne is contemplating learning the butter making trade.

SOUTH GIBSON: Curtin Howell, the oldest man in town, has beaten all his neighbors in gardening, his peas, beets, lettuce and onions making a fine shower already. ALSO The new street lamps are a great improvement to the town.

SUSQUEHANNA: With but slight interruption the dog poisoner is continuing his operations on West Hill and four more dogs have been disposed of, says a Susquehanna correspondent. As a result of his dastardly work the young son of Harry McKee had a narrow escape from being poisoned. Accompanied by an older sister he was on his way to school when he picked up a piece of bologna along the side of the road. He started to eat it, but his sister pushed it out of his hand. Their pet dog, who was with them, ate the bologna and in five minutes he was dead. Strychnine was used by the poisoner in his work. It is liberally spread over the bologna and at night the bologna is placed where the dogs will get it. Suspicion points strongly to a resident of West Hill, who is known to have poisoned dogs before and if sufficient evidence can be secured against him he will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

THOMPSON: The Womens Christian Temperance Union convention will be held here this year, the 16th and 17th of June. The ladies have the arrangements well in hand.

HERRICK CENTRE: Liveryman Howell met with unusual hard luck last week - on Sunday his cow wandered from its pasture onto the railroad track and was met with a passing train and was knocked lifeless and on Tuesday the well known horse Francis, an especially kind and peasant animal, died of colic.

ST. JOSEPH: Seldom is such a gloom cast over a community as was experience on Tuesday evening, May 4, 1909, when the death of Mrs. Thomas Reilley occurred at her home here, after a brief illness of a dropsical nature. She had been a resident of St. Joseph for many years, where she was a devoted wife, a loving mother and a kind friend and neighbor.

LYNN, SPRINGVILLE TWP.: Eugene Brown and Tommy Roberson are four-in-hand drivers on the road worker for the last few days.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

In past columns, I discussed the phenomenon known as “cyberbullying,” i.e., the use of electronic communications to intimidate or harass another person. In our new technical world, the playground bully has become the belligerent blogger. The sophistication of the bullying is limited solely by the technical expertise and intelligence of the bully. In previous generations, bullies were generally seen as relatively dim-witted, but they now apparently possess sufficient intelligence to use computers, emails, instant messages, text messages, social networking sites, and other electronic tools. The new technologies have increased the categories of potential bullies from the large loudmouths to anyone with sufficient technical sophistication to use newer communication media.

Depending upon the level of expertise, the techno-bully may also be able to operate with false identities or total anonymity. If you are a victim of such cyber-harassment, you may never even know who is harassing you or be misled into believing it is someone else. In the past, the bully was easily identified and confronted. There were witnesses to the boorish behavior – usually more witnesses than the victim really wanted and this merely added to the humiliation associated with the bullying. Still, the openness of this bullying assured that it could be addressed in some manner.

With cyberbullying, it is much more difficult to challenge the bully and call him out. There is no more meeting on the playground after school to settle things once and for all. Now, victims must email and call legal departments for internet providers that generally lead to differing levels of frustration. Privacy rights run interference for the bully and provide an added level of protection and security. Subpoenas are necessary to identify user information, which may or may not actually identify the cyberbully. Each subpoena has the potential of only identifying another layer of the cyber-onion that needs to be peeled to find the identity of the perpetrator. As you can imagine, this becomes a frustrating and time-consuming process for the victim and law enforcement.

As I have stated in the past, Pennsylvania has criminal statues that prohibit threatening and harassing behavior. There are a variety of different generic statutes in place though none of which specifically deal with cyberbullying. Some states have drafted specific criminal statutes prohibiting cyberbullying. Whether it is a specific or general criminal statute, state prosecutors plainly have the tools to combat cyberbullies.

Now, Congress is thinking about getting federal prosecutors involved in the fray. There is a proposed bill called the “Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act” in the House of Representatives that would make cyberbullying a federal criminal offense punishable by up to two years incarceration. Megan Meier is a young girl who committed suicide after a cruel episode of cyberbullying.

The proposed statute is fairly broad making it unlawful for any person to transmit any communication by electronic means “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.” It would also require the communications to be “severe, repeated, and hostile.” The proposed statute would cover “email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.”

The breadth of the proposed statute is staggering. Given the wide spectrum of views available on internet websites and blogs, it is likely that anyone could find a website or blog that they perceive as offensive, intimidating, harassing or even causing them substantial emotional distress. In particular, blogs can be a fierce and hostile environment where there are routinely heated exchanges, insults, obscenities and name calling. The question would become one of intent: Did the website or the blogger intend to harass a particular person or persons? It is likely that the internet would be full of fertile ground for federal prosecutions under this proposed statute. You can see why some opponents of the bill are expressing concern over the implications this bill could have on free speech issues.

Cyberbullying is a problem that needs to be addressed in an appropriate manner. It will be interesting to see if Congress continues to move toward making cyberbullying a separate federal offense, or whether Congress will continue to trust the state legislatures and local prosecutors to deal with it.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’ve been reading about this bad outbreak of Salmonella from peanut products. What exactly is Salmonella and how can I avoid it?

Salmonella are microscopic living creatures that spread from the feces of people or animals. Salmonella can be found in raw poultry, eggs, beef, and unwashed produce. But, any food can become contaminated. Salmonella is the most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States.

Salmonellosis is an infection of the intestinal tract from the bacteria. Symptoms of the infection, which usually last four days to a week, include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and headache.

Salmonellosis can be more serious in the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems. Typhoid fever, a more serious disease caused by Salmonella, frequently occurs in developing countries.

Most people who get infected don’t need treatment. If Salmonella germs get into your bloodstream, they can be lethal. When this occurs, antibiotics are used to treat the condition.

Seek medical attention if you develop diarrhea that doesn't clear within several days. Other symptoms that require a healthcare provider are blood in your stool, severe vomiting, abdominal pain or dehydration.

In some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized for rehydration with intravenous fluids. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

A small number of Salmonella victims develop joint pain, eye irritation and painful urination. This is called Reiter's syndrome. It can persist for years and lead to chronic arthritis.

Salmonella germs in feces remain highly contagious. These germs are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with feces. A common cause for salmonellosis is a food handler who did not wash with soap after using the bathroom.

You also can get a Salmonella infection after handling pets, particularly reptiles such as snakes, turtles and lizards. About 90 percent of reptiles carry salmonella. Many young birds carry Salmonella in their feces.

How can you prevent getting infected by Salmonella? Here are some tips:

Don’t eat undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat.

Always wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds after using the bathroom, holding pets (especially reptiles), handling uncooked foods or utensils used on these foods, and touching any feces.

Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops after preparing each food item.

Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.

Use disposable paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Avoid foods that may contain raw eggs such as some salad dressings, homemade ice cream or mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings.

Keep eggs refrigerated below 41 °F. Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

Cook eggs thoroughly and eat them promptly. Undercooked egg whites and yolks have been associated with Salmonella infections.

Cook your hamburgers so there is no pink in the middle.

Wash all produce thoroughly.

Isolate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods.

Freeze or refrigerate food promptly. Freezers should register 0 °F or below and refrigerators 40 °F or below.

Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator. Foods should not be thawed at room temperature. Foods thawed in the microwave or in cold water must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature before refrigerating.

Don't pack the refrigerator so that air can’t circulate in it.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

While technology is important, there is nothing, in my opinion, like picking up a good book and settling down in a cozy chair to read. Reading transports us from our little corner of the world and takes us to new locations for much less money than an airplane flight.

Perhaps you would like to avail yourself of some of the books in the library’s collection, but you find it difficult to get to the library - either because of work schedules, weather, distance or disabilities. The library can come to you. You can use a program provided by the Susquehanna County Library’s Outreach Services called Books by Mail.

This program is a free service to country residents who have a library card. By now, hopefully, you know that you can check to see what books are in the Library’s collection through your computer at Having found the book you want, you may either e-mail or call the Library at 278-1881 and request that book by mail. If you do not have computer access, the friendly staff from Outreach Services can check the collection for you.

This flexible service meets everyone’s needs. The books will be delivered by mail, along with a postage paid return envelope. The Books by Mail service replaced the old Bookmobile that used to make periodic stops in various locations throughout the County.

In these tough economic times, borrowing from the library makes sense. Remember the Susquehanna County Library is your resource for lifetime learning.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Black Flies- Nature’s Spring Menace

As we look out the window and watch the snow blowing by on a blustery January afternoon, we lust for a balmy, mild May day. Finally, it actually is May and we happily venture outside to catch up on all the yard and fieldwork that awaits us. It would be such a pleasure to once again enjoy the warmth and pleasantness of spring if it weren’t for the annoying menace that has also awaited spring’s enticing warmth. Clouds of tiny black insects descend upon us. Their persistent buzzing, crawling, and biting are major aggravations. No outdoorsman, farmer, gardener or jogger can avoid this annual spring annoyance. Only a brisk breeze, total darkness or insect repellent can give us any hope of reprieve from nature’s spring curse.

Those black flies, sometimes locally referred to as “May flies,” are members of the fly family Simulidae. Their hump-backed appearance is responsible for another common name, buffalo gnat. Varying in size and color, there are 53 species identified in Pennsylvania. Of those, only 4 species are considered to be major pests of people. Others species are host specific, specializing in feeding on certain mammals or birds.

Adult Blackfly

Due to their numbers and perseverance, black flies are among the most irritating of all nature’s creatures. Like mosquitoes, it is only the female black flies that bite. They must engorge blood in order to produce viable eggs. The males lack biting mouthparts and feed only on plant nectar. Fortunately, unlike mosquitoes, black flies are only active during daylight hours. Various factors determine the attractiveness of a victim to the female black fly. These factors include size, shape, and color. The presence of carbon dioxide and body odor, along with a certain temperature and humidity are also attractants. Their relentless attacks and numerous bites are nearly intolerable to their human and animal victims. The female’s serrated mandibles lacerate the flesh, causing the formation of a small blood pool. The fly than secretes saliva, which contains a local anesthesia, into that blood. Other components of the saliva dilate blood vessels and inhibit clotting. The evidence of their attacks includes small droplets of blood surrounded by itchy welts. Their favorite target sites include areas around collars, waistlines and caps. Following such attacks, the aftermath of itching and scratching creates even more discomfort. In addition to their biting, the black flies’ habit of swarming about your head or crawling into your ears or in your eyes are even more maddening. They are extremely persistent and fierce. Only upon their death are they deterred from their ultimate goal of blood extraction. Although the likelihood of being attacked by black flies is greater near streams, it commonly can occur at considerable distances from such waterways. The flies are capable of flying from 8 to 11 miles, and are frequently carried considerable distances by the wind.

Blackfly Larva

As is a common courting behavior among many insects, male black flies form large swarms to attract a mate. After ingesting a blood meal, the adult females drop their eggs above water at sunset. The eggs are deposited either singly or in masses. Depending on the species and weather conditions, the eggs hatch in 4 to 30 days. Black flies have complete metamorphosis with egg, larva, pupa and adult stages. The larvae develop in fast moving, highly oxygenated waters of small streams, creeks and rivers. The “ball bat-shaped” larvae attach their posteriors to submerged stones and debris on the stream bottom. Frequently there are so many larvae attached to a single site that they create a carpet-like appearance, sometimes referred to as black moss. The larvae have featherlike mouthparts that they use to strain microorganisms from the current. As they grow over the winter months, the larva will molt up to 9 times before pupation. The pupa, which remains attached to the same substrate, is similar in shape but has branched respiratory tubes protruding from the cocoon. An air bubble is enclosed in the cocoon. Upon maturity, the adult fly is released in that air bubble and floats to the surface. There, the bubble bursts, releasing a dry fly that is capable of flight.

Next time I will discuss the effects these tiny terrors have on people and their animals. As usual, if you have any questions or comments about these or other insects please feel free to contact me at

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Food For Thought
By Lauretta L. Clowes DC

No Food For Thought This Week

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that some baby bottles contain chemicals that can cause health problems for babies? If so, how can I find alternatives that are safer?

Amy Gorman, Berkeley, CA

No links connecting specific human illnesses to chemicals oozing out of baby bottles have been proven definitively. Nonetheless, many parents are heeding the call of scientists to switch to products with less risk. A 2008 report by American and Canadian environmental researchers entitled “Baby’s Toxic Bottle” found that plastic polycarbonate baby bottles leach dangerous levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that mimics natural hormones and can send bodily processes into disarray, when heated.

All six of the leading brands of baby bottles tested – Avent, Disney/The First Years, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex – leaked what researchers considered dangerous amounts of BPA. The report calls on major retailers selling these bottles – including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart – to switch to safer products.

According to the report, BPA is a “developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen and can interfere with healthy growth and body function.” Researchers cite numerous animal studies demonstrating that the chemical can damage reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development. It has also been linked to breast cancer and to the early onset of puberty.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? Glass bottles are a tried-and-true chemical-free solution, and they are widely available, though very breakable. To the rescue are several companies making BPA-free plastic bottles (out of either PES/polyamide or polypropylene instead of polycarbonate). Some of the leaders are BornFree, thinkbaby, Green to Grow, Nuby, Momo Baby, Mother’s Milkmate and Medela’s. These brands are available at natural food stores, directly from manufacturers, or from online vendors.

Most of the major brands selling BPA-containing bottles are now also offering or planning to offer BPA-free versions of their products. Consumers should read labels and packaging carefully to make sure that any product they are considering buying says unequivocally that it does not contain the chemical.

Unfortunately, switching to a BPA-free bottle is no guarantee the chemical won’t make its way into your baby’s bloodstream anyway. BPA is one of the 50 most-produced chemicals in the world. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is used in everything from plastic water jugs labeled #7 to plastic take-out containers, baby bottles and canned food liners. It is so omnipresent that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has found that 95 percent of Americans have the chemical in their urine.

Also, nursing mothers – especially those who haven’t discarded their old BPA-containing Nalgene water bottles – may be passing the chemical along through their breast milk. And if that weren’t enough, BPA is also used in the lining of many metal liquid baby formula cans. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted email links to the consumer affairs offices of the major formula manufacturers so concerned parents can ask them to remove BPA from their product offerings and packaging.

CONTACTS: Baby’s Toxic Bottle Report,; NRDC,; CDC,; EWG,

Dear EarthTalk: How much “old growth” forest is left in the United States and is it all protected from logging at this point?         

John Foye, via e-mail

As crazy as it sounds, no one really knows how much old growth is left in America’s forested regions, mainly because various agencies and scientists have different ideas about how to define the term. Generally speaking, “old growth” refers to forests containing trees often hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old. But even when there is agreement on a specific definition, differences in the methods used to inventory remaining stands of old growth forest can produce major discrepancies. Or so complains the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry (NCSSF) in its recent report, “Beyond Old Growth: Older Forests in a Changing World.”

In 1991, for example, the U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Wilderness Society each released its own inventory of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. They both used the Forest Service’s definition based on the number, age and density of large trees per acre, the characteristics of the forest canopy, the number of dead standing trees and fallen logs and other criteria. However, because each agency used different remote sensing techniques to glean data, the Forest Service came up with 4.3 million acres of old-growth and the Wilderness Society found only two million acres.

The NCSSF also studied the data, and they concluded that 3.5 million acres (or six percent) of the region’s 56.8 million acres of forest qualified as old growth – that is, largely trees over 30 inches in diameter with complex forest canopies. By broadening the definition to include older forest with medium-diameter trees and both simple and complex canopies, NCSSF said their figure would go up substantially.

In other parts of the country, less than one percent of Northeast forest is old growth, though mature forests that will become old growth in a few decades are more abundant. The Southeast has even less acreage – a 1993 inventory found about 425 old growth sites across the region, equaling only a half a percent of total forest area. The Southwest has only a few scattered pockets of old-growth (mostly Ponderosa Pine), but for the most part is not known for its age-old trees. Old-growth is even scarcer in the Great Lakes.

It is hard to say whether the remaining pockets of scattered old-growth in areas besides the Pacific Northwest will remain protected, but environmentalists are working hard to save what they can in northern California, Oregon and Washington. The outgoing Bush administration recently announced plans to increase logging across Oregon’s remaining old-growth reserves by some 700 percent, in effect overturning the landmark Northwest Forest Plan of 1994 that set aside most of the region’s remaining old growth as habitat for the endangered spotted owl.

Protecting remaining old-growth is important for many reasons. “These areas provide some of the cleanest drinking water in the world, critical salmon and wildlife habitat, world-class recreational opportunities and critical carbon storage in our fight against global warming,” says Jonathan Jelen of the nonprofit Oregon Wild, adding that as much as 20 percent of the emissions related to global warming can be attributed to deforestation and poor forest management. “A growing body of evidence is showing the critical role that forests – and old-growth forests in particular – can play in mitigating climate change.”

CONTACTS: NCSSF,; Oregon Wild,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: or e-mail: Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

National Alcohol – And Other Drug – Related Birth Defect Week

May 10 – 16

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Alcohol - and Other Drug - Related Birth Defects Week, May 10 through May 16.

You have heard that a woman shouldn't drink or smoke while she's pregnant or if she's planning to get pregnant, yet 1 in 12 pregnant women in the United States alone are drinking alcohol while knowingly being pregnant. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born with birth defects and have disabilities. These conditions, called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, or FASDs, are one of the top preventable birth defects in the world. FASDs can cause problems in how a person grows, learns, looks, and acts. They can also cause problems with the heart, brain, and other major organs. These problems will last a lifetime.

A common misconception is that it is safe to drink only a small amount of alcohol or smoke only a few cigarettes while pregnant. The truth is that there is no known amount of alcohol or cigarettes that is safe to use while pregnant. All drinks with alcohol can hurt an unborn baby. A 12-ounce can of beer has as much alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1-ounce shot of liquor. Women who smoke during pregnancy put themselves and their unborn babies at risk for other health problems. The dangers of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth, certain birth defects, and infant death.

Even being around cigarette smoke puts a woman and her baby at risk for problems. For example, smoking can cause problems with the placenta, which is the source of the baby's nutrition and oxygen during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can also cause the baby to be born too early or to have a low birth weight, which makes it much more likely the baby will become sick or die.

Some women might think it is safe to start smoking again after their baby is born. But these babies are not out of harm's way. Babies who are around cigarette smoke have weaker lungs than other babies. They are more likely to have other health problems such as infections and more frequent asthma attacks. Something of major concern is that when babies are exposed to cigarette smoke, their risk of getting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) increases dramatically.

Alcohol and other drug related birth defects are 100% preventable, as long as a woman does not drink alcohol or smoke while she is pregnant.

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