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First Aid

American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course

American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course

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American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor CoursePremier Aquatic Services not only offers swim lessons and lifeguard services, we also train others. Through our swim instructor training programs, participants learn the skills they need to start their careers as a swim instructor.

The purpose of our American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program is two-fold:

  1. To learn how to help others be safe in, on, and around the water, and
  2. To learn how to teach people of all ages and abilities how to swim.

Premier’s swim instructor training programs leverages the American Red Cross program to provide a logical progression for learning the knowledge and skills necessary for aquatic skill development. In turn, this leads to safer and better swimmers.

About the Swim Instructor Training Program

The swim instructor training program features 30 hours of classroom and practical training, designed to teach the theory and provide active practice. Participants must be at least 16 years old, and be able to swim 25 yards using all six major strokes – freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke, and treading water for 2 minutes.

In addition to in-depth discussions on water safety concerns, the program walks through the major principles of swim instruction, including:

  • Understanding Hydrodynamic Principles
  • Basic Aquatic Skills
  • Basic Swimming Strokes
  • Entries, Starts, and Turns
  • Diving

To successfully complete the course, participants must attend and participate in all class sessions and demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities. Upon successful completion, participants receive an American Red Cross certificate as a Water Safety Instructor.

Enroll in Premier’s Swim Instructor Training Program

At Premier, our staff is dedicated to promoting water safety in every way possible. From childhood swim lessons to private lifeguard services for parties, Premier offers an array of services for your family. To enroll in our swim instructor training program or any of our American Red Cross first aid classes, visit our website.

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Recognizing the Signs of a Concussion

Everyday Injury or Significant Trauma: Recognizing the Signs of a Concussion

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Recognizing the Signs of a ConcussionChildren fall. Bumps and bruises are simply a part of the childhood experience. However, especially for young athletes, some types of falls and hits can cause a serious condition: a concussion.

Concussions aren’t a newly identified condition; we’ve all heard about them for years and years. However, in more recent years, the medical community has begun to recognize how dangerous concussions can be, especially for children.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur in a number of different ways. It can happen by a direct hit (either the head hitting something or being hit by something) or by an indirect, sudden force. According to the American Academy of Neurology, “each year, 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions result from sports injuries in the United States. Almost nine percent of all US high school sports injuries involve concussions. Most concussions result in full recovery. However, some can lead to more severe injuries.”

Why Do I Need to Know the Symptoms?

While coaches, lifeguards, and athletic trainers are often trained at assessing whether a child has experienced a concussion after a potential concussion-causing impact, parents are an essential line of defense. This is because concussion symptoms often don’t appear until long after the injury occurred.

Parents know their children; they know their children’s sleeping patterns, moods, and levels of awareness more than any outsider ever could. Therefore, if parents are trained at recognizing the signs of a concussion, they are able to get their children the proper medical attention, even if the symptoms don’t appear until hours or days after the event.

What Are the Signs of a Concussion?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breaks down the signs of a concussion into two categories: observed symptoms and reported symptoms.

The symptoms parents may notice in their child include:

  • Being unable to recall events prior to or after a hit or fall
  • Appearing stunned or dazed
  • Forgetting basic instructions, being confused about assignments or tasks, or being unable to identify details of the day
  • Moving clumsily
  • Answering questions slowly
  • Losing consciousness (even briefly)
  • Showing mood, behavior, or personality changes, including irritability, nervousness, anxiety, or sadness
  • Changes in sleep patterns, including sleeping more, having more challenges waking than usual, being unable to fall asleep, or being unable to remain asleep
  • Having one pupil (the black spot in the center of the eye) larger than the other

The symptoms a child may report to his or her parent may include:

  • Headache or pressure that gets worse and doesn’t subside
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems, dizziness, double vision, or blurry vision
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, inability to concentrate, or memory problems
  • More vague statements such as “just not feeling right” or “feeling down”

In some cases, symptoms may be evident immediately after the accident, but other times, symptoms do not appear for hours or days after the impact. Either way, a concussion is a serious injury that requires medical attention.

What Do I Do If My Child Shows Symptoms?

If your child has experienced an accident where there was an impact to the head or significant “jolt” to the body, it’s important to continue to watch for symptoms of a concussion. If symptoms arise, seek medical attention immediately.

Swimming, whether recreationally or competitively, is a low-risk sport in terms of the likelihood of experiencing a concussion-causing impact, but the truth is that any child can get injured at any time. At Premier Aquatic Services, our team is dedicated to teaching children how to be safe and educating parents on issues relating to safety and first aid.

To learn more about issues relating to your child’s health and safety, sign up for one of our classes or follow us on Facebook.

Join Us in Recognizing National CPR-AED Awareness Week

By | Company News, First Aid, Swim Safety | No Comments

2014-12-21 12.07.56 copyIt’s National CPR-AED Awareness Week, and people across the country are taking the time to stop and recognize the importance of CPR-AED training and certification. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is a lifesaving technique that can be administered to someone during an emergency. CPR is commonly used on a person who has drowned or experienced a heart attack, causing their heartbeat or breathing to stop. CPR saves lives every day in sudden cardiac arrest situations, and it is important for your whole family to be knowledgeable and prepared to help in case of an emergency.

Why Learn CPR

Sudden cardiac arrest is the #1 cause of death in the United States today. Because only one third of these people will receive CPR by someone before medical help arrives, the survival rates are surprisingly grim with approximately 11% of SCA victims survive the attack. At Premier Aquatic Services, we recognize that the more people who are armed with CPR and AED training could potentially triple the survival rate.

What to Do

CPR and AED certification is important training to have. The team at Premier Aquatic Services offers American Red Cross CPR, AED, and First Aid programs to help participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing, and first aid emergencies. Emergencies happen without warning, and these skills could make a life or death difference in the life of a loved one.

It is essential to get professional training to be prepared for the unthinkable, but here are some steps to keep in mind.

  • Call 9-1-1. Before beginning CPR, be sure that someone is calling 9-1-1. If you are alone, call for help immediately. If you are with others, assign the task to someone. It’s important to note that assigning the task is important so that there isn’t a misunderstanding about whether someone called for help or not.
  • Use an automated external defibrillator (AED), if possible. An AED is a portable device that can check a victim’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart. In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, this shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume. Proper use of this device is taught in our training.
  • Begin CPR. CPR compressions help to keep the victim’s blood flowing to their brain and keep them alive. However, improper procedure can cause more damage than good. Being trained in CPR will ensure that you are able to assist someone if they need your help.
  • Let the Medical Professionals Take Over. Once they have arrived, allow the professionals to do their job and help save the person’s life.

Learn CPR Locally with the Premier Team

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.

Join people across the country in celebrating National CPR-AED Awareness Week by enrolling in a Premier Aquatic Services health and safety program.

To learn more about the Top Reasons CPR Education Is Important For Your Family, visit our blog or sign up for our Newsletter!

Preparing Your Family with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Preparing Your Family with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

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Preparing Your Family with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Emergencies can often happen without warning, and every family should take care to develop an overall emergency response plan. However, a key element of a family’s ability to respond to an unexpected emergency is the emergency preparedness kit they develop ahead of time.

An emergency preparedness kit, or disaster supply kit, is a collection of basic supplies necessary to sustain you and your loved ones when a disaster strikes. We live in a world where we are accustomed to convenience and instant gratification, but in the event of an earthquake, fire, tsunami, or myriad of other potential scenarios, you wouldn’t have the time to swing by the store for water and food. In the event of a true disaster, there is a very real possibility that it would take days for relief efforts to reach you.

A Basic Emergency Preparedness Kit

According to Ready.gov, your emergency kit should contain the food, water, and basic necessities you would need for three days, including:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radios and flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape in case you need to build a temporary shelter
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

Additional Emergency Supplies to Consider

In addition to the basic supplies in your emergency kit, it’s important to consider items that are unique to your family. This may include:

  • Medications – a 7-day supply
  • Extra prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Baby diapers and formula
  • Denture needs
  • Pet food and extra water
  • Cash – small bills as it may be difficult to find change
  • Important family documents – insurance policies, deeds, bank account information, and identification stored in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Change of clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Feminine hygiene products

Your Emergency Response Partners

At Premier Aquatic Services, we understand the importance of ensuring your family’s safety. Whether it’s providing CPR education for your family or keeping our community safe with lessons from The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, our team is committed to your wellbeing.

For a full look at our Health and Safety Classes or to enroll in spring swim lessons, visit us online at www.swimoc.com.

Anaphylactic Shock- Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Anaphylactic Shock: Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

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Anaphylactic Shock- Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – suddenly his or her child’s throat begins to swell and the child can’t breath.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life threatening allergic reaction. For some, it can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen, and it can vary in its severity. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “the most common triggers for anaphylaxis … are medicines, food and insect stings.”

Understanding Anaphylaxis

Not all of those who have allergies will experience anaphylactic shock. This severe reaction happens when an over-release of chemicals puts the person into shock. It is treated with an injection of epinephrine, which is available by prescription to those who have experienced anaphylaxis before.

Anaphylactic shock is particularly concerning for those who care for children because a child may not yet know he is allergic to something, and therefore, he would not be carrying an auto-injector of epinephrine, also known as an Epi-Pen.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

When an individual is experiencing anaphylactic shock, it is essential to act immediately. In order to do so, one must be able to identify the symptoms of anaphylaxis:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives or swelling
  • Tightness of the throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Feeling of doom
  • Cardiac arrest

However, children may not be able to articulate those symptoms as clearly as adults. Children are more likely to say thing such as my tongue feels heavy, my mouth itches, there’s something stuck in my throat, or my chest hurts.

Treating Anaphylaxis

In our first aid classes, we teach students how to identify anaphylactic shock, administer a dose of epinephrine if it is available, and call for help. If a person is experiencing an allergic reaction, it is essential to get medical assistance immediately. Even if the person’s symptoms subside after receiving epinephrine, they must be seen by a doctor, as a secondary reaction can occur hours later.

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From child swim lessons to first aid classes, we provide training all year long. We know how important it is for you and your family to know what to do in the event of an emergency. To enroll in any of our Health & Safety Courses, visit us online.

Do Babysitters Need to Know CPR

Should My Babysitter Know CPR?

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Do Babysitters Need to Know CPR

Many people call themselves babysitters, but what does that really mean? Babysitters, nannies, childcare specialists – there are many titles that describe the role of an individual who cares for your child when you are away. However, there is no standardization for the skills required to be classified by any of those titles.

Regardless of whether it’s the high school student from down the road or a live-in au pair, the individual who is tasked with caring for your child should have certain skills to keep your child safe, such as CPR and first aid training.

American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course

For babysitters between the ages of 11 and 15, the American Red Cross has developed a class to provide youth who are planning to babysit with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly give care to children and infants. The primary goals of the training is to help participants develop leadership skills and learn about developing a babysitting business. The training includes instruction on keeping themselves and others safe, helping children behave, and the basics of childcare and first aid. Sign up for an American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Course online.

CPR for Babysitters

For babysitters who spend extended periods of time with children, it is important to learn more comprehensive skills, including CPR and more in-depth first aid. Performing CPR on children and infants is different than on adults, and babysitters should understand how a child’s age and size plays into the method of CPR.

For babysitters who need more advanced skills, Premier offers the American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program to help participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing, and first aid emergencies. The primary goals of this program are to teach skills that babysitters need to know to give immediate care to a suddenly injured or ill person until more advanced medical personnel arrive and take over. This program offers a choice of first aid, CPR, and AED courses to meet the various training needs of babysitters and other audiences. Sign up for an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED program online.

Where to Take Babysitter Training Courses

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From swim lessons for children to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.

To learn more about the Top Reasons CPR Education Is Important For Your Family, visit our blog or sign up for our Newsletter!

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Developing A Family Emergency Response Plan

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No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster striking their home or community, but the reality is that it could happen.  Families can minimize the fear and uncertainty and increase the chances that each family member remains safe by developing a family emergency response plan.

There are three important questions to consider when thinking about your family’s emergency response plan:

  • How would your family contact one another if a disaster were to strike?
  • How would each family member get to a safe place?
  • How would different emergency situations change the plan?

Communication During a Disaster

Family members aren’t always together when an emergency arises, so it is important to consider how family members will get in touch with one another.  In this day and age, we rely so heavily on technology, but it isn’t uncommon for local phone lines to be damaged.  Therefore, a more in-depth plan should be developed.

Identify an out of town contact.  It is important to identify a trusted and easily reached family or friend who lives out of town, who can be the central point of contact in the event of an emergency.  A person who lives out of town is less likely to also be affected by the emergency.  Additionally, local phone lines often get jammed, making long distance communication easier.

Teach texting.  While text messaging is commonplace for many of us, it may not be second nature for everyone in your family.  When phone lines are jammed, it is more likely that text messages will go through, so be sure everyone knows how to send and receive text messages.

Create a contact card.  While having important phone numbers stored in our cell phones is an important step, it is also important to have these numbers handwritten and stored in a central place in the home as well as in wallets, purses, or backpacks.  The FEMA website offers a convenient template to help you gather all of the important information.

Safety and Evacuation Plans

Disasters can happen on different scales.  For example, the evacuation plan for a house fire is different from that of a tsunami warning.  Therefore, when developing a family emergency response plan, it is important to consider the different potential circumstances.  On their website, the American Red Cross discusses different types of emergencies in more detail.

Establish meeting places.  Talk with your family and agree upon meeting places outside your home (such as the mailbox or neighbor’s house), outside your neighborhood (such as a school or place of worship), and outside of town (such as a family member’s house or a school commonly used as an American Red Cross shelter).  Then, discuss how to decide which meeting place would be the right place to go.

Determine escape routes from each room.  In developing your plan, go room to room and establish the two best escape routes from each.  Whether your family is faced with a fire or an earthquake, the primary exits may not be passable.

Plan what to do if you must evacuate.  Make sure everyone in the family knows where the emergency kit is located, and assign two family members to be in charge of putting it in the vehicle. Map out multiple evacuation routes, and practice driving those routes twice a year.  Think about alternate routes as you drive, in case your planned roads are impassable.

Special considerations.  Be sure to take into account special considerations such as elderly family members, those with disabilities, and pet care.

Other Ways to Be Prepared

In addition to creating a family emergency response plan, you can make sure your family is prepared by installing fire and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, building emergency kits, teaching household members how to use fire extinguishers and turn off utilities, and taking first aid and CPR classes.

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills.  From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.  Click here to learn more or enroll in CPR classes today!

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Top Reasons CPR Education Is Important For Your Family

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Four out of five sudden cardiac arrests happen at home, according to the American Heart Association. With nearly 383,000 sudden cardiac arrests happening outside of a hospital each year, that’s a scary statistic.

What’s even worse is that nearly 70% of American bystanders feel helpless in the event of a cardiac arrest emergency because they either don’t know CPR or have let their training significantly lapse.

What Is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving medical technique that is useful in many emergencies where someone’s breathing or heartbeat have stopped, including heart attack and drowning. CPR is a combination of chest compressions and breathing assistance ideally administered while awaiting the arrival of emergency professionals.

Why Learn CPR?

No one ever wants to be in a situation where CPR is necessary, but the unfortunate reality is that many of us will be faced with such a situation. We have the ability to learn the skills to take care of one another and make a significant difference in the survival rate of someone who is experiencing a medical emergency.

Here are some of the biggest reasons to learn CPR:

  • 88% of cardiac arrests happen in the home.
  • Many heart attacks and cardiac arrest situations come with few obvious warning signs.
  • Drowning is the leading cause of death from an unintentional injury for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
  • It can only take one minute for a child to drown.
  • Effective CPR administered immediately after cardiac arrest can double or triple the chances of survival, but only about 32% of victims receive bystander CPR.

Statistically speaking, if you are faced with a cardiac arrest emergency, it will likely be in your home.

Where To Learn CPR?

At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long.

We know how important it is for you and your family to know what to do in the event of an emergency. While younger children should be taught how to call for help, older children can enroll in CPR classes alongside their parents. Click here to learn more or enroll in CPR classes today!

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive discounts on off-season swim lessons!

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Preventing Common Swimming Injuries

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Swimming is one of the most popular low-impact sports in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt. There are two common reasons swimming injuries occur: fatigue leading to poor technique and repetitive motion causing strain. Most swimming-related injuries develop over time. Therefore, whether you are a competitive swimmer or simply enjoy swimming for exercise, it is important to understand the common injuries in order to better prevent them.

3 Common Swimming-Related Injuries

Swimmer’s Shoulder

Shoulder injuries are the most common because swimming is a sport that involves a great deal of repetitive shoulder motion. Swimmer’s Shoulder is an umbrella term that covers a range of painful shoulder overuse injuries. The shoulder is a very mobile joint that is controlled by the stabilizing muscles and ligaments surrounding it. These muscles and ligaments are very sensitive to over-training, fatigue, hypermobility, poor stroke technique, weakness, and tightness. Ignoring minor shoulder injuries can be quite dangerous for swimmers because the more advanced forms of Swimmer’s Shoulder can be difficult to heal.

Breaststroker’s Knee

Swimmer’s Knee is often called Breaststroker’s Knee because the leading cause is the repetitive motions of the breaststroke kick. During breaststroke, the leg whips out to help propel the body through the water. When the legs extend and are brought back together, the knee is subject to an external rotation for which it wasn’t designed. This puts stress on the inner ligament of the knee, called the Medial Collateral Ligament.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are common swimming-related injuries that are not necessarily connected with a specific stroke. Injuries may result by over-rotating when repetitively turning for a breath during freestyle, hyperextending during breast stoke, or overexerting the anterior neck muscles during backstroke.

Tips For Preventing Injury

While swimming is a low-impact sport, its repetitive nature means each athlete must take care of his or her body and take the time to learn proper form.

Here are some tips to help keep you injury-free:

  • Take lessons with a certified instructor to learn proper technique
  • Progress slowly to allow the muscles to strengthen
  • Stretch before and after your workout, but avoid overstretching joints that are fatigued
  • Warm up properly prior to exerting yourself
  • Vary your stroke to work different muscle groups and perform different repetitive motions
  • Let your body recover with scheduled rest days
  • Hire a coach to watch and adjust your form if you are developing pain*

Consult The Experts

At Premier Aquatics Services, your health and safety are our top priorities. All of our instructors and coaches understand the importance of teaching proper technique and remaining aware of form while swimmers are in the water. Visit our website to learn more about our wide range of group and individual swim classes.

For more information on swim training, follow us on Facebook.

 

*Always consult with a physician if you experience an injury or pain.

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How To Avoid Sunstroke and Sunburns

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While other areas of the country might be experiencing record breaking cold temperatures and snowstorms, it is all sunny skies in Southern California.

With spring just around the corner, temperatures will start to rise rapidly, and before you know it, you’ll be lounging on the beach or pool. It is important to make sure that while you and your family are having fun in the sun, you take the proper precautions to avoiding sunburns and sunstroke.

Apply Sunscreen

Most people do not put enough sunscreen on before exposing themselves to the sun. Sunscreen should be applied before going outdoors, and reapplied every two hours depending on the activity that is being performed.

Activities like swimming can remove sunscreen and might require you to reapply more often.

The sunscreen that you are using should protect against both UVA and UVB damage. You should be using a Sun Protector Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and, if you have sensitive skin, it should be even higher. The higher the SPF, the more protection it offers from the sun.

Remember, sunscreen does expire, so make sure you check the label before applying.

Cover Up

If you are going to be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, make sure you cover up. Wearing a hat can protect your face from the sun and wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes.

Wearing lightweight, light colored clothing will help reflect the sun’s rays back instead of absorbing them. If you are heading to the beach or pool, make sure you have a body-sized umbrella available to provide you with shade. Being directly out of the sun’s rays well help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated and keep sunstroke from setting in.

Limit Vigorous Activity

Try limiting vigorous activity in the middle of the day. This is when temperatures are usually the hottest and sunstroke can occur if you are performing a strenuous activity for an extended amount of time. Try rescheduling your activities to earlier in the morning or during evening hours. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and stay hydrated during your activity.

If at any time while you are in the sun you feel that you are getting sunburned or feel dizzy you should seek shade immediately and drink plenty of fluids.

For more First Aid tips visit our blog!