Perez Halpern - English - September 2019

301.476.1020 •

September 2019


Taking a Page Out of Jacob’s Book

Each September, about the time we wrap up Jacob’s birthday celebration, school starts up again. Jacob’s a kid who generally likes school, especially because it means everyone returns from summer vacation and camp, and he gets to hang out with his buddies again.

said, “Hey, just so you know, the brownies have peanut butter, so you might not be able to eat them!” He wanted to make sure his friend knew so he didn’t get sick. If he’d eaten even one, the consequences could have been catastrophic. Similarly, Jacob had his friends over for a play date, and he asked for a snack. I gave out M&M’s, asking the kids if they could eat them before handing them off. One of Jacob’s friends wasn’t sure — he’d had M&M’s before, but he didn’t know if he was allowed. I called his mom, and she confirmed that when he’d been younger, they were fine, but now they caused his allergies to flare up.

These days, we no longer bring homemade treats to school for celebrations like birthdays or good participation. Everything has to be clearly labeled for allergens. So instead of making cupcakes, I might send pencils or erasers as gifts for the class. It’s not until you meet a child who has a significant allergy or have a friend who has a significant allergy that you suddenly appreciate why these rules are in place. It’s one of the lessons Jacob has taught me. Some of Jacob’s best friends since preschool have allergies, so he’s hyperaware of the dangers that certain foods pose to them. At his school, there’s an allergy-free table where kids with food allergies sit. They can bring a friend with them, so this is where Jacob eats his lunch every day with two of his closest friends who invite him to come sit with them. To sit there, Jacob’s lunch has to be allergen-free and double- checked by the lunch monitors to make sure it’s safe. Jacob is so dedicated to keeping his friends safe, and it’s pretty sweet to see. He makes it a point to read labels and be mindful of what’s in food. He turned down an extra treat in his lunch — a cookie, no less — because it didn’t have a label, and he wanted to make sure he could sit with his friends at the allergy-free table. Recently, Jacob and Josh made their favorite treat, peanut butter brownies. Jacob’s friends were coming over, and their food restrictions weren’t on my radar at all. But the minute his friend with allergies walked in the door, Jacob ran over to him and

I’ll admit I was an ignorant parent until Jacob’s friends dealt with allergies. I didn’t have friends with them growing up, so I didn’t understand how significant and dangerous they can be. I’m fortunate

that my kid doesn’t suffer from them. Now it’s the norm at our house to collect EpiPens when Jacob’s friends come over, just in case. Thankfully, I’ve never had to use one. We didn’t think about these issues before, but Jacob has become so understanding and diligent when it comes to protecting his friends. Part of being a good friend is caring for and keeping others safe, and I love that he’s so conscious of it. He’s altering his behavior so he can be inclusive and spend time with his friends. I think we could all learn something from Jacob’s gung-ho attitude. As a community, we can and should embrace and take care of the people around us. It’s not about them imposing on us; it’s about us choosing to do what we can to support them.

–Meliha Perez Halp ern | 1

Published by The Newsletter Pro .


WHO LET THE DOGS OUT Who let the dogs out? You did, and for good reason. A great way to minimize your allergies from pets is to try to keep them outside for a good portion of the day. If you can’t keep your four-legged family members outside, let them primarily roam in one or two rooms. Always make sure you have at least one or two rooms pet- free for yourself. Unfortunately, even if you’re not allergic to them, their coats still could contain allergens. So, be sure to clean their coats and feet before letting them back inside. SHARE FOR SHOW AND TELL If your child has a food allergy, it might be a great idea to have them share it for show and tell. Only if they are comfortable with it, though. It’s a great way for them to give a very open explanation of their food allergens and, more specifically, what popular foods their allergen hides in, what happens if they eat it, and what their fellow students can do to help. The more research the better. While these are some fun and helpful tricks, they’re just a starting point for your own investigation. No matter what kind of allergy you or a loved one has, it never hurts to consult your local physician.

Allergies can be stressful, especially when you’re a kid or the parent of a child who has them. From the pollen in the air to the cookie without a label on it, you have to constantly be on the lookout depending on you or your child’s allergies. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep you and your family allergy-free this season!

BIG SUNGLASSES Bigger sunglasses are all the rage this season, allergists say, and, not to mention, Hepburn and Onassis followed this trend. When there is a high amount of pollen in the air, big sunglasses will undoubtedly help keep the pollen out of your eyes.

Is Your Child Being Bullied? WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP


Text A new school year is a prime opportunity for kids to make new friends among their classmates. Unfortunately, kids also form connections during the school year that aren’t always positive, and many children become the targets of school bullies. If you suspect your child is being bullied, there are a few things you can do to help. KNOW THE SIGNS Kids usually don’t open up about being bullied right away. However, there are some common signs that your child is being harassed. Here are a few of them:

If you spot one or more of these signs, it’s time to talk to your child about what’s happening to them at school. LISTEN When your child does open up, the best thing you can do is listen. It can be

tempting to try to give them advice or question the way they handled the situation, but doing this can give your child the impression that it’s their own fault they are being bullied. Let them tell you the whole story, without judgment, and then help them come up with ideas on what to do next. FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION Once you’ve been informed that your child is being bullied, you should inform teachers as soon as possible. Apart from that, there are several ways you can help your child to deal with bullies, so talk to them about what approach they would be most comfortable with, such as de-escalation strategies or a buddy system with their friends. As with most conflicts, the sooner you handle the situation, the better.

• If they’re refusing to go to school or ride the bus, they may be dreading their bully.

• If they’re rushing to the bathroom after school, it may indicate that they’re being bullied in the bathroom, which is a common tactic bullies use to avoid teachers.

• If their grades suddenly change, it may be the result of constant harassment.

• Anxious or depressed moods can be the result of bullying as well.

2 | 301.476.1020


WHEN TO COME TO A STOP A bus driving on the opposite side of the road displays flashing orange lights and starts to slow down. You have enough room to stop, but should you? The answer is always yes, with only one exception. If a bus is stopped on a multilane road with a low or high median, or a fifth lane, cars on the opposite lanes can proceed. Keep in mind that when stopping for a bus, drivers must remain stopped until the lights of the bus are turned off. If you’re unsure whether to stop or not, your best option is to always stop. NEW LAWS IN MARYLAND Many don’t realize the consequences for failing to stop for a school bus, and police are aiming to put a stop to it once and for all. Cameras have been placed on the sides of buses to capture drivers who pass illegally, and drivers who have failed to stop are faced with a $250 fine, while drivers who are pulled over after passing are given a $500 fine.

When a car zips past a stopped bus, they are not only breaking the law but also putting children at risk. With the school year in full swing this month, more school buses are traveling our streets. It’s crucial that drivers stop for buses; however, thousands are caught passing buses over the school year, putting people in danger. DRIVERS WHO DON’T STOP In January of this year, Montgomery County, Maryland, finished installing cameras in each of their 1,200 school buses. Since the camera program started, nearly 100,000 citations have been written. Many of these were likely issued to people who did not know when it’s appropriate to stop.

These new laws ensure the safety of kids who are going to school. Drive safe out there and have a wonderful school year!


Simple Coconut Macaroons (Vegan) Ingredients • 2 cups shredded, unsweetened organic coconut • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat from a can or freshly homemade), lukewarm • 2 tsp coconut oil, softened but not liquid • 1/4 cup cornstarch • 1/4 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp pure stevia extract powder • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or palm sugar Directions 1. Heat oven to 375 F and line a metal baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Mix all of the ingredients together until well-mixed. 3. Gently scoop 1 tbsp of mixture at a time and carefully drop onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon if necessary. 4. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until the edges and bottom are slightly brown. 5. Bump your oven up to its highest temperature and bake for 3 minutes or until the macaroons are golden brown. 6. Cool completely on a cooling rack and serve. Inspired by | 3

301.476.1020 To be removed from our mailing list, or if you prefer the Spanish version, call the office. Para ser removido de nuestra lista de correo o si prefiere la versión en español, llama la oficina.


inside The Back-to-School Special PAGE 1 A Quick Breakdown of the Best Allergy Tips & Tricks PAGE 2 How to Respond to School Bullies PAGE 2 Cracking Down on Failure to Stop for School Buses PAGE 3 200A Monroe Street, Suite 303 Rockville, MD 20850

Find us on Facebook! Pérez Halpern, LLC

Simple Coconut Macaroons PAGE 3 Honoring the Canines of 9/11 PAGE 4

Contact me for all of your auto accident and personal injury needs! The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act

both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: .

of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris.

Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors

and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was

4 | 301.476.1020

Published by The Newsletter Pro .

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker