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Home > Consumer Focus Archive

Consumer Focus Archive
We added the Consumer Focus feature to our web site and we change it every month. Check out our previous issues.

October 2004 - Democracy in America
Anyone who turns on the TV knows that there are elections coming up this November. So we decided to look back on who we are as Americans, and put together easy facts and useful information for anyone who uses this election season as an opportunity to talk to children about our country.

September 2004 - Tips for Avoiding Food Allergies (Part 2)
Eight percent of children in the U.S. are estimated to be affected by food allergies, along with up to 2% of adults. The eight most common food allergens – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish – cause more than 90 percent of all food allergic reactions. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

September 2004 - The Basics of Food Allergies (Part 1)
Allergies affect the lives of millions of people around the world. Fresh flowers or a dog can make people itch, sneeze and scratch. But what about that peanut butter sandwich, glass of milk or fish fillet? Learn more about food allergies and steps you can take to reduce your risk of food allergens.

August 2004 - Money and Credit 101 (Part 2)
College students often find themselves in over their heads with credit card debt, or in situations where they’ve been scammed out of money. Avoid these traps by following the advice from FCIC when you “shop” for credit cards, apartments, financial aid, and travel opportunities.

August 2004 - Safety for College Students (Part 1)
Heading off to college this month or next? These tips from the FCIC will help you be safe on campus, as well as in the dorms. We also have safety tips if you plan to study abroad.

July 2004 - Water Safety For Water Craft (Part 2)
For some people, water-craft is where the action really is! You gain the feeling of wind grabbing your sails or propellers shooting you across the waves. Since controlling a water craft compounds the risks and dangers, use the following information to stay safe.

June 2004 - Water Safety For Swimmers (Part 1)
Swimming can be a great way to have fun while getting full body exercise. But, you always have to remember that each year between 4,000 and 6,000 people drown in the United States. Since tragic water accidents happen quickly, we have come up with the following information to help everyone have a safe and fun summer.

April 2004 - Hiring A Mover (Part 2)
Research tells us that moving is usually one of the most stressful events in a person's life. But with planning and care, you can make your move a lot less stressful. Here are some great tips for hiring a moving company.

April 2004 - Moving (Part 1)
There are so many things to do when you are moving. You need to let everyone know your new address, gather boxes, get rid of items - just to name a few. FCIC has lots of helpful tips to make your move easier.

March 2004 - Summer Camp Just Isn't Right for Everyone (Part 2)
Since we know that summer camps aren't for every child, here are some other activities available to keep children busy and help them grow as individuals.

March 2004 - Choosing a Summer Camp (Part 1)
It is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the kids are getting happier, that must mean school is almost out! We at the FCIC have already been thinking about how kids spend those long summer days, and have come up with this handy dandy guide to choosing a summer camp.

February 2004 - Accessing Local Services and Information Using the Internet
If you're prone to putting things off, then the growing prevalence of the Internet is good news for you. Many states and localities offer speedy and convenient access to services and information online, saving you time and money.

January 2004 - Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious disease characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production or insulin action. It is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Diabetes affects over 18 million people.

December 2003 - Winter Driving
Do you know the difference between snow tires and regular tires? How should you change your driving behavior in the event of ice or snow? Put yourself to the test by reading these tips on how to handle your car and yourself in winter weather.

November 2003 - Winter Car Maintenance
Have you been too busy to get your car ready for the winter? Here are some easy steps to "winterizing" your vehicle and saving money by performing some of these tasks yourself.

October 2003 - Creating Your Home Filing System (Part 2)
You've gotten your papers together in one place and shredded those you no longer need. Now what? We've assembled some tips and with just a little planning on your part, will make it all come together easily.

October 2003 - Managing Household Records (Part 1)
How do people decide where to store and keep such records? Don't know what to keep, what to throw away, and when? Every household must work out its own system, but here are some general guidelines that can help you.

September 2003 - ABC's of Financial Aid
The cost of higher education and the process of applying for financial aid have major effects on your life including: your choices in college or university, your expected financial contribution toward tuition and your credit rating after graduation. Here is some useful information to guide you through the process of applying for financial aid and to prepare you for what happens after you graduate.

July 2003 - Vaccinations: Not Just for Kids
Scientists use vaccines to "trick" the human immune system into producing antibodies or immune cells that protect against disease-causing organisms. But keeping up with your child’s vaccinations can be confusing. To add to the confusion, medical developments have made changes over time. Read on for more information.

July 2003 - Taking the Bite Out of Summer (Part 2)
Warm weather is here, and so are the ticks and mosquitoes. Reduce your risk with these common sense approaches.

June 2003 - Summer Health Tips (Part 1)
No matter what summertime activity you choose to participate in - those hot and humid days can take a toll on you physically, as well as present some hidden dangers. Here are some tips on how you can manage the heat and keep cool during the dog days of summer.

May 2003 - Indoor Home Improvement (Part 2)
In addition to a standard "spring cleaning," here are some other maintenance tasks you may wish to perform in your home.

May 2003 - Spring Home Maintenance (Part 1)
Every spring, daylight savings time gives us an extra hour of light in the evening. Here are some home maintenance tips that you can use while enjoying that extra spring sunshine. Check back here in about two weeks for maintenance tips for the inside of your home.

April 2003 - Being a Landlord (Part 2)
There are particular considerations to be aware of if you're considering purchasing investment property or renting out a property that you currently own. The following information should help make the decision a little easier.

April 2003 - Owning a Second Home or Investment Property (Part 1)
With the continued record low mortgage interest rates, the idea of owning a second home or investing in property is on many people's minds nowadays. If you're interested in the idea, but not sure how to get started, we've assembled some helpful information.

March 2003 - Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (Part 2)
One of the biggest and most challenging tasks facing families today involves grandparents parenting their grandchildren. Many grandparents are faced with a number of physical, emotional, and financial adjustments they must make in order to support their grandchildren.

February 2003 - Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Many older Americans approaching or in retirement find themselves caring for and raising their grandchildren. The number of children in grandparent-headed households has increased by 30% since 1990. So even if you're not the full-time caregiver, be prepared by learning more about health, safety, and other important topics.

January 2003 - Tackling Your Taxes
The holidays are over and spring is just a few short months away. That can only mean one thing - it's tax time. Start tax season off on the right foot--get organized and begin early. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

December 2002 - Eating Right This Winter (Part 2)
Exercise and diet are an unbeatable team if you are trying to lose weight. But it's hard to find time to exercise around the holidays, and even harder to watch what you eat when you are tempted by holiday party fare.

December 2002 - Combat Winter Weight Gain (Part 1)
Just because it's wintertime doesn't mean you can't exercise! Exercise will help you counteract holiday weight gain, as well as improve your health. Learn more about getting started, taking a walk, and shopping wisely.

November 2002 - Preventing Holiday Shopping Headaches
Many of us will spend more money than we intended during the coming holidays. We have all felt panic standing in the middle of a crowded mall with only a few days (or hours) to find just the right gift. By using the tips we've assembled here and with a little care, planning, and budgeting, we'll be able to help you have a less stressful holiday season.

October 2002 - Is It a Cold or the Flu?
Colds and flu (also called "influenza") can occur anytime but appear mostly in the fall and winter. How can you tell the difference? A cold tends to come on gradually but the flu hits very fast and lasts longer. The symptoms for colds and flu can be similar; both can cause a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, and fever, but the flu can also leave you with a "wiped-out" feeling, a headache, chills and body aches.

September 2002 - Getting The Facts On Homework Help (Part 2)
Computers have become an essential learning tool and the world wide web offers endless information and assistance. In addition to the basics, here are some more tips and tools to help you and your child get the most out of homework.

September 2002 - Helping Kids with Homework (Part 1)
Homework assignments, completed successfully, reinforce what children learn in the classroom and builds confidence. It can help children develop good habits, including self-discipline and responsibility. Parents and guardians are essential to the process. But getting the homework done can be challenging for children and parents.

August 2002 - The Facts on Government Grants and Loans
We're all familiar with ads offering free money from the government. The federal government does offer grants and loans, but the information you pay for may be misleading. For complete and up-to-date information on these programs, go right to the source--the government.

July 2002 - Handling Complaints about Unsolicited Mail, Telemarketing and E-Mail (Part 2)
Even if you've signed up for the Direct Marketing Association's consumer preference services to stop telemarketers from calling or emailing you, you may still need to complain about a particular company. Here's some helpful information to help you deal with that persistent telemarketer or a case of identity theft where a criminal has fraudulently used your personal information.

July 2002 - Taking Steps to Protect Your Privacy (Part 1)
Annoyed by having your mailbox filled with unsolicited mail and credit card offers? Unfortunately, there's no sure-fire way to totally eliminate the unsolicited mailings, calls, and e-mails you receive, but FCIC has assembled some tips that can help you cut down on the junk.

June 2002 - Medical Products On-Line (Part 2)
More and more consumers are clicking onto the Internet to purchase prescription drugs and other health products. Many of these websites are lawful businesses and offer privacy, convenience, potential cost-savings, and other traditional safeguards. But, consumers need to be aware there are some who are using the Internet as an outlet for products or practices that may be illegal or whose practices may be questionable.

June 2002 - How to Find Reliable Health Information (Part 1)
The volume of health information available is overwhelming, and searching for this information can be frustrating, confusing, and time consuming. The Federal Consumer Information Center has compiled some tips to get you started in your search for reliable health information.

May 2002 - Natural Disasters: Are You Prepared?
Natural disasters come in many different forms and with different intensities. Technology can predict some events and increase our warning time, but everyone needs to do his or her part by preparing in advance. Preparing will also decrease your recovery time if a disaster strikes where you live.

April 2002 - Gardening-Getting Your Green Thumb in Shape
A warmer than usual winter and the arrival of spring has everyone thinking about gardens. Do you want beautiful tulips or daisies to line the border of your home? But before you grab your wallet and make that trip to the nursery, FCIC has compiled these excellent tips to get you started.

March 2002 - Federal Jobs-How to Find Them and Apply Online
Looking for a government job? Thanks to the Internet, if you're interested in Federal employment, the job descriptions are right at your fingertips. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Federal government's human resources manager, uses the Web to provide information on jobs available worldwide. You can search for a job according to your education, where you live, the agencies you're interested in, and more.

February 2002 - Tackling Your Taxes
So you received your W-2 in the mail - what next? Which number goes in which box? Which forms are the correct forms? Is it better to file online? So many questions, not enough time, too much paper! Just relax - FCIC is coming to your rescue! We have great tips on how to get organized, the different options for filing your taxes, and what to do if you wait 'til the last minute (and we know you will!).

January 2002 - Handling Consumer Complaints
Now that the holidays are over and all the presents are unwrapped, it's time to relax, right? But what if your expensive new electronic toy stopped working by New Year's Eve? Sometimes the consumer complaint process can seem complicated and intimidating. Well, you've come to the right place. We've put together all the information you need to get your complaint resolved quickly.

Consumer Focus Archive 2000 and 2001

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