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4 Gadgets Moms Need for a Stress-Free Day at the Amusement Park

by rayovac22, September 2016

A family at an amusement park

Rayovac Power Protect

Amusement park crowds can be overwhelming and swarms of people can make it easy to lose sight of your little one. The Rayovac Power Protect can help. The Power Protect is a small cylindrical phone charger that has a built-in flashlight and a 100 decibel emergency alarm. The device is similar in size and shape to a small can of pepper spray, and it has a ring at the top that acts like a panic button.  Pulling the ring causes an attention-snatching alarm to erupt and should draw the notice of any passerby. The safety siren is even audible from 200 yards away. To deactivate the personal alarm, press the power button or snap the ring back to its original setting. The Power Protect was designed for anyone who wants a sense of personal safety.Giving one to your child in case of an emergency will ensure that you (or security) find them fast in any crowded, noisy environment.

Handheld fan

Amusement parks come in all shapes, sizes and have plenty of different attractions. But one thing is unanimous among them all — long lines. Fall weather can be unpredictable no matter where you live in the country, and standing in line in  sweltering heat can be miserable. But sSomething simple like a battery-powered handheld fan can make the lines much more bearable. Snag yourself a fresh pack of Rayovac’s alkaline batteries, and enjoy the cool breeze and slight mist from your handheld fan. Just make sure your kids don’t forget theirs on the ride!

Portable phone charger

The first time your child rides a rollercoaster is priceless. The look of exhilaration, fear and joy that flow across their face is something you won’t soon forget. And because of smartphones and social media, it’s a sight your friends and family won’t forget either. But chances are you’ll be taking a lot of photos and videos of the family’s escapade throughout the park which drains phone batteries fast. Just be sure to toss one of Rayovac’s portable phone chargers in your bag, and you’ll never have to miss capturing those goofy, gleeful smiles.

Digital camera for kids

One of the best things about being a kid in an amusement park is the sense of wonder and amazement at your surroundings. Everything in the park is typically so huge and foreign to a child: rollercoasters, fun houses, prize games and costumed staff members. Letting your child have a kid-friendly digital camera is a great way to see the park through their eyes, and encourage them to pay attention to their surroundings. You can find rechargeable lithium-ion cameras and battery-powered options, too. Rayovac’s rechargeable batteries last up to 4X longer in digital cameras than their alkaline battery cousins.

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Debunking 7 Popular Hearing Loss and Hearing Aid Myths

by rayovac25, August 2016

Hearing Aid MythsIn May, we spoke about hearing aid innovations with Denis Carpenter, the director of technology, who has worked with Rayovac for 37 years. He expressed that many people still have misconceptions about hearing aids and hearing loss in general. Helping people hear is an important Rayovac commitment, and we want to clear up any common misconceptions about hearing aids, hearing aid batteries and hearing loss.

Myth 1: Only the elderly have hearing problems

Truth: Hearing loss can affect anyone at any point in their life. About 48 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss, and more than 10 million people in the United States have permanent hearing loss from loud noises. Another 30 million Americans are exposed to harmful noise levels every day. And although the generalization that hearing loss is an elderly problem has some merit, because one out of three 65 year olds has a hearing impairment, this ailment is far more widespread than a single demographic. Roughly 30 percent of Americans between ages 50 and 59 have some degree of hearing impairment, and about 5.2 million children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years old have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive noise exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Myth 2: Hearing aids always restore full hearing

Truth: Hearing loss is unique to each person, and the amount of hearing that hearing aids can restore is unique to each user, too. Hearing aids are not like glasses, which can often restore a wearer’s vision back to “perfect.” The amount of hearing someone regains depends on the extent of their hearing loss, and the type of device they use. Perhaps for one person the restored hearing is the equivalent of perfect, but for someone else the device just lets them hear a bit better than before. However, this gap is narrowing. New hearing aid devices are getting better and better, year after year. And as the devices become better, so will the restoration possibilities people can tap into.

Myth 3: Loud noise is the only cause of hearing loss

Truth: Loud noise is the most common cause of hearing loss, but it’s not the only cause. There are many other contributors, including aging, a poor diet, diabetes, genetics, medication side effects, smoking and trauma. All of these conditions break down and destroy the hair cells in the inner ear, which are what transmits soundwaves to the brain. We’re born with a specific amount of these hair cells, and once they’re damaged or destroyed it permanently affects our hearing capabilities.

Myth 4: Hearing aids let in too much excess noise

Truth: When hearing aids transitioned from analog devices to digital ones, engineers gained the option to acutely modify incoming sound and how those noises are transmitted to the ear. This sound manipulation comes with more sophisticated directional microphones that can automatically amplify some sounds, while muffling or muting others. Let’s say a child is genetically hearing impaired and a sound wave enters her ear. The device interacts with the soundwave and an algorithm determines the noise is too quiet and it needs to be made louder so she can hear it. Analog devices could accomplish this amplification. However, analog aids increased the volume of everything, which made it more painful her already-loud sounds. The solution is eliminating excess background noise and programming hearing aids to siphon the important noises to the forefront. So contrary to the myth, modern devices actually handle excess background noise very well.

Myth 5: You should store your hearing aid batteries in the refrigerator

Truth: Hearing aid batteries should be stored at room temperature.  Like alkaline batteries, storing a zinc air battery in the refrigerator may actually harm the battery. The zinc air battery has holes in the top to allow maximum airflow, and if you put them in the refrigerator then condensation forms on the battery casing and moisture drips into the air holes. The moisture fills up the battery which ultimately can lead to premature battery failure.

Myth 6: A Hearing Aid Battery’s life is the same for everyone

Truth: Much like hearing aid performance and hearing restoration, hearing aid battery life is different for everyone. Many factors affect how long a hearing aid battery will last including battery size, aid usage, type of device, temperature, humidity and more.  To learn more about to get optimal hearing aid battery performance, visit our hearing aid battery facts page.

Myth 7: You can put your hearing aid battery in the device right after it’s un-tabbed

Truth: You should let you hearing aid battery sit un-tabbed for one minute before placing it into your hearing aid.  This step allows air to enter which is critical for use. The hearing aid battery is activated when the zinc within the battery mixes with the air from the environment. To learn more about hearing health, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, visit Rayovac’s hearing aid resource center.

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Personal Stories from the American Red Cross

by rayovac12, August 2016

  Rayovac partners with the American Red Cross)

We sat side by side-- a newly-trained female client caseworker and I, a disaster mental health volunteer--in a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. Next in line was a young survivor in his early 20's-- living in a local drug recovery center, who had lost his home, his girlfriend, his vehicle, and his job, in one of California's most devastating fires ever recorded.

I closed the door behind him as he took a seat. Shortly after he began, I reached for a bottle of water behind me, twisted off the cap, and handed it to him.  He talked and drank, cried and talked, and drank some more. For an hour, he related details of wrong turns, the long road back to sanity and sobriety, and finally the fire. We listened hard. Afterward, I asked about a sponsor,  12-step meetings, his support system.  The caseworker asked about housing plans and gave him information about government and community resources.

At the end, I gave him a blanket. I asked if he was hungry. “A little,” he admitted. I gave him a granola bar. I gave him a Disaster Distress Helpline brochure and the local crisis line number. He hugged me. He hugged her too.

“I noticed you take the cap off the water bottle", the caseworker said, after he left. "Why did you do that?"  "You saw that?" I replied, surprised. "Well, survivors under great stress easily dehydrate. When you open the bottle, it gives them 'permission' to drink it now rather than later.“

"Ah, good one", she said, nodding and jotting notes. "Your eyes never left his as you took off the cap.  And you sat forward when he started talking."  I grinned. "Were you observing me the whole time?"   "Of course I was!“ she laughed.  “I've never seen anyone work in the field before. I could never do what you did."

I looked puzzled. "But you were doing it."  Now she looked puzzled. "What do you think he'll remember from our interaction?" I asked.  A few beats later, she responded. "I think he'll remember how you knew so much about what he was going through."  "I'll bet you're wrong,” I replied.  “I'll bet he'll remember next to nothing of what I said. What he'll remember is how we both made him feel.  The water, the blanket, the snacks--there's a good chance he'll remember those also. But he won't forget your calm voice, the genuine smiles, the way he was deeply listened to, the way he was treated with dignity and respect.  Never underestimate the power of those simple gestures.  I promise you, those things are what people remember most about the Red Cross, in the end.”

“Maybe it's because those things look like hope.” She wrote that down, too.

I don't know what happened to him, of course.  But I know that she's a compassionate, caring, client caseworker, yet another Red Cross hope-giver, who now twists the cap off the water bottle as she hands it to the next survivor.

Julie Holly, MSE, LPC, CCTP, is a licensed mental health professional by trade and she, serves her community and those across the country such as the South Carolina floods and California wildfires. In addition, she served on an Integrated Care Team which provides a team approach to physical, spiritual and emotional recovery after a disaster.

"You are a part of the permanent narrative of the worst day of their lives."  - Julie Holly

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Why We Built the Rayovac Power Protect

by rayovac3, August 2016

Rayovac Power Protect portable charger with a personal alarmAt Rayovac, we want to be a source of power in your life. And sometimes that means empowering you, your friends or your loved ones to avoid being the victim of a violent crime or robbery. Our headquarters is in Madison, Wisconsin, a bustling college town, and within the last few years we’ve been deeply troubled by the news of people—particularly women—who have been attacked late at night when they are out jogging or walking alone. These crimes must stop. To help our fellow Madisonians—and people everywhere—create a sense of personal security, Rayovac has developed the Power Protect, a portable phone charger with a built-in personal safety alarm.

The Rayovac Power Protect is a small cylindrical phone charger that includes a flashlight and a 100 decibel emergency siren (the loudest sound level the ear can handle before creating damage). The device looks a bit like a small can of pepper spray, but it has a ring at the top that acts like a panic button.  Pulling the ring free of the charger causes an ear-piercing alarm to erupt and should scare off attackers, give you enough of a distraction to escape or beckon aid from people passing nearby. The safety siren is audible from 220 yards away. To deactivate the safety alarm, press the power button or snap the ring back to its original setting.

The device has a 2,200 mAh battery that will offer most phones between half and two-thirds to a full charge. And you’ll never need to worry about monitoring your discharge percentage to preserve the safety siren because the Power Protect automatically stops distributing electricity at 20 percent capacity. That amount is permanently set aside in reserve to operate the alarm so it’s always usable.

The Power Protect comes in three colors, and is small enough to easily fit inside a backpack, purse or clip onto your person. Visit Rayovac.com to order a Power Protect, and take peace of mind—for your phone battery and yourself—with you on your next evening adventure. 

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American Red Cross Helps 24 Families Affected by Apartment Fire

by rayovac3, August 2016

The American Red Cross shares stories from people they help By Dawn Miller, American Red Cross Volunteer

“I was asking for safety and security,” said Jama Ali of his morning prayers on Sunday, January 3, 2016. The young father of two was praying when he heard a sharp noise that made him look out the door of his apartment and down the hall.

The smoke hit his face hard when he opened the door and he ran back in for what was most important, his two sons ages 10 months and 2 years. His wife had already left for work. Once they were safe outside, they went to their car before a neighbor invited them in to warm up.

“You never know what is going to happen,” said Ali. “ I thought I was going to work today but here I am with my sons.” Ali normally would have been at work as a truck driver but instead he found himself wondering what was going to happen next as they moved to a Red Cross warming shelter to find out if his family, along with 23 other displaced families, would return to their apartments.

At the warming shelter Ali, and others, found Red Cross workers wanting to help with their immediate needs. Needs are varied including blankets, help accessing medicine, diapers and baby wipes. They also found warm coffee, snacks and sandwiches to nourish them while they processed what their next steps would be.

They all wanted to hear if they would be able to return to their apartments based on the fire & smoke damage and if the utilities would be on or if they would need alternative overnight accommodations.  “Due to the Packers vs. Vikings home game and hotels at capacity there are limited options if friends and family are not a possibility,” stated Steve Hansen, the Chapter Executive.

Ali fed his 10-month old son while the two-year-old explored the gym at West High School where the warming shelter was set up. Ali was calm at the shelter and while he didn’t know what would happen next, he felt his prayers were answered. “The most important thing is we are safe and sound,” said Ali. “You can get many things in this world but you can’t get back a life.”

The Red Cross provided multiple families with the shoulder-to-lean-on that day along with personal hygiene items to helping them establish a plan of ‘what to do next’.  Financial assistance was provided for basic needs such as food, clothing, infant supplies, shelter, transportation and more.  You can help the Red Cross help families after fires with a financial gift at redcross.org/donate.

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Five Awesome Summer Activities Your Family Will Love

by rayovac19, July 2016

A family hiking during the summer

Summer vacation may be full of ice cream sandwiches, sand castles and cartoon marathons now, but before you know it the kids will be back to school, waking up early, shuffling off to carpools and dreadfully completing their math homework in the evenings. So before it’s too late, check the following summer activities for kids off your bucket list and enjoy some quality family time.

Dive–In Movie Night in the Backyard

Swap out poodle skirts and mustangs for bikinis and pool noodles to experience a modern day “dive–in” movie. It’s easier than it sounds, too. Use a large white bedsheet and a movie projector (which can be rented at most photography stores), families can replicate a nostalgic movie experience from the 50s in the comfort of their own backyard. Hop in the pool and relax lazy river style or set up a slip–n–slide if a pool is out of the picture. To really enhance the experience, plug in external speakers to a portable power source for surround sound. This fun family activity will surely create countless memories that will be treasured for years to come. If you’re up north and it’s too cold to jump in the pool, consider an inflatable pool filled with pillows and blankets.

 Scavenger Hunt

Is summer even complete without a scavenger hunt? The answer is definitely no. Spice it up this year and instead of giving a complete list of items to find, start with clues that lead to destinations; then at each destination, give another clue leading to the next location. The first team to get to every location wins. Don’t forget safety; always bring a flashlight if you’re doing a scavenger hunt at night, and consider making this family activity mom versus dad, one parent on each team. To lessen the prep time beforehand, limit the search area to home or the neighborhood.

Homemade Music Video

This might sound a little over the top, but when you consider how far modern technology has come, producing a homemade music video is extremely easy. Throw on some of your little one’s favorite tunes, let them play dress up in your closet, and hit record on your smartphone. Pro tip: use a portable phone charger if you plan to create a long video. When it comes to editing, there are plenty of apps for download that help users mash videos together to create a masterpiece, and no one said it had to be perfect, right? The point is, it will be a fun experience for the kids and a great way for the family to bond. After all, family activities this unique and inexpensive are pretty hard to come by nowadays.

 Relay Race Course

This is the activity of all summer activities to tucker the kids out before bedtime.  For your at–home relay race, go all out! Think jumping through hopscotch, carrying an egg on a spoon, double dutching without error for 2 minutes — the sky’s the limit when it comes to relay race courses. Not only is the course itself fun, but the planning of it can be as well. Take some time to brainstorm a list of activities to put in the course with your kids the day before. Try to hype up the game by making signs, picking team colors, and most importantly – create an amazing game day playlist and blast it through speakers as each team races for the win.

Go on a Night Hike

Thought it may be too hot during the day, depending on where you live, going on a nighttime hike with the family is a great way to bond with each other and with nature while also getting some exercise in. The hike can also be an educational experience. Print out informational cards on the types of rock (sedimentary, granite, etc.) and have kids collect and identify what types of stone the family is hiking upon. No rocks? Try flower and plant identification. If everyone enjoys the hike, opt for planning a camping trip next time.  

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