What You Need to Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome So You Don’t Freak Out
Having your period can really suck (believe us, we know). Sometimes it feels like Mother Nature’s way of saying “cool, you get to bleed like the hallway in The Shining, be a raging jerk, and have King Kamehameha level cramps! SO LOVELY TO BE A WOMANNNNNNNN!” Not cool, Mother Nature, not cool.
Recently, another point of period suckage has been making the rounds on the Internet. At this point, we’ve all read (and unconsciously clenched during) the Vice article about model Lauren Wasser who lost her leg due to toxic shock syndrome that was caused by a tampon. Before you vow to only use period panties (like the ones from this Kickstarter) from now on, here are some essential facts to know about toxic shock syndrome.
1. It’s really rare: It’s important to note that toxic shock syndrome is rare (figure only a couple hundred people in the US are affected by it each year), so it’s not like the next time Flo is in town, you’re doomed.
2. It has to do with infections: According to the Mayo Clinic, TSS is a “complication of certain types of bacterial infections” not just caused by tampon usage. As Vice put it: “a person must already have Staphylococcus aureus present in his or her body” to get TSS. This came into play in Wasser’s case because she ended up getting gangrene, which lead to the amputation of her leg.
3. It can be caused by sleeping with a tampon inside you: Most tampons have an advisory on them that say to change them every three hours or so. When you sleep in a tampon the absorbed blood (which is essentially the lining of your uterus and other things) hangs out in your body too long and could become a breeding ground for bacteria that could lead to infection. Unless you want to get up every few hours to swap em out, just use an overnight pad.
4. Organic tampons may help: According to WebMD, the material your tampon is made of may also lead to the growth of bacteria. They suggest that tampons made with rayon and polyester foam make it easier for bacteria to collect on the tampon once it’s inside. You can avoid these materials by using organic tampons and always read the label before you buy.
5. Step away from the Super Plus: The University of Illinois McKinley Health Center recommends using a tampon with the minimum absorbency needed so you’re regularly switching it out and running less of a risk for infection.
6. FYI… tampons expire: Who knew, right?? If you wouldn’t eat a yogurt that was past its date, you shouldn’t stick something past due up your vajazz. The expiration date is usually printed on the bottom of the box so make sure to double check any boxes you have under your sink. (Also, just anecdotally, condoms expire too! Check those bad boys out!)
7. If you feel something, say something: Symptoms of TSS include headaches, fever and vomiting. A lot of us may write symptoms like that off as standard issue period yuckiness but if you feel any of those symptoms more so than usual on your period, you should remove your tampon and go to a doctor immediately. TSS strikes hard and fast so the sooner you get help the better.
What other medical buzz do you want the scoop on? Ask us in the comments!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com