A list of choking hazards that are commonly overlooked:
- Rubber tips from door stoppers.
- The small cap at the base of the toilet.
- Coins - Check under those couch cushions often!
- Older siblings' toys - keep those Barbie shoes out of reach.
- Loose cabinet and drawer pulls.
- Chewing gum.
- Food. Never leave children unattended while eating.
- Leaves and stones in household plants.
- Pen and marker caps - Keep your purse out of reach!
- Small batteries.
- Medicine bottle caps.
And here's what Miriam Kenovas is saying about home safety:
Take action to keep your home safe
Maintaining a safe sanctuary in the home requires both diligence and knowledge of the potential dangers.
Mold, toxic products and carbon monoxide are typical hazards your family faces. But these potential problems can be eliminated or minimized. Here are some steps to take:
Products: Many common items bought for home use have the potential to cause harm or death if a substance gets on the skin, in the eyes or is ingested. Cleaners, personal care products, vitamins, medicines and plants may contain poisons. So there is no confusion, keep all products in their original container with label attached.
In addition, poisonous products should be locked away -- far from the reach of children, food storage areas and food preparation tables. With storage issues covered, don't fall short on knowing how to handle accidental exposure. The following first aid steps should be taken immediately upon identification of a problem:
* If poisons are inhaled, get the person into fresh air quickly before doing anything else.
* If a poison contacts the skin, remove clothing from the affected area and rinse for several minutes.
* Consult with your poison control center. The center's phone number, along with other emergency contacts, should be kept handy to your phone for quick action.
* Unless the poison control center or health care professional advises, do not administer liquids, food or ipecac syrup, because doing so could damage the lungs or throat.
* If eyes come in contact with a chemical or foreign object, flush with water for 15 minutes.
Carbon Monoxide: Unseen problems may be lurking as silent threats. Carbon monoxide is one of those threats. It cannot be heard, seen, smelled or tasted.
Furnaces, open fires, car engines and hot water heaters are all potential sources for harmful carbon monoxide. Accumulations can occur through faulty appliances, neglected maintenance and bad ventilation. The result from exposure to high levels can be headaches, nausea and death.
Next to or in each bedroom install a carbon monoxide detector so you will get early warning of a hazard. These devices are not smoke detectors, so you will need to maintain both types of units.
Mold: Nasal congestion, allergy symptoms, sore throats and upper respiratory ailments may result from this unwelcome house guest. Fortunately, it can be detected through sight and smell. And it is not a minor issue. Serious problems can develop from extended exposure.
Mold, which may appear as a dark stain in various textures and shapes, can come calling at any home no matter what the age. Water barrier leaks, plumbing problems and poor ventilation can produce the conditions for growing mold. Once you detect mold, act quickly to eliminate the cause. Then remove the stain with a non-ammonia cleaner after thoroughly drying the area. Disinfect everything to complete the task.
Check your home for hazards often and make prevention and preparation for problems high priorities. Develop a fire escape plan, maintain an up to date fire extinguisher, know how to respond to weather emergencies and keep a well supplied first aid kit. The better prepared you are, the less likely you and your family will experience harm.
Author Miriam Kenovas is a contributor to the home information resource, FCI Home. Sign up for the ezine Home Front at www.fcihome.com
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