Healthy Homes

Keep it Safe

Unintentional injuries from poisoning, choking, falls and suffocation are the number one killer of children in America. Remove clutter that could cause trips and falls. Having age appropriate safety devices such as cabinet locks and door-knob covers are essential. Install and routinely test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Develop a “Ready in 3” plan with your family in case of an emergency. Also, remember to lock all medications, household cleaners, and guns in a place where children can not access them. Consider switching to safer, non-toxic products for your cleaning supplies. Always make sure you read the label and follow directions on cleaning products, and never mix any chemical products together! Make sure each home that the child regularly visits follows the “keep it safe” guidelines. 

 There are many small and easy things you can do to protect your family from injuries in the home, some of which are listed below. Home accidents kill one person every 16 minutes and injure one person every four seconds in the U.S. Make sure emergency telephone numbers are next to all phones to make it as easy as possible to get help if someone gets hurt.

Fires & Burns

  • Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home near every bedroom. Test detectors every month and change their batteries every year. Never disable smoke detectors.
  • Develop a family escape plan.
  • Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of children’s reach. Never smoke in bed- it is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from fireplaces, heaters, and radiators. Replace frayed electrical wires.
  • Take care to avoid kitchen fires and burns. Stay in the kitchen while cooking. Turn pot handles toward the inside of the stove so children cannot grab them. – Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Set water-heater thermostats below 120 degrees F (50 degrees C). Always test the water before bathing yourself or your child.

Choking Hazards

  • Never leave children alone near water, including bathtubs, buckets, swimming pools, rivers, and the ocean. Learn and practice First Aid and CPR.
  • Use child-proof fencing around all swimming pools and hot-tubs.
  • Avoid toys for children under 3 years of age that are smaller than 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Toys for young children should never have small or removable parts that could be choked on.
  • Avoid window blinds with looped cords, which may cause strangulation if not stored out of children’s reach.  Keep plastic bags and drawstring cords away from children.
Poison
  • Read warning labels and follow storage directions on household products.
  • Poisonous products can include medicines, cleaning supplies, hair spray, and home repair materials.
  • Keep poisonous products out of children’s sight and reach on high shelves. Install child-proof latches on cabinets that do not have locks.
  • Store food and non-food products separately to prevent confusion and protect your family from container contamination and toxic spills.
  • Always choose non-toxic alternatives when possible and use products with child-resistant caps.
  • Never mix cleaning products together; they may produce dangerous fumes (ammonia and bleach should never be mixed).
  • Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors in your home.
  • Flush expired medicines down the toilet rather than throwing them in the garbage.
  • If it is necessary to use harsh chemicals, use them when children are not at home, or at least are in a different room. Always wear gloves when handling products that could be toxic and follow all manufacturers? instructions.
Falls - Injuries
  • Keep your floors free of anything that may cause tripping, such as toys, shoes, or magazines.
  • Use stools, ladders and stepladders carefully.

Keep it Well Ventilated

Remember to ventilate bathrooms and kitchens and use whole house ventilation if it is available in order to keep a supply of fresh air in the home. Fresh air helps reduce the number of contaminants in your home. Since Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, managing the indoor air environment is an important step in reducing exposure to contaminants and allergens that trigger asthma attacks. (CDC). 

Asthma

Keeping Your Home Pest Free

Maintaining Your Home

Energy Conservation

 

Making smart energy choices are key to a brighter future. Learning more about how to reduce your energy usage gives you the power to save for our community. There are many things you can begin doing today! Many are no-cost or low-cost items that can add up to make a significant difference in your energy and water consumption while making your home more comfortable.

Making smart energy choices are keys to a brighter future. Learning more about how to reduce your energy usage gives you the power to save for our community. There are many things you can begin doing today! Many are no-cost or low-cost items that can add up to make a significant difference in your energy and water consumption while making your home more comfortable.

 

Winter Tips:

  1. Weather-strip around doors and windows. You can dodge drafts by installing low-cost weather-strip around doors and windows.
  2. Raise the humidity/lower the temperature. If the air in your home becomes dry in the winter, you will require a higher thermostat setting to remain comfortable. Add moisture, lower the thermostat-you’ll be comfortable and save energy too.
  3. Adjust your water heater temperature so it is between 120-130degrees F. Wrapping your water heater with an insulation blanket will help reduce heat loss through the tank walls.
  4. Install a programmable thermostat.
  5. Open shades-let the sunlight in. Make the most of the sun’s warmth by opening your curtains, drapes, and blinds.
  6. Remove window air conditioners or seal around them.
  7. Install sealers at outlets and switches. If you feel cold air leaking through the electrical outlet or switch covers, seal them with inexpensive foam gaskets.
  8. Don’t let heat go up in smoke. If you’re not using your fireplace, close the damper.
  9. Maintain your furnace. Check the filter once a month and change if needed.
  10. Check your ducts. Ducts are usually out of site, out of mind. Over time, ducts can become disjointed or loosen from the registers. Check your duct system, and if necessary, insulate and seal.

Click here to learn more about energy conservation in your home!