Archive for the ‘child safety’ Tag

Why You And Your Family Should Be Anti-Antibacterial

Take a stroll down your friendly, neighborhood soap aisle these days and you’ll be hard pressed not notice that about 75% of liquid soaps you are likely to encounter will be prominently touting their “antibacterial” formula on their label. It’s not a trend that’s likely to change any time soon, either. The popularity of “antibacterial” additives in dish and hand soap continues to grow. As a result, new types of bactericidal soap and other cleaning products designed specifically to kill bacteria are added to the market on an almost daily basis.

So, why do we suddenly need this hardcore, germ-slaughtering soap?
Because it gets rid of more badness than regular soap, right?
Right?
Well…

Although the price of “antibacterial” soaps tend to run higher than the normal stuff, like many things, that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. In fact, the special chemical additives found in products that say they’re “antibacterial” don’t do anything normal soap doesn’t do already. Add to that the possible harm that those extra chemicals can cause and you’ve got two really good reasons to go anti-antibacterial.

Soap works by breaking up the bonds that hold water together and then reassembling them around oil molecules, dirt particles, and, yes, even bacteria, trapping them so that they can be easily washed away.

Still not convinced?

Consider these facts:

Triclosan, the most common chemical added to soaps to kill bacteria, must be allowed to work for close to two minutes before it can handle its business. Perhaps your family is a different story, but I have a hard time getting the required 18 seconds of hand washing time out of mine.
Bacteria can develop a resistance to antibacterial agents with frequent exposure. This is the cause of so-called superbugs, which, today, is a hugely underrated threat to our society.

Antibacterial agents are not selective. Even normal, beneficial populations of bacteria that are always present on healthy human bodies are fair game to the chemicals. Good bacteria helps keep our bodies clean and protected against other bacterias that do cause illness.

Sicknesses are often caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibacterial soaps offer no protection from those organisms.

Simply washing your hands thoroughly with plain soap and very warm water is still one of the best ways to ward off infection.

Protect those you love and care for the most with a home security system, which can provide a lifeline in case of medical emergencies, fires, and of course burglaries. I personally recommend ADT home security systems. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years of experience.

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Your Kids And The Internet

All over the globe, children are spending an increasing amount of time on the Internet. Access to an endless supply of information can be an incredibly valuable tool for children; it can also present some serious risks. Kids can become the victim of online predators or be exposed to pornography that they could find at least seriously confusing, or worse, seriously disturbing. More commonly, they’ll simply spend too much time in front of the computer.

The moral of the story is that children’s computer usage needs to be monitored closely by the responsible adults in their lives. A few common-sense tips can help keep your child safe online.

1 The computer should be in an open area, not in a room behind closed doors.

2 Take a trusting approach. Kids who are given credit for making responsible decisions are much more likely to continue to do so. Let your children know that you count on them to use the Internet responsibly.

3 Set clear ground rules about what constitutes appropriate computer use for each child. The rules should reflect a child’s age and maturity level. Try to be as fair as possible in the limitations you impose. This will make your job easier and allow your child to learn to make responsible choices on their own. As long as you continue to keep tabs on their Internet activity, you’ll know if there’s ever a problem that needs to be addressed.

4 Use filtering software and other parental controls to limit websites available for use by each child.

5 Tell your child about the ways you monitor their activity. Let your child know that it’s for their safety.

6 Make sure that you explain to your kids about online strangers and the threats that they can pose.

7 Teach your child to never give out personal information, including their full name, age, school, address, teams they might be on, or after school activities that they participate in.

Escaping Smoke: To Crawl Or Not To Crawl

Over the years, I’ve periodically stopped to wonder whether getting and staying low during a fire is really the best thing to do. I had suspicions that although smoke and heat rise, some of the heavier, more toxic fumes may wind up hanging out closer to the floor.

So, I decided to check into the matter and this is what I was able to find out:

Nothing has changed since kindergarten.

Each and every single source I was able to rustle up still recommends the good old low-crawl in the event you need to pass through smoke in order to escape from a burning building.

Even though I pretty much proved myself wrong about the sinking toxic fume thing, I’m glad to hear crawling out of structure fires is still in style. It always did strike me as one of the more entertaining elements of being caught up in that sort of emergency situation. Paling only in comparison to that high-energy activity that burning people everywhere should engage in- Stoppin’, Droppin’, and Rollin’ those worries away. Rolling around on the ground is more than just fun, it’s functional too. It smothers the fire by removing its oxygen supply. Just remember to cover your face while you roll and it’ll be nothing but good times for the whole family.

If the circumstance happens to arise and you or a family member ends up with a burn of the non-emergency variety, get the wound under cold, running water (do not apply ice!)and keep it there for 10-15 minutes or until it stops hurting. Oh, and never put butter or any other oily substance on a burn; this will hold in the heat and prolong the burning process.

Home fires can be devastating. I recommend that you help protect your family with an ADT home security system, including a monitored smoke alarm. A monitored smoke alarm ensures that the fire department responds in an emergency, even if you are asleep or away visiting family. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years in business.

Choosing Your Escape Routes

One very good first step when planning your family’s home fire escape plan is to draw up a floor diagram of your house and highlight the regular and emergency escape routes. Every room should have at least two exit routes. This will help to ensure each member of the family knows the quickest way to get outside safely from anywhere in home. by at least two routes.

Family members should practice opening their bedroom windows in order to become familiar with their operation. Any non-functioning or sticky windows should be repaired immediately. The family should be instructed that, during a fire, if an exit window is stuck, it will need to be broken out with a hard object and a blanket or towel should be placed over the frame to keep climber-outers protected from sharp glass.

Make sure the whole family knows the safe way to exit from a window:

1. Slide out on the stomach, feet first.

2. Hang on with both hands.

3. Bend the knees when landing.

In 1987, a residential fire occurred in Phoenix. A family of four was tragically killed after becoming trapped behind security bars they had installed over their windows. If you decide your family needs that kind of extra security, only fire-safe bars equipped with a single-action quick-release device should be used.
Special provisions need to be taken into consideration if living in a home with infants, young children, or a disabled or elderly individual who may need additional help during an escape. This should be discussed while creating your family’s home fire escape plan so all members are kept in the know.

At a safe distance from the house, a special meeting place should be established. Choose something that isn’t likely to be moved, such as a neighbor’s flag pole or large tree. What ever location you choose, make sure everyone knows it is where to meet in the event of an emergency evacuation of the home. This will keep family members from wandering around looking for each another, or worse, being tempted to re-enter an unsafe house in an unnecessary rescue attempt.

Once outside, decide who will be the one to make sure the fire or other emergency is reported as soon as possible. If anyone is missing, relay that information to the fire department upon first contact and inform them of possible whereabouts. Never allow any member of the family to go back in the house for any reason.

Practice your home escape plan with the family often and make sure it gets updated if there are any pertinent changes.

protect your family with an ADT home security system, including a monitored smoke alarm. A monitored smoke alarm ensures that the fire department responds in an emergency, even if you are asleep or away visiting family. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years in business.

Keeping Kids Safe: Yard Safety

Some of my favorite memories of childhood are based around backyard picnics and lazy days in the hammock swing. Make sure your child’s backyard memories are happy ones by keeping the outside of your home as safe as possible.

1. Don’t allow children to play outside while a lawn mower or any other dangerous tool or piece of machinery is being operated. When not in use, ensure all tools and other yard and garden equipment are kept well out of harms way.

2. When grilling out, keep kids safely away from the cooking area. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from the house, piles of brush, or anything else that could easily catch fire. Always stay alert and nearby when using a grill or other fire whether children are nearby or not.

3. If you have a pool or even a small fish pond, do not let children play in or around them without responsible adult supervision and even then, the adult should stay close enough to touch them at all times. All pools should have a security fence that covers all points of access equipped with a self-closing gate. Even large buckets can pose a drowning risk to small children; store buckets upside down to prevent them from accumulating water.

4. Keep all steps and walkways free from obstacles and in good repair.

5. If you have a play structure in your yard, cover the ground underneath with wood chips, mulch, or other material that will cushion falls.

6. Keep all chemicals, cleaners, pesticides, fertilizers, fuels, and fluids put away and in a locked storage place.

I recommend selecting one of the premium home security systems from ADT, the nation’s leading provider of security services. ADT home security systems can provide a critical lifeline to emergency response services in case of home invasions, medical emergencies and fires.

Garage Safety: Part II

4. Garages are often used to store toxic chemicals. If you are going to use your garage in this way, keep poisonous, flammable, or otherwise dangerous substances under lock and key, literally. Throw out any toxins that you don’t absolutely need to have around. Make sure that the products you do keep remain in their original containers with readable labels.

5. Never keep gasoline, propane, or kerosene in any type of container that wasn’t specifically designed for their storage.

6. Ladders should be stored horizontally to prevent them from being knocked over or climbed on.

7. Lawn tools should be stored either on secure wall brackets made to hold tools of the type you plan to hang from them or in an upright storage container such as a wooden box with high sides. In both circumstances, sharp or pointed ends should be pointed downward, and if wall-mounted, dangerous ends should point toward the wall.

8. Garages should be well-lit and free of clutter in walkways.

9. Install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) the main circuit breaker or an outlet, this will not only prevent wires from overloading but will also protect against shocks.

10. Check the walls separating your home and garage to ensure that you have an effective fire wall that will prevent garage fires from quickly spreading to the rest of the house.

11. Throw out rags or towels that have been used in conjunction with gasoline, grease, paint, oil, or any other toxic or flammable substances immediately after use.

12. Make sure your garage has a fire extinguisher rated “A-B-C”, meaning the extinguisher can put out all types of fires, including wood and paper, electrical, and gasoline or grease fires.

Protect your family with an ADT home security system, including a monitored smoke alarm. A monitored smoke alarm ensures that the fire department responds in an emergency, even if you are asleep or away visiting family. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years in business.

Keeping Kids Safe: Garage Safety

The level of safety you should maintain in your family’s garage is in direct correlation to how much it’s used and which family members have access to the space. If your garage is used as an entrance on a regular basis or as a place where kids are expected to store bikes and toys, or if it is home to a second refrigerator or freezer that children will have access to, you will need to be more diligent when it comes to knowing what and where potential threats are. Use these cautions and tips to make your garage a more family-friendly place.

1. Your garage’s large, heavy, overhead door can present risks in and of itself. Every year, children are crushed beneath overhead doors when the door’s automatic-reverse mechanism fails. Make sure to properly maintain your garage door based on the manufactures suggestions, test the auto-reverse mechanism often by sliding an object under the door while attempting to close it, and if your overhead door is more than five years old, consider replacing it.

2. When you do find yourself in the market for a new garage door, look for one that is pinch-free. This design makes it impossible for fingers to get caught between the doors hinged panels while in motion.

3. Another risk associated with garage doors have to do with the large springs that are part of the door-lifting mechanism in most garage door designs. If not replaced before they wear out, they can suddenly break and be projected with enough force to seriously injury any person or animal that happened to be in it’s flight path. Luckily, that situation is an easy one to avoid. When the door is in the closed position, thread a piece of wire through the spring and secure it to the eyelets that the spring is attached to.

Protect your family with an ADT home security system, including a monitored smoke alarm. A monitored smoke alarm ensures that the fire department responds in an emergency, even if you are asleep or away visiting family. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years in business.

Hall and Stairway Safety: Part II

Picking up where we left off yesterday, here is the remainder of my hall and stairway checklist. Look it over (and don’t forget to check out Part I) to make sure you know all the “do’s and don’ts” of these potentially dangerous, high-traffic areas.

5. Keep stairs free of all objects.

6. Never put floor wax or polish on stairs; if you do, you’ll own one dangerous Slip N’ Slide.

7. As cool as spiral staircases and steps with open risers may look, they are not very easy to negotiate. Think twice before acquiring this type of stairway. If you do have either of these kinds of stairs and you have small children, do not allow them unsupervised access.

8. Balconies or upper levels with railings are no place for an unsupervised child. If a child will be present in an area of your home with a railing in place to prevent falls, make sure the rails are too close for your child to squeeze their body through or cause entrapment of a body part. If the rails are too far apart, add additional rails or cover the openings.

9. Cover, remove, or replace any hard, sharp, or otherwise risky edges or protrusions on stair rails and banisters.

10. A safe stairway has at least one handrail positioned at a comfortable level for adults (about 32 inches). If children too small to use the adult hand rail safely will also be climbing the stairs, a second railing should be installed below the first at an appropriate height.

For the best in home security, I recommend selecting one of the premium home security systems from ADT, the nation’s leading provider of security services. ADT home security systems can provide a critical lifeline to emergency response services in case of home invasions, medical emergencies and fires.

Keeping Kids Safe: Staircase and Hallway Safety

Staircases and hallways are high-traffic areas and should be monitored for safety hazards. Knowing what to look out for is the first step toward keeping those areas safe for the whole family.

1. Safety gates can be used to prevent very young children from accessing unsafe areas such as open staircases. Don’t forget, however, that hurtling safety gates can pose its own safety risks. Try to position gates in such a way that allows you to regain safe footing after stepping over and before starting down the stairs. If that’s not possible, make sure you purchase a gate that can operate as a swinging gate. If family members and guests can simply open the gate, as opposed to dislodging it completely each time they need to pass through. This way, they will be less inclined, at least hypothetically, to try to hurtle the gate or attempt some other less-than-safe method of passage.

2. Halls and stairs need to be safe to use as night too. Make sure all nighttime traffic areas are well-lit and kept free from toys, decorations, unsecured rugs or runners, and other items that could cause falls or be dangerous to fall on to or walk in to.

3. Stairs should be checked periodically for signs of structural instability.

4. Carpeting stairs can provide a slip-resistant walking surface and some degree of cushioning in the event of a fall. Runners or carpeting that only covers the middle portion of the steps, however, can be more dangerous than a bare walking surface. The change in surfaces can lead to some serious falls when one foot winds up on a carpeted section of a step and the other lands on a part without.

Don’t forget to protect your children and other loved ones with a home security system, which can provide a lifeline in case of medical emergencies, fires, and of course burglaries. I personally recommend ADT home security systems. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years of experience.

Keep Kids Safe: Bathroom Safety

Did you know that the average American will spend almost half their lives in the bathroom? It might sound like just another piece of worthless trivia, but it’s actually just one of several reasons why the bathroom should be given special consideration when it comes to home safety. Slips and falls inside the bathroom can result in serious injuries or even death. The bathroom is also a high-risk area when it comes to drowning and electrocutions. This is why every family, especially those with children, should take time out to make their bathrooms as safe as can be.

1. Never, ever leave children in the bathtub without responsible, adult supervision for any amount of time. Drowning can and does happen in a matter of seconds.

2. Install sturdy grab-bars in easy to reach places where falls could occur, lay down a non-slip mat or grip stickers in the bottom of the tub, and purchase a padded cover to slip over your tub faucet.

3. Toilet seat locks are a great idea for families with toddlers afoot. Curious and top-heavy, toddlers are at risk of fall head-first into the toilet, which should be avoided for reasons just as numerous as they are obvious.

4. The bathroom trash can be a dangerous place for children and pets. A covered wastebasket is recommended but, even so, be cognizant of what you’re throwing away and where. Bathroom cleaners, razors, medicine, vitamins, and other potentially harmful items should be disposed of well away from exploring hands and paws.

5. Avoid electrocution by keeping electrical appliances away from water, unplugged when not in use, and out of the reach of children at all times. Plastic plug guards are a safe, inexpensive way to keep water splashes, fingers, and just about everything else out of outlets and sockets.

6. The medicine cabinet can be risky business for families with children if the proper care is not taken. All medications, whether over-the-counter or otherwise should be kept where children cannot get to them. Even when stored in a safe location, purchase bottles with child-proof caps whenever available.

7. Keep the bathroom floor free of water, lotions, cleaners or other slick substances that can increase your family’s risk of falls.

8. Consider installing a simple lock, such as the hook-and-eye type, to keep children out of the bathroom altogether when there isn’t an adult present to supervise.

Don’t forget to protect those you love and care for the most with a home security system, which can provide a lifeline in case of medical emergencies, fires, and of course burglaries. I personally recommend ADT home security systems. ADT is the leading provider of home security systems in the U.S., with more than 100 years of experience.