This is one article that we hope drives home the importance of paying 100 percent attention when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.  They say a “picture is worth a thousand words,” but the two pictures we are presenting to you are worth much more than that, if they serve to save one life, or many lives.





The make and model of these two pickups are hard to detect; however, they both were fairly new.  One driver reportedly drifted into oncoming traffic at the bottom of a blind curve, striking the other pickup.  The man in the correct lane was crushed inside the wreckage of the pickup, while the vehicle that veered into his lane caught fire, with the driver inside.  Both died at the scene.  It was reported that the impact was so severe that both vehicles came to an abrupt stop.

You must always drive defensively, as you never can forecast what the other driver may do.  Some may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while others are busy texting or talking on their cell phones.  There are other times for using phones and/or drinking, and doing so while driving is not appropriate.  It is unknown whether the driver of the first vehicle was using a cell phone, went to sleep, or the exact cause of the accident.  It happened on a curvy State Highway, and in an area where there are very few places to pass.

The pictures deliver the message:  forget about any distractions you might have to contend with.  Wait to talk on the phone when you get home, or pull over and stop.  Turn the radio down enough that you can hear what’s going on around you.  Don’t drink and drive, or drive under the influence of medications.  It’s the same old saying:  distracted driving kills.  Please be careful; don’t become a statistic!

Our thanks to the De Leon, Texas Free Press for sharing their pictures and information


Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Assistant Secretary of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michael, held a press conference, March 20th, to announce a rule updating OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.   The revised standard will align with the United Nation’s Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals to better protect workers from hazardous chemicals, as well as help American businesses compete in a global economy.  Secretary Solis stated that “exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious dangers facing American workers today.”  This revision of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard will improve the quality, consistency and clarity of the information that workers receive, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employees to stay competitive in the global marketplace. 

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of chemicals (GHS) provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets.  These criteria and elements will help chemical manufacturers to determine if a chemical product produced and/or supplied is hazardous, and explains how to prepare an appropriate label and/or safety data sheet.  This harmonized standard will ensure that workers will have information that is easier to find and understand through the use of standardized formats and label elements: signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statements.  As one participant expressed during OSHA’s rulemaking process, this update will give workers the right to understand, as well as the right to know.  It will reduce confusion in the workplace, facilitating safety training and improving understanding of hazards, especially for low-wage and limited-literacy workers.  The Hazard Communication Standard, first issued in 1983, was designed to ensure that employers provide information about health hazards and physical hazards, giving workers the right to know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace. 

Employers must train workers on the new label elements and SDS format by December 1, 2013.  Chemical employers must comply with all modified provisions of the final rule by June 1, 2015; however, distribute under the old system until December 1, 2015.  By June 1, 2016, employers must update alternative programs as necessary, and provide additional worker training for new identified physical and health hazards. 

The GHS is not a regulation or a standard, but a set of recommendations that a competent authority such as OSHA can adopt.  The GHS is being implemented around the world in countries such as Australia, the EU, and China.  This document provides countries with the regulatory building blocks to develop or modify existing national programs that address classification of hazards and transmittal of information about those hazards and associated protective measures.  This helps to ensure the safe use of chemicals as they move through the product life cycle and around the world.  Benefits to workers and members of the public include consistent, simplified communications on chemical hazards, safe handling practices, greater awareness of hazards and overall safer use of chemicals.  Benefits to employers include safer work environments, improved relations with workers, increased efficiency, reduced costs of compliance, and expanded use of training programs on health and safety. 

For more information about the benefits of harmonization, visit OSHA’s Guide to the GHS.

Source: OSHA


When we were children, our parents taught us manners.  They expected us to use them anytime we were at home, with visitors, and at school: in other words, everywhere.  If you are old enough, you will even remember getting a grade on your report card for “citizenship.”  The word “civility” comes from the old French and Latin term for “good citizen”, and is the glue that binds our society.  

Our workplace is a reflection of society at large.  Studies and polls indicate that Americans view incivility as a serious problem that is getting out of hand.  One study found that 60 per cent of employees believe that co-workers’ annoying behaviors negatively impact the workplace, and as a result, 40 per cent reported that they are looking for other jobs.  These reports show that disrespectful and uncivil behaviors drain productivity and negatively influence both an organization’s bottom line and the overall economy.  To make civility stick in the workplace, it must start at the top.  The leaders of the organization need to encourage it, and they should be role models, since those who work under them often tend to adopt the same management style as a company’s leaders.  Bullying by bosses is very common.  This kind of bullying often can be as bad as domestic violence, leaving victims with post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Practices and procedures that encourage civil behavior have to be inserted into every level of a company, for example:

  • Job descriptions;
  • Hiring practices;
  • Training policies;
  • Daily codes of conduct. 

Back in school – ages ago, there were the 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmatic.  Now, the 3 R’s in creating civility in your workplace are: Respect, Responsibility, and Restraint.  If most employees develop an awareness of respectful behaviors and communication skills, it can help them serve as role models, and these behaviors will spread in the workplace and beyond.  Here are some helpful tips: 

  • Create an inclusive work environment.  When you respect and recognize individual differences and qualities, your organization can realize it’s full potential.
  • It’s never too late to start.  Hone your listening skills.
  • Before acting, think about the impact of your words and actions on others.
  • Realize that people who regularly engage in kindness, generosity and gratitude live longer, healthier lives.
  • Know your triggers or “hot buttons.” When you understand why something frustrates you, you can manage reactions and respond in a more appropriate manner.
  • Adopt a positive and solution-driven approach in resolving conflicts.
  • Don’t assume!  Rely on facts only.  Gather relevant information, before acting on assumptions that can damage relationships.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and practice self-restraint and anger control.
  • Think about today’s difficult situations from the bigger picture and consider what they mean in the overall scheme of things.
  • Include others in your focus by considering their needs.
  • We all should influence each other, by being  bridge builders for civility and respect.  Show that you respect yourself, and demonstrate that same respect to others.
  • Talk to co-workers face to face and establish more personal relationships than through emails. 

Our legislators have a job to promote decency in their private lives and workplace, too.  They should be accountable for their behavior during the upcoming campaigns and when they are in office.  They work for us and should respect the wishes of their constituents.  After all, we are the ones who put them there, and they should set a good example for all of us. 

Personally, we can teach our children and grandchildren about interpersonal skills and relationships by having conversations with them rather than watching them text on their cell phones, use computers, or play games.   If we share our ideas with them about how to go about life by being thoughtful and showing respect, we will be leaving a wonderful legacy.  After all, life is real, not a game!


Guest Blog by Martina Keyhell

You had to have seen this one coming: kids are picking up bad habits from their extensive use of social media giant Facebook. This can’t come as too big of a surprise though, because it stands to reason that something so popular and fun would be bound to have some ill effects. Not that we’re condemning Facebook, mind you, but there are a few potential pitfalls to watch out for regarding your child’s usage. The following are seven bad habits that kids pick up from Facebook:

  1. TMI – To be honest, many of us are already guilty of grossly over-sharing our personal lives on Facebook. When you have a place to update your status 24/7, though, it shouldn’t come as any real surprise that eventually one’s entire personal life is right there for anyone and everyone to read on their profile.
  2. Inappropriate Friending – It tends to be an automatic reaction for some to “friend” someone after they’ve added you, accompanied by the friend confirmation request, whether this person is someone you know well or not. While they may not like the idea of saying ‘no’, safety should have a higher priority than popularity.
  3. Posting Inappropriate Photos – Inappropriate photographs always seem to find their way onto people’s Facebook pages. For that matter, taking such photos in the first place is ill-advised, to say the least. Coupled with the prospect of being friended by stalkers and strangers, not to mention being available for any potential employers or school officials, this makes for a very dangerous mix.
  4. Poor Time Management – It’s very easy to lose track of one’s time while socializing on Facebook, and hours at a time can be lost without even realizing it, often at the expense of more important things like homework, chores, etc. It may be wise to install a filter software that can monitor use and block certain sites during specified time periods to ensure that your kids don’t spend too much time on the website.
  5. Indiscriminate Downloading – Facebook is notorious for third party apps that seek to gain access to personal data and the friend lists of members who use them. There’s a large risk associated with accepting gifts via some of these apps, unfortunately, that could end up compromising your personal information.
  6. Poor Grammar – As with chat rooms, IM’s, and text messaging, all of which came prior to social media, Facebook posts can tend toward cyber shorthand, whether it’s in the interest of brevity or simply born out of sheer laziness. Although it’s acceptable – even necessary in some cases – to limit character usage, it’s very easy for this habit to leak over to your child’s more formal writing and correspondence.
  7. Not Safeguarding Personal Info – Facebook provides varying levels of privacy settings for its users. Members can share everything with anyone, or limit access to their profile to just friends and/or family. Kids today have become ok and even lax with the safeguarding of their personal information, and identity theft, stalking or harassment can end up being one of the penalties for your child being too open with his or her personal information.

You can read more of Martina’s advice for parents and youngsters Facebook is a very popular social network; it is a good way for old friends to locate long-lost associates.  However, many times young people have been cyberbullied by someone on social networks to the point of hurting themselves or taking their lives.  Teens and parents would be wise to follow this advice from Martina. 


Today’s guest post is sent to us by Jack Rubinger,  Working around electricity can be very dangerous, so pay attention to these excellent safety tips from Jack:

Look up!

Electrical hazards are overhead. Live wires run dangerously close to cranes, drilling rigs, backhoes, dump trucks and tree trimmers.Electrical hazards are the second leading cause of deaths in the construction industry, killing an average of 143 construction workers each year, according to The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Isn’t it time for a renewed call for visible cues to warn us of electrical hazard dangers from up high, down low and both inside and outside our facilities? New sign and label materials will hold up for years in all kinds of weather conditions – making them ideal for electrical hazards which may occur in facilities and outdoors. A new puncture-proof, water-proof and mildew resistant fabric-like stock is made to survive extreme outdoor and indoor conditions.  Proper labeling doesn’t just save time and money, it saves lives.  Accidental contact of overhead electrical power lines by mobile equipment is a leading cause of occupational fatalities in the United States, accounting for 20% of on-the-job electrocutions, reported the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  Many safety rules and regulations have been established to protect those facing the greatest risks from electrical hazards.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has standards for mobile and locomotive cranes that include operation near overhead power lines and tree care operations that provide safety requirements. Standards address the following issues:

  • Consider any overhead wire to be energized unless and until the person owning the line or the utility authorities verify that the line is not energized.
  • De-energize power lines before work begins, erect insulated barriers to prevent physical contact with the energized lines, or maintain safe clearance between the energized lines and boomed equipment.
  • Notify line owners before work is performed near power lines.
  • Post warnings on cranes cautioning the operators to maintain safe clearance between energized power lines and their equipment.
  • Review common electrical hazard safety signs and pay attention to important OSHA/ANSI safety codes, standards and regulations.

Make sure to use the appropriate colors, formats and designs as outlined in OSHA §1910.145. Signs used to identify safety issues should be designed in a specified format to comply.

Look down!

Buried or partially exposed power lines are especially hazardous because they carry extremely high voltage. Check work areas for other forms of electrical equipment including street lights and traffic lights – indicators that underground power lines will be present. Look out for sand, plastic strips or specially marked bricks when excavating, which signal the presence of underground power lines. Plans and maps identifying the location of underground cables can date quickly and underground depths can alter road upgrades or developments. The depth of underground cables vary from site to site or even on the same property. Underground cables should never be moved or relocated unless authorized. Below are tasks that expose workers to underground power lines.

  • A plumber cutting a water pipe when there could be an electric cable next to the pipe.
  • A fencing contractor digging holes where an electric cable could be buried.
  • Construction site excavation.
  • Jackhammers.
  • Well drilling.
  • Landscaping.
  • Trenching for pipes.

Look inside!

Perform an electrical hazard analysis to review what types of hazards develop in a plant. Look for oil and grease or debris that dissolve or damage insulated cables. Watch out for loose wires that cause electrical shorts and unguarded temporary lights that are exposed to energized parts. Use the guidelines in NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584 to identify and assess electrical shock and risks throughout your facility.

Arc Flash and Solar Panel – Other Electrical Hazards

An arc flash occurs when an electrical short-circuit produces a high-energy, high-temperature explosion. These occurrences are known to propel molten metal and other dangerous debris through the air. Explosions of this nature can damage a person’s eyesight, hearing and cause severe burning or death. For more information about extremely hazardous electrical Arc Flash dangers, visit

Whether the electrical hazard is found indoors, outdoors, far above our heads or buried deep beneath the ground, these hazards need prominent visibility to ensure safe conditions for those who work with or near power lines, tools and construction vehicles. To warn other employees in the facility of the potential hazard, remember to place signs in the area of live repairs being performed. Compliance with sign and label regulations is an important step in the right direction. Protect your workforce by marking electrical hazards clearly.

Thank you, Jack, for this article emphasizing the importance of playing it safe around electricity.  As he advises, look up, down, and all around to be sure you are not digging or working near electrical hazards!  Texas America Safety,, has special safety glasses that feature a special dielectric hinge design with no metal parts.  Also, there are special hardhats that are built for use by utility companies and other industries where head protection with dielectric protection is necessary.  Many specialized personal protective products that do not conduct electricity can be found on our site.


It’s only natural that there are going to be workplace conflicts, as well as those disagreements at home.  Knowing how to settle them is like fitting all the pieces of the puzzle perfectly.  In the workplace, the supervisor is also the mediator.  Being a good mediator means that he/she can effectively resolve situations where different people with different ways of doing things can lead to personal and professional growth. 

Not taking things personally is very hard when it comes to being critized about your job.  Often times, intense personal animosity can result; that leads to too much downtime, teamwork breaking down, and wasted talent as people lose interest in their job.  It can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and recrimination.  

Suggestions to Mediate and Resolve Conflict:

  • Meet with the antagonists together.
  • Make sure that good relationships are the first priority.
  • Set out the facts.
  • Separate the people from the problems.  Many times one person may not be being difficult, but has real and valid differences with the other person.  Listen first; talk second.
  • By listening carefully you’ll understand why the person is taking his or her position.
  • See if each participant can describe actions they would like to see the other party take.
  • Open up communications.
  • Explore options together; a third resolution may exist and you can reach this point together.

Some of the benefits that a mediator may reap from communication skills are the following:

  • Improved self-knowledge.  Conflict pushes individuals to examine their goals in close detail, helping them understand the things that are most important to them, sharpening their focus, and enhancing their effectiveness.
  • Increased group cohesion: When conflict is resolved effectively, team members can develop stronger mutual respect, and a renewed faith in their ability to work together.
  • Increased understanding: The discussion needed to resolve conflict expands people’s awareness of the situation, giving them an insight into how they can achieve their own goals without undermining those of other people. 

Conflict Mediation in the Home 

Usually, workplaces have mediation processes in place.  It isn’t quite that simple in the home.  Who among us haven’t had differences with our spouses, parents, or children?  If you have such conflicts in your home, try establishing a conflict resolution process, including the location.  The place you choose may play a large part in resolving those problems.  The bedroom should be a safe and loving place in a marriage; therefore, you should never designate your bedroom as the conflict resolution area.  If, on the other hand, you are resolving a disagreement with your child, his/her bedroom is a good idea, as they feel safe in their bedroom and can open up to you better. 

For adults, your living room, dining room, kitchen or other room you are both comfortable in should be the place you sit down and work things out.  Talking things out should not be done while others are in the home.  Find a time when each of you has the opportunity to talk.  Don’t interrupt, but show respect for each other by listening to each point of view, and then do your best to understand and go about acknowledging mistakes that may have been made, and vow to try to rise above that point.  Loving couples have arguments at one time or another; but by talking it out, problems can be resolved without the “cold shoulder” treatment.  You may be surprised by something that has been bothering your spouse that you weren’t even aware of. 

It isn’t always easy to resolve conflicts at home or work – but it is always important to settle disagreements before they spin out of control.  Whether it’s talking things out by two family members, or having a mediator guide two persons to smoother waters at work, the mediator crafts a work environment that enables the success of the people who learn it.  Conflict mediation is an example of “practice makes perfect.”




Well, we’re a “DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT,” but it’s never too late to acknowledge the arrival of Spring!  With warmer weather, American workers will start planning how to stay cool, especially those who work outside.  Our parent company, Texas America Safety Company ( has the very products to help you keep your cool.

Of course, we can’t talk about safety products without mentioning the all-important safety sunglasses with UV protection.  There are many fun styles to choose from that meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards for protecting your eyes.  Along with safety glasses, it’s very important to keep sunscreen on hand, especially if you work outdoors all day.   

In case you haven’t seen some of these products, we’d like to introduce them to you.  These are great for work, and many of them are good to wear playing golf, mowing the lawn, and other “fun” chores.  Let’s start out with the Miracool Bandannas.  Full of tiny crystals, these MiraCool Cooling Crystals encased within the 100% cotton fabric absorb and hold up to 1000 times their weight in cool refreshing water. MiraCool Crystals work in combination with the evaporation process. When worn against head, neck or body, cooling sensations are passed to pulse points and carried throughout the body….The only thing you need to do, is soak the bandanna in cold water for about 30 minutes prior to using it.  My husband and his friends wouldn’t go to the golf course without them! 

Next, there’s cooling pads for hardhats.  Here’s the information on these handy cooling pads:

  • Just Soak In Cold Water for 30 Minutes
  • Stays Hydrated For Several Days
  • Reusable Thousands Of Times
  • Works Without Freezing Or Ice
  • Increases Alertness & Productivity

Other head cooling products include absorbent sweatbands for hardhats, Velcro terrycloth headbands, and snap-on sweat bands for headgear.  The MSA V-G and Omega II hardhats allow for sunshields to be attached in order to provide extra shade.  A cloth neck shield is also available to attach to the hardhat and protect workers from sun and heat.  Also available for warmer weather (or anytime), is powdered Gatorade.  

Check out T.A.S.C.O.’s ERB Boonie hats!  Brightly colored in lime or orange, these mesh vented, high-visibility hats are great for walkers, workers, and anyone who works in their yard or garden.  Guys and gals will enjoy these wild little hats! 

Thanks for letting us take the time to tell you about some “cool” products for spring.  Summer is just around the corner, and now’s the time to stock up so your employees can be protected as much as possible.  Most of these are great for individuals at home, too!  Please work safely and take breaks as often as possible.  Drink plenty of water during the day.  Have a pleasant spring!



by Judith Stern

Unless you check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website regularly, you may not know that every year, they recall thousands of products such as cars, appliances, baby and kids’ items, furniture and more.  Here is a brief list of appliances and home furnishing recalled in the last six months. Each company has advised consumers to immediately stop use of the recalled product and contact the company directly for information on repairs or refunds.


Company issuing recall: Big Lots
Date: October, 2011
Product: Glider Recliners with Ottomans (Microfiber and Leather)
Reason for recall: A gap between the moving parts and the base of the chair is large enough for a small child to become trapped; in addition, there are other parts on the chair that can pose finger pinching or crushing risks to anyone who uses the chair.
Company issuing recall: Dutailier Group
Date: November 2, 2011
Product: Drop-side cribs
Reason for recall: The crib’s drop-side slats can detach, leaving a space large enough for an infant or toddler to become trapped or fall.
Model number(s): E1230C2, E3500C2, E3540C2, E5100C2, E5140C2, E5530C2, E9000C2 and E9100C2.
What to do if you bought one: Consumers should contact Dutailier Group toll-free at (800) 363-9817 to receive a free repair kit, which consists of a new fixed side to replace the drop side of the crib.

Company issuing recall: Pottery Barn Kids
Date: December 28, 2011
Product: Madeline Bedroom Collection Bed Canopy
Reason for recall: The connections from the bedposts to the canopy’s top rails can come apart and cause parts of the canopy to fall.
What to do if you bought one: Call Pottery Barn Kids toll-free at (855) 662-4114
Company issuing recall: Elegant Gifts
Date: January, 2012
Product: 1,600 chairs and 1,300 stools for children
Reason for recall: (Yellow) surface paint contains excessive levels of lead.
What to do if you bought one: Contact Elegant Gifts Mart at 787-290-5625 for a full refund.

Company issuing recall: Steelcase, Inc.
Date: January 18, 2012
Product: Amia desk chairs
Model number and manufacture date: The model 482 Series Steelcase Amia desk chairs that were manufactured between March and June of 2011.
Reason for recall: The chair’s pivot pins underneath the seat can fall out, causing the risk of falling.
What to do if you bought one: Call Steelcase toll-free at (800) 391-7194 or email them directly at to schedule a free repair.


Company issuing recall: Walmart, Inc.
Date: September 14, 2011
Product: Goldstar and Comfort-Aire 30-pint portable dehumidifiers
Manufacturer: LG Electronics
Reason for recall: The dehumidifier compressor’s power connector can short circuit, which poses fire and burn hazards to consumers and/or their property.
What to do if you bought one: Contact LG toll free at (877) 220-0479, or visit the firm’s website at
The first time the LG dehumidifiers were recalled was in December 2009. The CPSC adds this important note regarding the recalled LG Electronics dehumidifiers:
“Because of the severity of the risks, CPSC and LG Electronics are concerned with the lack of consumer response to the recall. Only two percent of the 98,000 consumers who purchased these units have received a free repair, which means that consumers and their property remain at serious risk.”

Company issuing recall: General Electric
Date: October 25, 2011
Product: GE Monogram® Pro Rangetop with Grill
Reason for recall: The Rangetop burners may fail to light if the gas control knob is left between the positions of “Off” and “Lite,” which poses a risk of delayed ignition or possible explosion. (Note: Sixteen explosions have occurred with no injuries.)
What to do if you bought one: Turn off the gas supply to the product, and call General Electric toll-free at (866) 645-3956 or visit their website at to schedule a free repair.

Company issuing recall: W.P. Appliances Inc. (sold exclusively through the Home Shopping Network)
Date: November 10, 2011
Product: Wolfgang Puck Electric Reversible Tri-Grill/Griddles
Reason for recall: An electrical wiring defect in the electric grills/griddles poses risks of overheating, melting and electrical shock to consumers.
What to do if you bought one: Recalls can be serious business, and your safety is of the utmost importance. If you have questions concerning any of the above products, contact the companies directly for more information. For up-to-date information about these or any other product recalls
Many thanks today for this very important information.  Please do not ignore any notice of a product recall.  Today’s guest author, Judith Stern,  began her interior design career as in-house designer to a prestigious furniture retailer. 


Congratulations to the Poison Prevention Week Council, marking  their 50th anniversary this year !  An act of Congress was signed into law on September 16, 1961, by President John Kennedy, after which the Poison Prevention Week Council was organized to coordinate this annual event.  Congress designated this event as a means for local communities to raise awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisonings and to take such preventive measures as the dangers warrant. 

There are two basic themes – “Children Act Fast ….So Do Poisons!”  and “Poisoning Spans a Lifetime.”  It is up to parents to watch when household chemicals or drugs are in the home.  An adult may be distracted by the phone or doorbell; but parents know that small children act fast, so they should make sure that all medicines and household chemicals are stored away from children at all times.  In addition to knowing most emergency numbers, the Poison Control Center is 1-800-222-1222.  Keep this number near your phone, and have the following information ready:

  • Age and weight of the victim.
  • Existing health conditions and/or problems.
  • Substance involved and how it contacted the person.  Was it swallowed, inhaled, absorbed through skin contact, or splashed into the eyes? How long ago did they swallow or inhale the substance?
  • Any first aid you may have given.
  • If the person has vomited.
  • Your location, and how long it will take you to get to a hospital.

If medicine has been swallowed, do not give anything by mouth until advised by your poison control center.  If chemicals or household products have been swallowed, call the poison control center or follow the first aid instructions on the label. 

Medications:  Child-Resistant Packaging 

Labeling requirements and educational programs have had some effect in reducing the number of childhood ingestions; however,  some children are still being poisoned by ingesting hazardous household products.  Although child-resistant packaging does provide an additional barrier, children may try to figure out different ways of opening the container.  If  their fingers don’t work, their teeth might.  

The Poison Prevention Packaging Act requires that packages be difficult for children under 5 years of age to open.  (I’ve found some pretty hard to open, too)!  Here are good instructions that make it easier for us adults to open the packaging, as well as other safety tips:

  1. Read the instructions to make it easier to open the packaging.  (If you need reading glasses, keep a pair handy by your medicine cabinet).
  2. If using cap and vial packages, be sure to resecure the closure tightly.  Blister cards never have to be resecured; however, don’t transfer the contents to other containers.
  3. Do not leave loose pills anywhere.
  4. Keep medicines and household products (even those with safety caps) locked up and out of sight.
  5. Use locks or child-resistant latches to secure storage areas.
  6. It’s wise for adults to ask for their medicines in child-resistant vials because poisonings have happened when youngsters have visited homes where no children live.  Little ones have been poisoned after finding medicine containers left in purses or on bedside tables. 
  7. Avoid taking medicine in front of children.  Always refer to medicine as “medicine,” and not “candy.” 

Even though most medicines are packaged in tamper-evident packaging, they are not tamper-proof.  Each consumer must be alert for the packaging to be protective.  You should always read the label and inspect the outer packaging.  If anything about the product looks suspicious, you should be suspicious.  If there are tablets or capsules that differ in any way, don’t take them.  Never take medicine in the dark.  Read the label and look at the medicine every time you take a dose.  If you suspect something wrong with a medicine or packaging, take it to the store manager. 

If you think someone has been poisoned from a medicine or household chemical, call 1-800-222-1222 for your Poison Control Center.  This national toll-free number works from anyplace in the United States (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).  Keep the number on your phone.  It will connect you to a poison control center.  There are currently 61 Poison Centers across the country that maintain information for the doctor or the public on recommended treatment for the ingestion of household products and medicines.  They are familiar with the toxicity (how poisonous it is) of most substances found in the home, or know how to find this information.   We hope this never happens to you or your family or friends, but it is vital information to have.

Source: Poison Prevention



As our parents and grandparents age, we want to find the very best care possible for them.  With most people facing the dilemma of balancing work and elder care, it is impossible to do what we might really like to do:  keep our parents at home.  If one or both parents suffer from debilitating illnesses that require round-the-clock care, few people can afford to provide that care in the privacy of a personal residence.  Instead, more and more people turn to managed elder care in the form of retirement communities and nursing homes to provide the day-to-day care our senior family members need.

However, it is frightening to consider the statistics of nursing home injuries and deaths.  Over 30 percent of all nursing homes have experienced some form of abuse of the residence by staff members or other residents.  Only about 20 percent of abuse cases are ever reported.  This means that many instances of abuse or neglect are occurring every day in nursing homes across the country, and that family members and governing authorities are unaware of the majority of these incidents.  In those cases, an attorney should be contacted.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of poor treatment, neglect, or abuse at the hands of staff or residents of a nursing home or elder care facility, you do not have to remain silent.  An Orange County nursing home lawyer will be happy to talk with you about your case and determine the best course of action to stop, prevent, or recover damages due to the abuse.

Nursing home abuses range from minor inconveniences, such as forcing a resident to wait excessive periods for food or service, to major and deadly actions such as beating or withholding needed medication.  More than fifty percent of nursing home patients do not have close family members who visit regularly, so these seniors are often the target of severe abuse and neglect on the part of careless or unkind staff members.  Many of the staff employed by nursing homes are also severely overworked, with one nurse responsible for up to thirty patients.  Under these conditions, it is very easy for abuse or neglect to take place, and highly unlikely it will be reported.

What can you do to prevent your elderly loved ones from experiencing nursing home abuse and neglect?  First, stay visible.  It is important to visit on a regular, but not predictable, basis and observe carefully the conditions under which your loved one is kept.  Next, talk to your relative about his or her treatment in the nursing home.  Do not automatically discount any stories of bad treatment, but make assertive inquiries with the staff.  Often, knowing that someone is watching and interested is enough to deter any bad staff behavior.  Finally, if you know that someone you love has been mistreated in a nursing home, or if you yourself are the victim of nursing home abuse, contact an Orange County nursing home attorney immediately for a consultation.

Our thanks to John Bisnar, of the Law Firm of Bisnar & Chase.   Every elderly person deserves the attention and care that they would receive if they were able to safely live in their own home.  Many nursing homes and private care homes offer that type of service; however, too many of our little citizens fall into the category of questionable care.  As John mentioned above, one of the best ways to ensure their safety is to pop in as often as you can, and never at a regular time.  A visit to a family member or friend means so much to the residents that we all should do a better job of checking on them, and let them know we care.  I want to add one thing: if you suspect any abuse or other problem, go to the administration and speak up.   My concern is especially for the ones that have no one to stand up for them.  In that case, an Ombudsman or other representative should contact a local attorney.  Our parents took care of us; it’s our turn to see that they are taken care of.  This article is very important to anyone who is facing the decision of relocating their parents or grandparents or a loved one.