Ten Ways to Keep Kids’ Bedrooms Safe (Guest Post)

Submitted by Meghan Walker, of Babysitting.net

Your child’s room, whether he’s a newborn or a teenager, should be a safe haven for him to retreat to. Ensuring that his personal space is as safe and free from potential hazards as possible is a parent’s responsibility, and it can seem like a daunting one. While every room and every house will contain their own individual hazards and injury risks, these ten tips can help you reduce some common dangers in your child’s room.

  1. Use Low-VOC Paints – VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are harmful substances that evaporate from paint as it dries. Many of these are toxic to humans and can be released from the paint for years after it’s been applied, making it a dangerous choice for kids’ rooms. If you’re decorating a nursery for a brand new bundle of joy or painting your tween’s room in a new house, it’s best to opt for low-VOC paint to protect his respiratory system.
  2. Keep Crib Bedding Simple – Fluffy, elaborate bedding is the cornerstone of dream nurseries and is showcased prominently in decorating magazine nursery features. These soft pillows, snuggly comforters, and beautiful crib bumpers are all aesthetically pleasing, but they can also be deadly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that bedding for babies be as simple as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS, so if you do opt for the elaborate bedding set you’ve been dreaming of, you should remove it all before putting your baby down for the night.
  3. Use Safety Rails on “Big Kid” Beds – When your toddler graduates to a “big kid” bed he should have safety rails on the bed until you’re absolutely sure that he won’t take any midnight tumbles. For older children with bunk beds, those rails should be in place for as long as the top bunk has any chance of being used. Even teens and young adults shouldn’t sleep in loft beds or top bunks with no safety rails.
  4. Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms – Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are such obvious safety measures that they can simply slip parents’ minds. Be sure that you install and maintain these alarms, changing the batteries twice each year and testing them periodically to ensure their functionality.
  5. Anchor Shelves and Heavy Furniture to Walls – Children will, when left to their own devices, scale shelves, chests, and dressers to reach items that are calling to them from high off the ground. Because you can’t thwart this dangerous behavior 100% of the time, it’s best to ensure that all of these pieces of furniture are securely anchored to the wall to prevent them from tipping over and falling on your child as he climbs them.
  6. Choose Safe Window Treatments – While you should never place a baby’s crib or a child’s bed near the window, you should still make sure that all blind cords and curtain ties are out of reach to reduce choking and strangulation risks. There are cord winders on the market specifically designed to keep window treatments kid-safe.
  7. Keep Toys Age-Appropriate – When a friend or relative gifts your child with an expensive or heirloom toy, it’s tempting to put it in your child’s room before he’s quite old enough to play with it. If these toys have small pieces that present a choking risk, heavy pieces that could fall on him, or moving parts that could pinch, it’s best to keep them in storage until he’s old enough for those toys to be safe for him.
  8. Opt For Toy Boxes With Removable Lids – Old-fashioned toy boxes with hinged lids can crush your little one’s fingers if they fall, which isn’t altogether unlikely. To keep tiny hands safe, it’s best to opt for toy boxes with lids that are completely removed.
  9. No Locking Doors – Your child’s room should not have a door that locks if he’s very young, to prevent him from accidentally locking you out and finding himself stranded in his bedroom alone. If his doorknob does have a working lock, you should at least ensure that you can easily and quickly pick the lock yourself from the outside. If not, the knob should be changed.
  10. Choose Night Lights That Stay Cool – When little ones aren’t quite comfortable in the dark, a night light can be their best friend. Some models can generate quite a bit of heat, however, leaving the bulb hot enough to scorch sensitive skin. If your child needs a night light in his room, be sure to find one that stays cool to the touch. For all outlets, remove the standard outlet plate and replace it with a protective outlet cover. This will keep unused outlets secure and will automatically slide shut when cords are unplugged.

After setting up your child’s room, it’s best to walk through it with your eyes open to any possible safety hazards. Crouch, kneel, or crawl to get on your child’s level, paying close attention to anything that he can easily reach.

LPG CYLINDER BUSHFIRE SAFETY GUIDE (GUEST POST)

Sent to us by Erin Warbrook, Freelance Writer and P.R. 

 Panicking during a fire can often make the situation worse.  This is why it is recommended that families living in bushfire risk areas have a fire plan; preparing helps make sure everyone can escape safely and calmly during an emergency.  Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders can ignite during bushfires, but doing regular safety checks and sensible storage can help families minimize and prevent a possible disaster.

Taking precautions at installation is the best way to avoid problems down the track.  Adults should regularly check that gas cylinders are upright, secured firmly and the valve facing away from buildings and other cylinders.  It is easy to let debris  pile up outside, but making sure that flammable materials are kept well away from the cylinders should be a priority.  Make sure your cylinders turn off easily, and any problems should be reported immediately, and faulty cylinders should be returned or exchanged.  It is especially important to perform checks before summer, because the dry weather has been known to lead to bushfires suddenly.

Periodically inspecting for leaks is also necessary when using LPG cylinders.  Soapy water can be used to safely check for leaks instead of lighters or matches.  Water will bubble when placed over a joint with a leak.  Prevent leaks from causing damage by moving broken cylinders to a safe location until empty.

Knowing how to treat cylinders is the best way to keep them from igniting.  Cylinders should never be placed on their sides and should not be covered with damp materials.  While this keeps cylinders cool, it also causes a fire hazard when materials dry and are flammable.  If a cylinder does catch fire, a dry chemical fire extinguisher can stop the blaze.

Even careful homeowners find themselves in danger when nature behaves unexpectedly.  If a fire comes close to a house, then the proper actions can save lives and property.  The fire department should be called immediately, and all LPG cylinders must be turned off.  The brigade will send support and have extra instructions that can help during this crisis.  When turning off cylinders, turn the valve on top clockwise, and keep the cylinders upright.  If connected and in the proper position, then cylinders vent gas if there is too  much heat or pressure.

Remove any cylinders that are indoors or under the home.  Many people keep barbecue cylinders in or under the house, but storing cylinders elsewhere means homeowners will not have to worry about removing these cylinders in an emergency.  If it is safe to do so, then you may hose the cylinders with water to prevent pressure buildup.  Otherwise, everyone should stay away from the fire while waiting for the fire department.

LPG gas cylinders need to be professionally checked every ten years, but regularly inspecting cylinders makes them safer.  Knowing how to prevent fires and act when a fire occurs helps keep people, property and land safe.

For those who live in areas prone to fires, it’s a good idea to keep safety supplies on hand. Pat

 

BACKOVER ACCIDENTS ON CONSTRUCTION SITES (GUEST POST)

A very real danger that exists on a construction site is one that is often overlooked. Everyone knows that falling from great heights or injuries from machinery are common with this type of work. However, many may not know that backover accidents also cause numerous deaths each year on construction sites.

A backover incident often occurs when a vehicle backs over a worker that is walking, standing or kneeling behind the vehicle. A reported 70 workers died from backover accidents in the year 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent these horrible accidents.

How do backover accidents occur?

To prevent these incidents, it is important to understand how they occur in the first place. Backover accidents usually happen due to several jobsite factors. For example, the noise from machinery can be so loud those nearby do not hear the backup alarm on a vehicle. Sometimes, accidents occur when workers riding along the outside of a vehicle fall off and into the path of the tires. Drivers of these vehicles also deal with a blind spot, and if workers stay in this blind spot too long, a backover accident can occur. Drivers often have spotters that are there to assist them while backing up a large vehicle. Occasionally, the spotter helping a driver will not see another vehicle and be backed over. In some cases, the reason why a worker was in the path of a vehicle is unknown.

How do construction sites prevent backover incidents?

One way of preventing backover accidents is cameras that work in conjunction with in-vehicle monitors. This allows drivers a clear view of what is behind their vehicles. There are also sonar and radar devices that alert drivers when objects or people are behind them. Better-planned sites will also cut down on these occurrences. For example, if a traffic control plan is implemented, then this will reduce the need for drivers to back up. Perhaps the best resource in preventing this terrible accident from happening is proper training. Most employees are not aware of the blind spot location on a typical work vehicle. For this reason, they will have no idea they are standing in a danger zone. To remedy this problem, proper training for workers is crucial. If they know where the blind spot is on a vehicle, they will be less likely to become part of this accident statistic.  Also, wearing high-visibility vests will help them be seen.

Construction sites are dangerous for numerous reasons. Backover accidents are just one way that workers are injured or killed while trying to do their job. It is important to make workers aware of backover dangers to assure a safe construction site.

Author Bio: Eric Blair writes about construction site and workplace safety equipment from http://www.fallprotectionusa.com/ that prevents unpleasant accidents.

 

HOW ACCIDENT RECORDS AND STATISTICS HELP IMPROVE WORKPLACE SAFETY (GUEST POST)

Written by Georgina Clatworthy

The cost of personal injuries that occur in the workplace is the second largest expense to any business. These costs include insurance premiums, health and safety measures to prevent injury, and payments made to employees that have been injured. For the benefit of company and employee, reducing the number of incidents that occur is always a top priority. 

While there are many ways in which you can improve safety measures around the workplace, the best way to make effective change is to use raw data. Our attorneys Charleston SC based advise that using accident records and statistics from your company, and those in similar industries, will help create a picture of what “really” takes place in the work environment and how to address those concerns.

Why “How It Should Be” And “How It Is” Can Be Very Different

Many businesses are surprised when someone is injured on the job when they believed all the correct safety measures were in place. The truth is, however, that what often makes sense on paper does not apply to the workplace situation. People are in fact only people, and when an event arises that poses a risk, each will react differently. It is nearly impossible to prepare for every contingency, which is why researching work accident data is so important to prevent further accidents.

  • Reviewing accident data: When you review accident data, you will be able to gain insightful knowledge of how the event occurred, even if safety measures were in place. You will be able to read the event from the employee’s perspective. The data provides you with useful information on how to change your safety standards or create additional employee training measures to avoid this type of event from occurring again.
  • Look at other industries: Utilizing information from other industries that are the same or similar to the business in question will also provide significant information. This data will provide an overall look at workplace events in a “real world” manner. This information is invaluable, and will provide the best source of knowledge to create a safe work environment.

Using Accident Records And Statistics Has Proven Very Successful

As more companies take the time to review this type of data, and use it for to their advantage, the overall amount of workplace injuries has decreased. In the last decade, the overall number of claims filed for temporary or permanent disability has dropped in regards to workplace events. This is very encouraging for both employees and businesses.  Employees that feel safe at work are more productive. When productivity rises, the business and the employees benefit in many ways. It is an overall good situation.

In the end, raw data provides the right type of information needed to create a safe workplace. This data may be as simple as showing a need for ergonomic office furniture to reduce lower back pain and carpal tunnel claims, or as important as showing a need for additional heavy equipment training. 

Use of this type of data has already shown a reduction in workplace related claims across every industry, which is beneficial to all parties involved. Reduced injuries and claims strengthen employee confidence and lowers operating expenses. 

Georgina Clatworthy is a legal writer interested in topics relating to personal injury and accidents.  She contributes this article on behalf of Howell and Christmas, a firm of attorneys Charleston SC based.  Workplace injuries can account for a large number of the total injury claims made across the USA every year.  Consulting with an experienced attorney, should an injury occur at work or somewhere else, will ensure you not only receive the damages you deserve but also that your rights are protected throughout the claims process.

 

SENIOR SECURITY: SAFE AT HOME (GUEST POST)

By Maddy Olsen.

Whether you are enjoying your golden years or a family member of a senior, there are things to look out for to increase their safety. Even if you live in a retirement community, some of these will still apply. Seniors tend to be the target of scam artists and hoodlums. They will case a home before they strike and sometimes it doesn’t end well. Being well protected will ease everyone’s mind.

  • Windows

Having double paned windows are great for energy efficiency, but they also have very secure locks on them. However, in the event that one is left unlocked, another safety measure should be taken just to ensure complete home security. It is as simple as having wooden dowels cut to fit in the tracks of all the windows in the house, even the bathroom. Home improvement stores generally carry these and will cut them for you if you ask.

  • Doors

Traditionally, we just lock our front door and rely on us not losing the keys to get us back in. Now, there is a way to unlock the door using the cell phone. The app is easy to navigate and requires an electronic device be put on the deadbolt area of the door. It can be easily installed with a screwdriver and is accessible from anywhere in the world, on most accounts. They can also be programmed to work with multiple phones, so family can unlock it in case of emergency or if the parents ever get locked out.

  • Garage Doors

Any outside entrance to the home is a concern. Garage doors are one of those safety issues that should be addressed. But it is only a garage door, you say? Well, that is true, but it is one of the biggest threats to home security. Having a newer model of garage door opener will reduce the risk of anyone being able to copy the code used to open the door. However, carry the opener in your purse or invest in a keychain opener. If anyone were to get into the car, they would take the opener to be able to get inside the home. When going on a trip, use padlocks to secure the door by the handles near the ground. But even more importantly, always lock the door that leads from your garage into the house. If possible, install a deadbolt to reinforce the door and make it that much harder to get in.

  • Smoke Alarms

This doesn’t deter thieves, but it is a very important part of safety and feeling secure in your home. Fires kill more than 4,000 people every year. That is not including those that die from complications due to the fire. That’s a lot of casualties that might have been prevented. Change the batteries in all smoke detectors each month. Just testing the alarms may not ensure that the batteries will work when there is a need for them to. New fresh batteries will keep them in tip top shape all the time. Practice an escape plan so if there were a fire in the home, the residents will know what to do based on the circumstances. 

Security of the home is so very important and so many of us pay little attention to it. If there are any concerns, address them sooner than later. Ask for help if you need it, but don’t be the victim of a terrible event because your locks and codes are subpar. Your personal safety should be a priority.

Maddy Olsen  blogs on a variety of subjects that are deep topics and can change lives. Writing for Brookdale http://www.brookdaleliving.com/ assisted living is a very rewarding passion she enjoys. Several losses in her family to Alzheimer’s Disease has prompted her write about the topics she has researched or practiced.

TEN PLUMBING SAFETY TIPS (GUEST POST)

Submitted by Jim Klossner 

Many people are choosing to DIY when repairs need to be done in their home. With the increase in home handymen, or handywomen, comes more risk because non-professional plumbers naturally will not think about some of the safety precautions. It is critical to take safety steps to ensure that you get the job done unscathed, as well as to make sure that the job is done correctly. 

Be Mindful of Electricity

Since plumbing usually does not involve electricity, many people do not think to turn off the electricity. Keep in mind that water and electricity do not mix. This is especially important if you are doing something near a power source. 

Do Not Panic

If something goes wrong, like a pipe bursting, do not panic. You need to take the steps to correct the issue as quickly as possible and panic will prevent this. Take a little time before even starting the task to think about some things that could go wrong and then make a few rough strategies to fix these. 

Make Sure Your Eyes are Protected

When you are cutting into things and have the risk of water spraying everywhere, it is important that your eyes are protected. There is always the risk of things flying at your face and when you are wearing protective goggles you can pretty much eliminate the risk of eye damage. 

Protect Your Ears

Plumbing work can get loud and the ears can become damaged with too much loud noise. Things like power saws and other equipment can become loud and ear damage can occur without you even noticing it.  Wearing earplugs will help protect your hearing.

Protect Your Lungs

When doing plumbing work, you are sure to run into some type of dust and/or chemical fumes. If chemicals are being used, a respirator is something you may want to consider. If you will only run into dust, then a basic face mask is enough to prevent breathing in the dust. 

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

Using the wrong tools can result in injury. For example, if you need a chisel, use a chisel and not a screwdriver. The screwdriver could slip when you are hammering, resulting in slamming the hammer on your hand. The wrong tools could also damage the thing you are working on, causing more issues and costing you more money. 

Have Emergency Numbers and a Way to Call Them Handy

Accidents happen and you need to be prepared to get help if necessary. Numbers like poison control should be handy, as well as utility company numbers. Keep a phone nearby just in case something happens and you need to call quickly. 

Practice Before Doing

Before you start the actual job, get used to the tools you will need to use so that you are confident in using them. You do not want to just learn that new saw when it is time to get work done as this adds more pressure which can lead to mistakes. 

Protect Your Hands

Chemicals, tools and hot water are all potential hazards to your hands. Be sure to wear gloves that are appropriate to what you might run into. For example, gloves that protect against chemicals generally differ than gloves that can protect hands from hot water. If it also a good idea to wear long pants, long sleeves and shoes to protect all of your skin. 

Know Your Plumbing

It is important to know things like the type of pipes used in your home, where the on/off valves are and where the pipes are behind the walls so that you can quickly access what you need. You also want to be able to quickly get to things if something were to go wrong. 

About the Author: Jim Klossner has been writing about plumbing and HVAC solutions for companies like John J Cahill, Inc. for nearly ten years. When he’s not writing, you can find Jim teaching safety courses at his local community center.

SAFETY TIPS FOR RURAL LIVING (GUEST POST)

Living safely when you are your own emergency services 

If you’re a recent transplant to a rural area, you face a new and unfamiliar set of safety considerations. You’re less likely to experience crime, for instance, but you also face longer response times from law enforcement and emergency services. We’ve recently talked about Road Trip Safety (now that you’ll be driving longer distances to get anywhere), but what are some things you can prepare for at home? Here are some things to consider:

1. Understand Warnings

Having a radio on hand is helpful especially in times of severe weather, but occasionally those weather warnings may be hard to interpret. Do some homework and brush up on things like red flag warnings, hurricane and tornado measurements, and the like. Flash flood warnings might be something you need to keep in mind for your particular corner of the world as well. Understanding which of these may apply to you, and how they should affect your emergency plans, could save your life.

2. Invest in technology

Whether you’ve lived rural your whole life or recently converted from being a city slicker, you may pride yourself on leaving some of the unnecessary technologies behind and living a more simple life (or you may have all the latest and greatest gadgets) but it’s important to make sure you have some of the essential bits of technology. Recommended parts of this list would include things like radios, alarms, a generator, sump pumps and motion sensing lights.

Radios (battery operated AND standard) are going to be extremely valuable should the power go out to monitor weather conditions, and a generator will help keep vital electronics functional (fridge, radios, etc.).Alarms and lights are important because while you may be far away from major crime, you’re also far from law enforcement. Sump pumps are vital if your area is susceptible to flooding, and since flood insurance is always at a premium, being able to protect yourself from minor flooding is a must.

1. Know your property

If you own a large parcel of land, have you done a thorough walking tour? Not just a casual stroll, but taking some effort, drawing up a grid, and taking note of anything you find. Mark down steep drops, bodies of water, trees, large rocks, blind spots from the home, and anything else that you might think worthy of note. Knowing your property can help keep you and your family safe from injury or other hazards, as well as help you to fully utilize that land you worked so hard to get.

4. Personal Protection

Gun ownership can be a heated topic, so you can leave that option up to yourself (but either way, understanding gun safety, which should include a class, should be a priority before any firearm is purchased), but there are other things to consider. What types of wildlife live in your area, and are they potentially dangerous? If so, how can you best protect you, your family, pets and livestock? Who are your nearest neighbors, and what are their phone numbers? Should a disaster occur, a medical emergency, fire, or home invasion, these are the people most likely able to help you. Is your property well lit enough to allow you to travel without a flashlight to vital areas in the dark without risking running into any hazards?

5. Have a plan

This is the most important step. An emergency preparedness plan should be one of the first things you check off this list. Use the items in this list, and others that might be more applicable to your area (Google can help here) to make a plan for each item. Where will your family go, how will you contact each other if separated, who to call, and more are things to consider.

Living away from it all can truly be a rich and fulfilling experience. Make sure you protect yourself by being prepared should the worst occur; that way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that whatever arises, you have a way to take care of it.

Katie White is a writer and handywoman from DIY Mother who is passionate about self-reliance and conservation. She takes pride in making her home a more sustainable and comfortable place for her husband and two kids. She lives in Dallas.

Thanks, Katie, and as always, we’d like to remind you to have a survival kit ready if you live in areas prone to thunderstorms or tornadoes.
 

LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT PRESENT FOR THAT “HARD-TO-BUY FOR” SOMEONE?

Look no further, friends, for quality safety products than Texas America Safety Company.

No more shopping in malls, crowded stores, or searching the “net”, when you can catch some useful things that your friends or family will enjoy having.  Giving the gift of safety means you really care. 

For the hard-working lady, we have all kinds of pink protective gear, ranging from pink hardhats to pink headsets.  Who says Mechanix is just for men?  Our pink Mechanix gloves are perfect fits for your favorite girl, to protect those delicate hands!  There are also some pink safety glasses that would complete the look. 

If you know someone who has hobbies, such as woodworking, or yardwork, goggles are a must!  T.A.S.C.O. has all types of goggles that will keep the eyes safe from flying particles, or sawdust.  Goggles are also needed for those who need exceptional eye protection at work. 

For your friends who like to ride bicycles or motorcycles, goggles also come in handy, as well as high visibility vests or high visibility decals that warn motorists to move aside and let them by! 

Anyone who works in manufacturing, construction, or other heavy duty-type work needs a good hardhat.  Ranging from team hardhats, (NCAA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NASCAR) to patriotic hardhats, or Western-style hardhats, and, if the company allows them to have their own personal hardhat, this is an excellent way to ensure compliance.  It’s fun to show your personality and team spirit with the just-right selection, at a very sensible price. 

Another great gift is a set of brim LED lights that clip onto a hardhat or baseball cap.  This would be an excellent way to be seen while riding after sunset.  For do-it-yourself tree trimmers, a chainsaw safety kit would be an excellent gift, offering a safe cutting.  (Always keep a first aid kit on standby, just in case!)

You may want to check out our huge selection of safety glasses.  Many styles don’t have the old “safety glass” look – they are stylish , and best of all,  priced lower than most sunglass stores.  The good thing about it is, they not only look cool, but also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. 

A nice pair of leather gloves would be a welcome gift.  We have all types to choose from.

What person couldn’t use a Personal First Aid pouch to keep in their car?  Flashlights are also a must-have for your car.  There are so many things to select that we invite you to check out our website, www.tasco-safety.com.   We have linked some of our suggestions to make your shopping easier.   Place your order early for a timely arrival. 

Last but not least, if you call Texas America Safety Company (1-800-646-5346)  to place an order between now and Christmas, you will receive “Free Shipping”!  Just be sure to mention this to our customer service personnel, so you can get that savings. 

Have a safe and very happy holiday season.

NOVEMBER NATIONAL HEALTH OBSERVANCES

November has whizzed by pretty fast, but it is never too late to share with you all the diseases awarenesses and health observances for the month.  Chances are you know somone or have a family member that may need to know about these resources.  It is our intent to not only promote safety issues to our readers, but health facts, as well.  Please read and find out more about where you can go to search for particular health problems that are observed this month in the United States.

American Diabetes Month – American Diabetes Association – 1-800-342-2383

COPD Awareness Month – American Lung Association – Diabetic Eye Disease Month – Prevent Blindness America – 800-548-8252

Lung Cancer Awareness Month – Lung Cancer Alliance – 202-463-2080

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – Alzheimer’s Association – 800-272-3900

National Family Caregivers Month – National Family Caregivers Association – 800-896-3650

National Healthy Skin Month – American Academy of Dermatology – 888-462-3376

National Hospice Palliative Care Month – National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – 800-646-6460

National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month – No Stomach for Cancer, Inc. – 608-335-0241

< International Survivors of Suicide Day* –  Nov 17 – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention -212-363-3500 Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week – Nov. 18 – 24 International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders –