Monday, February 25, 2008

Hidden Home Hazards


The strong sense of comfort we feel as we unwind at home often makes us vulnerable to objects that appear harmless. We believe that danger exists outside, not within our homes. After all we've designed our personal spaces to adapt to our needs to kick back and relax. But the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) advised that 33.1 million people suffer injuries related to products in the home. The Commission advised the top 5 hidden hazards as follows:

Magnets: Toys that contain small magnetic components are dangerous as small magnets that can detach from the rest of the toy can be swallowed by small children. When opposite poles of these magnetic pieces are swallowed or, if these are swallowed together with a metallic object; these pieces can re-attach and remain trapped within the child's intestinal tract. Since 2005, magnets have been the cause of 1 reported death and 86 reported injuries. Toys with small magnets have been recalled to prevent further injuries. The Commission further advised that such toys should only be given to children over 6 years of age.

Furniture Tip Overs: Furniture, and home appliances can tip over and crush young children. Injuries and some deaths occur when children climb over, fall or pull themselves up against these. Children will less likely climb onto furniture and appliances if there are no objects placed over the top of TVs, shelves and counter tops. Such objects such as toys and food can attract children.

Windows, Blinds and Drapes: Children can fall off windows or can be trapped by window cords. Loops used to close or draw blinds and drapes can trap and strangle children. Thousands of children under the age of 10 have been known to fall off windows causing 9 deaths per year on average. Secure loose loops of window blinds so that these are kept from children's reach. Install window guards or stops as screens will not be sufficient to stop a child from falling.

Pool and Spa Drains: Broken drain covers in pools can present hazards to all ages. The suction from a draining pool is so powerful that it can hold an adult under water. Small children can be defenseless when their small bodies are sucked against the drain or when hair gets pulled and entangled. Parents should check that pools have drain covers in place before allowing their child to enter a pool. Safety Vacuum Release Systems can also be installed to shut off the pool's pump when a drain is blocked.

Recalled Products: The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls from store shelves, hundreds of products per year as soon as these are found to present safety hazards. Examples of recalled products in the past year are toys and jewelry containing excessive amounts of lead. Small trim on clothing may have come off easily, and can potentially choke small children. We can all be made aware of recent product recalls by signing up through the CPSC's website. Log on to www.cpsc.gov.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Are you feeling uncomfortable at home?


Many women believe that they enter into a relationship with eyes wide open. Many more believe that they married Mr. Right. After the honeymoon and as the weeks progress into months, couples face day to day challenges that can rock the most solid of relationships. You both thought you were alike. So why do you disagree? Why do you take on matters in your own hands when you agreed to resolve matters as a team? Do you not get along after all?

Marriage requires work and work seems lighter if based on a foundation of respect and commitment. Work or tasks can be completed efficiently if couples communicate. Communication should come easy if the relationship were based of a foundation of...you know the words: respect and commitment.

Are you asking yourself: If I love my spouse and am committed to making our marriage work, why am I not succeeding?

If you have advise for a lady in distress, post your advise and suggestions. You just might make someone smile today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Watch those drawstrings!


How often are you tempted to buy clothing with cute bows and sashes for your little girl? And jackets with heavy toggles at ends of cords? Be aware of the dangers associated with such designs. States like New York and Wisconsin have passed regulations regarding the location and allowable length of drawstrings, ties and cords in children's clothing. This is because dangling ties and cords have caused accidental dragging and strangulation of children. Long cords with thick ends can get caught between tight spaces of moving vehicles and playground equipment. Young children are not able to extricate themselves from these situations; resulting in major injuries and even death... definitely not the designer's intended outcome.

For this reason, design or select clothing appropriate to the age of the child. Think of age-grading clothing in the same way that toys are labelled for specific ages only. Newborns are the least mobile of children so drawcords at the bottom of prambags do not present a dragging hazard as much as a cord dangling from a 5-year old's jacket. Think of a loose cord trapped between the doors of a moving bus as a child attempts to leave the bus. For this reason, outerwear should not have exposed ties nor dangling cords that extend past the jacket's or pant's hemline.

The shorter the dangling length, the less of an entrapment hazard the cord presents. It is also advisable that such cords do not have knots at the ends. Knots are made at the ends of cords to prevent unraveling. But the thick ends can get trapped within tight spaces.

To prevent strangulation, some US States have passed laws prohibiting drawcords that encircle the entire neck area.

Drawcords that encircle the waist area to control fullness, can be kept from pulling all the way through if it's stitched down in at least one spot. This eliminates the risk of entrapment and loss of circulation.

Use the same caution when selecting accessories such as hats, gloves and footwear. There is a reason why baby's sneakers have Velcro closures instead of laces.