Showing posts with label First aid kits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First aid kits. Show all posts

Monday, June 17, 2013

Home Dangers!–Five Simple Steps to Make Your Home Safer

Did you know that 47 percent of all injuries occur at home?  It’s National Home Safety Month: the perfect time to identify and eliminate risks around your home.  These five home safety steps take little or no money/time yet can save the life or limb of your family members and house guests. 

House on fire


1.  Be prepared for a fire emergency


More than 3,500 Americans die annually in fires, many at home.  Does your family know what to do in the event of a fire? Simple steps can save lives:
  • Have fire drills with your family, practicing various evacuation routes.
  • Plan a specific meeting location away from the house, so that you can all immediately know when and if everyone has made it out of the home. 
  • Check your home for any stuck windows or doors that might prevent exit during a fire and get them fixed.
  • For upstairs bedrooms, consider investing in emergency ladders that can be kept under beds when a hallway fire forces a window exit.  Practice using the ladders, but do so from a first floor window for safety; family members will still “get the hang of it” before the emergency that way.
  • If your home windows have security bars that could not only prevent burglaries but also prevent family members from escaping a fire, consider upgrading them with the type that have a quick-release device for emergency exiting.  Read more on this at fema.org.
Finally, check with your local fire station; many of them hold informational or training events designed to help you survive a fire emergency.


2.  Be ready to practice first aid


Since nearly half of all injuries happen at home, it only makes sense to make sure that you and your family are ready to take immediate action in the event of injury, poisoning, heart attack, or other life-threatening circumstances that can occur at home. Being prepared to perform first aid involves both education and supplies.  Make sure you and your family:
  • Have up-to-date first aid kits in your home – ideally more than one.
  • Know how to do first aid, which can be as simple as signing up your family for a local first aid class.
  • Write down the poison control number (1-800-222-1222) and keep it in a safe place – perhaps in your medicine cabinets.
  • Know where the nearest hospital is and have your doctor’s phone number.
First aid kit


3.  Take steps to protect your children from lead poisoning


Lead poisoning is a serious home safety risk, especially to pregnant women and to children under age six. Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing lead.  According to HealthFinder.gov, most lead poisoning comes from paint in homes built before 1978, so particularly pay heed to these risk-reduction steps if your home is more than 25 years old.

A primary source of lead in homes: ordinary house paint used before 1978. As old paint cracks or chips, it generates toxic lead dust, capable of causing learning and behavior problems. Lead can also be found in the ground around your house, your drinking water (from lead pipes), and from older toys and furniture.
To protect your family when you live in an older home, keep away from chipping or peeling lead paint, have your home tested for lead paint, ask your doctor to test your child for lead, wash hands and toys often, and use a wet paper towel or mop when dusting. 

To learn more about preventing lead poisoning, contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.  And when remodeling or repairing your house, first check out these lead-safe work practices from the EPA.


4.  Reduce risks of home injuries from falls


Federal statistics indicate that half of all falls happen at home. Fortunately, reducing risks of injuries from falls in your home is often easy and affordable. For example, you can reduce slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injury risks with such simple steps as removing wires or cords that cross pathways, keeping loose objects like shoes, magazines, or blankets off the floor, and removing throw rugs from your house, (or at least using a nonslip backing or double-sided tape between the rug and floor).   For a whole host of other simple and potentially life-saving tips, use this home fall risk prevention checklist from the CDC.


5.  Protect your family from asbestos risks


Asbestos, a building material commonly used in home construction before 1980, is now known to cause mesothelioma, a slow-developing and deadly form of cancer.  Since 80 percent of homes built before 1980 contain asbestos, it could be lying dormant in the walls, floors, or ceilings of your house right now, its dust ready to do deadly damage when stirred up by home maintenance or remodeling. 

Asbestos danger tape

Before you perform any remodeling or have any remodeling work done in your house, such as new roofing installation, insulation replacement, or re-tiling work, reviewed these potentially life-saving  remodeling safety  tips from mesothelioma.com.


Get started today, during National Home Safety Month


As you can see, these five safety steps are all easy, and could save lives.  Get started today, and take a new step every couple of days – by the end of National Home Safety Month, you’ll have a much safer home.


Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Be Prepared: Emergency First Aid Kits

By definition, emergencies are rarely planned – they catch us by surprise, and can happen in a moment's notice.  When an emergency occurs, time is a critical consideration. That's why it may not be enough to rely only on your area's 911 emergency systems, no matter how well-funded or organized it is. 

The initial minutes after an injury are often entirely in the hands of those around you, without trained emergency personnel on site.  This is one of the main reasons why having a stocked and ready emergency first aid kit in your home, your car and workplace is a good idea.

Are you ready for an emergency? Do you have first aid kits in your car, home and workplace? Do you know what's in your first aid kits and supplies?  Do you know how to use the supplies that are in your first aid kit?
 
What Do You Need?

When you are getting ready to assemble a first-aid kit, you have two options:

1.Buy premade emergency first-aid kits.
2.Assemble homemade first aid kits.


If you are not certain what to include in your emergency or disaster first-aid kit, buying a premade kit is probably the best option. This way you can be certain that you at least have the basic supplies you need for the most common emergencies.

Assembling homemade first-aid kits requires you to know what should be in them. So, you might need to do a little homework to find out what you should include. A good understanding of what emergencies you might face and how to handle them will help you decide what supplies you need.  This will help you to be better prepared to use your kit should the need arise. The U.S. government site, Ready.gov, is a good resource to learn about building and maintaining your first aid kit.

A premade kit is a good start for emergency preparedness, but if you purchase a store-bought first-aid you may need to add supplies to it to be fully prepared. Also, whether premade or assembled at home, remember to replace any supplies as soon as they are used. Also, restock items like batteries, from time to time, to make sure that they will work in case of an emergency.

first aid kits and supplies
You can buy premade emergency first-aid kits for the car.
What first aid kit supplies should you have on hand?  There are certain basics that should be in all emergency first aid kits, but there are also other considerations:
basic first-aid kit
Examples of general first aid kit supplies you can use.
  • General first aid kit supplies:  To be prepared for common household or workplace injuries, your first aid kit should include various types of bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, cold packs, latex or synthetic gloves.  Review the  Mayo Clinic's recommendations for a basic first-aid kit, for a list of supplies.
  • Consider your lifestyle:  Beyond the basic first-aid kit supplies, consider the hobbies or other unique activities that may require special supplies. For example, if you or your family members are avid hikers, your basic first-aid kit should include a snake bite kit or poison oak first-aid supplies.
  • Consider your geography: A basic first-aid kit may not include supplies that are of necessary for your location. For example, extreme heat or cold, high altitude environments or an area known for a particular species of animals or insects known for venomous bites or stings.
First Aid Training

It's one thing to own an emergency first aid kit; it's another thing to know how to use the first aid kit's supplies. Some disaster first aid kit's supplies may not need instruction for use, such as Band-Aids. But do you know how to make a tourniquet? Or when you should use one? What about the right way to treat a first-degree burn versus a second-degree or third-degree burn?

Ensure that you and your family members are prepared to perform the act of first aid until trained personnel are on hand:
  • Make sure your first-aid kit includes a first-aid manual.
  • Consider first aid training
How do you find first-aid training?  
  • Check with your local YMCA, YWCA, or American Red Cross chapter for available first aid training classes.
  • Google "first aid training" and the name of your city or community to find training near you.
  • Check with your workplace. Many companies offer free first-aid training classes as part of their disaster preparedness.
In an emergency, training could mean the difference between life and death – for your coworkers, your family members, or even you.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer