Home Health and Safety Tips

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Prevention is better than cure, and less expensive. Any holistic approach to managing your family's health starts in the home. Here are some simple ideas of how you can manage your family's health. The upside is not only better health management for the family, but these tips will help you save money too.

Weight and Food

Approximately 300,000 adult deaths in the United States each year are attributed to unhealthy dietary habits. Medical costs relating to problems associated with being overweight extend into the 10s of billions. Here are some tips to consider in your quest to lower your weight and those bills.

Buying food in bulk may be costing you more.

Bulk buying is supposed to offer you a better price per unit. However this often leads to waste, especially when applied to perishables. Also, with more food in the house we tend to do two things:

  • Eat more
  • Throw away more

Taking charge of the amounts you buy and keeping to meal plans makes it easier to watch portion control and manage waste.

Shopping more often allows you to buy fresh food, manage quantities and reduce how much ends up being wasted. Here are some suggestions:

Eat in

We love to turn meals into occasions. We get to go out, we get to hand off the cooking duties to someone else and have fun with friends or family. Well, there's no reason why eating in can't also be easy and fun to do. Take the effort to make meals into occasions at home and you'll discover the benefits that include:

  • Plan your menus
  • Make a shopping list
  • Visit farmers markets
  • View left overs as ingredients not waste
  • For smaller shopping trips walk to the local store. This will help you towards your 30 minutes of exercise a day and reduce the temptation to buy products you do not need
  • It is often less expensive
  • You can control levels of salt, saturated fats and other harmful ingredients
  • Through turning a home meal into an occasion you are encouraging the family to sit together and share a meal

Get a juicer.

Juicing allows you to reach your 5 a day fruit and vegetable requirements. It is also a good way to use up your fruits and vegetables and prevent waste from occurring.

Make use of the kitchen facilities at work.

  • Buy fruit juices to keep in the fridge at work rather than buying sodas
  • Make a pot of coffee rather than going to the coffee shop
  • Take lunch to work with you from home

Preventing Home Accidents

There is the joke that 100% of domestic accidents happen in the home. While this play on words is a bit of fun suffering from an accident at home is not. Here are some tips on how to make your home safer.

Falling down stairs.

More people in the US end up in the emergency rooms due to fall-related injuries than any other cause. Stairs in the home are potential hazard. Here are some ideas to make stair-wells safer in the home

  • Ensure stair wells have adequate lighting but are also glare free
  • Use stair gates for younger children
  • Use non-slip or reflective strips on each step
  • Wear non-slip soles when in the house
  • Slow down. Easier said than done, but most falls happen when people are stressed, tired, distracted or in a hurry
  • Clear away tripping hazards such as electric cords and children's toys

Burns.

Burn injuries can be horrific and even fatal. In a domestic situation most injuries come from cooking, but equally, domestic hot water supplies can cause serious injuries. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risks of burns in your household.

  • Turn down the temperature on your hot water boiler. This will not only reduce the likelihood of serious hot water burns, but will reduce your water heating bills
  • With children in the house always pour the cold bath water first and add the hot afterwards. If children fall into the bath they will not get burned
  • With open fires and heaters, ensure you have a guard in front to prevent children or pets getting too close to the heat source
  • When cooking, always ensure your pots and pans handles are facing away from the front of the stove or hob. A common cause of burn accidents happen due to curious children reaching up and grabbing handles
  • Oven gloves are important kitchen tools. Make sure you have a pair handy
  • Water conducts heat. Avoid using wet cloth to pick up hot pots and pans
  • Talk to your children. Tell them of the dangers and establish rules and best practices in situations where they are at risk of being burned

Medicines and Cleaning solutions

Keeping our households clean and hygienic is important in our quest to keep our family healthy and safe. Many of the cleaning solutions and products we use are dangerous if swallowed, or corrosive if applied directly to the skin. Keeping these out of reach of children and pets is essential.

  • Use a high up, and/or lockable cupboard to store your medicines and chemicals
  • Keep your medicines and the notes that come with them together, preferably in their original packaging
  • Keep a file, or bookmark articles/resources on your computer that tells you what to do in the case of an overdose of medicine or what to do in the case of burns
  • Garden chemicals are just as dangerous as household chemicals. Keep them locked up or out of reach

Cutting yourself with a knife

Most knife injuries happen when we are using a knife for a purpose it is not intended for, such as using a knife instead of scissors, or to force something open. Here are some tips for keeping safe with knives

  • Keep your knives sharp. Blunt knives are more likely to slip because they require too much pressure put on them
  • Keep your knives out of reach of children. Use a knife block or magnetic strip to keep them together, out of reach and to ensure they have a designated place to be stored
  • Keep a good pair of scissors close to your knives. This will ensure you reach for the scissors, not a knife when appropriate

Falling out of windows

We cannot be expected to never open our windows, yet thousands of children are injured or killed each year from accidents related to falling out of windows. Teaching your children about the dangers of playing near windows from an early age is important. Here are some other useful ideas:

  • Use window grills. These may look unattractive but they can save lives. The other benefit of them is they can add further protection to your home from burglaries
  • Install toughened glass. This will reduce the change of the glass breaking in the case of a person tripping and falling against the glass. Toughened glass also helps with errant baseball pitches
  • When windows are closed, ensure they are secured or locked

Electrocution

Every year we seem to accumulate more gadgets and appliances and each one of these presents a potential new shocking hazard. Here are some thoughts on how to limit accidental injury from electrocution in the home:

  • Go wireless. One of the biggest causes of accidents to do with electricity in the home comes from extension cords. Homes are fast becoming a tangle of cords. Managing these cords either by minimizing their need by using wireless technology or cord management products will reduce contact with wires. This in return will ensure the opportunity for accidents is much smaller
  • Put in socket protectors. If you have children, nothing you say to them will ensure they do not play with electrical sockets. Socket protectors will ensure they cannot gain access to the sockets
  • Keep electrical products out of the bathroom. Electrical products such as radios and heaters can be lethal if they come into contact with water at the same time you do

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