Tag Archives: healthy home

Impetigo: What You Need to Know

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection more common in children than adults. It’s highly contagious and is more common during the warm, humid months of the year. While impetigo isn’t serious, it is unpleasant to deal with. Here’s what you need to know.

Recognizing Impetigo

Impetigo occurs in two forms: Bullous and Non-bullous. Non-bullous impetigo is more common and is caused by the Staphylococcus (staph) and Streptococcus (strep) strains of bacteria.

MedicineNet offers a comparison and photos of both types of Impetigo.

Impetigo can often look like other types of skin rashes, including poison ivy, chicken pox, and eczema. A culture test can determine whether or not a rash is impetigo if visual observation doesn’t suffice.

Causes and Prevention

Insect bites and flesh wounds can lead to impetigo, especially if they are not kept clean or “left alone.” For example, scratching mosquito bites (especially with dirty nails!) is one way a lot of people become infected. Animal bites can also lead to impetigo quite easily without proper wound care. And of course, impetigo is very contagious between humans.

It can be difficult to keep impetigo from spreading, as it’s highly contagious – especially among family members or anyone else in close quarters. Skin to skin contact, or even contact with the same towels or bedding can spread the infection. Children can also easily spread the infection to other families in day care centers, schools, and swimming pools. It’s good to stay home if you have this rash to avoid infecting others.

Routine hand washing is an important preventative measure, as with most types of infections!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

The Champion of Your Home Environment: Your Impact

My mission at Dr. Doormat is to create a sea of change in the way our culture embraces the daunting task of how to manage our home environment.

 The Champion of Your Home Environment: Your Impact

Family Driver: One of the many duties of home management.

Managing the home is an often under-appreciated task in our culture. It shouldn’t be: statistics constantly show how important careful home management is to the health and well-being of the whole family.

Consider these points:

  • It’s hard to put an economic value on home management – but Investopedia tried. Considering all the tasks that go into managing a home – meal planning and preparation, housekeeping, yard maintenance and other duties – they estimate the annual value a homemaker brings to the household is just under $100k.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren.org website, children thrive on routine and structure. Home management in the way of cleaning, scheduling, and organizing allows them to be more emotionally stable.
  • A clean home helps children learn and grow: a messy home is more predictive of bad behavior than parenting style alone, according to a 2006 article published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines.

Whether you’re a stay at home parent, an entrepreneur or a career maven – all of us with families face this sometimes overwhelming job of managing the home. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few ways I’ve learned to streamline the huge job of home manager for the good of my family – without going (too) crazy in the process!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

GMA Deals & Steals 50%

Good Morning America!!!  Good Evening Blog Subscribers!!!    

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Dr. Doormat – 24″x36″ & 18″x24″

After much anticipation, we are happy to announce that Dr. Doormat is being featured on GMA’s Deals & Steals web site. Here’s the deal: 50% Discount on any size, any color, any quantity with flat rate shipping. Your entire order will ship for $10.

Click on the GMA link to get the Promo Code: GMA Deals & Steals Link

The deal ends at midnight ET Friday March 15, 2013 so don’t waste any time! There are no restrictions to the quantity ordered, size, or colors. Customers can order whatever they want at a 50% discount and the entire order ships for $10.00.

Dr. Doormat is proud to be Made in America!

Happy Passover! Happy Easter! Happy Mother’s Day! 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Statistics show that most of us will, at some point, come down with some type of foodborne illness in our lifetime. According to WebMD, 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness every year. Of those, “128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die each year after eating tainted food.” Even though most cases of foodborne illness are not life threatening, it’s a good idea to try to avoid getting sick by following a few basic food safety practices. Read on to learn how to avoid food poisoning both at home and while dining out.

Food Safety At Home

Color-code your towels. Keeping the towels you use in different parts of the home is more hygienic and can prevent cross contamination. For example, you might use white towels in the kitchen, yellow towels in the bathroom, and orange towels for cleaning other parts of the home.

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before and after handling any food – particularly raw meats, fruits and vegetables.

Clean all produce – even organic. Fruits and vegetables can harbor dirt, pesticides, and even germs and viruses from other peoples’ hands. Fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw are especially important to clean well.

Disinfect tabletops and countertops with vinegar before and after eating or cooking.

Thoroughly wash all dishes in hot, soapy water.  If you wash your dishes by hand, sanitize cutting boards and cooking utensils with vinegar as well.

Don’t leave leftovers sitting out after grocery shopping or serving a meal. Refrigerate and freeze foods right away.

Don’t thaw meat on the kitchen counter. Instead, use the refrigerator or cold running water. Use a meat thermometer when cooking to ensure that your food is cooked thoroughly.

Avoid Food Poisoning While Dining Out

 Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Dining out without side effects

Wash your hands (after you order!) You probably already wash your hands before eating at a restaurant – only to come back to the table to grab the very dirty and unwashed menu. Wash up after ordering to keep your hands clean.

Skip the lemon.  While you might enjoy a slice of lemon in your water or tea, skip them when dining out. One study found that 75% of lemon wedges carry illness causing germs and bacteria. The truth is, restaurant staff are not always as hygienic in their food preparation as is ideal and it’s inevitable that someone’s unwashed hands will dip into the lemon wedge bin to garnish a drink – it just happens. Skip the lemons.

Give the booth a wipe down. Carry sanitizing wipes in your bag to give chairs and booths a quick once-over before you sit down. While the tables are washed between each party, sometimes the seating is skipped! You can avoid carrying home a lot of germs and pathogens on your clothing by using this tip.

Foodborne illness isn’t fun – follow these tips to stay safe and protect your family.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Toxins in the Home: Detox and Green Your Home

 Toxins in the Home: Detox and Green Your Home

Rid yourself of harsh chemicals when you clean to reduce toxins in the home.

Those striving to eliminate toxins in the home often find that it’s more of a journey than a destination. It seems there’s always something more that can be done to make the home safer, cleaner, and healthier to live in.

Read on to learn a few ways to detox and “green” your home that many people tend to overlook.

Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Are you using harsh cleaners like oven cleaner or Drano? These can be replaced with more natural, non-toxic alternatives. SlightlySteady offers a natural way to clean the oven, while it’s common to use boiling water as an alternative to unclog drains.  commercial products exist, as well.

Check out my list of cleaning chemicals to avoid, too.

Shop Germ-Free

 Toxins in the Home: Detox and Green Your Home

When’s the last time you washed your bags?

Most people end up getting sick after catching something from germs and viruses they come into contact with while out in public shopping, eating, or taking part in other activities. Well, you could be bringing home more than you bargained for from the grocery store if you don’t wash your reusable grocery bags on a regular basis!

Choosing reusable bags is a great choice to make for the environment, but be sure to wash them as you use them so that they don’t harbor harmful germs and get your family sick. Your food offers a direct path for germs to enter the body, so hygiene is super important in that area.

According to The Kitchn, “A study released a couple years ago gave scary figures on the bacteria levels of reusable bags, but ultimately concluded that shoppers just need to keep their bags clean. Machine- or hand-washing bags ‘reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing,’ they reported.”

Clean Kids

Finally, take a moment to think about what your kids are bringing home from school and daycare not only on their hands and clothes, but coats, backpacks, books, and other supplies. Be sure to clean these items thoroughly on a regular basis – inside and out!

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This adage applies to the home as well – it’s more efficient to eliminate toxins from the source than it is to clean and remove them from the home. Keeping things clean on an ongoing basis (using nontoxic cleaners, of course!) is the best way to detox your home overall.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Love Your Body, Home, and Family!

Valentine’s Day, make the decision to LOVE yourself and your family by caring for your body and your home!

 Love Your Body, Home, and Family!

Love yourself with whole healthy foods.

Have you ever heard the saying, your body is the temple of your spirit?  Google it and you’ll probably find a variety of passages and links to religious sites.  I grew up hearing my father say this many times and although he is not a religious person he is a big believer in caring for his body and teaching his children to do the same.  I catch myself saying this to my kids at least once a week.  Remember, your body is the temple of your spirit, not a garbage can.  Make good choices!  Love and respect yourself through the long journey of your life on earth, and on and on.  Sorry, I don’t want to bore you with my Mommy Spiel.   Whatever it takes to make the spiritual connection with our mind and body is a personal choice that is taught or acquired.  Some more practical advice for treating our bodies as the temples they are – not defiling them by eating too much or by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol excessively, or practicing any other unhealthy habits.

What does it mean to view your body as a temple? Think about it this way: would you enter G-d’s home and make a big mess, throwing garbage around and vandalizing it? Of course not – in the same way, your body is a gift that is meant to be cared for.

Avoid processed food and toxic chemicals!  The store name Whole Foods evokes a sense of unadulterated whole foods not processed.  Don’t be fooled by boxed products labeled organic and yet they too can be processed.  Even at Whole Foods you have to carefully navigate through the store choosing between conventional (pesticide treated) produce vs. organic.   Choose fresh, whole, organic food for you and for your family. Keep your body’s home in good condition by making healthy choices like exercising regularly and reducing your exposure to toxins (like those found in many cleaning products).

 Love Your Body, Home, and Family!

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

When you view your body this way and start to treat it as a temple of your Spirit, you’ll see your health improve, your energy increase, and your body image improve. Your spiritual life is not a separate issue from your health and wellbeing – it’s all connected.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Even the most eco-friendly homes often overlook “going green” when it comes to pet care. However, if you want to work towards a toxin-free home and live a healthier, greener lifestyle, you should absolutely consider natural pet care!  Considering the joy

 Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Eating healthy means making better choices.

our pets bring to our lives and their complete dependence on us, we definitely owe it to them to make good choices on their behalf.

1. Healthier, All Natural Pet Food

The first aspect of natural pet care should probably be to look at the product we have to buy most often: food! The sad truth is that most commercial pet foods have harmful, toxic additives and aren’t really designed with animals’ complete nutritional needs in mind. Think of it this way: boxed cereal might very well be fortified with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that we humans need, but we know that living off of if completely would not be very helpful at all!

Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives to the highly processed pet foods that are now the norm. To choose a higher quality pet food, look for one that is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Also, make sure that the first couple of ingredients are an actual source of animal protein – dogs and cats need this! Lamb, chicken, beef, fish, and turkey are all good ingredients.

2. Toxin-Free Grooming

When it comes time to bathe your pet, be sure that you’re choosing shampoos and soaps that are natural and toxin free. The ingredients in those products enter our pets’ bloodstream through the skin, so it’s crucial to choose those that are more natural.

The same standard applies to treatments meant to ward off ticks and fleas for dogs. Dr.

 Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Are there harsh chemicals in your grooming products?

Mercola offers a completely natural flea and tick spray that uses essential oils to keep pests at bay. Natural alternatives like this keep toxic chemicals off your pet and out of your home.

If you have a cat, you’ll also want to choose a natural litter for them. The standard clay litters on the market often contain toxic fragrances and compounds that make the litter “clump.” Instead, choose a natural version made from nut byproducts, recycled newspaper, or other low-dust ingredients.

3. Green Pet Gear

Finally, you’ll also want to consider going green when it comes to the gear you buy. Pet beds, toys, and other accessories are often made with materials that aren’t sustainable and some of which even contain toxins that you don’t want in your home. For example, some plastic toys and dishes contain BPA. This poison can leech into food and water through dishes or enter your pet’s system as they play or chew on a toy.  Choose stainless steel dishes and toys made from natural rubber or natural fibers such as:

  • Organic cotton
  • Natural rubber
  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
 Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Dogs can ingest toxins & pesticides by licking their paws after a walk.

Beds, blankets, leashes and other cloth items should also be made from these natural fibers as well. One of the most overlooked and underestimated issues is tied to that healthy walk you’re taking each day with your pet.  Dogs and cats often wonder into the yard or take a daily walk in the park and without realizing it they are picking up harmful toxins and pesticides, lick their paws,  and inadvertently ingest the pesticides causing severe health problems including cancer. Wiping off thoroughly on an eco-friendly, antimicrobial treated doormat helps trap those nasty toxins and can disable unwelcome microorganisms on the mat.  This will add an extra line of defense for your loved ones keeping your home the sanctuary we all would like our homes to be.

Making healthy choices for your cat or dog is a choice you won’t regret.  I recommend that you consult with your Vet for more ideas or suggestions.  These small changes will lead to a healthier home and family – including your pet!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Chemicals To Avoid In Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are supposed to, well, clean, right? They’re supposed to get rid of grime, bacteria, and other things that are harmful to our health and the health of our children. That’s what cleaning products are supposed to do, but you’d be surprised by some of the things that are actually in the bathroom cleaner, furniture polish, and laundry detergent that you use regularly.

 Chemicals To Avoid In Cleaning Products

Buyer Beware!

After all, they do come with all these warnings and possible symptoms: keep away from children, watery eyes, do not swallow, chemical burns. Shouldn’t something that cleans our home be a bit safer than that? You’d think, but here are four things that are actually in your cleaning products, things that may actually contribute to indoor air pollution and chronic health problems.

Nonylphenol ethoxylates

This, however you pronounce it, is a common ingredient found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaner. It is banned in Europe (like many toxic ingredients found in American household cleaners), as it has been shown to disrupt the hormone system, to be toxic to aquatic life and to persist in the environment. It’s even been banned for any cleaning product manufactured after 2012 in California! To find this one, look for “nonylphen” or “nonoxynol” within the ingredient name.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is found in spray and wick deodorizers as well as furniture polishes and wood treatments. It is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen. It’s also found in cigarettes and is used to preserve dead things, like the things you might have seen and studied in middle-school science, or your relatives in a funeral home.

Methoxydiglycol

Also known as DEGME, and also banned in the Europena Union (at levels higher than three percent), methoxydiglycol is not only found in American household cleaners like floor, bathroom, and oven cleaner, but in concentrations up to 15 times higher than what is allowed by the EU. On top of that, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe says DEGME is “suspected of damaging the unborn child.” Don’t want to know what it could do to the rest of us.

Chlorine

Yes, chlorine and chlorinated phenols. This one may seem harmless, but it’s not the same stuff that’s in the neighborhood swimming pool. It’s found in toilet bowl cleaners, among others, and is toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems. Chlorine is also toxic because if it’s mixed with ammonia, which is found in bathroom cleaners and glass cleaner; it’s literally a deadly combination.

To Make This Even Worse…

Did you know that household cleaners are the only product in the United States that don’t have to list their ingredients, and if they do list ingredients, they don’t have to list them in order from greatest amount to least amount? This means that even if do take the time to inspect bottles for warnings, instructions, and ingredients, you might not be getting all the information you need to make a good decision. In fact, the generic brand of cleaning products found in Wal-Mart and Target don’t even have an ingredient list on them! The average household also contains anywhere from 3-25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in these cleaners, and most of which we might not even realize are there.

Guess what? There are Alternatives to All This!

Fortunately, you have more options than cleaning your home with these awful products, or living in filth the rest of your life. Basic ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and olive oil can be used to make your own cleaning products that are full of things that you can actually pronounce and recognize. Companies such as Seventh Generation, Full Circle, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day actually specialize in eco-friendly and human-safe cleaning products, stuff that will leave your home smelling like lavender instead of toxic fumes. To cut down on the amount of chemicals and toxins, purchase cleaners in smaller quantities, and throw out half-full bottles and such after a significant period of time. There’s no reason to have this stuff sitting around your house.

Be Aware and Be Healthy!

 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

 3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

Crisp Autumn Day

Football season is in full swing, apple picking time is here, and the leaves are beginning to turn. Fall has arrived. However, we all know the cool crisp air also marks the start of cold and flu season.

We’ve all been there when one child comes home sick and you have to go into defense mode trying to prevent the spread of illness to the rest of the family.

 3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

It’s that time of year

What are some good ways beyond hand washing to prevent the spread of the germs?  The Dr. Doormatblog is here to help with your defense and to clean up once the illness has run its course.   Check out these 3 tips for battling the bugs this coming cold & flu season!

1.    Wash it out. If one family member comes home sick get everyone’s sheets and blankets in the laundry ASAP. Beds are an easy harbor for germs- especially because kids tend to put schoolbags and books down on them to study. Make sure to use hot water! Is your washing machine clean?

Also make sure to wash pillow covers from the couch, stuffed animals, towels, backpacks and jackets as needed.

2.   Quick Wipe Down. Do a quick clean with a natural disinfectant of the following high-use spots: Door knobs, handles on the refrigerator, sinks/faucets, bathrooms, kitchen table, remotes, video game controllers, toys and backpacks. 

Looking for an easy, natural disinfectant? Vinegar is a great solution! Read about more natural ways to disinfect here. You’ll  be pleasantly surprised that most of this list is probably already in your cabinets!

Wiping down your car is important too- give your steering wheel, window controls, seat belt buckles, car and booster seats some attention. 

3.   Let the Air Flow. Get fresh air moving through your home by opening windows and running fans. You can also try spraying an all-natural disinfectant air freshener. Stagnant air flow and constant recirculation harbor germs especially in bedrooms and playrooms.

 3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

No need to gear up with a HazMat suit

A fresh breeze will make everyone feel better and keep the air moving. 

Make sure your fans and window casings have been cleaned recently to prevent the spread of dust and grime!  In addition to these three tips I also throw the toothbrush away and start fresh.

 

What are some cleaning methods you use during cold and flu season? We’d love to hear them- share with us on Twitter & Facebook!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Child Proofing Your Home

Every parent of young children asks…
 Child Proofing Your Home

IS MY HOME SAFE FOR MY BABY?

Children are the most cherished part of our lives, and we do everything we can to ensure they have happy and healthy lives. Unfortunately, more then 2 million children are injured or killed each year by hazards in their homes; everyday, thousands of children are harmed by preventable household accidents.

While infants are learning about their new environments through taste and feel, they quickly acquire motor skills that lead to independent locomotion. Infants develop fast and you need to prepare for their changes.

“I’ll always keep an eye on my child, so it’s not necessary.”

But reality and circumstances dictate that children can and will sustain injuries in the home–sometimes when you are watching it can happen, and you are helpless to stop it because safeguards were not in place. Unintentional child injuries are not inevitable, and are not “accidents”–they are preventable–and professional baby proofing companies can help.

 Child Proofing Your Home

Bill Brooner – President, Baby Proofing Montgomery

I met with Bill Brooner the owner of Baby Proofing Montgomery, Bethesda, MD.  A professional child proofing company, and full-service in-home safety consultation service provider.  I wanted to learn how they prepare a home for a new baby or pet and get some valuable tips to share with my audience.  Here are some of Bill’s Brooner’s recommendations.

  1. 1. Children and Window Cords Don’t Mix.

     Child Proofing Your Home

    Cords Can Be Hazardous.

We encourage parents to Be Cord Smart, with information from the Window Covering Safety Council.  For example, install cordless window coverings in children’s bedrooms and play areas; move cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows; keep all window pull cords out of reach of children.

Our Cord Wraps (Lucite Cleats) are a simple solution to keep long blind cords out of reach.  Just wrap the cord around the cleat.

2. Cabinet and Drawer Latches

Every home is different, and there are many different designs and styles of cabinets.  In both the kitchen and bathroom vanities, injury or poisoning from household chemicals, drugs and seasonings may occur from ingestion.  Injuring may occur from a child pulling up on door or drawer and falling backward, as well as from handling a heavy pot or pan in a kitchen cabinet, or later pulling that pot off a stove. Lacerations may occur from broken glass objects stored in cabinets or cutting utensils and other

 Child Proofing Your Home

Automatically locks

kitchen gadgets.  Matches, choking hazards and other dangerous items are also often stored in cabinets/drawers that should be latched.

We carry a variety of latches and lock to best accommodate different situations.  Our most common cabinet and drawer latches include:

  • Magnetic Locks.  Place the magnetic key outside the cabinet door or drawer to release the lock.  Automatically locks when the door or drawer is closed.  Special switch allows the lock to be temporarily disengaged.

     Child Proofing Your Home

    Spring Loaded Latch

  • Spring-Loaded Drawer and Cabinet Latches  Open slightly, push the button, and pull the drawer or door open.  Catches on the cabinet frame or with install a catch.
  •  Child Proofing Your Home

    No more pinched fingers

    Safe-Lok’s design protects children in two ways.  It allows a cabinet drawer or drawer to open only about 1”, then it locks in place to your child’s fingers can’t be pinched by the reclosing door while it remains open for an adult to release.  We also use a special mounting bracket that allows an adult to temporarily disable the locking function for easy access to drawers and cabinets when needed.

    Baby and Pet Proofing Professionals like Bill go through extensive training before they enter your home.  I would make sure the Baby Proofing service that you call on is certified and a member of IAFCS.  A regular contractor may know how to drill and measure but the professional baby proofer understands your needs with regard to your child’s safety.

    Best Regards,
    signature Child Proofing Your Home
    Debbie Estis Greenspan
    Founder/CEO/Mom
    Dr. Doormat, Inc.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.