Tag Archives: safety

Get Ready For Winter

Winter is coming! There’s a lot you can do around your home to get ready for winter that will keep your family safe, warm, healthy – and even save you money!

Winterize Your Home

14511440 s 300x199 Get Ready For Winter

Get your home ready and well-stocked for winter.

There are many things you can do to make your home healthier and more energy-efficient. Not only will it keep your house warmer, it will save you money. A few include:

  • Seal any gaps around windows and doors
  • Check out our tips on keeping your indoor air pure during winter.
  • Replace worn-out insulation.
  • Run your ceiling fans in reverse to push warm air back down into the room.
  • Install storm windows.

Focus on Immune Support

With increased travel and more stress this time of year, illnesses tend to increase. Boost your immune system to reduce your risk of catching those winter bugs.

  • Probiotic supplements and foods like yogurt, kefir and kombucha support healthy gut flora necessary for immune function.
  • Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of germs and clip your children’s nails to reduce the hiding places for dirt.
  •  Be sure to get plenty of sleep. Your body needs to recharge in order to have the strength to ward off illness.

Check out our other tips on how to support your immune system naturally.

Get Your Car Ready for Winter

 Safe winter travel starts with preparing your car:

  • Perform a tune-up, replacing all fluids and ensuring that your tires will last all winter.
  • Keep a spare tire, jack, and jumper cables in your car.
  • Replace your car’s battery if necessary.
  • Keep a winter survival kit in your car: include a flashlight, food, blankets, water, and any medications your family needs.

Following these tips for your home, health, and travel will help you have a safe, healthy winter – enjoy!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

The brave and forward thinking Dr. who discovered that washing hands reduces deaths and infections

I was searching around the internet about a year ago and wondered who the first person was that figured out we should wash our hands to reduce the spread of germs.  I also figured out why the popular brand of hand sanitizer is called Purell.  I came across this story and wanted to share it with you to expand on and explain the importance of hand washing.

In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis pioneered the prevention of transmission of disease by washing hands (Prophylaxis), reducing the mortality rate due to Puerperal Fever from 12% to almost ZERO by enforcing the washing of hands with chlorinated lime.

At the time, Dr. Semmelweis’ hypothesis was considered extreme and was widely rejected and ridiculed. When he refused to compromise his beliefs, the hospital that employed him was pressured into terminating his clinical privileges. Semmelweis’ sole “crime” was that he proposed a contrarian idea to current thinking, which directly challenged the (incorrect) current medical theories of his time.

Despite the continued ridicule, hostility, and unemployment, Dr. Semmelweis tirelessly promoted his theory, sometimes denouncing physicians who refused to wash their hands as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries eventually concluded that he was crazy and, in 1865, committed him to a mental institution where he was beaten to death by guards.

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

Proved the germ theory of disease

Dr. Semmelweis’s theory was considered irrelevant, until Louis Pasteur connected germs to disease, and Prophylaxis is now considered standard practice around the world. The 1800s medical community’s refusal to consider his theories earlier clearly resulted in the continued unnecessary spread of disease and death throughout the world.

Backward and reactionary thinking did not die with Dr. Semmelweis in 1865. Highly qualified and competent physicians, scientists, healthcare personnel, and government employees continue to suffer similar retaliation throughout the United States, which is why organizations like Semmelweis Society International and the Alliance for Patient Safety participated in the recent Whistleblower Week in Washington.

The Semmelweis Society International annually recognizes individual Healthcare Providers, Researchers, and associated personnel, who have regularly challenged the status quo, who have reported issues, often controversial issues, regarding patient health and safety. Semmelweis Awardees have often had to endure the tyranny of threats and retaliation, and actual financial ruination, in some cases. Without these courageous individuals, progress and innovation in medicine, public service, and industry is inhibited, or negated.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

And They All Fall Down! 3 Child Safety Tips

Anchor It and Protect a Child

More valuable tips from our Baby Proofing specialist, Bill Brooner.

On average, one child dies every 2 weeks when a TV, piece of furniture, or an appliance falls on him, according to reports by the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) between 2000 and 2010.  In addition, CPSC estimates that more than 22,000 children 8 yrs old and younger were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries resulting from tip-over incident between 2000 and 2010.

 And They All Fall Down! 3 Child Safety Tips

Tipping furniture can cause fatal injuries!

The most common tip-over scenario involves toddlers who climbed onto, fallen against, or pulled themselves up on furniture.  About 70% of children fatalities involved falling TVs, and 27% involved only furniture falling.   Often these pieces of furniture have drawers that children can use to time.  To prevent tragedies, we recommend:

  •  Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor
  •  Place TVs on sturdy, low bases, strapped to the base
  •  For Flat Screen TVs, if not mounted on a wall, use either safety straps that help prevent
     And They All Fall Down! 3 Child Safety Tips

    Easily locks on the wall

    the TV from tipping over, or use the Pro Grade Flat Screen TV Lock that secures the TV to the wall and prevents the set from moving forward or backward (but allows pivots left and right for the prefect viewing angle).

  • Keep remote controls, toys and other items tat might be attractive to children off TV stands or furniture.
  • Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
 And They All Fall Down! 3 Child Safety Tips

Sliding safety switch plate

Sliding Safety Plate Automatic Outlet Covers are an attractive and convenient way to help protect children from potentially dangerous electrical outlets.   Protects instantly and automatically, sliding into position the moment you remove a plug from the outlet, as the special cover snaps shut to protect little fingers from the outlet.  Thermal seal insulation helps make your home more energy-efficient.

When I met with Bill I realized quickly that it’s far more than selling products.  Bill Brooner’s company offers on-going education and consultation with child safety tips. They work with you during your child-proofing assessment to determine which child proofing products and safety precautions are most important for you. They identify potential dangers and hazards with recommended solutions based on your home and living situation.  Often their education efforts provide simple, do-it-yourself solutions that do not always involve a product or require professional installation.  Look next week for our next post covering window and door safety tips for babies and pets.

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.

Navigating Through a Sea of Household Chemicals

 Navigating Through a Sea of Household Chemicals

Read the ingredients!

Standing in the aisle of the grocery store, trying to pick out cleaning supplies, can be as challenging and stressful as picking out toothpaste these days.  There are dozens of choices and it can be a daunting, if not overwhelming experience.  Whether you have young children, older children, pets, or just you in the house, you need to be aware and educated.

Are All the Chemicals We Buy to Clean Our Homes Safe?

Where to begin?  I have often scratched my head and thought about my role as a Mom.  In today’s world, we have to be a psychologist, chauffeur, chef, nutritionist, teacher, IT manager and now chemist.  I came across this article written by the Health Information Center at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771 or visit www.clevelandclinic.org/health/.

http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/3300/3354.asp

For all of us on the go, I believe this is a great resource to help guide us through the often dangerous and toxic ingredients in everyday household products.  The ingredients are not going away so quickly and we do have choices.  The key is understanding what’s lurking inside the products we’re buying and  understanding how to properly store, use and dispose of them.  Share this with friends and hopefully we can all keep our loved ones safer and healthier in our homes.

 Navigating Through a Sea of Household Chemicals

Does this look familiar?

 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

10 Health and Safety Tips For Summer Camp

 10 Health and Safety Tips For Summer Camp

Catch a Fish, Not a Cold!

 School is out and kids across the country are heading to sleep away and day camps.   This brings me back to my childhood where I couldn’t wait for camp to start.  I grew up with an unusual set of circumstances.  My grandparents ran a camp and my parents, who were both gym teachers, have owned and operated a sleep away and day camp in upstate New York for the past 51 years.

Having grown up at a camp, been a camp counselor for more than 10 years and been a camp director, I can say that “Everything I need to know about life, I learned at camp.”

While some of us are responsible for as many as three or four children, imagine trying to keep 150 children and a staff of 40 healthy and safe for eight weeks.  I would like to share that knowledge with you so you can help your child stay safe and healthy at camp.  After all, there’s no fun in spending the summer in the infirmary.

10 Tips to Make Summer Camp Healthier, Safer, and More Enjoyable

1. Inspection prior to attending camp.  Clip nails and keep hair short if possible.  Check for lice and other conditions.

2.  It’s not always nice to share!  Teach your child to not share straws or drink from the same glass as their friends.    Don’t fall for the line, “I don’t have anything.” Or “I’m so thirty, I just want one sip.” This lesson alone will spare you the unnecessary strep throat, summer cold or even herpes virus.

Also don’t share personal items including bathing suit bottoms and hair brushes.

3. Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom and before eating.  This may be obvious, but remind your kids anyway.

4. The camp mattress: Camp facilities are often rented out in the off-season to other groups.  The mattresses can be tired and not so desirable.  Pack a dust mite cover for the mattress to create a barrier between the mattress and your child’s bedding.  Bed bug covers are not adequate since bed bugs are much larger than dust mites.

I recommend a cover for the pillow too.  Even though you are bringing the pillow from home, the pillows end up on the floor and even on the ground outside.

5. Bathroom hygiene: Pack an extra pair of flip-flops to be used for the bunk shower only.   This will help keep the bathroom clean.   Always instruct your child to wear some kind of shoes on their feet walking around the camp property.   Sharp articles can pop up in the grass.  Any construction on the grounds could turn up nails or broken glass not to mention buzzing bees.

6. Walking around in a wet suit for hours is not recommended for girls.  To avoid infections, remind your daughter get out of the wet suit and change into cotton underwear.

7. Attracting insects: When packing shampoo and other hair products, it is recommended to select products that are fragrance free.  Perfumes attract all kinds of bugs including, mosquitoes and deer flies.  Care packages with food attract pests and bugs in the bunk, not to mention bellyaches.  Ask the camp director if and where things may be stored.

8. Hair Advice: Suggest to your daughter’s counselors that hairbrushes be cleaned and washed once a week–remove the hair and soak the brush in a diluted mix of water with bleach for about 15 minutes.  For young girls with long hair, counselors should braid the hair and allow the young lady to sleep in the braid.  Before going to bed, divide the hair into three sections and brush each section free of tangles.   In the morning, take the braid out so brushing will be made easy. I know firsthand as a camp counselor and a mom that this works and saves a lot of time in the morning.  No more screaming over tangled hair.

9. Laundry bag etiquette: Never put anything wet in the laundry bag.  Always dry articles thoroughly before placing in bag.  Day campers need to pack a plastic bag for wet swim gear.

10.  Pack hats, protective clothing and sunscreen.  Hats will not only protect against sunburn but also deer ticks while taking hikes in the woods.  Remind your child to reapply sunscreen every couple hours and be sure to pack enough.  However, if you suspect your child may not be so thorough, pack long sleeve rash guard shirts (swimming shirts) to reduce the amount of sunscreen needed.   Long pants are a good idea when hiking in the woods and at sunset when the mosquitoes are the worst.

If you have any questions, please email me at debbie@drdoormat.com I couldn’t possibly include all of the things I learned in one post.

I hope your children have a wonderful camp experience this summer and you get to enjoy the break.  One more thing, don’t forget to have them pack a happy disposition.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

5 Summer Travel Tips from Dr. Doormat

 5 Summer Travel Tips from Dr. Doormat

Dig a Well Before You’re Thirsty!

Summer is a time for travel–from weekend get-aways to long road trips.  And whether you’re staying in 5-star hotels, roughing it in a national park, or off to sleep away camp, there are some easy things you can do while on the go to help keep your car, belongings and surroundings cleaner and healthier for you and your family.

As a kid I remember too well those long rides where all six of us piled into the family station wagon and drove from upstate New York to Miami.  My parents still joke that I would rather hold it in for two days then use a public bathroom (here are some tips!).  I never made it into the book of Guinness World Records but I have learned a few tricks along the way.

Follow these 5 tips, and your vacation is sure to be safer, cleaner, and more fun!

  1. Prepare the car:  Filling up with gas, having a good GPS or map and a clean car are essential.  To clean your car, you’ll need a garbage can, vacuum cleaner, paper towels and non-toxic, odor free, cleaning spray.   Pull all the car mats out of the car and shake them out really well, vacuum and then believe it or not you should be able to wash those mats in your washing machine and hang to dry.  I do!  One major helpful tip: Before and After you vacuum, clean the head of the vacuum cleaner with a sanitizing spray or solution.  This prevents the transfer of viruses and other nasty germs from being spread around
  2. Traveling and potty training:  I recommend taking a small portable potty in the car.  Bring extra baggies.  Double bag check for holes and line the potty with the bags.  It’s as simple as that. Takes the stress right out of the drive.  Just use a wipe for your child’s bottom, Tie a knot in the bag when they’re done and dispose in the nearest trash. Replace the bag for the next round.
  3. Packing:  Put your shoes in disposable plastic shopping bags before putting them in your suitcase
  4. Packing for sleep away camp: Remember an extra pair of flip flops used just for the bunk shower.  Mark them SHOWER ONLY.  Also, pack dust mite covers for both the pillow and the mattress.  My kids will also go with a Dr. Doormat for the entrance of the bunk.
  5. Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen:  My BFF of sunscreens is the Walgreen’s brand for sensitive skin, SPF 70.  My daughter’s skin is like milk and this one works. Don’t forget hats, sunglasses and rash guard shirts for swimming.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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