Don’t Let it Happen to You
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Childproof Your Home
If you have young children, you make every effort to keep them out of harm's way. Home improvement guru, safety expert and host of HGTV's Over Your Head, Eric Stromer, demonstrates simple ways to childproof your home.

Hidden Hazards for Pets

Did you know throwing leftover bones to your pets can put them in danger? Learn how to keep your furry friends safe from household risks!


"Pregnant women, they talk about all these classes that they need to take, but this is one of the things they forget about doing, is childproofing their home," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "Get it done early, before you need to think about it."

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears shares more childproofing tips, and child-safety expert Kimberlee Mitchell demonstrates how to baby-proof your house and shares tips for creating a safe home!


Flood Dangers
In the event of a flood, water can rise quickly, creating a dangerous situation almost instantaneously. If you live in a flood zone or near a water source, or want to be prepared in case of a heavy rain, follow Eric's flood safety tips to secure your home.

Bring outdoor furniture inside, because if floodwaters rise, furniture can block exits
Turn off gas, electricity and water
Stock up on water, food, prescriptions, etc.
Have an emergency preparedness kit
Stay tuned in to local radio or TV news

Kitchen Safety

Claire Robinson, host of The Food Network Challenge and Five Ingredient Fix, offers simple kitchen safety tips!


"Six inches of raging water coming through a corridor can actually knock you off your feet," Eric says. "Don't underestimate something that seems like a little, small eddy that's flowing across your property. That can take you out.

"A foot of water can actually stall a car and actually move that car," he continues. "Do not drive into flood areas. If you ever see that occurring, make sure that you stop the car, back up, get out and get to higher ground."

E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says that if you do find yourself in a car when water is flooding, make sure to lower the windows. "You want those windows open because that may be your only escape route," he says.

Eric demonstrates the ResQMe tool, which can help you escape if you are trapped in a car surrounded by flood water.

From mold cleanup to electrical safety, Eric and The Doctors explain what to do after a flood.

Electrical Dangers after a Flood
Beware of wet outlets and electrical cords
Do not use electrical appliances that may have gotten wet
Have an electrician check house wiring and appliances
Use caution with wet-dry vacuums during post-flood cleanup


Fire Safety
The Doctors asked their Twitter followers if they usually ignore fire alarms in public places such as hotels, office buildings or nightclubs, and 25 percent of respondents said they do ignore the alarms.

Fire Escape Plan

Directgov's Fire Kills campaign explains the importance of having an escape plan in the event of a fire.


Captain Vince Rifino, of the Glendale, California Fire Department, shares essential fire safety tips that could save your life if you are in a building during a fire. "
Take ownership of your own safety," Capt. Rifino says.

• Take notice of the closest exits when you enter a building
• Locate the fire extinguisher
• Have a fire exit plan prior to entering a building, such as designating a meeting point outside with friends

"And once you get out [of the fire]," he adds, "do not go back in."

In case of a fire, stop, drop and roll is a well-known and effective fire safety technique. Capt. Rifino and Dr. Jim demonstrate what to do in case your clothes catch fire.


Handbag Hazards
Ladies: handbags can be fashionable, practical and necessary, but did you know they can also be harmful?
 
Jennifer Taggart, author of Smart Mama's Green Guide, explains that many vinyl purses can contain harmful amounts of lead, which is used as coloring and to stabilize the plastic.

"You find lead in vinyl, not just in purses, but belts [and] shoes," Jennifer says. "There's a fiber tag inside every material that actually will say either PVC, polyvinyl or vinyl. Just like at the back of your shirt, those tags that say what the material is, there is one in each purse."

Lead poisoning can cause a number of health problems in children. Symptoms include:

Chemical Exposure

Have you ever seen signs on buildings that warn about chemicals that can cause birth defects, cancer or other health issues and wondered if it is safe to enter? Learn what to do when you are warned about chemical exposure.


Colicky abdominal pain
Constipation, diminished appetite
Hyperirritability
Paleness from low hemoglobin levels
Growth delay
Developmental delay
Poor attention span
Convulsions
(Courtesy of AskDrSears.com)

A purse that contains lead can contaminate its contents as well. "If you're walking around with your purse, and you grab your child's hand to cross the street [you pass the lead to him or her]," Jennifer says. "Your child [then] eats an apple or a piece of candy, or you touch your own mouth, you've just ingested it, and if your pregnant, you can pass it across the placenta."

To keep your kids safe, Jennifer suggests using a purse made of nylon, hemp, cloth, canvas, real leather or polyurethane rather than vinyl.

Jennifer tests a vinyl purse for dangerous elements and shows you how to test for lead at home!

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OAD 2/23/10

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