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10 Life Saving Tips Every Parent Should Know
Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A. -- Child Safety Expert Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A. -- Child Safety Expert
Hollywood, FL
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A.
Start the spring season right by creating a safer home and healthier lifestyle for your family. Take these important do-it-yourself steps to make day-to-day living safer and to be ready for emergencies.

1. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Change batteries at least once every year—an easy way to remember is to do it in the spring or fall when you change the clocks; test them monthly; replace the units every 10 years. Smoke alarms can cut your family's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Plan escape routes and conduct fire drills with the entire family at least twice a year. Designate a fixed place outside the home where family will meet.

2. Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up: Install a CO alarm in the hallway near the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area. In addition, place one at least 15 feet from any fuel-burning appliance. More than 500 people die each year in the US from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning.

Remember, the proper installation, operation and maintenance of all of fuel-burning appliances is the most important factor in reducing the risk of CO poisoning.

3. Three Activities to NEVER do:

-- burn charcoal in homes, tents, vehicles or garages

-- run a car in a garage, even if the garage doors are open

-- operate any sort of portable generator indoors, including homes, garages, basements, carports, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.

Follow the instructions that come with your portable generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

4. Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. Water with 140 degrees F. will produce a third-degree burn on a child in just 3 seconds! A lower water temperature will reduce the chance of scald burns.

5. To prepare for storms, hurricanes and other natural disasters, assemble a fully stocked disaster supplies kit. Include baby supplies, nonperishable foods, water, prescription and necessary OTC medication, manual can opener, flashlights, radio, and batteries. Include essential items for your pets. Your kit should contain at a minimum, a 3-day supply. Glow-in-the-dark sticks are great to keep on hand, too; Children love them and they provide a nonflammable, non-spark producing, portable light.

Buying tip: Look for flashlights and radios powered by hand cranking so you won't have to worry about depleted batteries when blackouts or emergencies hit.

6. Assemble a fully stocked first aid kit. Include a first aid manual, disposable gloves, bandages of several sizes, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and sharp scissors. Adults and teens should enroll in a first aid and CPR class.

7. Post emergency telephone numbers near every phone in your home and on the refrigerator, and put emergency numbers in your cell phone. Include the National Poison Hotline (1-800-222-1222), Police, Pediatrician, Veterinarian, Dentist, Family Doctor, and Fire Department. Also include the telephone number of a friend or relative living outside of the emergency area. (A caller is more likely to connect with a long-distance number outside the emergency area than with a local number within it.)

Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.

You can use this handy form to Post Emergency Telephone Numbers. http://www.thesafetyexpert.com/images/Form%20for%20website%202013.pdf

8. Always use a food thermometer to be sure foods are safely cooked. About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

9. Test your home for radon. EPA http://epa.gov/radon/ estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are radon-related. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Testing is easy and inexpensive. Your local health department may offer free kits or kits at a reduced price. You can also purchase kits at a local hardware or home improvement store.

10. Keep up-to-date on all recalled products by visiting this website: http://www.Recalls.gov If you experience a safety problem with a consumer product or want to search for incident reports about products, go to http://www.saferproducts.gov/

National Child Safety Expert Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A. has a law degree, an M.A. in occupational health and safety, a B.A. in communications and over fifteen years experience in the child safety and health field. She teaches infant and toddler safety & CPR at a South Florida hospital and is a certified child passenger safety technician. Debra has made hundreds of media appearances including ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NBC's The Today Show and Discovery Health Channel, and was named an "Everyday Hero" by Reader's Digest. Her award-winning book, "The Safe Baby: A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living" (Sentient Publications) offers parents easy-to-implement solutions and cost saving tips to keep children and pets safe and healthy.

Visit Debra Holtzman's Website http://thesafetyexpert.com, Connect with her on Twitter @SafetyExpert_ and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DebraHoltzmanTheSafetyExpert

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