Many Americans assume their home is safe – after all, you’ve probably installed smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, socket protectors, cabinet locks, balcony nets and pool covers. But what about the hidden dangers around your home? In honor of Home Safety Month, I’ll help you uncover potentially dangerous situations in the home that can lead to serious personal injury, disease, or illness.
In one of my recent blogs and on my safety column at Del Mar Times, I’ve covered the dangers about mini blinds in the hands of children – many unsuspecting parents have, without any knowledge of the dangers, left children alone near mini blinds for mere minutes with grave consequences. The problem belies in the mini blind cords. These dangling dangers can often find themselves wrapped tightly around children’s arms, legs, and body, causing serious injury and even wrongful death.
What can you do to prevent injury? I recommend you purchase child-safe mini blinds. An organization called Parents for Window Blind Safety publishes their own third-party list of child-approved mini blinds. If you currently have mini blinds that use traditional cords, consider installing a small hook on the interior of your window pane to hang cords high and away from a child’s reach.
If you find your walls are often “dirty” – you may be facing a case of mold, not dirt. And mold can be extremely dangerous since it’s a known carcinogen, many of which are toxic and instantaneously dangerous if personally encountered. Nearly 50,000 people will die from exposure to toxic mold. Molds can range from the common called Aspergillosis, the 2nd most common mold found on home surfaces , to the most severe, called Mycotoxins, which are often a carcinogenic and teratogenic type of mold and extremely dangerous. These molds can cause a variety of problematic symptoms including headaches, nose bleeds, fatigue, and even immune suppression.
Before you begin cleaning mold, make sure to have your home professionally inspected so you know what you’re dealing with. Plus, if it’s toxic mold, don’t even think about handling this dangerous substance yourself. Here’s what you can do to remove the less-dangerous mold: use a solution of bleach and water to sponge off mold and kill spores.
The beauty cabinet
I’ve recently tweeted about the dangers on Brazilian blowouts and other toxic beauty treatments. Did you know a Brazilian blowout has toxic formaldehyde? And countless fragranced body lotions and perfumes are made with phthalates and parabens which have been shown to cause birth defects and irregular levels of hormonal imbalances in adults who use these kinds of products. Consider organic products instead. And, to keep up to speed with recent recalls, go to the FDA’s Cosmetic website and research your favorite products.
With sunshine comes increased lawn care – and that means more time with your lawn mower. Please – be extra careful as you begin your garden care this year. Your lawn mower has been sitting for months and screws, springs, and parts could be rusted or missing. This can translate to a potential hazard as you use your lawn care equipment. Inspect your equipment carefully before using it for the first time. If you suspect any loose parts, rust, or leaking fuel, consult a repair specialist immediately and do not attempt to use the lawn equipment. Over 86,000 people a year are rushed to the hospital from lawn mower injuries. Stay on the safe side of lawn care and check your equipment thoroughly.
About the Law Offices of Michael Pines
Michael Pines, founder, is San Diego’s Safety Ambassador with three monthly safety columns at the La Jolla Light, Del Mar Times, and Rancho Santa Fe Review. As a personal injury attorney serving San Diego since 1992, Mike has helped injured people seek fair recovery after car accident injury, personal injury, product failure, design defect, and more. Follow Mike on Twitter and join his law firm on Facebook for daily safety and accident prevention advice. For free legal advice concerning an injury, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 or fill out our online form.