Everyone is aware of the obvious dangers in the home, such as rat poison, pest sprays, etc. But there are other dangers lurking in your home that could be damaging to your family and pets. Read on for the top dangers in your home and the protective measures you could take.
1. Dust Mites
You can’t see these with the naked eye, but they can be extremely harmful to your health. Dust mites are the most common cause of allergies and asthma. They feed off the dead skin cells that fall off out body. They mainly hide in beds, pillows, and mattresses. While there’s no way to completely get rid of dust mites, there are ways to reduce their impact. Wash your bedding in hot water every couple of weeks. Try to avoid going to bed with wet hair because dust mites feed off the moisture. Vacuum floor and rugs regularly. Put items that you cannot wash in a machine, like stuffed animals, into the freezer for a few hours to kill the mites. You can purchase allergy covers for your bed. They are woven so dust mites cannot slip through them.
While you absolutely need to take a pill of so-and-so twice a day, medications are dangerous if you have small children around that may mistake the various shapes and colors for candy. Here are some protective measures to make sure you little ones can’t get to your stash. Store your medications where your kids can’t find them (perhaps use a lock), never leave meds within reach (ie. purse, countertop), make sure your bottles have child resistant caps, have the number to the poison control center available at all times (ie. refrigerator door).
3. Cleaning Products
Like medications, the bright colors and interesting scents of cleaning products attract young children. There is risk of ingestion is high, especially when it comes to toilet bowl cleaners, detergent and furniture polish. Here are some tips on how to keep your kids away from these poisons. Instead of storing these products below the sink, move them to a higher shelf so they are out of reach. Or, you can use a child proof lock if you must keep them on the bottom shelves. When you are cleaning, make sure the products are out of the way of your kids’ paths. Or, you could nix the harmful chemicals all together and opt for greener, more natural cleaning products, like products from the brand Seventh Generation.
A musty odor emanating from your bathroom, closet or basement could mean you have mold spores growing. They grow in damp spots and are attracted to building materials like drywall, wood, and paint. Mold can trigger asthma symptoms and allergic reactions. How do you protect yourself and your family from these harmful spores? Keep all the rooms in your house well-ventilated, fix leaks as soon as possible. If you suspect mold, check out the area with a flashlight because sometimes it can only be seen under bright light.
While mothballs are useful for keeping your winter sweaters in tip top shape, the chemicals found in mothballs can be very irritating for humans. Exposure to naphthalene, and other pesticides found in mothballs, through inhalation, ingestion and skin contact, is linked to anemia, damage to the liver, and neurological damage in babies. Short-term exposure can cause headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, jaundice and convulsions. The good thing is that you can replace moth balls, and their awful stench, with natural moth repellants like cedar blacks or dried lavender.
6. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless, yet it’s highly toxic. It comes from fuel-burning appliances like the oven, fireplace, space heaters, and stoves. Low exposure could cause headache, dizziness, nausea and fatigue while higher levels of exposure could cause vomiting, unconsciousness and even death. Follow these steps to protect your household. Buy a carbon monoxide detector and make sure to use all of your fuel-burning appliances correctly (ie. never leave them on after you’ve used them, use an exhaust fan with gas stoves).
More Dangers to Your Home
Some more dangers around your house include exposed electrical cords that could cause a fatal shock, worn out toys with small pieces that may break or rip off and then swallowed, and new carpet installation with harmful chemicals hidden in the backing. Whether you have a small child or a pet, the first step in protecting them is finding these dangers in your home.