Preventing Child Injuries During Home Safety Month

June 29th, 2009 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Senior Safety | 1 Comment »

More than 9 million children between birth and age 19 are seen for injuries each year in U.S. emergency departments, and injuries are the leading cause of death among children in this age group.

During Home Safety Month —and all year—take some simple hands-on steps to make your home safer. You can protect the ones you love by preventing child injuries at home.

Learn more about it here.

Home Safety for Seniors

June 29th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | 1 Comment »

Here’s a great group of tips from Gillian Grigor at

Front path and steps

  • Make sure that the paths to the house are even, no major cracks, roots or rocks.
  • Keep steps and paths clear of snow and ice.
  • Check the stairs - no holes or uneven concrete.
  • Hand rails, both sides if possible.
  • Path and front entrance well lit. Movement-detector lights work well.

Entrance, Hallways and Stairs

  • Declutter - make sure that shoes are put away and outdoor clothes hung up. If there are children, teach them to put their toys away.
  • Lighting - halls and stairs should be well lit. A night light in the hall between bedroom and bathroom is vital.
  • Take up any loose mats that could be a tripping hazard.
  • Check that stair rails are secure.


  • No loose mats or rugs
  • Make room around the bed, especially if your elderly Mom or Dad uses a walker.
  • Have an easy to reach lamp by the bed. If it is awkward to reach the lamp, a sound activated (”clap-on - clap-off”) lamp will help.
  • A phone beside the bed.
  • For folks stiff with arthritis or others who may feel light-headed when they first stand up, a bed assist handle is a great help in preventing falls.
  • Again, keep the area around the bed as clutter-free as possible.


  • Where possible install wall bars at the end (tap end) of the bathtub and one on the far wall. A wall bar beside the toilet may also help.
  • Some all in one piece, preformed tub surrounds should not have wall bars added. Clamp-on tub grips, or a floor-to-ceiling pole next to the tub can be used.
  • Use non-slip mats in the tub or shower.
  • A tub or shower stool is useful for those with poor balance.
  • Any medications should be clearly marked. A dosette or blister pack will make it easy to keep track that the medications are taken as prescribed.

Living Room

  • Remove loose rugs and mats
  • Make sure that there is room for a walker if one is used - coffee tables often have to be moved out of the way.
  • Avoid rocking/swivelling chairs
  • Loose electrical cords are a tripping hazard. Route them away from traffic areas where possible, or use duct tape to fix them to the floor.
  • A portable telephone is safer than a fixed phone. Many falls occur when people are rushing to answer the phone. Keep the handset nearby at all times, putting it back in its charger beside the bed overnight.
  • Have good lighting, easy to reach switches.


  • Make sure that essential utensils are easy to reach
  • Use a sturdy step stool to reach higher cupboards
  • Have a smoke alarm and be sure to check the batteries regularly
  • If your older person has fairly severe memory loss, it may be necessary to limit their cooking or even unplug the stove.
  • See that any spills are quickly wiped up.

Author Gillian Grigor is the proud grandmother of two 9 year olds and a new grandbaby boy. For more grandparenting ideas, you can visit her website: - This site offers information on grandparent’s rights, distance grandparenting, seniors health, as well as photos, stories, games, and more.

Safety Town

June 28th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety | No Comments »

Some 280 pre-kindergartners from Saline, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and surrounding areas will learn comprehensive safety skills this summer at Safety Town at Houghton Elementary School in Saline.

The 4- and 5-year-olds will attend multimedia sessions and participate in hands-on activities two hours a day for nine days…

…The program, which has been conducted for 25 years, is a joint project of Saline Area Schools and the Saline Police Department.

At Tuesday’s session, students were taken in groups through the “Smoke House,” a trailer set up like a home with bedroom where a nontoxic liquid creates a harmless “smoke” in the space. The exercise is to teach children how to respond to a fire.

Children learn the importance of crawling on all fours. The bedroom door becomes hot - a signal that they must exit some other way. In this case, the exit route is down the ladder outside the bedroom window, with adults assisting the climb down.

Find out more about Safety Town here.