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Home. Help Yourself to a Healthy Home . Contents. Asthma and allergies Mold and moisture Carbon monoxide Lead Drinking water Household hazardous products Pesticides Keeping your home safe. Asthma & Allergies. What is Asthma?.

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    Help Yourself to a Healthy Home

    • Asthma and allergies
    • Mold and moisture
    • Carbon monoxide
    • Lead
    • Drinking water
    • Household hazardous products
    • Pesticides
    • Keeping your home safe
    what is asthma
    What is Asthma?
    • Chronic, inflammatory disorder of the airway, making breathing difficult
    • Usually reversible, but not yet curable
    • Can be fatal
    • Not contagious
    • Not the same as allergies
    should you be concerned
    Should You be Concerned?
    • More than 8 million children in the U.S. from birth to age 18 have the disease called asthma
    • Asthma is a leading reason for

    school absenteeism

    what happens during an asthma episode
    What Happens during an Asthma Episode?

    Breathing tubes swell up

    Muscles around these tubes tighten

    Tubes make large amounts of a thick fluid called mucus

    warning signs of an asthma episode
    Warning Signs of an Asthma Episode
    • Coughing
    • Wheezing
    • Chest tightness
    • Shortness of breath
    when having a severe asthma episode
    When Having a Severe Asthma Episode
    • Go to the emergency room right away
    • Signs of a severe episode
      • Rescue or inhaler medicine does not help within 15 minutes
      • Person’s lips or fingernails are blue
      • Person has trouble walking or talking due to shortness of breath
    asthma triggers
    Asthma Triggers





    Secondhand tobacco smoke

    other common asthma triggers
    Other Common Asthma Triggers
    • Cleaning products like furniture polish or dusting sprays
    • Personal care products like hair spray or perfume
    • Flu or colds
    what are allergies
    What are Allergies?
    • A unusual reaction to something, like a food or a plant, which is normally harmless
    • 40 to 50 million people have allergies
    • Breathing can be difficult
    common signs of allergies
    Common Signs of Allergies
    • Stuffy or runny nose
    • Itching
    • A rash
    action steps
    Action Steps
    • Pay attention to your asthma & allergies
    • Healthy housekeeping
    • Control pests & pets
    • Check your appliances
    • No smoking
    • Keep home dry to control mold
    should you be concerned1
    Should You be Concerned?
    • Mold growth is an indication of excess moisture
    • Molds can affect your health
    • Excess moisture can damage your home—wood rot & household pests
    mold and moisture
    Mold and Moisture
    • Mold & moisture can be seen in & around the home
    • Mold is alive
    • Mold grows on wet surfaces

    Mold comes in different colors— white, orange, green, gray & black

    • It can grow out in the open or grow in hidden places
    • Mold often smells musty
    • Mold produces spores that float through the air

    When spores get into the lungs they can cause health problems

    • Watery eyes, runny or stuffy noses, sneezing, itching, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headaches & tiredness
    • Asthma attacks
    mold what we ve learned
    Mold: What We’ve Learned
    • Some molds can cause severe health problems
    • Mold is everywhere, but it isn’t healthy to live where mold grows
    where to look for mold
    Where to Look for Mold
    • Bathrooms—tubs, showers, walls, ceiling & floor
    • Damp basements & crawlspaces
    • Around leaky bathroom & kitchen sinks
    • Attics under roof leaks
    • Windows & walls where there is condensation
    • In closets
    • Under wallpaper or carpet
    • In air conditioner
    • Wet clothes not dried quickly
    to keep mold from growing
    To Keep Mold from Growing

    Fix moisture problems quickly,

    then clean & dry surfaces

    actions to eliminate mold
    Actions to Eliminate Mold
    • Keep surfaces clean & dry
    • Store clothes & towels clean & dry
    • Don’t leave water in drip pans, basements & air conditioners
    • Check relative humidity in your home
    • Wipe down shower walls after bathing or showering
    • Run a fan (vented to the outdoors) or open a window while showering or bathing
    • Run a fan (vented to the outdoors) when cooking
    what is carbon monoxide
    What is Carbon Monoxide?
    • CO
    • Deadly gas
    • Can’t see, taste, feel or smell
    what s the problem with co
    What’s the Problem with CO?
    • Kills 5,000 people in U.S. each year
    • Survivors of CO poisoning can suffer from brain damage, loss of sight or hearing, or heart problems
    where does co come from
    Where Does CO Come From?
    • Gas & oil furnaces, boilers & water heaters
    • Wood burning fireplaces & stoves
    • Gas appliances (ovens, stoves & dryers)
    • Gas and kerosene space heaters
    • Gas & charcoal grills
    • Cars, trucks, campers & other vehicles
    • Gas & liquid propane fueled equipment
    • Tobacco smoke & house fires
    • Blocked chimneys & flues
    what are the signs of co poisoning
    What are the Signs of CO Poisoning?
    • Headache
    • Weakness
    • Sleepiness
    • Tightness in chest
    • Trouble breathing
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • (Flu- like symptoms)
    how can i protect my family
    How can I Protect my Family?
    • Never use charcoal grills or run engines inside home, garage or basement
    • Never warm up vehicle in garage
    • Have furnace, chimney & gas appliances checked
    • Keep chimney & wood burning stove in good working order

    Use kerosene , gas heaters & vent-free fireplaces carefully—follow instructions & open window

    • Never use kitchen stove or oven for heat
    • Use kitchen exhaust fan when using oven
    • Make certain gas appliances burn correctly
    carbon monoxide alarms
    Carbon Monoxide Alarms
    • At least one for every household
    • Sounds an alarm when CO becomes too high
    • Battery operated
    if co alarm sounds
    If CO Alarm Sounds
    • Get outside right away
    • Call 911 from phone outside your home
    • Have home checked by qualified heating/appliance technician
    • Don’t go back into the home until all problems are fixed
    lead poisoning
    Lead Poisoning

    Is one of the most serious

    health threats for children in

    & around the home

    lead poisoning1
    Lead Poisoning

    Can cause leaning and

    behavior problems as

    well as damage hearing

    & the nervous system

    where does lead come from
    Where Does Lead Come from?
    • Paint
    • Water pipes
    • Gasoline
    • Pottery
    • Other places
    how are children poisoned by lead
    How are Children Poisoned by Lead?
    • Eating dust or paint chips with lead
    • Crawling on floor
    • Putting toys in mouths
    • Playing in soil
    lead poisoning2
    Lead Poisoning
    • 1 in 40 American children have too much lead in their bodies
    • A blood test is the only way to tell if your child is being exposed to lead

    What about Your Home?

    • Do you live in an older home?
    • Is there cracking, chipping or flaking paint in your home?
    • Are there places where paint is being rubbed—around window frame or door?

    Has your home been recently remodeled or renovated?

    • Do you have water pipes made with lead, or pipes joined with lead solder?
    • Is there lead in the soil outside your home?
    the blood test for lead
    The Blood Test for Lead
    • It only takes a small blood sample
    • Ask your health care provider about testing
    • Lead levels are measured in micrograms per deciliter—if it is 10 or over, the level is too high
    • Your health care provider can help you find out what else to do
    action steps for lead
    Action Steps for Lead
    • Have your children tested for lead
    • Find out if your home has lead
    • Protect your children from lead
    • If lead is in pipes, take steps to reduce
    • If someone brings home lead, take steps to reduce it
    • Test your soil
    • Feed your children a healthy diet
    when in doubt check it out
    When in Doubt, Check it Out!
    • For blood tests call your family doctor or public health clinic
    • For testing of paint samples & drinking water, call your local health department
    safe water is important
    Safe Water is Important

    Used for drinking,

    cooking, cleaning,

    bathing, etc.

    unsafe water puts children at risk
    Unsafe Water Puts Children at Risk


    • Immune system still developing
    • Bodies still growing
    what may be in drinking water that is unsafe
    What May be in Drinking Water that is Unsafe?
    • Bacteria & viruses
    • Nitrates
    • Lead & copper
    • Other harmful chemicals
    bacteria and viruses
    Bacteria and Viruses
    • Can make you sick (upset stomach, diarrhea

    or serious illness)

    • Can be worse for children,

    pregnant women & sick

    or older people





    animal & human waste, & fertilizer

    • “Blue Baby” Syndrome
    • Birth defects
    • Miscarriages
    lead and copper


    Lead and Copper


    metal from pipes, etc.

    • Learning disabilities in children
    • Behavior problems in children
    • Chronic digestive problems in adults & children
    check your pipes

    Check Your Pipes

    Lead Pipes/Solder

    used in homes before 1988

    dull gray color, scratches easily with a key


    • reddish brown in color
    • may be used in new faucets
    public water supply

    Public Water Supply

    Tested for over 80 different kinds of chemicals

    Company must notify you about unsafe water

    Water test results

    made public annually

    private water supply

    If your drinking water comes from a private well or spring, it is up to you to keep it clean and safe

    Private Water Supply

    Has it been more than two years since your water was tested?

    many household products are dangerous for your children
    Many Household Products are Dangerous for Your Children
    • Cleaners
    • Batteries
    • Pesticides
    • Automotive products
    • Paints & solvents
    household hazardous products are called hazardous if

    Household Hazardous Products are CalledHazardous if…..

    they can cause harm when not used properly

    how can these products be harmful
    How Can These Products be Harmful?
    • Toxic/poisonous (cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, injury, death)
    • Corrosive (burn skin & eyes)
    • Flammable (can be set on fire)
    what can a parent do
    What Can a Parent do?
    • Use hazardous products safely
    • Store hazardous products carefully
    • Dispose of hazardous products properly
    store safely
    Store Safely
    • Store in original container
    • Close tightly after use
    • Store 150 ft from well or water pump
    • Keep away from heat, sparks or fire
    • Store in locked or secure place out of reach of children
    • Store batteries & flammable chemicals away from direct sunlight
    use safely
    Use Safely
    • Read the label
    • Look for the signal words (caution, warning, flammable, harmful, danger, poison)
    • Follow directions & special instructions
    use safely1
    Use Safely
    • Keep children away
    • Put away after use
    • No eating or smoking when using hazardous products
    • Never mix products
    you can reduce the hazards by
    You Can Reduce the Hazards by…
    • Buy only what you need
    • Prevent pest problems
    • Use safe products instead
    • Keep Poison Control Center telephone number in visible location
    • Keep syrup of Ipecac in medicine cabinet (use only when advised by medical person)
    dispose of safely
    Dispose of Safely
    • Give away
    • Take to community hazardous waste collection point
    • Read label for instructions
    • Never dump or burn
    • Recycle
    remember children s bodies are small
    Remember Children’s Bodies are Small

    A little bit of some chemicals

    can cause big problems

    protect your children and yourself from illness and injury

    Protect Your Children and Yourself from Illness and Injury

    Use, store , & dispose of household hazardous products safely

    pesticides are things we use to prevent and kill pests
    Pesticides are Things We Use to Prevent and Kill Pests
    • Bug sprays
    • Pet flea collars
    • Rat poison
    • Bleach
    • Garden weed killer

    Bug Spray

    children are at risk
    Children are at Risk
    • Crawl & play on floors & lawns
    • Put things in their mouths
    • From foods
    • Accidental poisoning
    why do you have pests
    Broken, loose or torn screens

    Gaps or holes in home

    Dirty floors, counters & dishes

    Spilled foods

    Storing garbage where pests can reach

    Roof or plumbing leaks

    Storing food in containers without lids

    Why do You Have Pests?
    questions about using pesticides
    Questions about Using Pesticides
    • Do you ever use air borne sprays like flea bombs or roach sprays?
    • Do you use flea collars, sprays or powder?
    • Do you use pesticides without reading labels?


    – B –


    Do you use pesticides when children or pets are in the room?

    Do you eat, drink or smoke while using pesticides?

    Do you use bug repellant on your kids?

    Do you serve fruits & vegetables without washing thoroughly?

    storing and disposing of pesticides
    Storing and Disposing of Pesticides
    • Store pesticides in their original containers
    • Only buy the amount that you need or will be able to use
    • Never use an empty pesticide container for something else
    Store pesticides away from food in a locked cabinet or where children can’t reach them
    • Dispose of pesticides according to the label instructions
    • Dispose of pesticide containers in a way where children & pets can’t reach them
    keep pests out of your home
    Keep Pests out of Your Home
    • Seal cracks & crevices where pests can enter the home
    • Check things like bags & boxes for roaches before bringing them into the house
    • Teach your children not to share combs, hats or coats at school or daycare
    tips for preparing food
    TIPS for Preparing Food
    • Wash & scrub all fruits & vegetables under running water
    • After washing, peel all fruits & vegetables when possible
    • Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables
    • Trim fat from meat & skin from poultry and fish—some pesticides collect in the fat
    • Eat a variety of foods from a variety of sources
    tips for lawn and garden
    Use lawn seed & plants that are disease resistant & grow well in your area

    Decide if you can tolerate a few weeds or insects

    Pull or hoe weeds

    Clean up dead leaves & debris to remove pests

    Use pesticides only if there is a problem

    Use the least toxic chemical you can find for the job

    TIPS for Lawn and Garden
    tips for using bug repellant
    TIPS for Using Bug Repellant
    • When putting bug repellant on children, read all directions first
    • Don’t apply over cuts or broken skin
    • Do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands or directly on the face
    • Use just enough to cover skin or clothing
    • Don’t use it under clothing
    did you know

    Did you Know . . .

    Your chances of getting hurt at home are higher than at work or school?

    leading causes of death at home
    Leading Causes of Death at Home
    • Falls
    • Poisoning
    • Fires & burns
    • Choking
    • Drowning
    who is most likely to be hurt
    Who is Most Likely to be Hurt?

    The very old

    The very young

    slips trips and falls
    Slips, Trips and Falls
    • Keep floors free of things that can be tripped over or slipped on
    • Keep stairs in good shape
    • Eliminate throw rugs
    slips trips and falls1
    Slips, Trips and Falls
    • Make certain you can see where you are going when carrying big loads
    • Keep your home well lighted
    poison proof your home
    Poison Proof Your Home
    • Potential dangers exist in all rooms
    • Look through your home for poisonous products
    • Store dangerous products out of children’s reach
    what products are dangerous



    First aid supplies





    Furniture polish








    What Products are Dangerous?

    Here are just a few items. . .

    hazard hound
    Hazard Hound

    “Paws Off” can help keep children safe

    choking and suffocation
    Choking and Suffocation
    • Keep an eye on young children while eating & playing
    • Pick toys that are right for your child’s age
    choking and suffocation1
    Choking and Suffocation
    • Don’t let children play with balloons
    • Don’t let children play near cars or old appliances
    • Keep plastic bags & covers away from children

    If you have a pool:

    • Fence the pool area
    • Don’t leave toys in the pool
    • Have children walk, not run, in pool area
    • Watch children at all times
    other safety concerns
    Adults & older children should learn CPR

    Children should wear safety gear – helmets, kneepads, etc.

    Children should use seat belts, ride in the back seat & use car seats for smaller children

    Store guns safely

    Other Safety Concerns