How to Turn a Clean Home into a Healthy Home

You’ve worked tirelessly to make your home a haven for the whole family. But did you know that even the tidiest of homes can play host to troublesome germs and allergens, which can lead to endless sniffles or the common cold?

“That’s because your hands are actually the dirtiest surface Clean and healthy homein your house, and you’re responsible for spreading those germs every time you touch the handles, faucets, railings, light switches and microwave buttons,” says cleaning expert Don Aslett, author of more than 40 home care books, including the best-selling Clutter’s Last Stand.

But not to worry: You can get rid of germs by staying on top of them. Here’s your master cleaning schedule for keeping germs at bay to ensure your family’s health. Print it out and post it on your fridge to use as a reminder.

  1. Kitchen and bathroom sinks and countertops
    How often: daily
    You touch the faucets in the kitchen each time you cook (and handle raw meat). And in the bathroom, you touch the faucets and countertops just about every time you go into the room. Sinks and drains in these two rooms are home to loads of bacteria, including E. coli.
    Spray the faucets, sinks and counters with an antibacterial spray. Let it sit (10 minutes is ideal to kill germs and bacteria), then wipe with a washable microfiber cloth, which is more sanitary than a sponge and traps more than a regular rag would, says Aslett.
  2. Clothes, bed linens, kitchen and bathroom towels, and bath mats
    How often: every three days
    Instead of letting laundry pile up, it’s healthier to do it every few days. This helps avoid mold growth in the hamper where moisture can get trapped from soiled clothes and linens. It also helps to get rid of dead skin cells that can become part of house dust and attract dust mites.
  3. Kitchen and bathroom floors, and the toilet seat
    How often: twice a week
    Believe it or not, there are more germs on the bathroom floor than on the toilet seat. That’s because flushing enables microscopic germs to end up on the bathroom floor (and floors are cleaned much less often than toilets). It’s good to get into the habit of closing the lid before you flush. Additionally, when you clean, be sure to use a disinfectant to wipe down the seat and lid.
    In both the kitchen and the bathroom, mop floors with a bleach-based cleanser. In the kitchen, be sure to clean up food particles and grease, because they can attract unwanted and unhealthy pests.
  4. Carpets, cabinets, sofas and mattresses
    How often: weekly
    Dust mites can cause allergic reactions in some people, so it’s important to prevent exposure as much as possible. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells (yours and your pet’s), which makes mattresses and pillows some of their favorite hiding places. Protect yourself by wrapping your mattress with a dust-mite-proof cover and vacuum, or wash pillows weekly. If you can live without a feather pillow, switch to one with synthetic material, which is less likely to attract dust mites.
    Common household dust doesn’t have germs in it since it lacks the moisture that germs require, but it does harbor allergens. Vacuum carpets, soft furnishings and bookshelves weekly (two to three times a week if you have pets) using a machine equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Follow with an antibacterial spray to wipe down all hard surfaces.
  5. Tubs, shower stalls and trash cans
    How often: weekly
    Bathing removes germs and viruses from your body, yes, but not all of them die down the drain. In fact, bacteria thrives in moist environments. Use a disinfecting cleanser once a week to wash the sides and floor of the tub and shower stall and the inside of trash cans. Dry the surfaces with a towel, or leave the door or curtain to the shower open to air-dry.
  6. Refrigerator and other appliances
    How often: weekly
    Clean out the fridge before you go grocery shopping and toss spoiled food and leftovers that have been there for more than a couple of days. Then give all major appliances, including the handles and buttons, a healthy scrub with soap and water or disinfectant spray.

You’re Invited

I’m a paramedic and I invite you to put me out of business. And while you are at it to put a lot of emergency room doctors and nurses out of business as well. Here’s how:

  • The very first time you put your child in a car- home from the hospital, have him or her in an age appropriate car seat.
  • As your child grows, switch to an appropriate booster. And your little one always sees Mom and Dad, and the grandparents and siblings in seatbelts- always.Keeping them safe
  • Your child never sees your drive under the influence and never sees you text and drive- never.
  • You build a fence around your pool and teach your children to swim and to never swim alone.
  • Your child is taught its cool to wear a helmet while learning to ride a bike and long after- same with skates and roller blades.
  • You teach and practice good nutrition- healthy eating introducing a variety of different foods.
  • You exercise, ride or walk, play golf or tennis, canoe or ski. You teach your child that exercise is as fun- often better than a life of only TV and video games.
  • You don’t smoke and don’t allow smokers around your kids.\You talk to your kids about the internet and internet safety. You get to know your child’s friends.
  • You learn and teach appropriate stress management that does not involve alcohol, drugs or overindulging in food.

You teach that peace is preferred to fighting and love- especially of oneself – is the greatest gift of all.

Wii helps special needs kids get exercise

Wii BoxingVideo games get a bad rap from most experts, but now there may be a few reasons to let your kids play Wii. A recent study from the University of Oklahoma showed that active video games like Wii boxing or Dance Dance Revolution get kids as active as if they were taking a walk. Plus in many parts of the country most playgrounds – even the universally accessible ones – are just too hot to visit in the summer once it gets near lunch time.

Britt Collins, an occupational therapist, has come out in support of the Wii gaming system as a form of exercise for special needs kids. Britt told the June 2010 issue of Parents magazine that the Wii can help special needs children elevate their heart rate while also working on skills such as timing and visual and motor coordination.

Britt’s top picks for the Wii are:

Wii Sports – a child in a wheelchair can bowl or swing a virtual baseball bat with one arm.

Wii Fit – standing alone or with support, a child can master challenges like heading a soccer ball

We Ski – standing or sitting on a Wii balance board and shifting their weight helps build core strength and upper/lower body coordination

Raving Rabbids – combines the balance board with controllers and helps perceptual skills
Britt Collins is the cocreator of the DVD series TRP Wellness, which includes her video OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM, SPECIAL NEEDS & TYPICAL with Britt Collins.

For Dads…

I’ve enjoyed and been impressed with the commercials from different celebrities including President Obama for Their theme is “the To fatherhood...and making every second countsmallest moments can have the biggest impact on a child’s life.” What does this have to do with being a medic? Same as being a doctor, a lawyer or an Indian chief. We all likely spend too much time on our careers, working long hours and making huge sacrifices. As dad’s its important to remember and easy to forget that for every hour we work- someone else shares our loss. And as fathers we never sacrifice alone.

I grew up with the Harry Chapin Song, Cats In The Cradle which cautions in its lyrics, “My Child arrived just the other day, he came to the world in the usual way. But there were planes to catch and bills to pay.”

As I get older, I do look back and and ask myself how I did. As this year’s Father’s day approaches don’t sit back and wait for ties and BBQ gadgets but also take the time to celebrate your children on this very special day. There does come a time when they are grown, a time when your children have jobs and careers and families of their own. Never stop being a Dad- its an honor and a privilege.

Check out :– all the good TV spots – great resources too.

Air Travel Safety for Kids

The Yapta Blog is an online site for comments and ideas concerning travel-related situations for the travel industry. In an article on air travel and child safety dated May 28, 2010, Jeff Pecor wrote that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was recommending that infants and young children flying on airplanes, be strapped into their own safety seat to protect them in case of air turbulence or a survivable crash.

Air Travel SafetyThough not enforceable, and just a suggestion for now, the NTSB is hoping that at some time in the future, steps would be taken to make it a requirement that anyone traveling with a young child would have to purchase a seat for that child and secure him/her in a safety harness. If they are successful in their mission, no longer would anyone be allowed to fly while holding a child in their lap. If turbulence causes the plane to suddenly lose altitude, that child could become a projectile and be seriously injured. It could be that and worse if the plane is involved in a crash and the unrestrained child is thrown a distance from the crash site. It appears to me, that a very important part of providing protection for our youngest citizens has virtually been ignored for a long time.

I appreciate the fact that Mr. Pecor has brought the information from the NTSB to our attention, and by doing so, has shown a spotlight on the inadequacy of the airline industry to make available to young children, the same protection from injury accorded to that child’s parents.

It’s a very small leap that brings my mind to another industry with a similar deficit in its ability to protect the young children in its care. I’m referring to a vocation where the saving of lives can be, and often is, an everyday occurrence. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is far behind in being able to offer the safe transport of children with equipment that is specifically designed and sized for pediatric patients. And even though the equipment is available, no state or federal agency has stepped up to the plate to do whatever it takes to support it, test it, and make it available. It’s very scary when you consider the number of children being transported unprotected in the passenger compartment of a speeding ambulance, flying through intersections on a daily basis. I am left questioning why the NTSB has, to my knowledge, neither lobbied for, nor put pressure on Congress to enact laws that specifically regulate how care is administered to infants and young children in the rear compartment of an ambulance.

I believe that both situations call out for the correction of a serious deficit in the way children are transported; one, as a passenger on a plane, two, as a passenger in an ambulance or other rescue vehicle.

Both situations require immediate action and new regulations. There are children’s lives at stake.

Bad Eating Habits Can Be Broken

Finding the right strategies to help you stop bad eating habits can be like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans: You may have to try on a bunch of different styles until you find the one that fits the best.

If you’re struggling with bad eating habits, you’re not alone. Most of us reach for not-so-good-for-us options from time to time. Here’s how you can break bad habits and feel better than ever.

1. Keep a food journal to avoid emotional eating.

Sometimes without realizing, we eat when we’rehealthy summer salads feeling anxious, depressed, sad, bored or even happy. Solving this common habit often requires some detective work in the form of a food journal. Write down what and how much you eat, identify emotional triggers, environmental situations and the intensity of hunger. Once you’ve pinpointed situations or feelings that lead you to eat, be proactive when these events occur. Instead of reaching for the pint of ice cream, bag of chips or whatever it might be, call a friend, do five minutes of deep breathing or head outside for a brisk walk.

2. Limit distractions to avoid overeating.

Do you typically eat your lunch at your desk while reading emails? Do you pick up your phone in the middle of a meal? Instead, limit distractions and get into the practice of focusing on the food you are eating. Turn off and put away cell phones, iPods, laptops and other electronics at mealtime. Prepare and eat more meals at home. And when you eat, sit at a table (not in front of the TV or on the sofa) and enjoy your food. You’ll eat less and make better food choices.

3. Get enough sleep to avoid weight gain.

Lack of sufficient sleep has been linked to weight gain and the risk of obesity. According to research at Johns Hopkins University, sleep deprivation impacts two hormones that influence hunger levels. An imbalance in the hormones, ghrelin and leptin, will cause sleep-deprived individuals to eat more and have less control over when to stop eating. If you find yourself extra tired on a given day, recognize the potential to overeat and prepare in advance. Plan meals ahead and pre-portion snacks. Resist the urge for caffeine late in the day, which can further interfere with sleep. Aim to get enough sleep each night — the average adult requires between 7 and 8 hours.

4. Practice mindful eating to develop lifelong healthy habits.

Poor eating habits and other health problems creep into our lives when we don’t take time to recharge. Schedule yoga or mediation in your daily or weekly routine to ensure time to focus on relaxation and breathing awareness. And give yourself mini breaks by simply shutting your eyes for a few minutes to take notice of your breathing before each meal. You will be more aware of your physical hunger, and that will allow you to slow down while you’re eating and make more conscious decisions about food.