June has been named National Healthy Homes Month by HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development). This year’s theme is Growing Up Safe and Healthy: 5 Minutes to a Healthy Home. By protecting current and future generations from exposure to lead and other household dangers, we can ensure a healthy future for all.
Lead poisoning can happen to anyone, but children 6 years and younger are especially at risk. While the most common form of lead poisoning comes from lead-based paint in houses built prior to 1978, air, water and soil can also be contaminated by lead. Symptoms of lead poisoning include headaches, stomachaches, nausea and tiredness. If you are suspicious that your child may have lead poisoning, get them tested by their doctor.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced whenever materials burn. CO in the home commonly occurs in areas such as the kitchen, garage, and living areas with fireplaces. Placing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your house, especially near bedrooms, could save your family’s life.
There are many simple things you can do to ensure the safety of your family in the event of a house fire. Install smoke detectors on each floor of your house, as well as in and near every bedroom, making sure to test the them regularly. It is recommended to replace batteries every year and the entire smoke detector every 10 years. Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor in a central location and in areas fires are more likely to occur, such as the kitchen and the garage.
Is Your Home Healthy
There are many factors that play a role in the health of your home. Indoor air quality effects the health of every member of your family, especially children. Children breathe up to two times as much air as adults do, making them more susceptible to issues such as carbon monoxide, lead, dust mites, mold and other allergens.
Cleaning products can also have a negative effect on your family as these many times contain chemicals that are hazardous when ingested. Try using natural cleaning products and ensure any and all cleaning products are kept out of the reach of children.
5 Minutes to a Healthier Home
In as few as 5 minutes you can make your home a healthier place to live. Simple things, like making sure you have functioning smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers can help avoid disaster in the future. Be prepared by programing the number of the American Association of Poison Control Center into your cell phone in the event of an emergency (800) 222-1222.
Do you have more than 5 minutes? Head over to www.hud.gov/healthyhomes for additional information on lead, mold, radon, asbestos and more!