Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Eggcrate or Convoluted Mattress Overlays for Pressure Relief and Better Sleep

Question about the 2 inch queen sized convoluted mattress overlay.

Q: "My back hurts: my bed is too hard. I don't know whether I should buy an eggcrate convoluted mattress overlay or a memory foam topper. I have a queen sized bed. How thick should it be? What are the pros and cons?" Thanks. Diana

Answer: Convoluted mattress overlays or eggcrate overlays are fairly lightweight: most sizes come in 2 inch, 3 inch or 4 inch pads. In fact they are considered disposable by many hospitals and nursing homes who provide them to patients as dry pressure pads. If you use a waterproof cover such as the Protect-A-Bed Queen sized cover, the overlay can be used for years.

Convoluted bed pads are widely used for bedridden patients or those with diabetes for prevention and treatment of decubitus ulcers. A convoluted surface gives both better weight distribution and better air circulation. Sleep is more comfortable, too. Persons with chronic back problems or invalids usually choose the thicker, 4 inch pads.

We sell only medical grade foam pads in 2 inch, 3 inch and 4 inch thicknesses designed to meet the requirements of HCPCS code: E0199. for use as a dry pressure pad . Most sizes come in twin, full, queen, king and California king.

Memory foam toppers are dense and heavy. A queen topper can weigh 37 pounds or more. Unlike convoluted foam, memory foam (visco-elastic foam)is temperature sensitive. At lower temperatures, memory foam gets harder; at higher temperatures, it is softer. An electric mattress pad allows our king bed to be comfortable in winter: the queen bed with a similar memory foam pad is like sleeping on a brick in winter. Quality memory foam toppers are expensive. So weight, hardness and price are concerns.

I recommend that you base the thickness of the eggcrate pad on these factors: (1) Depth of mattress plus overlay your current sheets will handle. Or are you willing to buy new fitted sheets? (2)Your weight: the heavier you are, the thicker the topper you will need. (3)Current medical problems: a thicker topper will give better air circulation and more pressure relief.

I hope this helps with your decision.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Battery Operated LED Night Lights for Power Outages

Question about availability of LED lights that work when power fails.

Q: "Can you recommend night lights or similar lights for when power fails? We've had several power outages recently from ice storms, snow and wind storms. At night, it's hard to find a flashlight to get to the bathroom or to check on a child. Motion activated LED lights would be my choice." Thanks. Diane.

Answer: I recomend you purchase the Lentek Koolatron LED Motion Sensor activated lights. These can also be used as tap lights. These motion sensor lights hang on the wall and operate on 2 D cell batteries. The light stays on for 15 seconds unless other motion is detected. You just push in the light to have it stay on longer.

Two lights come in a package. Each light case is 6 inches long by 3 to 4 inches wide. The LED light bulb sits in the center of a circular 3 inch frosted cover. The single 3V 800 mA adaptor lets you operate one light on electricity while the other is on guard with batteries. Hang on a nail using the hang hole in the top rear of each unit. For best motion activation, hang about 5 feet off the ground. You can set these to always on as well if you use AC power.

Hope you find these the right choice for lighting your indoor path at night.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Which Outdoor Mosquito Trap is Best for Me?

Question about Koolatron mosquito traps, the Bite Shield Mosquito Trap MK14, the Guardian Mosquito Trap MK12 and the Koolatron Champion Mosquito Trap MK05G.

Q: "Summers are miserable in my backyard because of mosquitoes. My land drains well so there are no standing water issues. But the mosquitoes just swarm. My yard is about 1/4 acre. Which mosquito trap would be most effective? What are the pros and cons of each unit?" Thanks. Fred.
Answer: All three mosquito traps would reduce the mosquito population in your yard if run continuously throughout the season. Performance is better if you replace the optional octenol attractant, every 3 weeks. Also you need to get the unit running at the start of the season. If you live in town, I recommend that you encourage your neighbors to drain standing water and install traps, too.

I recommend that choose a mosquito trap based upon these factors: Availability of electricity in an area downwind from your home. Physical ability to carry and attach a 20 lb. tank of propane. Willingness to keep tabs on the propane tank's level and change out the tank with a filled one every few weeks. Optimizing performance by replacing the octenol attractant every three weeks.

Both the MK12 and the MK14 use propane and are effective for up to 1 acre. The MK05G uses only electricity and is effective for up to 1/2 acre.

The most expensive and newest premium mosquito trap is the MK14 that uses only propane. Needing no electricity, this mosquito trap with wheels is easily moved for best placement depending upon prevailing winds The best placement for all traps is 30 to 40 feet down wind from the area to be protected and near busy and leafy plants without strong odor. The propane needs replaced about once per month.

The MK12 uses both electricity and propane. Remember that propane is a major attractant. A female mosquito senses the CO 2 and moisture from the gas burner from up to 40 ft. away. The mosquito flies toward this "breathing" creature. At about 15 ft, the female mosquito senses temperature like a living creature (thermal imaging), tried to "bite" and gets sucked into the unit by the fan. I've been using this unit in my Iowa backyard for over 4 years. My placement of the unit is not the best yet the mosquitos are a non-issue most of the time. I have an outside outlet on my patio so I don't use an extension cord. (I have about 1/3 acre fenced plus the hillside behind the house which is another 1/2 acre.)

The MK05G Mosquito Guardian is the smallest and least expensive unit and uses only electricity. Set it to operate only after sundown or throughout 24 hours. It uses 71 watts, is UL Listed and is about 12 inches in diameter and about 11 inches high. Again, this unit works better with octenol. My son in Minneapolis has used his for several years with no operational issues and with very good but not excellent results for mosquitoes and biting flies since no one around him has a unit.

I hope this has helped you make your choice.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bird Gel Bird Repellent Gel and Liquid Active Ingredients

Question about Bird Proof Gel and Bird Proof Liquid.

Q: "I have birds perching on my gutters and store sign. Sometimes customers have to duck and sometimes they get a messy surprise on their clothing. I would prefer to avoid products that are noisy or toxic. What are the active ingredients in Bird Proof Gel and Bird Proof Liquid? Are they toxic?" Thanks. Steve.

Answer: Bird-Proof Gel is EPA registered (708, EPA Est. # 1621-MI-1) as is TRANSPARENT BIRD REPELLENT (EPA Registration No. 8254-3-8708) The chemical name for both is polybutene which is a petro chemical and is not a DOT regulated products. Bird Proof Gel is not a hazardous material as defined in 29 CFR 1910.1200.

Both can be skin irritants with no long lasting health hazards. Both are listed as
Hazardous Polymerization: NONE. But incomplete burning of the liquid can produce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other harmful products.

It is advised that the user wear safety goggles. If you need more information, we can send you the Material Data Safety Sheet which will soon be posted on our website.

I recommend that you get sufficient Bird Gel and/or Bird Proof Liquid to do the gutters as well as the entire top of your overhang. If you can get neighboring businesses to do the same, your bird problems should be over.

Thanks. for your question. Sincerely, Barbara


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Monday, February 2, 2009

How to Order and Install Pole Padding for Child Proofing

Question about ordering and installing protective pole padding for child safety.

Q: "Our church basement has exposed support poles. We want to protect against injuries from children or adults accidently hitting or running into the poles. How do we measure and choose the correct padding?" Thanks. Janet

Answer: All pole padding sold by Safe Home Products is dense, shock absorbent and UV resistant. We currently sell padding in yellow, red , black and tan . The pole pads flex but have minimal "stretch" due to the density: thickness is 11/16 or nearly 3/4 inch. If you flatten out a piece of padding, the approximate interior length across the pad is 9 inches while the height is 48 inches. The interior dimension is just over 2 inches (2 1/8 inches )in diameter. The exterior dimension is 3.5 inches in diameter. The interior dimension determines how many pieces must be put on a pole to cover the pole's circumference.

How to Determine How Many Pole Pads to Order:

1. Equipment Needed: a metal measuring tape and a tailor's measuring tape.

2. How High Do You Want to Cover? Use a metal measuring tape to decide how tall your pole is and whether a 48 inch length is tall enough to meet your needs.

3. How Many Pole Pads Are Needed to Cover the Circumference of the Pole? Use a tailor's measuring tape to measure the circumference (distance around the outside) of the pole.

4. What is the Diameter of that Pole? Remember high school math? Note: Diameter equals the inches of circumference divided by 3.14. Example, pole circumference is 10 inches. Divide 10 by 3.14 and the answer is 3.18 inches. One pad will cover almost the entire circumference of this pole. For poles larger in diameter, you'll need 2 or more pads installed side by side around the pole.

5. Is a Gap in Coverage Acceptable to You? If not. you may have to order additional pieces and cut strips to fill in the gap left once the pole padding is installed. A carpet knife and a straight edge can be used to cut the strips.

6. How to Install: Separate the padding by cutting pad or pads along the precored cut. Open the pole padding piece/pieces to fit the pole. Then use heavy-duty cable ties (included) around the padding and pole to secure padding or apply permanently with glue such as Liquid Nails.

Thank you for your questions. I hope this information has helped. Do send us email with your information and we can help confirm your choices.


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