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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wheelchair Foam Cushions and Gel Skin Protective Cushions to Help Avoid Pressure Sores

Question about the product:Total Chair and Wheelchair Cushion , Skin Protective Gel Cushions and other cushions that help to prevent pressure ulcers.

Q: "My mother is in a memory care nursing home and cannot walk or move herself. She is getting pressure sores on her bottom from the sitting. She has lost so much weight and it's just skin covering bone. Will this pad help? I have tried every cushion on the market that I can afford and nothing works. Am looking at this pad or maybe sheepskin pads. Also, will this fit in a recliner chair? Thank you very much. Bonnie"

Answer: There are several cushions and cushions designated as skin protective cushions that might help your mom's comfort. One is the total wheelchair cushion that one of my employees gave her grandma for her 100th birthday last year. At that time Grandma weighed only about 70 lbs with no fat: she found the cushion comfortable: the shape allows this cushion to be adjusted for any chair.

A better option is a gel cushion made especially for wheelchairs and to prevent pressure sores. We can suggest two cushions at this time.

The first is the Lumex 17 inch gel cushion, 3 inches thick. This seat cushion pad is pre-filled with a non-toxic gel and surrounded by high-density, non-allergic foam with a tear resistant vinyl bottom cover and vinyl top cover that are fluid-proof, antibacterial and fire-retardant. It has a 250 lb maximum weight capacity and a one-year limited warranty.

The second is an 18 inch by 3 inch thick by 16 inch deep Lumex Gel wheelchair cushion, the Lumex skin protection cushion is a gel cushion with foam base. There is a moderate slope from front to back to make the seat more comfortable. This cushion is considered for people who are deemed at moderate risk for pressure sores. This is a non-aqueous gel filled cushion with a 300 lb. weight capacity and a fluid-proof stretch cover. The warranty is 18 months.

The third type are called Akros® Damped Fluid Displacement Cushions. An example of this is the GF-8114250, the Akros® D.F.D. Cushion 811 Series - 16" x 16" x 2" thick cushion. This is made for those who have temporary or chronic conditions that require prolonged seating and increased risk of pressure ulcers or by persons who experience discomfort when seated due to arthritis, lower back pain or other conditions,
Design minimizes bottoming out, reduces pressure and provides an extremely stable and comfortable seating surface.

The gel skin protective cushions come in many sizes to fit various sizes of chairs or wheelchairs. We offer a complete line of these plus we also sell the gel skin protective and egg crate mattress overlays.

I hope this helps with your mom's comfort. Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Using Air Flotation System Mattresses for Pressure Ulcers

Question about the GF-753000 AltaDyne® Air Flotation Mattress- 80" x 36" x 8".

Q: "I am buying the air flotation mattress for my father so he won't get bed sores. What comes with it, what bed linens are recommended, etc.? If incontinence is present, what type of protective pad is most beneficial? How does this system work?"- Thanks. Alieca

Answer: This is an alternating pressure mattress that helps prevent and treat pressure ulcers. Primarily usage is those with chronic back pain and those who are confined to a bed full-time or for many hours each day. This is a portable unit with a washable cover. There is a static switch so that air loss is minimal in the sacral region.

Since this is an 8 inch thick mattress, you'll need a contour fitted sheet for a hospital bed. (80 x 36). Use incontinence pads if that is a problem. Disposable ones are available in many sizes.

This mattress system has individual transverse air cells that allow for maximum support and pressure distribution. The pressure control knob allows the mattress firmness to be adjusted for comfort. This unit has a 300 lb weight limit.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sheepskin Shearling Wool Pelt Underlay vs Mediwool for Invalids

Question about the products GF-1816 Sheepskin Shearling Wool Pelt and SF-MW-115 MediWool Wool Mattress Pad, 36 x 48 inch Draw Sheets

Q: "My mom spends most of her day in bed due to health problems. We have the alternating pressure mattress. Someone suggested we get a sheepskin wool pelt for additional comfort. I cannot decide between the Mediwool mattress pad and the wool pelt. Can you help by explaining the pros and cons?" Thanks, Sara

Answer: The G F Health Products deluxe wool pelt is 3/4 inch thick and is the actual sheepskin pelt. The total size is 6 to 7 square feet and the shape is that of a sheep, narrow at the top and wider at the bottom. The pelt is washable. Many people prefer the natural pelt. There is a Medicare Code for this product: HCPCS Code: E0189 so you can apply for reimbursement if applicable.

The 36 by 48 inch MediWoolâ„¢ pad is 12 square feet. MediWoolâ„¢ mattress pads are made of one-inch, 100% lambswool pile with draw sheets to hold them in place. There are many sizes available, twin, full, queen, etc. You can sleep directly on the pad or cover it with a sheet.

MediWoolâ„¢ is the trademark of the soft, pure, fleece pads which are fully washable one-inch deep pile lambswool imported from Australia and New Zealand and made in the USA. The wool is hygienically scoured and treated to allow frequent machine washing and drying. The backed fleece retains all of the natural qualities of sheepskin (including absorption of moisture vapor, softness and cushioning) without requiring that the animal give its life. These products are especially versatile due to their ease of washability, unlike the sheepskin which dries out and cracks.

Thank you for your question.


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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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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shorter People & Booster Seat Users Like Car Shoulder Harness Pads

Question about the product Fleece Seat Belt Shoulder Harness Covers-Pack of 2

Q: I am 5 ft. tall. No matter how I adjust the seat belt/shoulder harness it seems to put pressure on my neck or body. I saw you sell shoulder harness and seat belt covers. How difficult are these to use? Can I use them in an airplane as well as in the car. I am thinking about buying two sets so I can put one on the seat belt and one on the shoulder harness. Will they get tangled in the seat belt or harness?

Answer: I am 5 ft. 5 inches tall. Despite adjustable seats and harness adjustments, I dislike that "cut-in-two" feeling. I added these covers and the pressure fron the shoulder harness was gone. So I personally recommend these fleece covers. For adults of all ages and children in car booster seats, these inexpensive fleece covers make terrific gifts of comfort.

Daily, I use mine on the driver's shoulder harness in my 2003 Windstar van and the other on the passenger side of a Kia owned by my best friend. The sides fold over around the belt and Velcro together so the covers are easily adjusted and easily moved or removed. I don't feel pressure across my abdomen so I use only the shoulder one. And if you do spill something while traveling, you can remove and machine or hand-wash.

As long as the seat belt across your lap is tight, the airlines should be okay with using one while flying.

Thanks again for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Bed Bugs in College Dorm Room Beds?

Question about the product, BugLock® Allerzip, Bed Bug Encasement Mattress Covers .

Q: "Today on the CBS Early Show there was a segment called "Bed Bugs at College." My daughter starts college in a week and I am concerned about how to protect her and her mattress (an extra long twin) from bed bug bites. What do you suggest? Thanks."

Answer: I suggest you purchase a Protect-A-Bed zippered pillow encasement for her pillow and two extra long twin Aller-Zip BugLock® encasements and recommend that her roommates do the same. Ask for the depth of the mattress and box springs. Most in college dorms are 9 inches for the box springs and 9 to 11 inches for the mattress. Your goal is to have the cover fit tightly but not so tightly that the zipper might separate. These covers are comfortable to sleep on. However, we recommend that you add a regular Protect-A-Bed cover over the encasement in case someone spills something on the bed: you want to leave the encasement on the bed always. In fact, abandon the encasement at the end of the school year just in case there are bed bugs in the dorm.

There are many articles on the internet about mattress and box spring encasements. The main points seem to be:
  • Use encasements proactively: prevent the bed bugs from getting into the mattress and box spring
  • Encasements can help control bed bugs in an infested dorm by keeping them inside the mattresses and box springs, letting the exterminators do their work in the rooms.
  • Use only encasements tested and designed to be effective against bed bugs.
  • Leave the encasement in place: use another mattress cover on top if desired.
  • Protect the encasement from tears or punctures from the bed frame by padding rough edges before putting the mattress and box spring back on the frame.
From the article recently in US Today, "Ohio State University has seen "several incidents" over the past 15 months, spokeswoman Ruth Gerstner says, including an outbreak in May 2007 in three rooms of a high-rise dorm. Workers treated 114 rooms."

And "At the University of Florida's 4,000 dorm rooms and 980 apartments, "bad" infestations are limited to a couple of times a year, says Wayne Walker, who supervises dorm pest control. The school treats the problem with extreme heat, steam cleaning and pesticides."

What is advised is letting the experts treat bed bug infestations that do it yourself treatments usually fail and just cause the bugs to be more resistant to pesticides.

Thanks for your question and we wish your daughter the best!

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Does this Mattress Cover Encase the Whole Mattress?

Question about the product Product Code: =SF-JAB-P0197 TWIN XL Protect-A-Bed Waterproof Mattress Cover

Q: "Does this Protect-a-Bed pad envelope the whole mattress?"

Answer: No, this premium waterproof, anti-allergen mattress cover fits the mattress like a fitted bottom sheet. The waterproof top is absorbent and cool to sleep on. The pad covers the entire top and has a stretchy elasticized skirt that fits on the sides of the mattress and secures under the corners of the mattress or box spring similar to a fitted sheet.

The Allerzip Twin XL cover includes the anti-allergy, anti-dust mite features of the Protect-a-Bed cover plus the BugLock 3 sided zipper waterproof mattress system. The ALLERZIP seal provides complete protection against allergens, dust mites and bed bugs both entering or leaving the mattress. The sizes include the 13 inch mattress size ,the 11 inch mattress size and the cover for 9 inch mattresses , also the most common size for covering box springs.

Encasements are a solution to costly replacements of bed bug infested mattresses and box springs. Bugs and eggs in mattresses and box springs become trapped within the zippered mattress cover, cannot feed (on humans, animals or birds) and ultimately die from starvation.

Thank you again for your question.


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Will this cushion give me a 3 inch boost?

Subject: Question about the product Product Code: Seat Wedge Cushion with Blue Washable Cover Product Code: : CA-227

Q: "Hello, I need at least a three inch boost to see the road. Will this cushion give me the boost or will it collapse? How firm is this cushion? Thanks," Eloise

The maximum thickness of this cushion is 3 inches. It is a fairly firm cushion. However, the compression you'll experience is also related to your weight. Our experience is that if a cushion is too firm, it is also uncomfortable. (We once received a sample of a thick booster cushion that was so firm that when a 200 pound employee stood on the cushion, it made barely a dent. Mom who was then 85 tried it and sent to back to us as too hard.).

My favorite is the memory foam coccyx wedge seat cushion. It comes in tan or navy .

One other option is the Fleece Coccyx Wedge Seat Cushion with Handle which I share on my desk chair with Buddy, the Siamese cat. (He sleeps there when I am at the office during the day.)

All three cushions are 3 inches thick. You may need two cushions to boost you high enough.

Please contact us if you have further questions.



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Monday, May 19, 2008

What Size Protect-A-Bed Fits a 105 cm x 200 cm Mattress?

Question about Protect-A-Bed mattress covers.

Hello, I am interested in this kind of products. My bed is 105 cm by 200 cm. Do you offer any solution for this size? And to what price?"

Answer: To answer your question, I first went to a website and converted the centimeters to inches. Your bed is 41.3 inches wide by 78.7 inches long. An twin extra long mattress is 38 Inches by 80 Inches by 12 Inches. If your mattress is not over 14 inches thick, this cover would fit. The waterproof protection would not cover the entire width of the mattress (short by 3.3 inches total or just over 1.5 inches on a side. The skirt on this bed stretches to fit over mattresses of various sizes so the cover would fit just fine.

To see the current price, please click through on the blue "twin extra long".

Thanks for your question. And for other customers in similar situations, please convert the centimeters to inches and then choose the size closest to the converted size in inches. If you have questions, please contact us prior to purchase.


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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Concern about Cats Getting Caught in Protect-A-Bed Mattress Covers

Question about the Queen Protect-A-Bed Waterproof Allergy Mattress Cover .

Q:"Your pad sounds like just what I need, but what is the "skirt" for? I have 13 cats and they would love to wiggle under something enticing like a skirt hanging down. Two of the cats were injured and are incontinent which is one reason I need a mattress cover. What is the purpose of the skirt? I bought a bed with drawers underneath it so that they could not get under the bed. Is there such a thing as a good quality cover like yours minus the skirt? Thank you, Ellen."

Answer: The skirt is the stretchable fabric that goes down the sides of the mattress and partially underneath like a fitted bottom sheet does. There is elastic around the fabric to keep the mattress cover taut on the bed. Once you have the bottom sheet on your bed, the cats should have no access whatsoever to the cover or the fitted part, the skirt. Without the side skirt, the cover would not stay in place on the bed.

I don't know of any other similar cover that is both water repellent and soft and comfortable to sleep on. The other ones are vinyl or that heavy flannel and vinyl that are cold in winter and hot in summer. These covers are cotton bonded to polyurethane and are quiet and don't get either hot or cold.

We do sell a total encasement cover that zippers, the AllerZip . The only drawback for you is that removing and reinstalling that cover would be more difficult for you. The Protect-A-Bed mattress covers are on all my mattresses at home. My one dog wet the bed a few times when I first got her. Plus I have grandkids who sometimes sleep very deeply and we all know what can happen then. Because the covers are not heavy, they machine wash and machine dry easily.

We appreciate your question and wish you well with your animals.



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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Buying Protect-A-Bed Covers

Q: "Hi, I am interested in a Protect-a-Bed queen mattress cover and two queen pillow protectors. Do you have a package price with shipping to Orlando, FL 32825? Also are these unopened in the original packaging from a smoke and pet free home? Thank you for your consideration. J."

Answer: J, Safe Home Products sells only new, unused Protect-A-Bed products. Our business is not home-based. Our offices and warehouse are located in Iowa City, Iowa. Our building is smoke-free and the warehouse is about 5 years old, dry and heated. We sell our mattress covers and pillow covers separately rather than in packages. However, shipping to your zip code is about $11 to $12 via United Parcel Service.

Please contact us if you have additional questions. We also sell EnviroSept whole house air filter panels that fit a standard one-inch HVAC slot, the SolAire air purifier with two UV bulbs or two combination UV and ozone bulbs and room air purifiers that might help your allergies.

Sincerely, Barbara

Comments: Protect-A-Bed mattress covers are available for crib, twin, extra long twin, full, queen, king and California king mattresses. Pillow protectors are available in standard, queen and king sizes. New additions to the Protect-A-Bed line are the Aller-Zip mattress encasement bed bug proof covers for almost every mattress size made. The Protect-A-Bed sleep surface material is 80% cotton, 20% polyester terry cloth, i.e. the soft terry cloth top has polyester loops laminated to 100% polyurethane film. Covers are waterproof, absorbent, breathable and cool to sleep on while offering dust mite protection and protection from allergies such as mold, feathers, etc.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Where Can You Use a Neck Support Cushion?

Q: "Will the CA-232 Auto Neck Support Cushion with Headrest Strap work on an office chair?"
Answer: You can use this neck cushion with any chair just by placing it behind your head. However, it works best when you use the support strap to keep it in place.
Customer Response: "Thank you for your very prompt reply. Now I shall go ahead and order the item."

Note: Since this was answered, we've added a memory foam neck support pillow covered in navy or tan velour with a two piece velcro connected adjustable headrest strap. This is great for those with neck problems who cannot fit their orthopedic pillow into their suitcase. Use this under your neck for support while you travel. The cushion our customer refers to is a white fleece polyester filled neck pillow.

Sincerely, Barbara


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