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, July 18, 2009

Locked Medready Timed Pill Dispensers for Hearing Impaired, Elderly or Complicated Drug Regimens

Question about the product HH-MR-1500FLLF MedReady Pill Dispenser With Flashing Light and Low Frequency Alarm.

Q: "My dad cannot hear higher frequencies of sound. He is getting forgetful and needs help remembering to take his pills three times each day. Is the MR-1500FLLF the best choice for him?" Thanks. David

Answer: Medready recognized the need for an automatic pill dispenser with dual reminders. So the 1500FLLF was created. The pitch of the alarm is at a lower frequency plus there is a flashing light reminder.

According to Mayo clinic websites, there now are hearing aids that can help those with high-frequency hearing loss. Those with high-frequency hearing loss have trouble hearing higher pitched voices such as women's and children's voices, and certain parts of speech, such as consonants.

Medready also offers these units:
  • HH-MR-P1500LF: MedReady Lower frequency alarm
  • HH-MR-P1550FLLF: MedReady Lower frequency alarm, flashing light and modem connection for remote monitoring.
  • HH-MR-P1500FL: MedReadyFlashing light alarm
  • MR-P1550FL: MedReady Automatic Pill Dispenser with Flashing Light and Modem Connection
  • HH-MR-P1500: Basic Medready unit with standard alarm at frequency of 2800-3000 Hz alarm.
  • HH-MR-P1550: Medready Basic Unit with Modem Connection
For those who live where AC power is 230VAC, Medready also offers units set for those power requirements. Medready offers a low cost monitoring service via computer link.

We do recommend an extra pill box insert if you or your pharmacy or home nursing service is filling the medications for your parent. Several state social services departments are utilizing the Medready units to help keep senior citizens healthy and to remain living in their homes as long as possible.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Relief Band Versus TransDerm Patch Scopolamine for Motion Sickness

Question about benefits of using a Relief Band Motion Sickness Nerve Stimulation Device instead of a Scopolamine patch for motion sickness.

Q: "I am going on a cruise and am concerned about getting motion sick. My physician suggested the Trans Derm Patch. You put that on behind an ear and it is supposed to work for 3 days without drowsiness. What are the pros and cons of a Reliefband compared to the patch?"Thanks. Sara

Answer: Both products are widely used. Personally, my experience with the Trans Derm patch back in the 1980's was mixed as I was not motion sick but my vision was blurred somewhat. I had followed the instructions about carefully applying the patch. Later I used the Reliefband while riding the Ferris wheel, the carousel and several wilder amusement park rides with absolutely no motion sickness. I've also used it for flu nausea, headache nausea and to help with vertigo symptoms. All uses were successful.

This is from the manufacturer's website about the Trans Derm Patch:

Trans Derm Patch Information:
  1. A prescription is needed.
  2. Cost: currently $20 to $25 each.
  3. Applied to bare skin behind either ear. (Alternate if used for more than 3 days.)
  4. Not for children under 18 years old
  5. Not for people who have or have had glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyeball), have difficulty urinating, or an allergy to the active ingredient, scopolamine or other belladonna alkaloids.
  6. Side Effects: Dryness of the mouth: in about two thirds of the people. A less frequent side effect is drowsiness, which occurs in less than one sixth of the people. Temporary blurring of vision and dilation (widening) of the pupils may occur, especially if the drug is on your hands and comes in contact with the eyes. On infrequent occasions, disorientation, memory disturbances, dizziness, restlessness, hallucinations, confusion, difficulty urinating, skin rashes or redness, temporary changes in heart rate such as palpitations, dry itchy, or reddened whites of the eyes, and eye pain have been reported. If these effects do occur, remove the patch and call your doctor. Since drowsiness, disorientation, and confusion may occur with the use of scopolamine, be careful driving or operating any dangerous machinery, especially when you first start using the drug system.
  7. Effective for about 3 days.
  8. When using this product, do not use alcohol, drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do things requiring alertness.
  9. If you are elderly, your physician should exercise care in prescribing the Transderm Scōp® patch.
  10. Keep the patch dry, if possible, to prevent it from falling off. Limited contact with water, however, as in bathing or swimming, will not affect the system. In the unlikely event that the patch falls off, throw it away and put a new one behind the other ear.
  11. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling the patch, so that any drug that might get on your hands will not come into contact with your eyes.
Relief Band Information:
  1. No prescription needed: FDA approved for over the counter use for nausea or motion sickness prevention.
  2. Current Cost: $130 to $160 each.
  3. Worn on the underside of either wrist (or both wrists if desired). Applies periodic gentle nerve stimulation at one of 5 levels you choose.
  4. Tested on children age 12 or older. Can be used on younger children
  5. No side effects except for those with nickel allergies.
  6. Requires use of an inexpensive conductive gel. (Costs $6 to $8 depending upon size and brand.)
  7. Uses two CR2025 lithium batteries which last about 144 hours on level 3 stimulation. (Cost about $3 each).
  8. No restrictions on alcohol use, no drowsiness, no dizziness, etc.
  9. Use as prevention or to stop motion sickness. Positive results in about 99% of those using it within 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. No restrictions for the elderly
  11. Can be reused over and over for years. Wear it for 15 minutes or 24/7.
  12. Splash resistant: not waterproof
  13. Adjustable to fit even the smallest wrists. Customers report using them on young children with great success. We've had customers report great success with motion sickness from vertigo and similar ailments.
  14. Wear on either wrist.
Thank you for your interesting question. Enjoy your trip. Do remember that if you choose to drink alcohol, operate a car, etc. we do recommend the Reliefband over the prescription product.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quickly Stop or Reduce Nausea from Vertigo or Motion Sickness

Question regarding using the ReliefBand Motion Sickness Device 2 Free Batteries for nausea from vertigo.

Q: "Recently, I began having attacks of vertigo. Some are mild, some are not. Along with that, I feel nausea, almost like mild morning sickness. Can the ReliefBand help?" Thanks. Fran

Answer: Nausea is nausea no matter what the cause. My employees and I have successfully used Reliefbands for nausea from flu, from migraines and also from vertigo. Recently, I've had to deal with those symptoms myself. According to internet sites, the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) usually last only a few seconds to a few minutes and are intermittent (i.e., come and go). Rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, swinging on a swing, etc. can also cause symptoms of lightheadedness and imbalance as well as nausea. Unfortunately, BPPV is more common as we grow older. ccording to the American Academy of Neurology, the most effective treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) caused by ear crystals in the posterior semicircular canal, are treatments where the patient moves head and body in certain positions. The idea is to move the calcium crystals into another inner ear canal where the body can absorb them.

We also sell conductive gel and conductive gel and extra batteries in separate packages. Remember the Reliefband if you get seasick or airsick, too.

Thank you for your question. Good luck. What was recommended for me was physical therapy which starts next week.

Sincerely, Barbara

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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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Recovery Time Between Alcohol Breath Tests on AlcoHawk Pro Model 11000?

Question about the AlcoHawk 11000 by Q3 Innovations.

Q: "What is the recovery time between tests with this product? How many
tests can be done in a five minute period?" Jason.

Answer: The answer is 4 tests in 5 minutes since we recommend waiting 1 minute between each test performed using the AlcoHAWK® unit. The AlcoHawk Pro or unit uses a semiconductor oxide sensor and meets DOT Standards as a breath alcohol screener. A single 9 volt battery can power about 300 tests.

Some AlcoHawk features:
  • Warm-Up Time: 20 Seconds
  • Blowing Time: 5 Seconds
  • Response Time: 3 Seconds
  • Digital Display: 3 Digits in numeric readout.
  • Operating Temperature: 10-40° C
  • Detection Range: 0.00 - 0.40% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration)
  • Air Sample: 5 Seconds
  • Sensor Accuracy: 0.01% at 0.10 % B.A.C.
  • Calibration: Required Periodically. (Send to manufacturer or to designated recalibration facility)

  • Thank you 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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    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Update Medical Scale from Balance Beam 'Pit' Scale to Electronic Digital Weight Scale

    Question about which electronic scale can replace an old medical weight scale in doctor's office.

    Q: "In our medical offices, we have ancient mechanical balance beam scales that are set into floor pits for our patient's convenience. Which digital electronic medical scales can easily replace them?" Thanks. Dr. Bill

    Answer: We suggest the 500 lb. capacityTBS series from Amcells/Scale Perfect. There is also a 750 lb. capacity scale with the same sized base. This line of electronic digital scales has easily read electronic displays on 40 inch high posts. The weighing scale platform dimensions are 14" x 12" x 3.5" high so this scale easily fits most existing pits.

    The Total Body Scale includes these features and more
  • Sensing Element: Single point precision load cell.
  • Platform: Heavy Gauge aluminum.
  • Display: Large (0.6" height) bright red LED 6 digit display.
  • Indicator: Rugged stainless steel.
  • Push button Zero with Automatic Zero Tracking.
  • Full range, separate LED Tare indicator.
  • Auto Power Off: 1 minute factory set.
  • Self-diagnostics at power up for circuitry and display segments.
  • Lb/Kg Conversion.
  • Leveling Feet: All four feet adjustable, bubble level built in.
  • High Accuracy: 0.1 lb or better; 5000 Counts
  • Readability:
    • TBS-250: +/- 0.05 lb/0.02 Kg
    • TBS-500: +/- 0.1 lb/0.05 Kg
    • TBS-750: +/- 0.15 lb/0.1 Kg
  • Power Supply: AC/DC Adaptor (included), optional rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries, or 6 AA dry cells (not included).
  • Net Weight: 17.2 lbs.
  • Limited one year manufacturer's warranty on instruments

  • We do suggest you measure the pit before your purchase. If the pit is too small and cannot be easily enlarged, we suggest you purchase either a larger based digital scale and add grab bars or a low profile larger based scale.

    Thanks for your question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Choosing a Bariatric Weighing Scale for an Office Weight Loss Program

    Question about the product, Amcells 500 lb. and Amcells 750 lb. weighing scales.

    Q: "My office is beginning a physical fitness/weight loss program. Several of our employees are significantly obese: my guess is over 400 lbs. We need a heavy duty scale for the office and one or two employees are wanting to purchase accurate scales for home use. What do you suggest? We don't need a scale with Body Mass Index or Body Fat Index." Thanks. Teresa.

    Answer: Currently, the most affordable bariatric weight scales are actually made in the USA by Scale Perfect, Amcells. These scales are truly sturdy, made for the long term. Several years ago a New York area hospital chain purchased several dozen of the Amcells 750 lb. capacity scales for use with high risk pregnancy patients. The TBS models can be countersunk into existing pits in medical offices that currently use the old fashioned Cardinal detector beam scales.

    Since then, Amcells introduced a new 1000 lb. capacity scale with a platform that is 24 inches long by 20 inches wide by 4 inches high. This scale weighs 32 pounds and is accurate to +/- 0.15 lb/0.1 Kg. Included is an RS-232 scoreboard function: can connect to a printer, remote read-out or a large score board. Use with a RS-232 to USB adapter if required. all computers have printer ports. There are also 750 lb. capacity scales and 500 lb. capacity scales with slightly smaller platforms that also include the RS-232 feature.

    These are some points to consider:
    • Cost: $500 to over $1200 plus shipping.
    • Maximum Capacity: 500 lbs, 450 lbs or more.
    • Post mounted read-out or remote read? This is a portability issue as well. The USA made Amcells scales weigh 25 pounds to about 35 pounds. The Seca 876 Flat Scale with a 550 lb. capacity that weighs about 8 lbs. The base is 12 inches by 12 inches by 2.3 inches with graduation of 0.2 lbs <>0.5 lb. The USA Made Befour PS-6600 scale has a 500 lb capacity, has Accuracy: +/-0.1 lb. (+/-0.1 kg.), a Platform Size: 18" x 16" x 1.5", a Scale Weight: 13 lbs.and a Readout Display: ¾" LED.
    • Will there be a permanent place for this scale to sit? Is this a private place so that only the nurse or weight counselor and the person being weighed can see the weight numbers? Is theft a concern for you? (Consider the weights and sizes for storage)'
    • Will you be connecting this scale to a computer for recording data? Then you need one with as RS-232 connection.
    • Weight accuracy. Amcells' Accuracy: 500 lb. capacity scale: +/- 0.1 lb/0.05 K,750 lb capacity scale: +/- 0.15 lb/0.1 K, 1000 lb. capacity scale: +/- 0.15 lb/0.1 Kg.
    • Minimum acceptable platform size. 13"(L) x 13"(W) x 2.25"(H) is the base of the least expensive Amcells scale. The problem with that size is that many larger people must spread their feet apart to balance. With a wider base, the scale itself is higher off the floor but the base allows for a foot spread.
    • Wall mounted grab bars or not? We sell these as well in several sizes. Sometimes heavier persons or the elderly need to grasp onto a grab bar as they get on or off a scale. We also sell scales with a built-in grab bar: however, these are much more expensive to purchase.
    So, to summarize you can choose from one of many bariatric medical scales by Amcells such as the 500 Lb Weight Watchers Scale Remote Read Scale or a variety of scales from Seca, Befour or other manufacturers.

    Thanks for your question and best of good health to all of you.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Which Personal or Pro Alcohol Breathalyzer Should I Buy? Am I Liable If Someone Drives Drunk?

    Question about alcohol blood level breathalyzers for personal use.

    Q: "I want to buy a personal alcohol blood level screening device for tailgate parties and home parties. I want to be able to serve alcoholic beverages and avoid problems with friends or family inadvertently driving under the influence. What units do you suggest? If someone "blows" a significant number on the breathalyzer and insists on driving, am I still liable?"-Tom

    Answer: Please consult an attorney or law enforcement person in your state about liability issues related to alcohol you furnish to adults. Remember, criminal charges are filed every day for adults serving alcohol to minors and incarceration is not unusual.

    The Alcohawk breathalyzer units we sell were originally developed after a University of Iowa law student interned with a DUI lawyer and realized that an affordable breathalyzer could help prevent persons from driving drunk. Do remember that alcohol levels can continue to rise even if the person blows a legal limit into an alcohol-screening device, eventually pushing alcohol levels over the legal limit. There are now some Alcohawk units that are DOD certified and used by law enforcement for helping to determine if a person is over the legal limit.

    Currently, there are three main types of Alcohawks:
    1. Alcohawk 1: a single test unit that uses crystals to indicate the Blood Alcohol Concentration. These are inexpensive: better to buy a reusable one if you plan to screen multiple persons. Currently about $5 each.
    2. Alcohawk Elite, Precision and Slim: portable, reusable, extra mouth pieces available (mouthpieces can be sanitized). Prices range from about $60 to $125 at this time. Some are DOT (Department of Transportation) Conforming.
    3. Alcohawk PT500 Professional: visual and auditory alerts. About $200.
    • Adjustable Blowing Time (Professional Kit Only): The AlcoHAWK PT500 is the first AlcoHAWK that allows to adjust the blowing time from 3 to 8 seconds. The blowing time may be adjusted for testing subjects with poor lung capacity, such as a smoker, or for testing subjects with a large lung capacity, such as a high-endurance runner. This makes the AlcoHAWK PT500 ideal for accurate and reliable testing of a variety of individuals.
    • Easy-to-Read LCD Display: The AlcoHAWK PT500 offers a large, easy-to-read LCD display to make the unit the most informative and understandable AlcoHAWK Series product on the market.
    • Pressure Scan Sensor: Ensures that the user blows with enough force to start a test and also ensures that they continue to blow through the unit throughout the entire test.
    • Sensor Recognition Technology: This DOT/NHTSA conforming Breath Alcohol Screener uses new PT Core â„¢ Fuel-cell Sensor Technology which enhances accuracy over the traditional semi-conductor sensors.
    • Warning Level Indicator: The AlcoHAWK PT500 features an audible and visual warning when a subject's BAC surpasses the adjustable BAC alarm point.
    How fast can someone metabolize alcohol and be safe to drive? When I was a certified addictions counselor working for the Department of the Army, the accepted criteria was that a healthy 150 pound man could usually metabolize one drink, defined as 12 ounces of beer, 6 ounces or wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits in about one hour. To be safe to drive, the recommendation was to wait one more hour. A woman's physiology differs: metabolism takes longer due to less water (more fatty tissue) in her body to "dilute" the alcoho: a 150 pound woman is more effected by even one drink. Whether you drink on an empty stomach or have eaten a full meal changes metabolism as well. Drinking and eating actually slows down the metabolism! And how healthy your liver is or is not is another variable.

    A wise host or hostess serves alcoholic beverages to adults in a manner that encourages prudent enjoyment of the beverages, perhaps cocktails, beer or wine with dinner and coffee or tea with dessert. Depending upon your group, having a breathalyzer on hand and "trying it out" may be quite acceptable. One customer last fall bought one for tailgating parties at the U. of Texas: his mature group of friends encouraged that action.

    The fear is that immature adults or teens might use the unit to see how high a number can be blown before the person passes out, etc. People do die from alcohol poisoning, i.e. when the breathing response is effected and/or the person goes into a coma-like state.

    Thank you for your questions. We hope this introduction to breathalyzers has been helpful.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Sunday, April 5, 2009

    Which Nebulizer: Ultrasonic Nebulizer, Compressor Nebulizer, AC or Battery?

    Question about how to choose a nebulizer.

    Q: " I am confused. There are so many different types of nebulizers and so many brands. How do I know which I need: an ultrasonic microair, a compressor, a battery powered unit, an AC unit, etc.? I have a Rx from my doctor as I have asthma. Thanks." Vance.

    Answer: With your Rx in hand, you are ready to buy, once you decide. (All nebulizers sold and shipped to USA addresses require a prescription from a physician or must be shipped to a medical or veterinary facility).

    Nebulizers vary by type and price. The jet nebulizers, also called piston or compressor, are available in tabletop models or handheld portable nebulizer models. The tabletop models are typically less expensive, noisier and bulkier than the ultrasonic unit. An adult mask and sometimes a pediatric mask usually come with the tabletop units. The microair or ultrasonic nebulizers rarely include masks, which are often available at extra charge. Ultrasonic are smaller, quieter and more expensive.

    There are many brands. Currently we sell Omron, Lumiscope, Mabis, John Bunn. Power is via rechargeable batteries, AA batteries, 120VAC/240VAC or 12V car cords. Weigh can be a few ounces to 3 to 5 pounds. Units can even resemble cows, penguins, race cars, trains, etc. Nebulizer accessories include disposable medication cups, mesh or foam filters, replacement nebulizer kits, battery packs, etc.

    Here are factors to consider:
    1. What Your Physician Recommends?
    2. Frequency of Use? Occasional, Daily, Multiple Times Each Day
    3. Need for Portable Unit? For Travel, Backpack for School Children, Etc.
    4. Need for Masks?
    5. Need for Use in Vehicles or Where Electricity is Not Available? 12Volt Adapter, Replaceable or Rechargeable Batteries?
    6. Storage? Do you have room for a larger unit?
    7. Type of Medication You Use? Need to Get Every Drop Inhaled?
    8. Time You Have to Spend for Treatments? 15 Minutes, 5 Minutes?
    9. Cost: Do you have insurance? What will they contribute?
    Compressor Nebulizers: Commonly larger, May or may not have one or two (adult and/or child masks) included. Treatment typically up to 15 minutes. Less expensive (under $100 except for compact portable units). Usually less prone to need repairs: sturdier, remains on a table or shelf, rarely transported or dismantled except for cleaning or storage. Noisier due to the compressor. AC powered. Uses compressed air to turn liquid medication into a mist. Not as efficient at nebulizing every last drop of medication. To make life more confusing, there are also portable compressor nebulizers that are quite small like the Mabis NebXP that operates on a rechargeable battery or AC.

    Ultrasonic or MicroAir Nebulizers: Smaller, handheld. (The Omon is the size of a puffer or inhaler). Often no masks included. More expensive, from $175 to more than $300. Easily fits in handbag, briefcase or backpack. More likely to be dropped accidentally. Quiet, sometimes almost silent. AC, disposable batteries, 12 volt adapter and/or rechargeable battery powered. Rechargeable battery power is limited to 2 or 3 treatments before recharge required. Ultrasonic vibrations turn the liquid medication into a mist. Ultrasonic nebulizers often require water to be added to the medication. Faster medication delivery and in smaller, more uniform sized particles. (A customer phoned to tell me his wife did not know he had begun and completed his treatment as the Omron unit was so quiet and the treatment was so fast!) Filters can be expensive but last much longer.

    Studies don't show much difference between the two varieties as far as effectiveness is concerned for treatment of respiratory problems.

    Thank you for your question. We recommend you enter "nebulizer" into the search on our website and examine the options before you buy. Most manuals are available on the individual nebulizer pages. Feel free to email us or phone if you need more information.


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    Pulse Oximeters for Oxygen Monitoring of Pilots, COPD Sufferers, Accident Victims, Etc.

    Question about the John Bunn DIGI O2 Finger Pulse Oximeter.

    Q: "I am a private pilot age 60 who flies an unpressurized airplane often above 6000 feet. Friends suggest that I get an oximeter so I know when I need supplemental oxygen. (I carry medical oxygen with me, mostly for passengers.) How does this unit work? I thought this was more for accident victims. Thanks." Steve.

    Answer: The DIGI O2 Finger Pulse Oximeter operates on 2 AAA batteries. The LED read-out is easily read in bright and dark lighting conditions. The read-out features a brightly lit LED read-out of oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse rate and perfusion index (or pulse strength). There are alarms both audible and visual for Low Battery, Low SpO2, High Pulse Rate and Low Pulse Rate. The pre-set Alarm Limits: Low SpO2, 90%, Low Pulse Rate: 50bpm andHigh Pulse Rate: 120bpm. Pulse oximeters are used widely in EMS, hospital and clinical settings as well as for home use and aviation.

    Oxygen levels can get low for many reasons. For pilots, that insidious killer, carbon monoxide can begin to effect a pilot or passengers at different rates depending upon age, health, etc. CO replaces oxygen in the blood. So checking with an oximeter may prevent catastrophe if someone in the plane complains of being sleepy, etc.

    Health problems such as respiratory or cardiac problems also interfere with oxygen absorption.

    For pilots who fly over 10,000 feet in unpressurized planes, a pulse oximeter is a must even if supplemental oxygen is being used. Remember as we age, our bodies react differently.

    Thank you for your question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    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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    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    How does Orthogel Cold Therapy Pain Relief Gel Work for Muscle and Arthritis Pain?

    Question about how Orthogel (topical analgesic) works for pain relief.

    Q: "I am curious about how or why Orthogel works. I don't like to be taking aspirin or ibuprofen for every muscle ache or back pain. And those pain relievers take a long time to work. I've read your descriptions and need more information. Have you used it yourself?" Thanks. Phyllis

    Answer: Orthogel is an FDA approved over the counter non steroidal product that is known as a counter irritant. The combination of the menthol and the camphor acts to stimulate nerve endings on the skin to cause a cold sensation. The ilex enhances this effect. The manufacturer recommends use twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. The coolness comes in 5 to 15 minutes for most people.

    Orthogel comes in a roll-on, a jar, pumps, tubes and bottles. I recommend caution that you keep fingers away from eyes after massaging or applying the gel as the menthol will sting your eyes. (I wipe my hands on a dry towel and then wash my hands thoroughly with soap and water after applying it.)

    Other similar products include Bengay and Biofreeze. I've used both. Bengay was strong in odor and greasy. Biofreeze sales appear limited to chiropractor offices, at least here in Iowa. I found that BioFreeze was more expensive, more intense in odor, "stickier" in texture and sold only in a roll-on. The Orthogel odor is low and diminishes quickly. The texture of the gel is smoother than BioFreeze and the light green color does not stain clothing.

    I discovered Orthogel several years ago in a local store when I was out of Biofreeze and had a persistent back and neck aches morning and night. Currently, I use it 2 to 12 times a week mostly on my arthritic ankle but sometimes on my back or across my neck and shoulders. The coolness starts in about 5 minutes for me and the pain vanishes for 4 to 6 hours or more. My belief is that part of the pain issue is that I tense up my muscles when the pain starts and with the Orthogel coolness, I relax them.

    My older brother uses Orthogel to cope with his chronic back pain from arthritis and a car accident. When I was home last, I noticed he massaged my mom's shoulders and upper back to relieve her pain as well. Sports trainers, physical therapists and massage therapists often use Orthogel in their practices.

    Safe Home Products sells Orthogel in sizes ranging from 3 ounces to a gallon. Orthogel also has Vitamin E, Glucosamine and Aloe to help combat dryness.

    Thanks for your question. I believe you'll find Orthogel as helpful as I do to relieve your pain. For more product information, go to the manual on any of our Orthogel webpages.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Using a Relief Band for Pregnancy Morning Sickness

    Question about the Product: Relief Band Explorer

    Q: "Can I use the Relief Band for nausea from pregnancy morning sickness? I understand that a unit called the ReliefBand OB used to be sold for that purpose. Thanks, Debbie."

    Answer: "At this time, the only Relief Band that is sold over the counter is the one that is FDA cleared for motion sickness. Until Relief Band manufacture was halted for about a year (until Neurowave Medical purchased manufacturing rights, etc.), Safe Home Products sold both the Reliefband Explorer and the Reliefband OB. Both were FDA cleared, one for motion sickness and the other for morning sickness nausea. When production resumed, only the Reliefband Explorer was FDA cleared and manufactured.

    The ReliefBand OB had explicit instructions such as to check with your physician if nausea was moderate to severe. Unfortunately, the OB unit is not currently available over the counter. The prescription ReliefBand unit is now available. We understand that unit is one notch stronger in nerve stimulation.

    Although Safe Home Products is permitted to sell the Relief Band Explorer for motion sickness nausea, we are not allowed to advertise nor sell this unit for pregnancy morning sickness use. Please contact your physician to discuss your morning sickness symptoms and whether using a prescription ReliefBand is advisable.

    Thanks for your question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Source of Steam for Mabis Steam Inhaler

    Question about the Product Code: =40-741-000 Steam Inhaler by Mabis Heathcare

    Q: "Does The Steam Inhaler Only Use Water As Its Source Of Steam Or Does Some Sort Of Medication Come With It?-Edward."

    Answer: No medication comes with the steam vaporizer which does use water as its source of steam. Taking a long steamy shower can have a similar benefit but is time consuming and uses a lot more water. Using the Mabis unit means you can relieve nasal and sinus congestion whenever you need it without using drugs or having to take time away from work or home tasks to shower. Plus you can control the droplet size and the amount of steam.

    There is an aromatherapy tank where you may add eucalyptus, lavender or your favorite scent. For aromatherapy, the steam inhaler unit does not have to be inhaled as the steam will disperse the scent into the room over the 6 to 9 minute steam time.

    This unit does not have a "dish" or depression at the top where you might put Vicks or a similar substance.

    As in any "vaporizer" or "steamer", using distilled water is the best choice to avoid clogging or mineral deposits.

    Thanks for your question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Effective Area for an EVA-DRY Dehumidifier

    Question about the MO-EDV500 EVA-DRY EDV500 Dehumidifier

    Question about the product: "How big of an area does the EVA-DRY EDV 500 work in"?

    Answer: It is difficult to be specific because of the many factors involved that can cause higher or lower humidity.

    Some variables include:
    • Location: Is this in Florida or Pennsylvania? Is this in a bathroom, basement or bedroom?
    • Season: Is it summer in Pennsylvania or winter?
    • How well sealed is the area? A safe or a closet with vented doors?
    This dehumidifier is made for small areas like a clothes closet, a gun safe, a small travel trailer, a boat or other small enclosed space. The Eva-Dry humidifier adsorbs about 10 ounces of moisture within 3 - 8 weeks depending on humidity level present. Once adsorbed, moisture cannot leak or spill. What adsorbs the moisture is a specially engineered crystallized silica gel that is odorless, non-toxic and completely safe.

    What is handy about this unit is that no power is needed during the adsorption of the moisture. When indicator crystals turn pink, flip out the plug and plug the dehumidifier unit into a power outlet in a well-ventilated area (bathroom with extraction fan, garage, outside, etc.). A built-in heater warms the crystals which expand and release the moisture as water vapor into the surrounding air. A renewal cycle takes about 12-14 hours. When completely renewed, the indicator crystals are blue. Replace in closet, drawer or vehicle and the unit is ready to adsorb another 10 ounces of moisture.

    If you have an electrical outlet and want more capacity, I suggest you purchase the Eva-Dry Petite Electric Dehumidifier. We have one running from April through October in our main office. It keeps the printer paper dry so we don't have paper jams. And the water collected keeps the plants watered. It is silent. The capacity is 2 cups and we empty it every other day.

    Thanks for your question.
    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Keep Mom from Overdosing on Medications

    Question about the Medready MR-1500 . Basic Locked Medication Dispenser with Timer and Battery Back-Up.

    Q: "My mom is 82 years old and sometimes forgets whether she'd taken her medications. Her medications are taken twice a day and are quite powerful so the results could be a disaster. The Medready MR-1500 seems the best choice since she has no significant hearing or vision problems. How would we set this up to dispense twice a day? And we also want a second pill tray so we can set up the medication for her every two weeks in advance. Thanks, Mitch."

    Answer: "After plugging in the battery and the AC power supply, unlock and remove the lid to set the time and alarms. Follow the directions to set time of day for the first and second alarms.Then set the length of time the alarm is to ring. The factory setting is 30 minutes but you can set the ring time from 3 minutes to 250 minutes.

    Place one of the enclosed cardboard medication discs over the clock face and load the medication as shown for two doses per day in a counterclockwise direction. Verify the alarm light(s) are on and replace the lid, AFTER sliding the white bar up and AFTER sliding the door closed. MedReady is now ready to keep Mom's medication safe and dispensed only twice a day.

    Thanks for your question. And the best to your mom and to you.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Sunday, August 3, 2008

    Which Pedometer Exports to a PC or Health Software?

    Question about the product Product Code: PE823 Oregon Scientific Pedometer with 7 Day Memory
    Q: "Does this pedometer export data to a PC or software that catalogs health information?" Thanks!

    Answer: No, the PE823 does not have that function. We are currently selling one pedometer that will export data, the HJ-720ITC.

    The Omron HJ-720ITC includes the Omron Health Management Software. Carry this digital pedometer in your pocket or clip to your belt. After exercise, connect the USB connection to your PC. Track days, weeks, months and years of exercise. This computer linkable pedometer measures steps, aerobic steps (10 minutes or more of continuous movement), calories and distance.

    Thanks for your question. We hope your exercise program is doing well.



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    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Which Blood Pressure Monitor for a Low Vision Person?

    Question about the product: Lumiscope 1100 Manual Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor.

    Q: "I am thinking about buying this unit for my mother who has low vision. So the display area has to be large. Can you tell me how large the numbers are on the display? Also the pumping bulb has to be easy to pump. Our doctor says the manual ones are most accurate."-LAURA

    Answer: The Lumiscope 1100 is a manual inflate blood pressure monitor with a digital read-out. This is called a semi-automatic blood pressure monitor because it requires inflation using a pump up bulb. Some people like being in control of the inflation level. The bulbs don't require a lot of force to inflate but have to be squeezed quickly many times to inflate above the person's anticipated blood pressure level. The bulbs last several years or more and then can be replaced for under $15 plus shipping.

    The newer blood pressure monitors made in the past 4 or 5 years all have features that limit the amount of inflation and/or learn how much inflation is needed based upon the last user's level.

    We do sell manual blood pressure monitors with or without attached stethoscopes. The manual blood pressure monitors used in physician's offices are professional models and are used by trained medical professionals. Taking your own blood pressure using a stethoscope and a manual blood pressure monitor takes practice and training. If you mom is well coordinated and has a teacher, she can learn to take blood pressure using a manual unit.

    Most manual units do not have large numbers on the display. If your mom has low vision, I suggest that you either choose a unit with a large display or choose one of the talking blood pressure monitors. The automatic units are quite accurate these days. If you use the monitor properly, which means the proper sized arm or wrist cuff and sitting in the proper position, the readings will be quite accurate.

    The Lumiscope 1145 automatic wrist blood pressure monitor and the Oregon Scientific BPW810 automatic wrist blood pressure monitor both feature multiple memories (60 per user or 120 total) and large numeric displays. If your physician wants a log of readings, your mom can display the readings along with the date and time when they were taken. Wrist units fit almost everyone unless they have a wrestler's size wrist or are extremely petite.

    The arm units all require that the arm be measured so that the proper arm cuff is ordered or that the person purchase a unit that either comes with several arm cuffs or has an arm cuff that fits small to large arms.

    So, please make sure you measure your mom's arm with a cloth or plastic tape measure before you purchase any arm blood pressure monitor. And do the same if her wrist is tiny or very large and you plan to buy a wrist cuff model.

    Hope this helps with your decision.


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    Saturday, May 31, 2008

    How accurate is the Alcohawk compared to what police use?

    Question about the product: Q3 Innovations AlcoHawk Slim Series
    Product Code: : Q3I-2500

    Q:"How accurate is this product compared to what a police officer would use?"-Francine.

    Answer: Every alcohol detector has a margin of error. The AlcoHAWK Slim is accurate to +/- .01 at the point of calibration. Each unit is checked prior to shipping and must meet this standard.

    In terms of our entire AlcoHAWK line, it's safe to say that the greater the price, the greater the accuracy and specificity. Our AlcoHawk line of breathalyzers are alcohol screeners. A screener is a unit that can screen individuals for the presence of alcohol. For the most part, police officers in the field use screeners to test drivers. In fact, several law enforcement officials are now using the AlcoHAWK as their preliminary screening device because the semiconductor technology is more affordable than fuel cell technology. Some police officers still use evidential units in the field that utilize fuel cell technolog that are accurate to +/- .005 at the point of calibration and can print these results.


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    Friday, February 29, 2008

    Standard and Athletic Modes in a Tanita Body Fat Scale?

    Q:"Regarding use of the Tanita TBF-410GS body composition scale: If I switch between "standard" and "athletic" modes when taking measurements, what changes will occur in the readout?"

    Answer: The standard adult and athletic modes refer to the person's degree of physical fitness. An athlete has more lean muscle mass and less fat than the average person. So when you change the modes, the standard adult who weighs the same as the athlete will show a significantly higher amount of body fat. Bioelectrical impedance increases with body fat. And that is how the Tanita scale measures body composition.

    The body fat composition scales by Tanita use leg to leg bioimpedance analysis. A barefoot person stands on two footpad electrodes on the scale platform. The body fat monitor/analyzer automatically measures weight and then impedance. Computer software (a microprocessor) imbedded in the scale uses the measured impedance, the subject's gender, height, fitness level, and in some cases age, (which have been preprogrammed), and the weight to determine body fat percentage based on equation formulas. Tanita's reference method is DEXA. Through multiple regression analysis, Tanita has derived standard formulas to determine body fat percentage. Tanita's equations are generalized for standard adults, athletes, and children.

    If you have additional questions, please contact us.


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    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    Which System Does the DuoCare Monitor Follow?

    Q: " I have a question about the Duo-care Blood Glucose and Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. Which standards like FDA, CE, etc. does it follow?"

    Answer: The Duo-Care is a combination wrist blood pressure monitor and blood glucose (blood sugar level) unit. The blood glucose tester portion follows ISO 15197:2003 standards for in vitro diagnostic test systems for blood glucose monit0ring for self-testing. Whole blood glucose results were comparable to YSI 2300 which is the standard. The blood pressure monitor is within limits of ANSI/AAMI SP10-1992. In order to use the blood glucose portion, Duo-Care test strips and calibration solution is needed. pe

    Many persons have both high blood pressure and diabetes so a multiple use unit like this is helpful especially when traveling.

    If you have additional questions, please contact us.


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    Friday, December 28, 2007

    Checking Ears with An Otoscope

    Q: "Is the red Piccolite Professional Otoscope Earscope a good product to check for ear infections in a 2 year old? Will we be able to see the ear drums clearly? Are the ear tips different sizes depending upon which one we buy?"

    Answer: All the piccolite otoscopes have the same sized of specula. Each otoscope has 20 disposable specula, ten of the 2.5mm and ten of the 4.0mm. The specula can be reused if you wipe them off with alcohol. These units have a halogen light which is very bright and a 3X pivoting magnifying lens. There are no instructions included as this is a professional type model.

    We sell a book called the "Ears Book" with photographs and information about ears, ear infections and how to do an examination at home. Unless a medical professional trains you, this book is needed. Also wax in the ear canals can block your view of the ear drum. Use a cleaner from the pharmacy or have a physician remove the wax.

    Or you can buy an economical home otoscope made by Notoco. One customer from Muscatine, Iowa who recently bought earscope bulbs from us shared that her unit was 10 years old. She tried looking with the doctor's halogen unit and saw more with the less bright bulb of her Notoco. The Earscope 1202 comes in a set with the "Ears Book" and three reusable specula or choose the professional unit, the 1205 with the book and get another specula. Both Notoco earscopes magnify the image 2.5 times. Please remember that the replacement bulbs we sell are tested to shine a straight beam.

    Another health product you should consider is the Earcheck, a device that uses sound waves bounced off the eardrum to indicate whether middle ear fluid is present.

    I hope this helps and your child has little need for any of these devices.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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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, August 1, 2005

    Can a Toddler use a Reliefband for Car Sickness?

    Question about the Product: Relief Band Explorer

    Q: " Is the Relief Band safe for toddlers? My 3 1/2 year old boy gets very car sick and I am looking for something that will help him."

    Answer: When the Relief Band was first marketed, there was a note that it was for use for children 10 and up. We cannot guarantee positive results. The variables are how large his wrist is and if he would be bothered by the sensations.

    Over the years, my employees have used it successfully on children aged 6 and there were no problems with the sensations. The wristband can be made very small. Due to sanitary reasons, this FDA cleared medical device is not returnable.

    My own Relief Band test was in July 2005. I took my niece and my grandson on rides at the carnival in my home town of Leechburg, PA. Sara and I rode the Scrambler and then Sara, Will and I rode the Ferris Wheel. And I had zero motion sickness. (I cannot even swing on a swing now without a Relief Band and the last time I road the Ferris Wheel without nausea was when I was in high school.)

    My employees and I have used the Relief Band for flu nausea, getting used to bi-focal lenses, migraine headache nausea, car sickness and sea sickness. Our success rate was 100% but the effectiveness varies from person to person.

    Thanks for your question.


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    Sunday, June 13, 2004

    Ordering the Correct Size of Blood Pressure Cuff

    Q: "What do I need to do to be sure that I order the correct cuff size for a digital BP unit? How do I know what the unit comes with and what would also be available for me to order? I don't mind purchasing another cuff for the unit, I just want to get the correct size, i.e. I would need a small adult cuff for my mom and a regular adult cuff for my dad -- or would a pediatric cuff work as a small cuff? I hope you can help with my questions. Thank you Philomena"

    Answer: Choosing a blood pressure monitor can be a daunting task. In fact I wrote a guide for choosing a blood pressure monitor due to all the customer questions we were being asked.

    Currently, we sell blood pressure monitors from Lumiscope, Omron, Hyundai, Mabis, LifeSource, Panasonic, Hyundai, MDF, Forecare and Oregon Scientific. Some manufacturers offer adjustable cuffs that a range of arm sizes from say 7.5 to 12.2 inches or from 9 inches to 17 inches. Others sell cuffs sized small (7 to 9 inches), medium or standard(9 to 13 inches), large (13 to 17 inches) or extra large (17 to 20 inches for professional Omron 907 units).

    My suggestion: read the guide and use a dressmaker's measuring tape to measure the arms of your mom and your dad. Each brand and model of blood pressure monitor gives the arm or wrist circumferences that unit's cuff will fit.

    Please contact us if you have more questions. Sincerely, Barbara

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