4 Ways to Your Family's Safety This Fall

As we wave goodbye to the final days of summer and start warming up to the idea of shorter nights, changing leaves and upcoming holidays, there are some things to keep in mind as we make the transition from summer to fall. Unlike the chemical reactions that cause the gorgeous shades of reds and oranges in the changing leaves, there are some chemicals that may be more present throughout your household that don't produce such appealing results. So, before you grab your pumpkin spice latte and cozy up with a blanket, check out the following list to make sure your family is prepared for a safe change of seasons.

1. Bonfires

The weather is getting cooler, and a bonfire is the perfect thing to get you warmed up so you can still gather outdoors. Although people have bonfires all summer, in the fall new problems arise when people start cleaning up their camps, backyards, etc. and start tossing the waste into their fire pits. It may seem obvious to some but do not burn any paint or aerosols, these products can give off toxic fumes and have flammable ingredients and some can even explode. A less obvious issue that also creates toxic fumes is tossing in old cardboard or packaging, or old wood that is stained, painted or pressure treated. If you aren't sure – don't burn it!

2. Carbon Monoxide (CO)

As the weather continues to get even colder people will start heating up their homes. Whether with a gas furnace, fireplace, wood stove, hot water heater or other type of heat source, it is important to be proactive regarding Carbon Monoxide. It is known as the "silent-killer" as it does not produce any smell, taste or colour. Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels. According to the Canada Safety Council "a carbon monoxide detector is the best way to protect you and your family from this potentially deadly threat. Install CO alarms where they can be easily heard, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home." Source

Now that kids will be spending more time indoors...

...it is important to ensure that what they are playing with is safe. Items that we may not worry about as adults can be quite toxic to both ourselves and children. It is often more worrisome for children as they are known to cover themselves head-to-toe in messes, as well as put items in their mouth, ears and even up their nose.

3. Art Supplies

Many art supplies contain toxic chemicals, like formaldehyde, solvents, lead and xylene. It is important to monitor the products you and your children may be using. It is best to always avoid having food and beverages around your art supplies and to always wash your hands prior to and preceding use. Some art supplies may require the use of gloves or other PPE. It is always smart to check the label first! Thankfully, there are many non-toxic products available now that can bring you some peace of mind while your kids express their creative side. Source

4. Lithium Batteries ('Button' Batteries)

These tiny batteries are found in more household items than one may expect. With kids playing inside with their toys more often during colder months, it is more likely they may come across one, and because of their small round presentation, they almost look like a candy. These batteries can cause serious health complications, even death. Once swallowed it may not be obvious right away, but serious, possibly fatal results can occur within as little as two hours. If swallowed, possible side effects include sore throat, trouble swallowing, coughing, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain and more. The safest option is to avoid buying items containing button batteries all together, however the more realistic option is ensuring these products are up and away from where a child can find them. Products that often contain button batteries include remote controls, laser pointers, light-up/flashing jewelry, key chain accessories, children's books and more. Source

Of course, we still must be mindful of the other hazards we face on a regular basis, but these safety tips are a good start for your fall season.

For more information on the list above or if you have any questions, contact us!