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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Childproofing Home..
 


Child Proofing Your Home

Child Safety... advice from a grandparent...

It is important to keep potentially poison items out of the reach of small children. Read labels on cleaning items and move items that say, "Keep out of the reach of children" to a high cabinet. This will include everything under your kitchen sink except the feather duster.

Child safety latches may be installed on cabinet doors. If you are clumsy with a screwdriver, the child may offer to assist you. Do NOT accept this offer. Make a mental note to put child safety latches on the drawer where you keep the screwdrivers to prevent the child from removing the latches later.

Doorknob covers make it difficult for the child to turn knobs to potentially hazardous places, such as an attached garage. Be sure to carefully read instructions on how to operate these before installing, or you may never see your car again.

Electrical outlets are a potential source of danger and may be easily covered with inexpensive plugs designed for this purpose. Small items, such as a hair pin, inserted into an outlet can create dangerous electric shock. Be sure that the child knows CPR if you decide to test this out for yourself.

Common houseplants, such as philodendron, are poisonous and are a source of danger if ingested. Place plants out of the child’s reach. Plants will quickly die from lack of sunlight when moved and no longer be a problem. Chances are you’ve given up on decorating your home anyhow.

Medicine and prescription drugs should be moved to a high shelf or cabinet. Child "resistant" caps are not child "proof" – only grandparent proof (but that’s another story). Never let children play with empty medicine containers, as this is how they practice. Also, never let them play with combination locks. Same reason.

Set your water heater to 120 degrees to prevent accidental scalding. Use your bifocal glasses when resetting the appliance. Always test bath water with your elbow before putting a child in the water. Knowing first aid for scalded elbows may prove helpful if you failed to use your eyeglasses as instructed.

Use safety gates to keep children off stairs. Do not attempt to climb over the gate when you are in a hurry. Broken legs take a long time to mend. NOTE: Toddlers can easily be taught to fetch crutches, if necessary.

Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. If you forget where you put them, the child can always point to where they are kept. The child can also point to many other secret things that you think the child doesn’t know about.

Check your smoke detector and fire extinguisher and be sure they are in working order. If you do not know how to operate a fire extinguisher, ask any 2-year-old. If unable to escape the home in an emergency, go to the child’s room, which should be clearly marked with a tot finder fire rescue decal in the window.

Remember that no home can be made entirely child proof and children should always be supervised to prevent accidental injury. Keep emergency numbers posted close to the phone. 

Be especially careful when climbing on stools, ladders or the top of the refrigerator to reach stuff on high shelves and cabinets. Falls are the number one accident at home for grandparents.. 


Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss
 
 



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