Good preventive medicine – the practical steps one should take to avoid disease and injury – starts with maintaining a safe and healthy home for you and your family. Humans interact with the environment constantly; maintaining a healthy environment is central to maintaining and improving the quality of life. Your home should be a haven of comfort and safety. In this edition, we’ll share a few tips on what you can do to create or improve a healthy environment in your home.
1. Keep it Dry
Prevent water from entering your home through leaks in roofing systems during rainy season and check your interior plumbing for any leakage.
2. Keep it Clean
Control the source of dust and contaminants: Create smooth, cleanable surfaces, reduce clutter, and use effective wet-cleaning methods.
3. Keep it Safe
Store poisons out of the reach of children and label properly. Secure loose rugs and keep children’s play areas free from hard or sharp surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep fire extinguishers on hand.
4. Keep it Well-Ventilated
Ensure that the whole house is properly ventilated, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. Constant supply of fresh air will reduce the concentration of contaminants in the home.
5. Keep it Pest-free
All pests look for food, water and shelter. Seal cracks and openings throughout the house; store food in pest-resistant containers. If needed, use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers, along with pesticides.
6. Keep it Contaminant-Free
Reduce lead-related hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint, and keeping floors and window areas clean, using a wet-cleaning approach. Test your home for radon (a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces, and foundation cracks). Install a radon removal system if levels above the EPA action-level are detected.
7. Keep it Well-Maintained
Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely. Take care of minor repairs and problems before they become large repairs and problems.
8. Keep the Kitchen clean
The kitchen is a major area because practically, every surface is a magnet for bacteria, viruses, germs, roaches and pests. Keep all surfaces cleaned and sanitized after you cook. Keep a lid on possible roach infestation by washing dishes immediately after meals. Store food in tightly sealed containers and keep trash in a container with a top/cover on it. Also keep your sponge/dishtowel dry after use.