Just Another Night In The ICU...

Real Estate Technology with Home Value Leads

Children's Medical Center DallasI make it no secret to agents or clients that I have another job. I am in fact an ICU nurse at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. I just got home from the hospital, and have to share a few quick tips to home buyers and home owners about how to protect your family. I will do so by describing just another night in the ICU.

If You Have A Pool, Make Sure It Is Fenced And Locked!

Even in the dead of winter, children can wonder out the back door. It may be because they see a ball through the window or they want to go play with Sparky. Who knows what kids think, but they can - and do - wonder out in to the backyard. Pools are a nightmare waiting to happen for children. If you have a pool, make sure it is fenced so that even small kids can't get through the bars. Make sure they can't get the gate open by keeping it locked at all times. 

Don't think it is just pools where kids can drown though. Many children drown in bathtubs when their parents step out for just a minute to answer a phone or start dinner. Sometimes it is something as simple as a bucket of water, such as a rain water catcher that an infant or toddler tries to climb on to look into. A child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. 2 INCHES.

If You Have A Medicine Cabinet, Make Sure It Is Locked!

And of course for this to work, you have to actually keep your medicines in there. Children are creatures of imitation. They see mom and dad or grandma and grandpa taking little things out of those orange bottles all of the time. Just like they will stand next to you and pretend to cook, vacuum, or hammer in a nail, they will also imitate you by taking something out of those little orange bottles. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery... well in this case imitation can be deadly. Lock up your medicines, including "harmless" ones like Tylenol and Motrin. Even those can cause SERIOUS and deadly damage. 

If You Have Chemicals, Store Them In A Safe Place

Children's Medical Center Dallas

"Chemicals" may sound like something you might not have, but things like bleach, Drano, Windex and furniture polish are just as bad. How many of you store these things in a bottom cabinet or under the sink? A large portion of the population does. A cap full of bleach can tear away the lining of the stomach very quickly and cause irreversible damage or death. How many of you painters or BBQers keep a cup full of gasoline or fire starter on the ground? Store all of these things in a safe place. At least use a cabinet that is at least as high of the ground as your head. If not, put a lock on it and keep it locked up. 

Use Gates Next To Your Stairs

Those grand staircases leading up to your second level are gorgeous, but one wrong move by a toddler and it could be lights out permanently. Falls down stairs are one of the leading causes of accidental death among children. Get a gate for both the top AND THE BOTTOM of the stair case. Children don't realize there is a gate at the top when they are down stairs. They will start to climb the stairs up and can easily fall back down. 

Test Your Smoke Alarms At Least Twice A Year

Fires claim more than 3,000 lives a year. Most of these could be prevented by having working smoke alarms and an escape plan. Laws in most areas require that a smoke alarm be hardwired to electricity and can no longer be battery operated. If you have the battery kind still, it is well worth the investment to hire someone to hard wire it. Even the hard wired ones need to be tested at a minimum twice a year. The fire codes in many areas now state that you have to have 1 fire alarm outside of each bedroom and at least one on each level of the home. 

While you are at it, make sure to install at least one carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and can be deadly. And, it is generated from multiple pieces of equipment inside your home. 

Keep Your Guns Locked Up And Separated From Ammo

Without getting all political here, I will say that I am a staunch supporter of gun ownership. I own several myself. Each and every single one of my guns has a trigger lock on it and I store the ammo separate from the gun. Kids are curious creatures, and they will play with anything. It looks just like the one big brother has or the neighbor down the street. Kids of all ages have no idea how deadly these things are, and if they have access to your weapons, they (and you) are just asking for trouble.

If You Need A Break, Take A Break

You wouldn't believe the number of people who can snap when the pressure mounts. Sometimes, this is at the wrong time - like 3 in the morning when you haven't had any sleep in two days and the baby starts crying AGAIN!!!! If you need a break, take a break. A baby and a child are doing what comes natural to them. Don't take your frustrations, stress, and bad day out on them. If you feel yourself going over that ledge, take a step back and take a break. Take a walk, take a shower, TAKE A BREAK. What ever you take, don't take it out on them. 

Take A CPR Class

I suggest that EVERYONE go and take a CPR class. If you have children, parents, people that you care about (that should be most of you I would imagine), sign up to take a CPR class. They are really cheap and many places provide them for free. Contact your local fire department or health department to see if they have any information. Take your family members with you to the class. 

Sadly, these are all things that I have seen way more than I'd like and I would hate for ANY of you to experience any of these life-altering accidents. Your life, and theirs, can change in a heartbeat. Accidents can take the lives of loved ones, it can rip families apart, end marriages, and send you into an endless spiral of depression and guilt. Take the necessary precautions to prevent as many accidents as you can. In the end, kids will be kids, and you can't prepare for every scenario. But by taking some simple precautions, you can help to minimize the chance that a child of yours or of a loved one over to visit will be traumatized.

Finally, if you care about saving lives, please share this on Facebook, re-blog it here on Active Rain, tweet it on Twitter. If you can help to prevent one accident or one lost life, isn't it worth sharing? You could be someone's hero. Welcome to where I work. Welcome to just another night in the ICU... 

Posted by

Brian Rayl

Licensed Dallas Real Estate Agent 

Co-Founder of Home Value Leads

What is Home Value Leads?

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Comments (38)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Brian-I can only imagine what you see in the ICU.  As careful as we think we are... we can still never be too careful.  I'd like to add one thing... even if your child can swim like a fish, something can still happen.  Our good friend's daughter almost drowned when she and her friend were swimming underwater.  Thankfully her friend saw that she was at the bottom of the pool and all of the parents were outside as well.  No one should ever swim alone.   Excellent post Brian. 

Jan 26, 2013 10:30 AM
Carolyn Kolba
Serving Mentor, and all of Lake County, Ohio - Mentor, OH
Keller Williams Realty- Mentor, Ohio

Brian:  What a great post, and what a cool video.  Very well done.  About the video... Children's doesn't have any female docs ?  Perhaps the guy docs were posing for the video while the women docs and all the wonderful nursing staff were busy saving kids?  And, trust me, I know this for a fact.  The whole hospital would be totally lost if it wasn't for the nurses.  For them, going above and beyond is just how it's done.  Thank you for that.

Back to the post.  You have given some awesome suggestions.  Now all you have to do is figure out a way to get folks to actually ACT on them.  Thanks so much!

Jan 26, 2013 10:56 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Brian -- these are very important tips to make sure that our families and our children are safe...

Jan 26, 2013 11:32 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Brian, it's one of the most difficult job which most people do not even realize as they are always on the other side...it's always great to learn how we can avoid the trips to ICU...

Jan 26, 2013 01:10 PM
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

A moment's inattention can be all it takes for tragedy to strike. A scary thought for parents like myself. God bless you, can't imagine some of the stuff you must see.

Jan 26, 2013 01:16 PM
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads
Sarah and Les: You are welcome and thanks for the congrats. I also appreciate the reblog to help spread the word. Beth: You are welcome and thank you as well. Lea: If I can touch one life with this post, I would be thrilled. The more the merrier! Kevin: It is simple advice, but it is either a "cost" issue or a convenience issue why many don't actually do it. What is the convenience of a prolonged hospital stay or the cost of a funeral? Paula: Before I was an ICU nurse, I was an ER nurse. Before that, I spent 10 years as a paramedic running 9-1-1. There are a lot of things that I wish I could forget. Jim: Thank you very much for your compliment. Pamela: My point exactly. Wayne and Jean: You are welcome! Carla: Teaching kids to swim is important, but you still have to have a gate and a lock. Think about the child who falls in the pool during the dead of winter. They may go into shock immediately, regardless of how well they can swim. Jesse: You are welcome. Nan: Like Nike says... JUST DO IT! Kathy: That is a GREAT addition! No one should ever swim alone. And if you have a child swimming and you are sun bathing or what ever, stop doing what you are doing and WATCH them. Carolyn: There was a woman doctor in that video. Dr. Guilesarian (sp?) - She is a cardiac surgeon and heart transplant specialist. If you would like to see more, Children's Med Dallas was a series. Find it on YouTube and you can watch both seasons (with possibly a third coming this year). It shows Dr. Guilesarian doing a heart transplant in season 2. Joan: tips that I wish more people would follow. =) Praful: difficult but very fullfilling. Doug: It only takes a second.
Jan 26, 2013 01:57 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Brian - Wow!  Your list really makes a person think, especially as a parent.

Jan 26, 2013 02:20 PM
Christina Sanchez Hood
Palo Alto, CA
#SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living

Brian, wow!  The fact that you spend all of your time helping others is truly a noble life to live.  It is truly inspiring.  I think that your preventive suggestions are so important for people to know about.  Thanks for sharing these tips.

Jan 26, 2013 03:42 PM
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Christine: It is better to THINK about it now than CRY about it later.

Cristina: People ask my why I do real estate and don't just work at another hospital. Real estate gives me the ability to listen to people and help them when they are in need, just like the hospital does. The exception is that there is (usually) much less pain, heartache, and sadness in real estate. I love nursing and I love helping children who are critically ill or injured, and I won't be giving it up anytime soon.

Nursing brings me fullfillment and pride. Real estate brings me balance and happyness. My wife says that I became a whole new person (in a good way) when I started in real estate.

Jan 26, 2013 04:00 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Such common sense recommendations. Sad thing is many times an accident happens because just once the guard was let down.

Jan 26, 2013 10:13 PM
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
Real Estate | Done Differently

Such important information! It's certainly worth remembering  & writing again and again.

Jan 26, 2013 10:19 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Brian...when I was a kid (?), all those things you mentioned and more drew me right in. Kids don't reason, they explore and whatever they get into sometimes reveals itself when it is too late...good post

Jan 26, 2013 11:57 PM
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Gary: You can't be on guard 100% of the time, but you can do as much as possible to protect them when your guard drops for that split second. 


Vanessa: Absolutely. Feel free to reblog. =)


Richie: Exactly correct. Kids are adventerous and will get into all kinds of trouble that you can't even see as a possibility. 

Jan 27, 2013 12:17 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Came from the reblog. You got quite an occupation, and it adds to what you are saying, as you see things that we normally don't see.

Jan 27, 2013 12:19 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Great list.  Could also add - Don't let kids in the shopping cart w/out the seat belt on.  I saw a kid fall out when the parent turned around for a minute.  Could have been a bad head tramua injury. There is a reason for the seat belt/restraint in the shopping cart.

Jan 27, 2013 01:58 AM
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Excellent points on how to protect children from things that can be harmful in the household. 

Jan 27, 2013 04:14 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Great post and congratulations on the Feature.

Jan 27, 2013 10:34 AM
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Jon: Thanks for visiting. I love what I do and it allows me to connect at a deeper level to people. 

Mel: These were tips for the home, but that is a great tip for the grocery store. =)

Eileen: Thank you very much.

Michelle: Thank you! I was surprised this got featured myself.

Jan 28, 2013 12:55 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Brian,

Congratulations on the featured post..well deserved! Your post tells me loud and clear you love what you do and you make a difference!!

Jan 31, 2013 08:34 PM
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Thanks Dorie =)

Feb 01, 2013 12:56 PM