Time Change Provides Perfect Opportunity to Assess Home Safety

We know, the dreaded time change is coming to take away your sleep. It isn't something most people look forward to. But, it brings more daylight and also an opportunity to assess home safety. Not only is it important to let your body adjust to the time change this March, but it is also a great time to check and prepare all of your home safety precautions.

The change in time that accompanies Daylight Saving Time can take a toll on some individuals. This year, the time change happens at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12. After springing clocks forward and losing an hour of sleep, one might experience tiredness, sluggishness or an overall lack of energy.

“Losing an hour of sleep does actually have an impact on the body and our internal clocks. It can take some people a couple of days to adjust,” said Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, chief physician executive of the Eskenazi Health Center Primary Care - Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. “The best thing to do is take it easy for a few days, get plenty of sleep and try to stick to a routine.”

While your body adjusts and you take the time to set all of your clocks forward an hour, doctors say it is also a great time to check safety equipment around the house, making sure everything is working properly and is up to code. For instance, be sure to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If you have had your smoke detector longer than 10 years, it should be replaced. You should also replace your carbon monoxide detector if you have had it longer than five years.

Doctors also recommend that if you do not already have a home disaster kit, take this opportunity to make one. Keep some extra water, food, flashlights and blankets in the kit in case of an emergency. Once the kit has been created, you can use Daylight Saving Time as an opportunity to do a check up on the kit each year to make sure your batteries and bulbs still work.

In addition, doctors say to go through all of your medications. If you have any that have expired, they could be harmful to your health if consumed and should be discarded and replaced.

“Look at it as a chance to reassess and make sure you don’t have old medications lying around. It is easy to forget about something that has been in your medicine cabinet for many months, and the time change offers the chance to clean it out,” Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber said.

Finally, check around your house and outdoor storage areas for any hazardous materials, such as bleach, batteries, pesticides and oils. Properly discard anything that is out of date, damaged or that you no longer use. It is also important to keep those materials where children and pets are not able to reach them.

For more information on the services Eskenazi Health provides or to find a primary care physician, please call 880.8687.