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Protect against falls in the home

Thousands of people die each year in their homes because of falls. Slipping on steps is the way most people are aware of, but there are other things to check. Throw rugs on wood and vinyl floors can be dangerous, especially if they are not rubber-backed. If the rubber on the back of throw rugs has deteriorated, sewing four rubber rings (from canning jars) to the four corners can help make them slip-proof _ or just replace them. It isn't worth the chance of falling and causing serious injuries.

Other frequent accidents involve tripping on children's toys, so teach your small children to keep them in a safe area, not in the middle of the floor or on the stairs.

Major accidents occur in the bathroom as a result of slipping in tubs or showers. Be extra cautious and rinse tubs and showers well, especially after using bath oil.

Keep a rubber mat down and be a little careful going in and out. A grab bar can be installed in the tub or shower, making it much safer. Grabbing onto a towel bar or soap dish can be dangerous since it can break away.

Don't run around wooden or vinyl floors with socks on. Always wear slippers, preferably rubber-soled.

Last but not least, wipe up all spills. They can really cause a nasty fall.

Bath item holder

Comment: I used to keep everything except my shampoo on the bathroom counter. Now I've found the perfect thing to hold all my bath items.

I picked up a three-tier wire basket and hung it on the ceiling next to the tub. It's perfect for holding conditioner, bath oil, shampoo, washcloths and extra soap.

All I do is reach over for anything I need without having to get out of the tub. _ Barbara Bremer, Mineola, N.Y.

Problem sheets

Question: What has happened to sheets? I have bought several sets, and after the first wash they have little balls or pills on them, and they feel terrible to sleep on.

I even tried to shave them off like you do to a sweater, and it helps but not much. It doesn't seem to make any difference as to brand or price.

Is it the percentage of polyester they put with the cotton or what? Would appreciate your checking into this problem. _ Mrs. D.W. Pool, Hawkins, Texas.

Answer: You may want to contact the manufacturer of the sheets. The pilling is due to defects in the milling.

Some readers had luck when they sent them back. They were sent a new set by the company.

If you still have the receipt, the store where you bought them may exchange them for a new set. It's certainly worth a try.

Feline hazards

Comment: My cat gave birth to kittens a month ago, and now they are getting into everything. Since they are so curious, I keep them closed in a room and am very careful not to have anything around that can hurt them.

Even though I removed what I thought was dangerous, I left an open jar on a table. Would you believe that one kitten got its head stuck inside it!

It was struggling to get out and seemed weak. After what seemed an eternity I was able to release its head from the jar. Your readers should know of the dangerous situations small kittens can get into. Their curiosity can kill them! _ Alice Clayton, Tampa.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279 or fax it to 512-HELOISE.