Department of Health
Garage sale season is underway in Iowa as shoppers seek bargains and sellers clear their clutter while collecting some cash. While garage and yard sales can be fun and profitable, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds both sellers and buyers to also keep them safe.
Buyers and sellers should be aware of potential safety issues with children’s toys and cribs. Make sure items are in good working order. Also, check the online database from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.saferproducts.gov to make sure these items have not been recalled due to safety issues. For example, some cribs with drop sides have been recalled because they can trap and injure children.
“Also, bed bugs have been making national headlines for months,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “Mattresses and sleeper sofas (that have been slept on) are two of the main places these bugs hide out. If buying used beds or mattresses, check them carefully for signs of bed bugs.”
Because of their small, flat bodies, bed bugs can hide in the cracks and crevices of mattresses, bedding, furniture, and draperies, and are difficult to spot without careful inspection. Small bloodstains from crushed bed bugs or dark brown spots from their droppings may be evident on mattresses. Because young bed bugs shed their skin several times, the “empty shells” may also be evident.
While bed bugs do not transmit disease, their bites cause large, itchy welts. Although infestations can be treated by pest control companies, it’s best to avoid selling or buying mattresses with signs of bed bugs.
Finally, some garage sales also feature food sales. Keep food safety in mind when buying or selling products. In general, remember to keep cold food cold and hot food hot to avoid foodborne illnesses.
For more food safety tips, visitwww.idph.state.ia.us/eh/food_safety.asp
Tama-Toledo City-Wide Garge Sales: April 29 & 30.
Listings, maps in The Tama News Herald, Toledo Chronicle, Tama County Shopper