Hidden Safety Hazards in Your Home

Chances are, outside the home you take extensive measures to ensure safety. Whether your child is at school, camp, a friend’s house, or other activities, you are fully aware of safety hazards and take precautions to prevent accidents.

9 out of 10 poison incidents involving children happen in the home

Home should be a safe haven, but did you know there are even safety hazards hidden in your own house?

Even in the safest of homes, children can be at risk of poisoning, strangulation, furniture tip-over,drowning, and falling from windows. However, it’s not as bleak as it sounds. By locating the hazards and taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure your children’s safety anywhere in the home.

Did you know that 9 out of 10 poison incidents involving children happen in the home? Luckily, unintentional poisoning is easily preventable. To reduce the risk of unintentional poisoning, you have to think beyond medicine and kitchen cabinets. For instance, products containing coin-sized batteries, single-use laundry packets and appliances that emit carbon monoxide such as generators and furnaces, all pose a potential threat of unintentional poisoning.

Keep these items locked away or out of reach from small children, and always use and re-seal child safety caps on medications. Keep the Poison Help hotline on hand just in case.

1 child dies every 2 weeks from furniture tip-over. Furniture tip-over usually occurs when a child climbs an item of furniture, or is playing nearby and hits or kicks the furniture. Death from furniture tip-over most commonly occurs in children ages 3 to 5, and ages 1 to 2. Still, any child from infancy to age 9 could be at risk of injury from an item of furniture tipping over.

You can prevent this by simply purchasing and installing low-cost anchoring devices that prevent TV’s, dressers, bookcases, and other appliances from tipping over. Place all televisions on a low, sturdy base and push the tv back as far as possible if anchoring is not possible. Furniture can also pose a threat in a different way; each month nearly one child dies and another is injured by strangulation from a window covering cord. Many window coverings have been recalled for this reason. If you have young children, use shades and blinds without cords.

If you are unable to afford a new cordless window covering, you can contact the Window Covering Safety Council at www.windowcoverings.com for a free repair kit.

Windows in the home can also be dangerous, because small children may fall out. Never depend on a screen to keep a child from falling out.

When possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom, and keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows. You may also consider installing window guards that prevent the window from opening more than 4 inches. These guards are easily operable by adults and older children for escape in case of a fire.

Lastly, you will want to be aware of drowning hazards in the home. Children can die quickly and silently in a bathtub and other containers. To prevent drowning, always cover or close washing machines, hot tubs, or in-home spas when not in use. Water should always be emptied from sinks, coolers, and other containers when not in use, and young children need to always be supervised in the bathroom. Though there are various threats in the home, they are easily controlled and neutralized. By simply applying a few prevention tactics, you can rest easy knowing your child is safe in your home.


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