Are you aware of these hazards - found in every home?
Every parent (& pediatrician) wants to keep kids safe at home. Of course you lock up poisons, secure stairs & wall outlets and install smoke detectors.
There are areas you might not have thought about as hazards, however. Some everyday things are easy to overlook - so I have a list of ten hazards you may not be aware of.
My Top 10 Hidden Household Hazards
1. Your dishwasher
Every day you fill it with knives and breakable glass. An inquisitive toddler can quickly grab a knife or shatter a glass - even if you are close by. Keep your toddler out by closing the door - or preventing your toddler from entering the kitchen when you load or unload.
2. Trash bins & bags
These can get wrapped a child’s neck or face. Children may use them as a "super hero cape" or just pull them over their heads. Keep them locked up.
3. Colorful cleaners & bathroom items
Bright colors may look like juice or soda to a non-reading child. Mouthwash, nail polish remover or liquid soap may look like a tasty drink. Keep these items locked up - and away from the reach of preschoolers.
Be sure you have the number of poison control in your phone or in reach. 800-222-1222.
4. Laundry and dishwashing pods
These small plastic pods are convenient when doing the laundry or dishes. Young children often explore and learn by touch and may place these in their mouths. These pods are made to dissolve when wet - and the liquid detergent may leak out in a child's mouth.
5. Heavy furniture
Safe Kids Worldwide reports that over the past 10 years, a child visited the emergency room every 45 minutes because of a TV tipping over.
Small climbers can pull heavy furniture over on top of them. Trying to reach items on shelves or the top of furniture prompts children to climb. Bolt heavy furniture to the wall.
A surprising number of teenagers are injured in falls as well. Climbing and stunting replace heavy furniture as a hazard in this age group.
6. Window cords
Move furniture away from windows. Cords may wrap around a child’s throat. Keep them pinned up – or use non-corded coverings.
7. Window screens
A window screen cannot keep a child from falling. Windows above the first floor need locks or bars. Be sure to include an emergency release device in case of fire.
8. Hot water
Most hot water heaters are set at 170 degrees fahrenheit. That temperature can scald in seconds. Reduce the heat to 120. Get a bath thermometer for young kids – and set it for no warmer than 100 degrees.
9. Power strips and extension cords
You probably have your wall outlets covered – but, what about outlets on power strips and extension cords? Place outlet strips out of the reach of children - or use a power strip safety cover to prevent children from touching the outlet.
10. Your purse
What is in your purse – medications, cosmetics, sharp objects? A purse is an attractive adventure for an inquisitive toddler. Keep your purse locked or out of reach. Visitors and overnight guests should keep purses, medications and cosmetics out of reach as well.
Take a house safety tour
Preventable injuries send millions of kids to the hospital each year and remain the leading cause of death for children under 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Walk through your house - room by room - and look at things from a toddler's point of view.
Children are ingenious! Thanks for letting me help keep your precious little ones safe!