Overlooked Safety Traps Can Put Children at Risk

Each year in the U.S., more than 2,000 children under the age of 14 die as a result of a home injury, according to Safe Kids USA, a non-profit organization.

“Parents often underestimate their kids’ abilities and overestimate their intelligence,” says Chrissy Cianflone, Director of Program Operations at Safe Kids USA. “They think, my child’s too smart to do X and they often don’t realize how strong their kids are.”

There are so many things to think about as you safe-proof your home to protect small children that it’s easy to overlook important risks.

Most people are aware of common safety measures like covering your electrical outlets, keeping your child away from hot stoves, and watching them like a hawk as they bathe, but there are other dangers that don’t readily come to mind.

Cords from window treatments – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, one child a month between the ages of 7 months and 10 years dies from strangulation or is severely injured by near strangulation from the loose strings or cords on window blinds and shades. A window covering advertised as cord-less does not mean that it is truly cord-free.Kenney Manufacturing’s new Truly CordFreeTM Roman Shades use a twist wand to raise and lower the shade and inner mechanisms to eliminate all strings and cords.

Dressers and other tall furniture – Dressers are dangerous because they are heavy, not always well balanced and can be pulled over if a child tries to climb them. An unsteady toddler trying to climb doesn’t understand that a heavy object can topple.  Invest in brackets found at home improvement stores or baby stores like Babies R Us to anchor dressers, TVs, and wall units. Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers, and don’t keep remote controls or temptations like candy or toys on top of furniture.

Window screensNever rely on a window screen to keep children safe from an open window.  Screens are for keeping insects out, not for keeping kids in. Invest in heavier child-proof window screens, which cost under $30.  Don’t place furniture by a window, potentially creating a climbing opportunity and the associated risk.

Open medication containers – Be vigilant about your child’s safety away from home.  A risky situation can exist when a child visits a grandparents’ home where pills may be left within their reach. Vitamins and OTC medications can be extremely dangerous to children. Remind family members and caretakers to buy pill bottles with child safety caps and keep all medicines and pills out of your child’s reach, preferably locked up.

Under the kitchen sink – More than 100 children ages 14 and under die each year from unintentional poisoning, according to Safe Kids USA. In addition to household cleaning supplies, pesticides, cosmetics, art supplies, paint products and alcohol are dangerous to children. To avoid accidental poisoning, store these products up high in locked cabinets.  It is a good idea to install a safety latch to keep the doors to under the kitchen sink secured at all times.

Consider addressing these issues in your home as soon as you can to provide optimum safety for your children.

Thank you, Melissa Kay and Market Builders for this pertinent information.

Have you made any safety changes in your home lately?

More Childproofing Tips

In the December 09 issue of ParentLife, Christi McGuire provided some childproofing tips for Christmas. But there is even more you might not have thought of. Consider the following tips.

103_poinsettia.jpg

Poisonous Holiday Plants
Especially during this holiday season, keep the following list of plants out of reach of your baby.

  • Poinsettias — Poinsettias cause little reacion in most people; however, ingestion by small children may cause skin or smouth irritation, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Holly — Ingesting small amounts can cause mild stomach irritation and drowsiness; ingesting large amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and extreme drowsiness.
  • Mistletoe — Ingesting small amounts may cause mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Ingesting large plants may produce serious poisonings.
  • Amaryllis— This plant can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
  • Christmas trees (pine, fir, spruce) — Most Christmas trees are not poisonous, but sharp needles can cause skin irritation and bleeding or choking.
     

Poison Alert: Toothpaste

104_toothpaste.jpgLook closely at your toothpaste tube and you will see a warning label. Since 1997, the United States Food and Drug Administration has required a poison warning label on all fluoride toothpastes, which contain the active ingredient of Sodium Fluoride, a toxic poison. Although only 1 percent of the toothpaste contains this toxic ingredient, you need to call the poison control center if your baby ingests more than the tiny amount needed for brushing teeth. Toothpaste that is pink, sparkly, and tastes like bubble gum may be easily mistaken for candy, posing a poison hazard for your unsuspecting baby.

 

102_SocketLockit.jpg

Socket-Lockits™
Check out this stylish new way to keep your baby safe! Socket-Lockits help reduce electrical and choking hazards in your home. Their unique patent-pending design incorporates:

  • Self-locking barbs to prevent tiny fingers from pulling covers off
  • A convenient pressure-button release to make removal easy for adults
  • A variety of designs printed with non-toxic ink to match any décor

Visit www.socketlockits.com for more information and to order!

Do you have other childproofing tips related to the Christmas? Share your tips with other ParentLife readers by leaving a comment!