Did you know that June is National Safety Month? One of the 2019 topics declared by the National Safety Council is hazard recognition. It is easy to believe that your child is safest when they are at home. Although it is true that your home is a safe and risk free environment for your child, there are still some hazards in the home that may slip your mind. Here are some of the most common hidden home hazards to watch out for:
Without fully realizing it, magnets may be more common in your household than you think. Magnets are commonly found in toys and household items. If a child swallows a magnet, they are at serious risk for injury, or even death. Magnets can attract inside the body causing a twist or tear in the intestines. If you believe your child has swallowed a magnet, you must seek medical care immediately.
Similar to magnets, button batteries are a common household item. These batteries are usually found in smaller devices, such as calculators, remotes, key fobs, and even some toys. If swallowed, button batteries can get stuck in the throat or GI track, leak chemicals, eat through the stomach or intestines, and can cause infection or even death.
Recalled products pose a hazard, not only for your child, but for you as well. Many toys, appliances, and various household products get recalled due to defects. You can sign up to be notified about certain product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They also have an app you can download on your mobile device, so that you can research product recalls faster and more efficiently. Other notable websites concerning product recalls include recalls.gov and nhtsa.gov.
Windows can be very dangerous for children for multiple reasons. Aside from falls, the cords on blinds also create a huge hazard for strangulation. It’s important to never place a crib, child’s bed, or playpen near a window. To prevent falls, install window guards, and to prevent possible strangulation, use cordless blinds.
Heavy furniture, such as dressers or entertainment stands, along with large appliances, such as TV’s, are one of the greatest home hazards for children. In fact, 91% of tip over fatalities occur in the home. Tip over accidents can be prevented when you take the correct safety precautions. Furniture is typically now sold with anti-tip devices, so that the item can be easily mounted to the wall. This way if a child climbs on the furniture, the risk of tip over is avoided. For more on reducing the danger of tip over accidents, we encourage you to read here.
Common products, such as laundry and dish detergent, hand sanitizer, medication, etc. can be especially harmful to children if they get their hands on them. Although most of these products are child-resistant, that does not mean they are child proof. It’s important to keep all of these products stored up, away, and out of sight.