Home is where your heart is, especially when your kids are there. The home is a family’s sanctuary, however there are common hazards for young kids that as a parent you may not even think of as hazards until it’s too late. Even though parents may do their best to childproof their homes as soon as their infants begin to crawl, chances are they are not thinking of the potential everyday hazards that children may need to be protected from. Lack of knowledge or education is the reason for many injuries.
When parents think of common hazards at home, they think of electrical outlets, stairways, medicines and cleaners, and fireplace edges. Therefore, they will get coverings for outlets when their little ones are starting to crawl and explore, they will get locks for cupboards under the sink or elsewhere, and get a cushion to put around the fireplace, as well as baby gates.
Unfortunately, there are many other common hazards at home that most parents are not aware of that have been responsible for the deaths of many children each year. Listed below are the hidden dangers for kids at home:
Small Coin-Style Batteries
Many toy manufacturing companies have been using small coin-style batteries for toys to “come alive” for kids. Unfortunately, once these toys are taken apart which is a hazard in itself, the battery can fall out, and if ingested it can cause alkaline poisoning which breaks down the acids inside their stomach and can become deadly.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these tragic deaths from happening. All you have to do is take some steps to make sure our kids are safe. These steps are:
- Recognizing electronic devices that use coin-style batteries. Make sure they are kept out of reach of children unless an adult is around. Some of the most common devices that use these batteries are watches, remote controls, digital scales, thermometers, light up buttons, calculators, singing greeting cards and of course toys.
- Be sure to use thick tape to cover up battery areas where coin-batteries are inserted. Children cannot rip thick tape as long as it is new.
- Only purchase toys that have a coin-battery slot that is protected by screws to hold the casing in place. This way, again this method will keep a tragedy at bay.
- Always keep loose batteries locked away or get rid of them safely. Be sure to throw away the battery somewhere that is not accessible to your kids since it can be thrown in the normal trash.
- Never store used batteries together. This hazard is different but old batteries may have a small charge left and could connect with other batteries which can cause a fire!
Let’s talk about the next common hidden hazard which have to do with your windows.
When you are installing window blinds that have cords which can dangle, be mindful because that dangling window cords are one of many common hazards at home for kids. In fact, blinds can be installed with a cordless option and that is highly recommended if you have little children in your home whether you are a parent or a grandparent. Cordless window blinds are operated with a gentle pull or push on the bottom rail to position the shade to any height.
However, if you end up getting a blind with cords, there are steps to make it safe for your kids:
- Always maintain dangling cords. If cords are free hanging that is where the danger lies because it can go around your child’s neck! You can purchase a cord keeper or other safeguards.
- Don’t put the crib or bed near the window! In fact, don’t allow any cords to be free hanging in your child’s room by using the tip mentioned above. Also, keep cribs, changing tables, chairs, and beds away from the blinds.
Now that you are aware how dangerous cords are, there is another common hidden danger in homes that many parents don’t know about and it is also usually in your kitchen. But this hazard is not a utensil.
Small magnets are choking hazards for kids so you will want to remove any small magnets from your child’s room. Be sure to keep refrigerator magnets out of the reach of children, including alphabet and number magnets. When the kids are playing with those, be sure to supervise the so the magnets are not pulled apart from the plastic coverings.
If you need magnets on the fridge you can use the flat magnetic strip-style magnets because they are weak and cannot be swallowed or ingested. Be sure to keep high powered magnets out of reach and sight as they are extremely dangerous!
Also, bathtubs, toilets, and buckets are drowning hazards but most parents are aware of that and will keep bathroom doors locked when it comes to children crawling or walking that are not ready to be toilet trained. Pencils and pens, and obviously kitchen utensils are as well but most parents also know this and keep locks on drawers due to this.
However, many parents don’t realize how dangerous small batteries, magnets and window cords are as they are common hazards at home with kids and have been sadly responsible for many deaths in the past. Now parents know this fact, and knowledge is always powerful!