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Mom protecting child from hidden home hazards

Protect Kids from Hidden Hazards in Your Home

keep little ones safer with these expert tips

You put the safety gate around the stairs. Every time you give your child a bath, you double- and triple-check the water temperature. You’re doing everything you can to keep your kiddo safe … right? As it turns out, there may be hazards hidden throughout your home.

We talked to an injury prevention expert at Children’s Health and got her advice about potential dangers you may have overlooked.

Window falls

Marisa Abbe, Ph.D., CPSTI (a child passenger safety credential)—manager of injury prevention at Children’s Health—points out that window screens are meant to keep bugs outside; they’re not designed to stop children from falling out. “If you have a window on the second floor or higher, be sure to use window locks or guards to prevent the window from opening too much,” says Abbe.

Dog bites

Your pup is a member of your family, so you may not give much thought to the potential for bites. But “dog bites are fairly common,” notes Abbe. “Teach children, especially young children, how to approach dogs. Never bother them when they’re eating, don’t pull their tails and know how to read ‘doggie language.’” (Editor’s note: For more info on introducing a pet to your baby, click here.)

Vitamin and cosmetics poisoning

“I hope it’s common to lock away medication and cleaning supplies, and keep them out of reach of young children,” says Abbe, “but vitamins and cosmetics are also a source of unintentional poisoning.” Put these items up and never play with them.

One more tip—don’t call vitamins or medicine “candy.” Kids might think it’s OK to consume more than recommended when they’re not under your watchful eye.

TV and furniture tip overs

If you have a kid, you probably also have a climber. Children get curious about items on top of, say, your dresser (especially if you keep a remote control up there or put a toy in that spot). “Unfortunately, if a child climbs up on furniture, they may pull the dresser over on top of them as well as any heavy objects, such as a TV,” explains Abbe. “The easy fix to prevent these injuries is anchoring furniture to the wall.” You can get the necessary equipment at any hardware store.

And if you’re transitioning from an older-style TV to a flat screen, Abbe says both the new and old TVs should be set on lower furniture during the transition process, and the furniture should be anchored.

For more practical tips about your kids’ well-being, check out the Children’s Health website—where you’ll find advice on everything from “Should I let my child have a playdate during COVID-19?” to “How athletes can safely return to sports after social distancing.”

Image courtesy of iStock.