When you found out you were pregnant you probably did what most of us do. You covered all electrical outlets, you put baby locks on cabinets. You moved all your cleaners out of reach.
You probably thought you had it covered. And for the most part – you probably did.
But, there are some hidden household dangers that lurk in all our homes. Some of which were only discovered after a tragedy or a recall. If you would like to join me in my paranoia – Let’s get started:
1. CINNAMON, YES, CINNAMON
Perhaps the dangers of cinnamon came to everyone’s attention after the cinnamon challenge on YouTube became all the craze. This challenge, popular with teens, requires you to eat a spoonful of cinnamon without water. Unfortunately this has caused an influx of emergency room visits.
You see, cinnamon is made primarily out of cellulose and cellulose doesn’t break down easily. This can cause people to choke, have an asthma attack or suffer lung damage.
Not all victims are teens. Little people are at risk too. They love to grab everything and anything to stuff into their mouths. Unfortunately when a young child puts a mouthful of cinnamon in their mouth it can be lethal.
Safety tip: Keep cinnamon and other power spices out of reach of children.
2. WASHER AND DRYER
Every year more than 2,000 kids are hurt due to washer and dryer injuries. Children climb on top of them and fall in or fall off.
With the influx of front loading washers, new hazards have cropped up over the last ten years. With easy access and controls easily accessible for little hands – a game of hide and seek can quickly turn deadly.
In the last few years front loading washers have been designed with more safety features, but if you have an older model you might want to install a safety feature.
Safety tip: Keep washer and dryers closed to reduce the likelihood your child will want to play in there. If you have a front load washer – make sure it has child safety features in place.
3. LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT PACKETS
We want things of convenience. If a product can save us five minutes – most of us are all in. But, the invention of the single load detergent packet has some major downfalls.
Not only are we liking them, but so are the kids. According to the American Association of Poison Control (AAPC) they received 12,594 reports of exposure to highly concentrated packets of laundry detergent by children ages 5 and younger in 2015. 2016 isn’t off to a good start either – with 2,840 calls to Poison Control in just these first three months.
Calls to Poison Control regarding detergents are nothing new. But, Poison Control is reporting that these highly concentrated detergent packets are causing more severe and life threatening injuries.
AAPC recommends parents always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of the reach of children. Follow the instructions on the product label. Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with this detergent.
4. FLAT SCREEN TVS
We like our TVs thin and we like them big. Unfortunately this combination is making our TVs topple on our young kids.
Children like to climb. They like to poke. It doesn’t take much to make an unanchored flat screen TV fall. And when they do – they can cause severe head injuries. In the United States, hospitals reported 42,000 TV-toppling injuries between 1998 and 2007.
5. EXERCISE EQUIPMENT AND TREADMILLS
You are on a mission to get in shape. Your commitment is big as well as your investment. You are now the proud owner of a hefty piece of exercise equipment – and…(I am sorry to say this) the owner of an additional hazard in your home.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year about 8,700 children under five years of age are injured with exercise equipment. There are an additional 16,500 injuries per year to children ages five to fourteen. Types of equipment identified in these cases include stationary bicycles, treadmills, and stair climbers. Fractures and even amputations were reported in about 20% of exercise equipment-related injuries – yikes!
How can a treadmill hurt our kids? Unfortunately young children like to climb and touch everything. When their fingers get caught in the belt they can lose skin, muscle or even their limb.
When children try to go on a treadmill they can be thrown off the equipment causing head injuries. If a treadmill is not placed far enough from the wall, children can get trapped between a moving treadmill and the wall – causing severe burns.
When going on a treadmill – keep your door locked, so no wondering toddlers can sneak in and get injured. Keep exercise equipment unplugged, to deter curious kids. Make sure your treadmill is far enough away from the wall, in case of falls.
Well now that I have thoroughly scared you – go buy some bubble wrap and protect your child. On second thought, that is probably a suffocation hazard!
Seriously though, knowing what hazards lurk around your house doesn’t have to be an overwhelming feeling. Knowledge is power. When you know what potential risks there are – you can create a safer environment. Keep things out of reach. Anchor things that can be anchored. Know what is potentially dangerous, so you can be aware.
Do have any tips or stories on household dangers? Leave a comment below.
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For a current list of recalls that can impact your family and children visit www.consumersafety.org