Hidden Hazards in the Home
Written by: Dev Gowda
Some things are obviously hazardous to our children, but others aren’t so clear. Listed below are 3 potential but hidden hazards to children as well as solutions for how to keep your kids safe from these hazards.
Hidden hazard: Magnets
Doctors are seeing a rise in high powered, rare earth magnet ingestion, which can be very serious and even life threatening and often require surgical removal. These magnets can attach to each other within the body, across tissues, and cause serious damage to the intestines. Magnets are often sold in sets of over 100, a quantity that would make it nearly impossible for a parent or caregiver to know if individual magnets were missing. These hazards don’t only apply to young children as teenaged children have also had ingested magnets when they mimic different piercings with magnets.
Solution: Do not purchase magnet sets and encourage others to do the same. If you think your child has swallowed a magnet, be sure to keep medical attention immediately because longer this diagnosis takes, the greater the damage to the bowel of the patient. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is beginning rulemaking to address this hazard.
Hidden hazard: Furniture/ TV tip overs
Most people don’t know that every 2 weeks a child dies when a television, piece of furniture or appliance tips over on him or her. The vast majority of children injured by tip overs are between 1 and 5 years of age. TV’s and furniture (including dressers and tables) are the most common household products that have injured and killed children.
Solution: Furniture straps must be included in all new dressers and other furniture. For older furniture, TV’s or products that don’t come with anchoring straps, you can purchase straps in the childproofing department of large retailers or online. Share this helpful infograph poster on tip over hazards with friends, family, and colleagues to get the word out about tip over hazards.
Hidden hazards: Button batteries
Like magnets, button battery digestion is on the rise and results in many health complications. However, unlike magnet sets, we are forced to have button batteries in our homes because they are used in so many common household items including: any type of remote, watches, calculators, musical greeting cards, and even toys. In less than 2 hours after swallowing a button battery, the child can experience serious chemical and electrical burns within the esophagus.
Solution: Keep all products with button batteries out of reach of children. If you suspect your child has digested a button battery, contact your pediatrician immediately. For more information, check out this helpful blog about the dangers of button batteries.
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116 W. Illinois., Suite 4E, Chicago, IL 60654 | (312) 595-0649 | www.KidsInDanger.orgPosted on October 02, 2013 at 10:26 AM