Avoid these hidden home dangers


Preventable injuries are the number one killer of U.S. kids and, in 2013, accidents sent more than eight million children to the ER with injuries. While that includes things like car and bicycle accidents --- a nurse takes us on an eye-opening tour for a look at the risks right in our own homes.

Niki Maloney loves to have her friends' sons Peyton and Declyn visit and she wants them to be safe.

A tour with Safe Kids’ Teresa Taylor opened her eyes to the dangers hidden in plain sight like household cleaners under the kitchen sink.

“A lot of these liquids look like fruity drinks,” Taylor explained. “So it wouldn't be uncommon for a child to open up it up and have a drink. Just put a simple cabinet lock to keep them out.”

Also watch what's on the counter since it’s very easy for children to get to. Move medication dispensers up high and car keys aren't a toy.

“The key fob has a lithium ion battery,” Taylor said. “Kids will be playing with the keys, they'll open up and ingest it.”

In fact, those button batteries - whether from key fobs or hearing aids - sparked nearly 2,800 calls to poison control centers in 2013, and three deaths.

Another danger zone is the stairs.

“Unfortunately, we do see a fair amount of head injuries from falls,” Taylor said. “If you'll have kids around, invest in a baby gate as a quick barrier.”

In the bathroom you might think about keeping medications out of reach but water may be the bigger threat. It can easily burn a child's more delicate skin.

“It's best to have the hot water heater set to 120 degrees or below,” Taylor said. “Often times we set it a little hotter, so test it before kids exposed.”

Don't forget the toilet.

“Toilets are actually a potential drowning hazard for kids,” said Taylor. “They might start playing in the water and then, as they're top heavy, might fall into it and not get himself back up because they're too top heavy. so make sure the lid is closed and keeping the bathroom door closed is a good idea.”

But you can't hide your furniture. Remember the video of a dresser tipping on toddlers? It's more common than you think. Safe Kids says more than 22,000 children a year end up in emergency rooms from injuries related to furniture, TV or appliances falling over.

“If a child started to pull on it or climb, it could topple over,” Taylor said. “So it could be mounted to the wall, or make sure it’s loaded on the bottom so not top heavy.”

To explore other hazards get down on the floor to see things as a child would. Decorations with small parts can be choking hazards and cords or exposed outlets are also tempting.

“They explore in all ways and all senses so putting things in the mouth is common - from chewing on the cord, could get electrical injury.. any kind of cord could be a choking hazard, strangulation.

A few other key areas---the laundry room--keep all those products, especially laundry pods, out of reach. In the kitchen--move pans to the back burner, handles turned in. While you have safety on the mind check those smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries every six months!