Most parents, or soon-to-be parents, are often aware of the obvious baby proofing checklist items: baby gates, electrical outlet covers, cabinet locks, sharp furniture corners, etc. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are a surprising number of “hidden” hazards around the home. These hazards, such as window cords, hide in plain sight and should be on everyone’s list of items to baby proof.
Corded window coverings are a strangulation hazard as infants and young children can accidentally become entangled in the cords. CPSC, the window covering industry and consumer safety advocates all agree that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords should be used in homes with young children. The window covering industry’s Best for Kids(TM) certification program makes it easy for parents and caregivers to identify the window covering products that are best suited for homes with young children.
According to the CPSC, corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes. The Window Covering Safety Council urges parents and caregivers to watch for these potential hazards around the home and offers the following tips:
- Corded window blinds. Check your window coverings for exposed or dangling cords and replace them with cordless products. Safety experts recommend using only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. There are many cordless window covering options offered today.
- Magnets. Small powerful magnets, if swallowed, can attract inside the body and block, twist or tear the intestines. Be sure to take note of what is in a child’s play environment that may pose a risk. If you think your child has swallowed a magnet, seek medical attention immediately
- Recalled products. Be aware of the latest safety recalls and get dangerous products out of the home. Sign up for recall notices at www.cpsc.gov.
- Furniture tip-overs. Children will pull and climb on top-heavy furniture, TVs and cabinets which can easily tip over, causing a serious accident. Install anchors and brackets to all pieces of furniture with a tip-over risk. Read more information on the CPSC’s “Anchor it!” website.
- Pools and drains. A child can be trapped underwater from the suction of a pool or spa drain. CPSC urges parents to inspect pools and spas for missing or broken drain covers and provides pool safety tips at www.poolsafely.gov.
In addition to these top five hazards, parents and care givers should also be aware of the following potential hazards in their homes:
- Older child’s toys. If this is your second child, be certain to keep the older siblings toys in a separate area from the baby, in order to prevent them from possibly choking on small pieces.
- Button batteries. A child can swallow a button battery and suffer chemical burns in as little as two hours. Leave all devices with accessible button batteries – watches, remote controls, toys, keyless remote controls, etc. – out of the reach of children.
Learn more about how you can make your window coverings safer for children by visiting the Window Covering Safety Council. – BPT
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