The home is a place that is supposed to give families a feeling of safety and security. However, for many families, an injury or death of a loved one can turn this place of happiness into one of tragedy. Each year, 33.1 million people suffer injuries related to consumer products in the home.
To keep us informed of dangers, Consumer Product Safety Commission has identified the Top Five Hidden Home Hazards involving products that people may be using everyday, but are unaware of the dangers they can cause. Simply by being aware of these Top Five Hidden Home Hazards, many lives can be spared, and life-altering injuries avoided.
- Magnets—Since 2005, there has been one reported death, 86 reported injuries, and about 8 million magnetic toys recalled. As the number of products with magnets has increased, so has the number of serious injuries to children. In several hundred incidents, magnets have fallen out of various toys, and in several cases, have been swallowed by children. You should watch carefully for loose magnets and magnetic pieces and keep them away from younger children (less than 6 years of age). If you have a recalled product with magnets, stop using it, call the company today, and ask for the remedy.
- Recalled Products—Each year, there are about 400 recalls for toys, clothing, children's jewelry, tools, appliances, electronics, and electrical products. But once a product gets into the home, the consumer has to be on the lookout. You should be aware of the latest safety recalls to keep dangerous recalled products away from family members.
- Tip-Overs—There is an average of 22 deaths reported each year from tip-over incidents. Furniture, televisions, and ranges can tip over and crush young children. Deaths and injuries occur when children climb onto, fall against, or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, and dressers. You should verify that furniture is stable, and for added security, anchor furniture to the floor or wall. You should not leave items on top of furniture or appliances that tempt children to climb.
- Windows and Coverings—There is an average of 12 reported deaths each year from window cords. Children can strangle on window drapery and blind cords that can form a loop. Parents should use cordless blinds, or cut looped cords, install a safety tassel at the end of each pull cord, and use a tiedown device. You should never place a child's crib or playpen within reach of a window blind.
- Pool and Spa Drains—There were 15 injuries and 2 fatalities between 2002 and 2004. The suction from a pool drain can be so powerful that it can hold an adult under water, but most incidents involve children. The body can become sealed against the drain or hair can be pulled in and entangled. Before using a pool or spa, you should inspect it for entrapment hazards, and particularly, check to make sure appropriate drain covers are in place and undamaged.