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As good parents, we all have an objective to shield our children from harm. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always make it easy for us to stop every mishap before it happens. Still, we should stay vigilant for potential risks, especially in our homes.

Although you might believe your home is the safest place for your family, there are actually quite a few dangers lurking under the radar. From toxic cleaning solutions to sharp tools, many useful household items are actually very dangerous to children. Even the playroom can contain hazards, like the following five.

  1. Dirty toys and furniture: Over time, germs can accumulate on stuffed animals and other toys, especially those that babies chew on. Much like a toothbrush harbors bacteria; a toy can also harbor bacteria, and if your child or one of their playmates has been sick lately, those germs can be passed from hand to toy to mouth. To reduce the risk of illness, wash stuffed animals in warm water and wipe down all other toys with a non-toxic cleaning solution. Cleaning your child’s toys is especially urgent if there is visible dirt and grime or if someone has been recently ill.
  2. Furniture that can be tipped over: If your child’s playroom has a bookshelf or other tall piece of furniture with drawers or shelving, you need to secure those items to the wall. Otherwise, your child could be injured or even killed by climbing up shelves or drawers to reach toys or other items, because the furniture can topple over on top of them. This accident is much more common than you might believe, and many furniture and home improvement stores now sell furniture anchors for use in every room of a house.
  3. Open outlets and damaged or visible electrical cords: To decrease the risk of accidental electrocution, make sure you use outlet covers to close up any unused outlets. In addition, check all electrical cords for fraying or stripping, and replace any items that have damaged cords. Lastly, make sure all cords are hidden behind furniture and not out in the open where children can trip over them.
  4. Broken window latches or easy-to-open windows: If your child’s playroom or bedroom has windows and is not on the first floor, be sure that the windows have functioning latches and a proper window screen. Falls from windows are reported every year, but they can be easily prevented by teaching your child to stay away from windows. If your child continues to defy your rules and continues to open their windows, consider installing a better locking system.
  5. Window blind cords: Small children are especially at risk of becoming tangled up or strangled by window blind cords. There are many easy fixes for this problem, though, as most home improvement stores sell window wraps or wind-ups that work to keep cords up and out of the way of curious kids.

For more information about playing it safe at home, visit SafeKids.org.

A freelance writer and blogger hailing from the great state of Texas, Melissa Miller specializes in writing about the education field. If you’re considering pursuing a an associate degree online, Melissa’s many posts on the subject can help light the way. Email her at melissamiller831@gmail.com with any feedback.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want safe playrooms.

Image courtesy of Scott & Elaine van der Chijs via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.