All parents want to keep their children safe. There's the age-old advice: Don't take candy from strangers. Look both ways before crossing the street.
But many parents forget that safety hazards aren't only outside -- they're also lurking in the comfort of one's home. Danger can be found in every room of a house or apartment that put children at risk of serious harm.
Preventable injuries can be caused by improperly mounted furniture and electronics, unchecked smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and potentially deadly medications and cleaning products left within a child's reach. Sadly many of these accidents occur because parents are unaware of the measures they should take to keep their children safe.
Each year in the U.S., more than 2,200 children die from an injury at home, which amounts to approximately six kids a day, and many of these incidents could have been easily prevented, according to new report published by Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization that provides safety information to the public prevent children's accidents and injuries. Injuries at home are also the cause of more than 10,000 emergency room visits for kids each year.
For the report, the organization surveyed 1,1010 parents with children ages 12 and younger on the concerns they have when it comes to child safety and what steps they are -- or aren't -- taking to reduce common accidents.
"Every parent wants their children to grow up healthy and strong in the place where they deserve to feel safest: at home," the researchers write in their report. "The good news is that there are simple and easy steps that families can take to protect their children. By equipping parents and caregivers with this important knowledge, we can help keep children safe at home and make sure that every child has the opportunity to grow up and reach their full potential."
The report found that while many parents are concerned about potential home injuries, many fail to take the necessary precautions.
Just 1 percent of parents worried about their child's risk of drowning in the bathtub, and nearly half said they have left their toddlers unattended in the tub, even though drowning is the leading cause of death at home for children ages 1 through 4.
Only 4 percent of parents surveyed were worried about poisoning from household cleaning products and other chemicals, even though poisonings are also a common risk.
The most common causes of accidental deaths at home for children ages 12 and under was suffocation, followed by drowning and fires or burns.
The good news is that efforts by parents, lawmakers, teachers and health care professionals to educate the public have paid off. Between 1987 and 2013, the number of home-related deaths and accidents has declined by 60 percent for children and teenagers.
However, Safe Kids urges parents to do more. The following safety tips are highlighted in the report:
- Don't leave children unattended during bath time or around water.
- Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least every six months to make sure they are working.
- Remove all blankets, stuffed animals, pillows and other objects from your baby's crib to prevent accidental suffocation. Also be sure your baby sleeps alone and on their back.
- Install safety gates around staircases and windows.
- Create and practice a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of the house.
- Keep all medicine in cabinets far out of reach from children and be aware of medication stored elsewhere such as in purses and bags.
- Use brackets, braces and wall straps to secure furniture such as bookshelves to prevent accidental tipping.
- Secure television sets to the wall or place them on low furniture surfaces.
- Store household cleaners out of sight in high cabinets and on shelves
- Use the back burner of your stove and turn your pots and pans facing away from the edge so they're out of reach from tiny hands.