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Preventing Kid Injuries At Home

Thousands of children are killed from unintentional injuries at home in a single year, according to the Home Safety Council. And emergency rooms report nearly 3 million visits related to kids getting injured at home.

But many of these incidents can be prevented by taking some simple safety precautions.

On the latest edition of "Safe & Sound," Meri-K Appy, the president of The Home Safety Council, points out to The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler the most dangerous and most overlooked areas of the home that need childproofing.

Appy gave the following safety precaution tips for some dangerous situations:

Fire
Fire is the leading cause of unintentional injury or death in young children. New research shows that children are not waking up to the sound of smoke alarms, so, parents need to be extra vigilant about having more than one alarm in the house to be sure the adults awaken and get kids to safety. There are ways to interconnect several fire alarms in the home. Appy says to have a fire escape plan poster, matches and fire resistant lighters.

Poisonous Look-Alikes and Hotline
Children often mistake common household cleaning products, automotive fluids or vitamins for candy or juice. Some poisons and look-alikes include: cleaning additive can be mistaken for toothpaste; floor cleaner can be mistaken soft drink; fabric softener can be mistaken for milk; and glass cleaner can be mistaken for orange juice or apple juice

Also things like automotive fluid bottles and kiddy vitamins can be mistaken by kids to contain treats.

Appy suggests parents to call the National Poison Control Hotline 1-800-222-1222, a new national number that parents can call when they think their child has taken in something poisonous. The National Poison Control office can immediately connect the caller's local poison control office.

Using different types of cabinet locks can also help parent eliminate confusion.

Strangulation
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission says strangulation deaths from window cords happen most often when children are in places their parents think are safe: in a crib or in a child's bedroom. The study also points out that the deaths are silent -- the children can't call out for help. In 85 percent of the documented cases, parents were at home at the time of the incident.

Appy says many older Venetian blinds have cords that are looped at the bottom, and top-heavy toddlers may crawl toward a window, grab the chord and fall into the loop -- causing strangulation.

A solutions to the problem is to cut the loop and add tassels that keep the ends separate. Many parents don't realize they can get blind cord safety kits for free from home good stores and Web sites.

The Home Safety Council is working with Lowe's to offer free repair kits. Parents can call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-311-7996 to order them.

Also, there are newer blinds that do not have cords, so if you're just installing window treatments, Appy suggests looks for those. Levelour makes one.

Water Safety (Drowning)
Drowning in water that's left standing is the third leading cause of injury or death in young children.

If you are cleaning the floor and you have a bucket of water or cleaning fluid left unattended, it could be a recipe for danger as top-heavy toddlers can fall head first into the bucket.

Appy says to stay within "touch supervision" of a child -- close enough where you can touch your child to keep that from happening.

Also, keep bathroom doors closed or invest in doorknob guards and toilet seat locks.