I know this number because I’m a pediatrician AND because I’ve called it twice (in 7 years, after 4 kids…once every 2 kids is not so bad). So, yes even your neighborhood pediatrician can get into a dangerous situation with their own kids. I am very careful. I buy the safety gadgets. I lecture my older kids and my patients about choking hazards more than they would like to hear. I lock up my dishwasher detergent pods (more on those later). But it is inevitable
that your curious toddler, exploring infant or distracted child will get into some trouble at some point while you are cooking that “well-balanced” meal that no one eats or doing that 4th load of laundry. So we need to be proactive and think like a kiddo. Get down on the floor and crawl around. Get a different perspective from the world of your infant or toddler. Yes I have done this (only with the first kid). No laughing. While it looks ridiculous it’s actually eye opening. My other piece of advice is to think past the “outlet covers” as I often tell our families at well check ups. Outlet covers are very important. But did you know that one of the most dangerous household items is the dresser? Yes, that one you refinished, inherited or spent extra time picking out for the nursery. Seventy-one children are killed or injured everyday when furniture, appliances or TVs fall on them.
According to anchorit.gov, a child dies every 2 weeks when a tv or piece of furniture falls onto them.
Some myths surrounding tip-over safety are:
“the dresser is too heavy to tip over”
“the children don’t play in our room where the dresser is”
“the dresser is safe because we put latches on the drawers”
“older children know not to climb”’
Just think about this, when the drawers are just opened, the center of gravity of the dresser shifts without a child even climbing it. Children have died from tip-over injuries in the parent’s bedroom with the parents present and asleep (makes my heart shake a little.) Toddlers figure out the drawer and cabinet latches all of the time. A child does not view the dresser as a dangerous item. He or she views it as a firetruck with a ladder, a boat with a climbing rope, a jungle gym. Just as they should, but to our dismay.
Visit www.anchorit.gov for more information on how to prevent tip-over injuries.
Let’s talk gel pods, garbage and medications.
Poisoning and injury risks are everywhere in the home, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom. The laundry or dishwasher detergent pods are colored brightly so that you will purchase them, but are an enormous danger to a little one. They can choke on them, ingest them, die from them. About garbage, where do you all throw your old hand razors? your plastic packaging from your makeup, moms? the cotton balls you may use in the bathroom? Most of us, dispose of them in our wastebasket. The problem? It is a short, little wastebasket, usually colored to match our bathroom decor and easily accessible to our littles. Medications are no different. Appealing for their color, size and even texture, medications can be deadly even in small doses. Most medications in the home are not locked up properly. The best way to tackle this is to buy a metal lockbox and secure ALL medications with a combination lock. Then put that out of reach. Remember that Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl are medications and can be just as dangerous as pain medications, seizure medications and/or cardiac medications.
Poison Control Center
Remember the third week in March is “National Poison Prevention Week”. Join the fight against preventable injuries and deaths now. Kid proof your home and grandma’s home and auntie’s home and then your home again. It just may save a life.