More than 33 million Americans are injured in their homes each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While some home-based hazards arise from new trends or technologies, many are age-old dangers — the unanchored stove that tips forward and burns a curious child, for example. To help increase awareness of preventable home injuries, CPSC recently published its list of “Top Five Hidden Home Hazards.” A serious injury can change your life, or the life of your child, forever. Your own awareness of these “Top Five” dangers can be your best protection from personal injury:
- “Magnets: Today’s rare-earth magnets can be very small and powerful making them popular in toys, building sets, and jewelry. If two or more magnets, or a magnet and another metal object are swallowed separately, they can attract to one another through intestinal walls and get trapped in place. The injury is hard to diagnose, and magnets can attract in the body and twist or pinch the intestines, causing holes, blockages, infection, and death, if not treated properly and promptly.
- Watch carefully for loose magnets and magnetic pieces and keep away from younger children (less than 6).
- Recalled Products: Consumers need to be aware of the latest safety recalls to keep dangerous recalled products away from family members.
- Get dangerous products out of the home. Join CPSC’s “Drive To One Million” campaign and sign up for free e-mail notifications at www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
- Tip-overs: Furniture, TVs 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, dressers, desks, and chests.
- Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security, anchor to the floor or attach to a wall. Free standing ranges and stoves should be installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Windows and coverings: Children can strangle on window drapery and blind cords that can form a loop. Parents should use cordless blinds or keep cords and chains permanently out of the reach of children. Consumers should cut looped cords and install a safety tassel at the end of each pull cord or use a tie-down device, and install inner cord stays to prevent strangulation. Never place a child’s crib or playpen within reach of a window blind. Kids also love to play around windows. Unfortunately, kids can be injured or die when they fall out of windows. Do not rely on window screens. Window screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep kids in.
- Safeguard your windows: repair pull cords ending in loops and install window guards or stops today.
- Pool and spa drains: 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 tangled. Missing or broken drain covers are a major reason many entrapment incidents occur.
- Pool and spa owners can consider installing a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), which detects when a drain is blocked and automatically shuts off the pool pump or interrupts the water circulation to prevent an entrapment. Every time you use a pool or spa, inspect it for entrapment hazards.”
Previously on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- New mattress safety standard prevents bed fires
- Dangers of stove-tipping
- Driveway and parking lot injuries to children
If you or a family member believe that you have a case involving a personal injury, please contact us on-line at Regan Zambri & Long or call us at 202-753-4272 for a free consultation. If you would like to receive our complimentary electronic newsletter, please click here.