household items can strangle a young child. Make sure loose cords, objects, and
furniture do not pose strangling risks. The following suggestions can help you
reduce potential hazards.
- Keep cords for blinds and drapes out of
reach. Attach cords to mounts that hold them taut, and wrap them around wall
- Cords with loops should be cut and equipped with safety
- Do not use accordion-style gates. Babies or young
children can get their heads trapped in the gate and may
- Make sure furniture does not have cutout portions or
other areas that can trap your child's head.
Suffocation is another danger for young children. Teach
your child about suffocation and the importance of a safe play area. Pay
attention to possible suffocation dangers, such as:
- Trunks of cars. Keep rear fold-down seats
closed so children are not able to climb into the trunk from inside the car.
Also, always lock car doors and keep the keys out of sight and out of reach of
- Refrigerators and freezers, even those that are not in
use. If you are storing an old refrigerator or freezer, be sure to take the
- Plastic sacks. Do not let your child play with plastic
sacks, and keep them out of reach. Children may put sacks over their
head during play, which can lead to suffocation.
prevent poisoning, identify household cleaners and
other chemicals, plants, medicines, makeup, perfumes, and any other products
that, when eaten or inhaled, can harm a child. It is critical to properly store
these items out of reach of young children. If you have a possible
poisoning emergency, call 1-800-222-1222 and you will be
automatically transferred to the closest poison control center. For more
information, see the topic
is another cause for concern in young children who may chew on contaminated
paint flakes, painted objects, or toys. House
paint is no longer made with lead, but homes built before 1978
may still have lead paint on walls and other surfaces.
For more information about lead, see the topic Lead Poisoning.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by frequently monitoring levels and taking
precautionary measures, such as having your furnace checked each year. Carbon
monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is produced from
burning fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, fuel oil, or wood (for example, in
indoor heating systems, car engines, cooking appliances, or fires). High CO levels quickly affect young children because of their small size. For
more information, see the topic
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Indoor air pollutants, such as secondhand smoke and mold, can also affect health and safety. For more information, see Tips for Reducing Indoor Pollutants in Your Home.