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Hidden Hazards in Your Home

Hidden Hazards in Your Home



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Nadine Wimmer reportingThousands of children end up in emergency rooms each year, suffering from home injuries, even after parents have taken safety measures.

We found three hidden hazards that tragically catch parents off guard.

Child-proofing your home takes a lot of gadgets. But recently, we've seen serious injuries from three hidden hazards. Add these to your list to help your children Stay Safe.

The top three injuries for young children, according to the National Center of Injury Prevention and Control, are falls, getting struck by something, and burns.

Hidden Hazard #1--fireplace screens.

Renee Haws/ Mom: "I didn't realize how hot it could get until I saw the severity of the burn."

These little hands almost needed skin grafts. 16 month- old Lydia crawled up on the hearth and put her hands on the glass screen. Doctors at the U of U burn unit see this dozens of times each winter.

Dr. Steve Morris/ Intermountain Burn Center: "They teeter towards the flame and put their hands on the glass. They don't have the reflex or ability to get off that and have rather deep burns on their palms."

To see just how hot these can be, we're going to put some chicken on the screen for about five seconds, about the time her hands were on it. And we're going to put some force on on it, because like most toddlers, she was putting her full weight on her hands as she was pulling herself up.

Look how far through it cooked in just those few seconds. Not all the way, but imagine, that's the tender skin on a little baby's hand.

To stay safe, install gates or safety screens around the fireplace.

Hidden Hazard #2, open windows and screens. It was from the third story window that two-year-old Allejandro fell on to the rocks below.

Nativadad Geronimo/ Mom: "The screen had popped open and then we took him to the emergency room. Thanks to God that he's still alright."

To stay safe, get screen guards or window locks. And keep childrens' beds and couches away from windows.

Hidden Hazard #3, unsecured furniture. The Smith twins love to open and climb on drawers. But that can have tragic results.

To illustrate, take a 20 pound weight and open some drawers, like kids do to use them as a ladder. If you put the weight in the drawer, it's easy enough to tip over the dresser, and anything on top of it could come crashing down."

To stay safe, secure heavy furniture to the walls and keep heavy items on the bottom shelves.

Here are some other hidden hazards: Bunk beds, because kids often jump off of them; plastic bags or dry cleaning covers; and raisins or craisins are a common choking hazard.

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