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Any parent, guardian, friend or family member knows how important it is to keep children safe in their homes and just how easy it is for potential dangers to go unnoticed.
While we spend ages child-proofing kitchens, blocking stairs and child-proofing other obvious dangers, some of the most seemingly harmless parts of your home might pose the most danger.
So whether you skip these decor items entirely or adapt them to be more safe, find out which common home decor items are dangerous for your kids.
Despite being beloved by home decor bloggers, design nerds and gardeners alike, some houseplants can be dangerous for kids. If ingested or even touched, certain plants can result in swelling, nausea, diarrhoea and potentially even more life-threatening symptoms. Common houseplants like philodendrons, pothos, and oleander should be kept out of reach or avoided altogether.
We’ve been hearing about the dangers of window blind cords for children for years, but it’s still very real. Up to 300 children have been killed and 300 more injured by becoming tangled in window blind cords. A lot of companies have switched to selling cordless varieties, but the old style is still very much available.
Toy boxes are great for keeping your child’s room organised, but choosing the wrong one could be catastrophic. These seemingly harmless items can pose a threat if they have heavy lids or if the lid supports fail. If your child is left unattended and the lid collapses, they could seriously injure their fingers, hands or even neck and head. Chests with lightweight lids are becoming more common, so opt for this style instead.
This one is kind of a no-brainer — you should never leave lit candles unattended when children are present, or at least keep them out of reach. But even beyond the dangers presented by the fire, scented candles have been proven to emit toxic chemicals that could be dangerous for children. They can be especially dangerous for children with asthma or those who are prone to migraines.
Similarly to bookshelves, dressers are dangerous for children because they’re so easy to climb. But dressers can tip over quite a bit more easily. If all of the drawers are open, it doesn’t take much to pull the whole object over. Most recently, IKEA undertook a massive
recall of its Malm dresser because of the number of reported injuries and deaths caused by the popular and affordable item.
Young children, especially toddlers, are notoriously curious. As soon as they start discovering their own mobility, they’re off like a shot. And that makes items of furniture like bookcases potentially very dangerous. Bookcases are fairly easy for children to climb, and if they’re not secured to the wall, they could tip over and crush a child. Always keep larger items on the bottom shelves in addition to securing the bookshelf to the wall.
The dangers of cribs for children are perhaps one of the scarier ones. While we equate cots and cradles with peacefulness and sleep, the dangers are varied. Children have died from strangulation after having their clothing caught in hardware or posts, while others have trapped their heads or fingers between the rails. Cribs made after 2011 have much stricter safety standards, so reconsider that secondhand or hand-me-down crib.
While too much TV isn’t good for anyone, television sets can present more danger to children than what they watch. As toddlers start to get a little more adventurous, it’s pretty common for them to tip over televisions, and it’s become even more common with the invention of flat screens. In fact, between 1990 and 2011, a study found that over 380,000 children were injured by TVs and most were under five years old.