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Research Shows Parents Don't Know Home Dangers are Putting Their Children at Risk

Home Safety Council Offers Critical Safety Advice for Parents

WASHINGTON, PRNewswire/ -- Parents of young children are often the most safety-conscious Americans. However, according to a new Home Safety Council survey, they may not be aware of many home dangers putting their children at risk. To help parents learn how to best protect their family, the Home Safety Council, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the risk of home injuries, is working to educate and empower parents as part of the Council's annual Home Safety Month campaign.

The new Home Safety Council survey polled American parents about their home safety perceptions and practices. Findings revealed that while nearly 60 percent of parents admitted there are actions they could take today to increase the safety of their loved ones at home, 32 percent of parents did not know what actions to take to do so. When asked about the greatest home safety concerns for very young children, only 20 percent of parents correctly named fires/burns or drowning, the two leading causes of home injury related death for children ages 1-4.

"Constant, active care is an essential part of keeping young children safe at home, but it isn't enough. Parents must also take the time to identify dangers and put necessary safety measures in place," said Home Safety Council president Meri-K Appy. "Additional barriers such as cabinet locks, baby gates and door knob covers can help keep children away from matches, lighters, standing water and other hazards."

The Council's comprehensive State of Home Safety in America(TM) also reveals that falls are the leading cause of nonfatal home injury for young children. The study also found that children under the age of five experience the highest rate of choking/suffocation fatalities and nonfatal poison exposures at home.

Parents can guard against injury by evaluating their home from the child's-eye point of view, keeping primary injury areas top of mind. Consider the following advice from the Home Safety Council:

Fire/Burn Prevention:
* Test faucet water at the tap and adjust the water heater to 120
degrees F.

* Keep children at least three feet away from the stove when cooking.

* Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in or near
sleeping areas and test smoke alarms monthly.

* Store matches, lighters, candles and other fire tools out of children's
sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.

* Create a fire escape plan, and make sure to practice the plan at least
twice each year.

Water Safety
* Never leave a child unattended near standing water, even for a moment.

* Use doorknob covers to prevent young children from accessing

* If your home has a pool, surround it on all sides with installed
fencing and a locking, self-latching gate.

* Turn over all buckets and store them up high where they cannot collect
standing water or be reached by children.

Choking/Suffocation Prevention
* Window blind cords can present a serious strangulation hazard. Move
cribs and playpens away from windows. Tie up window cords out of a
child's reach.

* Consider buying a small-parts tester to gauge whether objects present a
choking hazard to young children.

* Homes with young children should not have latex balloons, as the
balloons or pieces of balloon material can become lodged in a child's

* Pull out drawstrings in children's outerwear and remove necklaces,
purses, bicycle helmets and scarves before play or sleep.

Falls Prevention
* Install baby gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs.

* Locate cribs, beds, chairs and other furniture away from windows.

* Install window locks or safety guards on above-ground windows. Be sure
they have a quick-release mechanism in case of fire.

Poison Prevention
* Install child safety locks on cabinets to safely store chemicals,
cleaners, medicines, cosmetics and other toxic and/or caustic products.

* Purchase cleaners, household chemicals, medications and other
potentially hazardous products with child resistant caps and packaging.

* Store cleaners and chemicals separate from food.

* Post the Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) and other emergency
numbers next to every phone.

For more information, please visit the Home Safety Council at http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/.

About the Home Safety Council

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes. The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Washington, DC.

CONTACT: Shannon McDaniel of Brand Resources Group, Inc., +1-703-647-6019, for the Home Safety Council.

Source: Home Safety Council

CONTACT: Shannon McDaniel of Brand Resources Group, Inc.,
+1-703-647-6019, for the Home Safety Council

Web site: http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/

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