10 surprising health and safety hazards in the home for your kids

You home can be more of a risk to your kids than you think and these hidden hazards will certainly make you think twice

safety hazards in the home
(Image credit: iStock)

You home can be more of a risk to your kids than you think and these hidden hazards will certainly make you think twice

You may think your household is the safest place for your child, but it can pose more of a danger to their health and safety than you first realise. Take a look at these safety hazards in the home if you're keen to take extra precaution.

Even simple household appliances like the dishwasher can be dangerous for children, while hair straighteners and lightbulbs have the ability to burn a baby in a split second.

You also mightn't have thought of blind cords as one of the most common safety hazards in the home, but recent figures show that as many as 17,000 children were hurt by blind cords between 1990 and 2015, with 300 tragically dying.

Read more: Mum issues warning after son almost dies while playing with a blind cord (opens in new tab)

Although a lot of keeping your children safe is down to common sense, it's also making sure you keep anything that could pose a danger to their health and safety out of reach.

If you want to be able to relax in your home knowing that your children will be safe as they run around and play, then one way of effectively doing this is by recognising the hazards that can develop from seemingly harmless household objects - and what you can do to make sure they don't pose a threat to your child's health and safety.

Read more: Cot bed safety: The hidden dangers on your baby's cot bed (opens in new tab)

For these reasons we have put together a list of surprising health and safety hazards within the home that may not have even crossed your mind in terms of the potential threat they could pose to your child.

We've also included some tips on how to ensure these items don't harm your child's safety in order to secure the running of a happy and healthy household.

Has your child hurt themselves on an everyday item you didn't even realise was a risk? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know in the comments below...

1. Dishwasher

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The dishwasher may seem harmless enough, but if your child can open it (or you leave it unlatched), your child has access to sharp items including knives, plus breakable items like glasses, plates and mugs.

How to make it safe

Install a dishwasher lock so your child can't open the door and access the objects inside it.

2. Fridge magnets

safety hazards in the home

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They may look nice on your fridge and help display your kids' art in the kitchen, but fridge magnets can be dangerous to small children. If you drop one, it's common for the magnet on the back of the decorative item to fall off and the small part is just too tempting for toddlers to eat.

How to make them safe

Don't use fridge magnets that have a separate magnetic piece on them - try and buy larger ones with the magnet integrated into them. Or simply put them away until your child is 3 years old.

3. Furniture

safety hazards in the home

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Bedroom furniture can be easily pulled over by a child, especially when they are learning to walk and pull themselves up using furniture.

How to make it safe

Ensure any furniture that your child has access to is secured to the wall, particularly wardrobes, bookshelves and tall chest of drawers.

4. Houseplants

safety hazards in the home

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Many common houseplants are dangerous to humans and can make a child seriously ill if they ingest any of the leaves or flowers. Some plants can cause poisoning even by touching the leaves.

How to make them safe

Ensure when you're choosing your houseplants, you research into what dangers they pose and if you do decide to add one to your interior decor, put it in a place out of reach, like on a bookshelf.

5. Hair straighteners

safety hazards in the home

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You've probably felt the wrath of your hair straighteners before. There aren't many people who haven't burnt themselves on them and just imagine the damage a set could do to your toddler. Some brands can get as hot as 200 degrees and can take up to an hour to cool down completely!

How to make them safe

Ensure after you've used your straighteners, you put them out of reach of children and you never leave them turned on when a child is unsupervised.

6.Nappy bags

safety hazards in the home

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Nappy bags are so thin and light, babies can always grab them when you're changing their nappy. Turn your back and they could put them in their mouth before you know it. When your toddlers start to walk, they'll know where you keep your stash too.

How to make them safe

When changing you baby, make sure the nappy bags are out of reach or shut away in a lockable cupboard to make sure your child can't get their hands on them.

7. Blind and curtain cords

safety hazards in the home

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14 children have died since the start of 2010 from strangulation by blind cords. It's a frightening statistic and a real danger.

How to make them safe

Don't have any looped blind cords in your house. If you do have them, you can buy special safety devices from stores like John Lewis (opens in new tab), which tuck away the slack so your kids can't get themselves entangled.

8. Pet food

safety hazards in the home

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Cats and dogs can also pass nasty germs and bacteria they've picked up outside onto their food bowl. Kids love a good rummage around the pet's food if left to their own devices.

How to make it safe

Try and only put your pet's food down when you're in the room and remove it when the animal has stopped eating - like in or next to the sink where kids can't reach. Always clean the bowls well too, just in case they do get hold of it.

9. Table lamps

safety hazards in the home

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Table lamps can not only be a fire risk if they come into contact with items like curtains, but little ones are often tempted to pull the cord, and a heavy lamp falling on their head could really hurt them. If they touch that lightbulb they may burn their hands, too.

How to make them safe

If you have lamps with open shades (rather than those where a child couldn't come into contact with the bulb), make sure you put them out of reach. As with all electrical items, make sure the cables are well-hidden too so a toddler can't pull the wire.

10. TV

safety hazards in the home

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Flat-screen TVs balanced on TV stands or tables can be very dangerous to roving toddlers. One bump into them and the TV could go tumbling. As TVs are getting lighter, they're getting even easier to pull down.

How to make it safe

Securely mount your TV to the wall. Many stores will do this for you when you buy the telly.