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Grandparents Beware: Hidden Grandkid Hazards

By Laura Nikolovska – www.KidsInDanger.Org

Some things are obviously hazardous to our grandchildren, but others aren’t so clear. Listed below are 3 potential but hidden hazards to children as well as solutions for how to keep your grandkids safe from these hazards. 

Hidden hazard: Magnets

pic 1Doctors are seeing a rise in high powered, rare earth magnet ingestion, which can be very serious and even life threatening and often require surgical removal. These magnets can attach to each other within the body, across tissues, and cause serious damage to the intestines. Magnets are often sold in sets of over 100, a quantity that would make it nearly impossible for a parent or grandparent to know if individual magnets were missing. These hazards don’t only apply to young children as teenaged children have also had ingested magnets when they mimic different piercings with magnets.

Solution: Do not purchase magnet sets and encourage others to do the same. If you think your grandchild haspic2swallowed a magnet, be sure to keep medical attention immediately because longer this diagnosis takes, the greater the damage to the bowel of the patient. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is beginning rulemaking to address this hazard.



Hidden hazard: Furniture/ TV tip overs

Most people don’t know that every 2 weeks a child dies when a television, piece of furniture or appliance tips over on him or her. The vast majority of children injured by tip overs are between 1 and 5 years of age. TV’s and furniture (including dressers and tables) are the most common household products that have injured and killed children.

Solution: Furniture straps must be included in all new dressers and other furniture.  For older furniture, TV’s or pic3products that don’t come with anchoring straps, you can purchase straps in the childproofing department of large retailers or online. Share this helpful infograph poster on tip over hazards with friends, family, and colleagues to get the word out about tip over hazards.

pic5Hidden hazards: Button batteries

Like magnets, button battery digestion is on the rise and results in many health complications. However, unlike magnet sets, we are forced to have button batteries in our homes because they are used in so many common household items including:  any type of remote, watches, calculators, musical greeting cards, and even toys. In less than 2 hours after swallowing a button battery, the child can experience serious chemical and electrical burns within the esophagus.

Solution: Keep all products with button batteries out of reach of children. If you suspect your grandchild has digested a button battery, contact your pediatrician immediately. For more information, check out this helpful blog about the dangers of button batteries.

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Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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