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13 Household Items That Can Be Dangerous

Monday, August 14, 2017 8:06 AM

Many of us view a house as our safe place. It’s where we are most comfortable, familiar and where we feel most relaxed. Because it is our haven, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure it’s a safe place for all. David Pike, MD, Internal Medicine at NorthShore, wants to help make that happen by equipping us with the knowledge on which household items can be poisonous or dangerous for children, guests or our elderly parents whom we provide care for. 


Dr. Pike shares 13 household items that can be dangerous:

  1. Medicines. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines can be dangerous. Keep them in original containers, in a locked cabinet, or up high and out of reach. Never tell a child that medicine tastes like candy.
  2. Cleaning products. Keep all cleaning products in their original containers and in a locked cabinet. Never leave products unattended when cleaning. Keep all the products in a bucket to make it easier to move it with you as clean.
  3. Laundry pods. Their color and size often trick kids and those with dementia into thinking they are a sweet treat. Keep them hidden in a cabinet with a safety latch.
  4. Alcohol. Keep your bottles locked up or way up high where children cannot reach them. When consuming alcoholic beverages, it is important for you and your guests to keep an eye on the drinks so kids won’t grab them.
  5. Cosmetics. It may seem harmless to play dress-up with your kids but it is important to watch them during this time. Ingesting lipstick, nail polish, hairspray or any other cosmetics can cause sickness.
  6. Toiletries. Such as creams, lotions, mouthwash, toothpaste and perfume.
  7. Batteries. Unused batteries should be stored away and used batteries should be properly disposed of.
  8. Household plants. Varieties such as rhododendron, English ivy, lily of the valley, mistletoe and holly.
  9. Gas stoves, space heaters, running cars in the garage or charcoal grills being left on too long can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  10. Extension cords. When an extension cord is overloaded, misused or left out, they can be a fire and tripping hazard.
  11. Electric blankets. If someone falls asleep without turning off the electric blanket, it can raise the body temperature to dangerous levels. If you are looking to purchase one, make sure it has a timer with auto-off.
  12. Lint traps. When not cleaned often, they can cause dryer fires.
  13. Coin jars. Small children can choke on coins and other small items.