Grandparents: how to 'childproof' your house before their visit

- As a result of people living increasingly longer, the number of grandkids enjoying lots of time with grandparents is on the rise. That's why the Kohl's Injury Prevention Program and Children's Hospital of Michigan would like to remind grandparents to make sure their home is safe from possible dangers before their grandkids come to visit or live in their home. Some of the hazards you have to be aware of today weren't around in the "good ole days" and some of them could be right in Grandma's purse!

Hand Sanitizer
- A child ingesting more than a taste of hand sanitizer is at risk of alcohol poisoning.
- Alcohol content of hand sanitizer is stronger than hard liquor. Most sanitizers are over 60% ethyl alcohol, wine is 10-15%, beer is 5-10%
- Fruity smells, glitter, bright colors make it attractive to children-like candy.
- Keep hand sanitizer out of reach of children at all times.
- Apply no more than a dime-sized amount and rub hands until completely dry.

Batteries
- Over 2,800 children are treated annually in the ER for swallowing a button battery.
- Coin lithium batteries can be found in: remote controls, hearing aids, key fobs, calculators, greeting cards, thermometers, talking books, children's toys, calculators, flashing holiday jewelry
- Keep loose batteries out of children's reach. Put duct tape over access doors.
- If you suspect a battery has been swallowed, go to the hospital, don't induce vomiting, don't give food or drink
- Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline: 202-625-3333

Prescription/Non-prescription medicine/ Vitamins
- Annually, over 59,000 children are seen at ERs because they got into medicine.
- 95% of medicine-related ER visits among children under age 5 were due to a child getting into medicine when an adult wasn't looking.
- Of the medicine-related ER visits in 2014, 48% reported the medicine was a grandparent's. 
- Keep prescription and over-the-counter medicine out of reach and out of sight
- Kids find medicine mainly in pillboxes, purses/diaper bags, on the ground, on the counter, on the cabinet and in the refrigerator.
- Remember to check for ALL products that may cause harm, even those you might not think of as medicine like diaper rash ointments.
- Children think chewable vitamins are candy
- Iron overdose causes stomach damage and as little as 200 milligrams can cause death
- Child "resistant" does not mean child "proof"
- If you suspect a child has ingested a poison, call Poison Help Line: 1-800-222-1222

There is no such thing as "Childproofing," but you can eliminate many of the known risks and make others more difficult for tiny fingers to get into.  If you are able-get on your knees or sit on the floor and try to "think like a child" and identify and eliminate hazards  and make the rooms you are going to allow them in as "grandchild proof" as possible. Look for poisons, sharp objects, choking hazards, fall hazards, etc. Have a signed medical release by the child's guardian, in case you need to seek medical care and you also may want to consider learning CPR and basic first aid.


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