Know the dangers and safe proof your home

These seven things are considered especially dangerous for unsupervised children and can be found both inside – and outside – your home.

 Did you know that in South Africa, drowning is the third highest cause of accidental deaths in children under the age of five?

While there is no place like home, your home can be a dangerous place for kids – especially younger ones. There are many items both inside and outside your house that could result in accidents and trips to the emergency room. Some of these items are no-brainers, while others may surprise you.

We take a look at seven of the most dangerous things that could possibly hurt your child.

Swimming pools

Even kids that can swim can accidentally fall into a pool and drown. It happens so fast and is such a silent killer that many trauma surgeons refuse to have a pool on their property. In South Africa, drowning is the third highest cause of accidental deaths in children under the age of five, after motor vehicle accidents and fires. The Medical Research Council says 60-90% of drownings occur in residential pools.

Power washers and extension ladders

Some children can’t resist climbing up a ladder and if they fall, they can be fatally injured. Kids also love water and hose pipes, so the combination of the two in a power washer can prove irresistible. Beware, the intense spray of water can penetrate the skin.


It’s a no-brainer, but guns that are not properly secured in a house lead to many accidental childhood deaths.

Expired medication

How many of us have collections of old and expired medication in our homes? ER doctors advise getting rid of all leftover pills after seeing too many kids with potentially fatal painkiller overdoses.

High chairs

Steer clear of high chairs that pull up to the table. Trauma surgeons say that they have encountered many cases of kids under one who push the table with their feet and tip their chair backward. A fall from one metre can cause a skull fracture.


From broken bones to neck injuries, a trampoline can cause harm to children, even if it has a net around it.

Button batteries

Most commonly found in watches, button batteries are now used in gate remotes, hearing aids, toys, games and even singing birthday cards. If swallowed by a toddler, they can get stuck in the windpipe and the battery acid can permeate the wall of the oesophagus, causing serious damage.