Dangers In Your Home You May Not Be Aware Of {Protect Your Kids}



 by marshacrist, on Pix-O-Sphere


Most parents can identify what actions they need to take to protect their children. For example, when their kids start crawling and/or walking, they install covers on the electrical outlets, put safety latches on cabinet doors, and place cleaners/household supplies out of reach. Parents teach their kids not to talk to strangers and not to let anyone touch them inappropriately. When children become pre-teens/teens, and start to venture out into the world, the dangers that we need to protect them from are not so obvious. I’m going to share a few of those “potential dangers” with you based on my experience as a children’s mental health therapist. Parents that I’ve worked with in family therapy were often shocked to discover that their kids were engaging in these dangerous behaviors. I’m not here to scare you, just educate you.

—->When I use the word “kids”, I am referring to preteens and teenagers. Keep that in mind as you read through this list.

  • Most apartments/homes have a medicine cabinet or something similar. Do you store your prescription drugs in there {current and expired}? How about over the counter medications like Benadryl? —–>I saw MANY kids with substance abuse issues who stole from their parents’ prescription bottles. They either stole the drug for personal use or to give to their friend{s}. If you don’t think that your kids know what Xanax/sleep aids/muscle relaxers are, more than likely you are mistaken. Benadryl makes most users feel groggy, doped up. Imagine how it makes your child feel, especially if they take more than the recommended dosage. I heard many kids say that they liked how Benadryl made them feel. Are you monitoring your medications?
  • The majority of adults keep some form of alcohol in their household {wine, beer, liquor, etc.,}. What is stopping your child from taking a sip of rum, whiskey, etc., when you’re not around? Taking a beer from the refrigerator and drinking it? Daring their sleepover buddy to try some while you are asleep? Many kids told me that they “stole” alcohol from their own home to consume and most parents did not notice or suspect that it was them. Are you noticing any unusual behavior? Are you wondering what happened to all of your whiskey?
  • Chances are you have some type of aerosol cleaner/spray/etc., in your household. You might even have a spray paint can in your garage. Have you ever heard of huffing? Sniffing? Bagging? These are all methods that kids use to get high off of inhalants. Do you remember when you were in school and kids used to joke about getting high off of sniffing glue? Well, it’s a real problem and there are actually kids who regularly engage in this dangerous behavior.
  • If you keep guns in the home, do you secure them in a locked gun case? Do your kids know where the key is? Do your kids know what the password is? Do you keep the gun loaded? Is there a safety on? Is your child sleeping over at a house where the adults secure their guns? The story I heard from an eight year old who held a loaded gun in his hand while staying over at a friend’s house haunts me to this day. Why? Because the gun misfired and his friend ended up getting shot. The child survived but others have not been as lucky.

These are just four of the “potential dangers” lurking in your home {and in others’ homes}. Talk to your kids. Educate them. Monitor them. Be responsible. Do not act like your child’s best friend. You are their parent.

Please think about what I have discussed here and see what you can do to make your home safer. Your child’s well being may depend upon it.

Disclaimer: Although this post is written by a mental health professional, it should never replace the advice of your personal health practitioner. This is an educational post only.


  • Reply
    Mary Dailey
    June 25, 2012 at 8:43 am

    It wouldn’t hurt for parents to print this and keep it handy to read every now and then to refresh our memories.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Hiles
    May 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I heard the latest “fad” was kids drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk. It contains 62% ethyl alcohol . It can be very dangerous. Some kids are using salt to separate the alcohol. Doctors suggest buying the foam kind to reduce abuse (accidental or purposely).

    • Reply
      May 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Gross! But scary! Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

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