Power Windows and Grandma's Purse
9. Power Windows
The danger: Unsafe car windows cause hundreds of children to lose their fingers or crush their wrists or hands each year, and they've been associated with at least 28 deaths, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit child-advocacy group. If your child puts her head or hand out the window and then accidentally leans on the rocker or toggle switch, the window can close on her.
Safe strategy: If your power windows have rocker or toggle switches, use the lock-out function so your child can't operate them from the backseat. "Before you raise a window from the driver's seat, do a head- and finger-check first," says Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars. Make sure the windows in the next car you buy have switches that must be lifted up to close the windows and also have an auto-reverse function so windows automatically go down if something is in the way. Never leave your child alone in a vehicle.
10. Grandma's Purse
The danger: A grandparent's pocketbook -- or any cosmetic bag, backpack, or suitcase that someone brings into your home or leaves out while you're on a visit -- may contain items that could poison, choke, or injure your child, such as medications, change, hard candy, pen caps, safety pins, nail scissors, and matches. In 2004, a 10-month-old baby died after eating a blood-pressure capsule that he found on his grandmother's coffee table. "It only takes a second for a small child to get into something that's new and exciting while the adults are busy talking," says Bridget Clementi, injury-prevention manager at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee.
Safe strategy: When friends and relatives visit, place purses and luggage in a closet or room where your child can't get to them. If you're visiting someone else's house, put your purse out of reach, and watch your child at all times. "Supervision is the key to keeping your child safe," Clementi says.
Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the April 2006 issue of Parents magazine.