Installing stair gates, cabinet locks, and smoke detectors tend to bring a fall in injury rates in young children in a new study that provided and set up the safety products in almost 200 homes.
The researchers found that injuries that could be prevented by making the home environment safer were cut by more than two-thirds.
Lanphear and his colleagues recruited about 350 expectant mothers and inspected their homes for possible injury hazards, including unlocked cabinets, unstable furniture, and accessible electrical sockets.
In a randomly selected group of half those mothers, the researchers discussed safety products with the family and installed all products the families agreed to when their babies were an average of 6 months old. All mothers in the study were also given information on injury risks and how to make their homes safer for kids.
Over the next 2 years, researchers kept in touch with mothers to find out if their children had suffered an injury in the house, and whether it was an injury that could have been prevented with home safety products.
“It seems to me that there’s a number of hazards that children encounter in the home that we have failed to protect them from,” said Dr. Bruce Lanphear from Cincinnati Children’s Environmental Health, one of the study’s authors.