New parents can't see household dangers

August 10, 2009

There are lots of dangers around the house than young kids don't about. Trouble is, some new parents don't about them either.

There are lots of dangers around the house than young kids don’t know about. Trouble is, some new parents don’t about them either.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham tested 94 parents of children three and under to see how well they could identify household hazards. They constructed several mock-up rooms of a house, filled with child dangers – overloaded outlets, marbles, scissors, etc. Participants were to put a sticker on each hazardous item.

The new parents, on average, found 47% of the household hazards. Formal education wasn’t related to a better score, but parental education was, leading researchers to hope injury prevention classes for new parents might be effective.

Before you get too smug, researchers tested two other groups with small-child involvement: daycare workers and health care professionals. The daycare workers found only 37% of the hazards. The health care professionals? Twenty-nine percent.