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Some of us in America are having a ragingly hot summer. Many cities and states are seeing temperatures soar into the 90s and 100s, and there doesn’t seem to be much relief. Many kids are forced to stay inside with air conditioning, if they are lucky enough to have it. I’ve seen many kids in our neighborhood hanging out in their attached garages, too, with a fan blasting and playing ring toss, corn toss, and ping pong. It’s a way to be outside – but not too far outside.
However, garages aren’t really a place for kids - certainly not for those under ten. There are many potential hazards in garages and here are five that prove garages are no place for young children:
1) Fun colored liquids: manufacturers of bottles filled with window washer fluids, anti-freeze and other chemicals use bright oranges, pinks, blues and greens to color the fluids. Often mistaken by children as sweet drinks, these chemicals can easily be accessed and swallowed, leading to poisoning and even death. A locked and secure cabinet (with a combination lock, rather than a key) can safely store these bottles, and other drinkable poisons. Paint thinners, gas, and other flammables need to be stored in airtight metal containers.
2) Summer gardening tools: while we huddled indoors in the winter, using only a snow-blower or skis/sleds from the garage, in the summer season gardening tools, saws, axes, rakes and other potentially deadly objects are often placed against walls due to frequent usage. Falling into little hands, this can lead to a deadly accidents waiting to happen. Many of these smaller objects can be locked away, but special attachments can be placed high up on garage walls in order to hold these large axes, saws or rakes securely in place, and far away from a child’s reach.
3) The garage floor: small, shoeless feet love to run from their home, through the attached garage, and out to their garden or yard. But garage floors are sometimes filled with old nails, broken recyclables, and other potential hazards (including oil or grease) that can cause injured feet, hands and legs that may lead to serious infections, or falls.