Through the eyes of kids, your home is a mysterious place that can entertain their imaginative minds for hours. For you, your chest of drawers serves to hold clothes, but for children, it can be more fun to scale than a jungle gym.

Through the eyes of kids, your home is a mysterious place that can entertain their imaginative minds for hours. For you, your chest of drawers serves to hold clothes, but for children, it can be more fun to scale than a jungle gym.

Younger kids' curiosity about their environment can lead to healthy discoveries around the home. But little fingers can easily open unlocked cabinet doors and electrical cords seem meant for pulling. According to experts at Nationwide Children's Hospital, while a healthy sense of imagination and curiosity is great for development, it also can lead to great physical dangers.

Most injuries in the home can be prevented. Caregiver supervision is always an important key to preventing injuries in the home, but as most parents can attest, even under an adult's watchful eye it can take just seconds for a peaceful situation to turn into a life-threatening scenario.

Experts from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital remind parents that injuries can occur in an instant. That's why it's important to take steps now to prevent injuries later.

A study recently released from the Center for Injury Research and Policy found that over an 18-year period, injuries from furniture tipping over on children increased more than 40 percent. Every year, nearly 15,000 kids visit emergency departments for injuries caused by furniture tip-overs, with falling televisions being the most common cause of injury in kids younger than 10. Many times, these injuries occur when a child tries to climb dressers or bookshelves, but prevention is easy.

Attach large furniture, like dressers and bookshelves, to the wall with a safety strap or L-bracket. This way, if a child does manage to climb it, it won't sway or tip over. Place heavy items on lower shelves and don't use shelves or dresser tops as television stands. Secure televisions to a sturdy stand or the wall. Don't place items that will intrigue kids - like remote controls, toys or food - on top of the television. Tuck away electrical cords so kids don't use them to pull down heavy items.
For parents of infants and toddlers, the best way to "baby-proof" your home is to see your living space from your child's perspective. Get on the floor and see what your child sees. Most parents know to use electrical outlet covers, but what about the electrical cords bundled behind the television stand?

Appliance and extension cords can become frayed and damaged, which can lead to electrical shock if touched or chewed on. Also, avoid using draping table cloths. When kids are on the floor, they can easily pull on the cloth, causing whatever is sitting on the table to crash to the floor. Be sure to invest in sturdy and secure gates and latch them properly at both the top and bottom of staircases.

House fires can start in seconds and spread rapidly, leaving families with only minutes to escape from the fire. That's why it is important to have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside all sleeping areas and in every bedroom. Work with kids to create a fire escape plan and determine a safe meeting place outside in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape plan often.

"Fires are a leading cause of injury and death among children, and kids younger than 5 are at especially high risk. Working smoke alarms can give your family more time to escape a fire and cut your risk of fire-related death by half," said Nichole Hodges, MPH, CHES, home safety program coordinator, Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

To most families, home is a place of refuge - a safe place to relax and enjoy the company of loved ones. However, home is also the location where most injuries to children occur. Fortunately, most injuries that happen in the home are preventable with a few simple steps. By taking action before injuries occur, parents can help ensure that their house is always a "home sweet home."