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Ann Brown, former chairman of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows how to keep kids safe

Posted at 11:50 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2014-04-22 16:50:05-04

THE ACREAGE, Fla. -- From covering the outlets of your home -- to moving things out of the reach of children -- parents have always been told there were dozens of things they had to do keep their children safe.

But, in the walk-through of a home in The Acreage, Ann Brown, the former chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said there were some things that parents often overlooked.

"I would say [that in] nine out of ten homes parents are always aware of things but there are some things that they're not aware of," Brown said.

Brown, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton and now serves as an advisor to Safe Kids Palm Beach County, gave Leo and Lori Tarafa high marks for having gates that closed off the kitchen from their 19-month-old daughter, Skylar.

But she said a set of knives and medicine on the kitchen counter were within close reach of a small child.

"I wouldn't keep knives out at all. These are sheathed and they are pushed back but I would be on the edge of safety. I would go a little farther and put knives away in a cabinet," Brown said. "I wouldn't keep medications out at all. I think it's best to have them in a locked cabinet. These are far back and that's important but put them in a locked cabinet."

Brown said the set of swivel bar stools near the kitchen posed a danger.

"I'm going to change your whole decor. But, these are extremely dangerous. These could topple over on a kid. A kid is clinging to them and bam! These are metal and heavy. Put these away until the children are a little older," Brown said.

Brown praised the Tarafas for securing their widescreen television and living room furniture.

Four children in Palm Beach County, Brown said, had been injured by television sets that had fallen on them.

"You've done something especially good. You have this so it can't fall over. It's fixed to the wall," Brown said. " Any kind of heavy furniture that you can fix to a wall is absolutely terrific."

The locked cabinets and empty counter space in the bathroom earned more praise -- until Brown found a small toy in the bathtub.

"This is swept clean of anything that's dangerous. That's wonderful," Brown said. "There are these bath toys and they are fine. There's one that I found that is this tube and that's a little dangerous. That, a kid can swallow."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains Safety Guides and a Safety Education Center that educates parents on ways to keep their children safe at home and elsewhere.