Before any of my children arrived on this earth, I imagined parenting to be this easy task that I would naturally grasp. Nesting seemed to come naturally to me, I was armed with my early childhood degree on my side, and had my expertise in daycare world. I saw how protective some parents could be, and never understood why. That was until I found myself becoming a mother. I saw the protections that daycares put out there for children. I witnessed baby gates, door knob security knobs, and toilet seat child blockers. All these things seemed as if they were marketed to silly paranoid over protective parents, when in truth they do help to some degree.
Baby proofing one's home is important. As parents we must decide how much or how little we want to barricade our child with these security devices. Sometimes accidents happen, and not enough security devices in the world would have stopped a freak accident. When are entrusted with these precious angels, we do our best, but sometimes children pass on. It is tragic, but we must not blame ourselves. We must not go through the rest of our lives thinking what if, the truth is children are curious by nature. And perhaps this curiosity in some cases can cause children to die.
I wish no children had to die, I wish these safety devices didn't have to exist, but it is important to be aware of what could happen not what will happen. In the following list, I am piecing together things that could harm a child.
14 Grapes And Popcorn
Grapes and popcorn, perhaps not together, to me are one of the best things to eat on earth. However, these foods can be potentially dangerous to little children who do not know how to properly chew. In one of my early childhood classes, it was mentioned that these two foods alone are some of the number one causes for choking in young children. Whenever I serve my two year old grapes, they are always cut into small pieces. I even think cutting them in half is not small enough. Popcorn and grapes could both block the wind pipes of children. For children's wind pipes are about the size of these foods.
In October 2015, a little two year old was out having dinner with his family at a Pizza Hut. He was given grapes, and he got one stuck in his windpipe. Days later, Jacob Jenkins, was pronounced dead. Pizza Hut will no longer be serving grapes to their customers because of little Jacob. Any small food item could cause a child to choke. I do fear for my own son's life sometimes, he likes to put big amounts of food in his mouth. He shovels food in his mouth, and is terrible at chewing. May this not only be a warning to me, but to other parents out there to always keep an eye out for how a child eats his or her food.
13 Falling Furniture
Kids are climbers by nature. The act like monkeys when introduced to playgrounds, they swing, slide, climb, run, and kick. They need to let all of that energy out, it is very healthy for their growth and development. However, this action of curiosity and being a climber can sometimes take its toll. On a cold rainy day where playing on a playground is not possible, of course climbing on a table or couch is the next best option for any kid. My own son has played sky diver from coffee tables, in this past month. His face is now covered in bruises.
Kids can attempt to climb on book shelves, and sometimes these heavy furnishings can land on a child and kill them. We can bolt shelves into the wall or bolt tables to the floor, or simply teach children what the word no actually means. IKEA, the furniture company, was sued for $50 million dollars, when three young boys were smashed instantly by one of their falling Malm dressers.
In this story, the families of each of the three children have claimed that IKEA had the knowledge that these Malm dressers could fall. They also said, IKEA never provided them with the wall anchors they needed to hold the dressers in place. Since this case came into the light, IKEA has issued a recall for Malm dressers dated from 2002-2016 with a full refund of the product.
12 Bath Tub Drownings
Four years ago I was a nanny, and I had no children of my own. The mother I worked for always told me to always stay with the children, while they were in the tub. She was afraid they might drown if they are unsupervised. This seems to be a good policy to me. We have life guards to watch children at public swimming pools, so why treat kids differently when they are at home in a smaller body of water? Unfortunately, life can happen in a way we least expect. One minute, we might be watching our children, the next we need to step out for a brief moment only to realize, that we aren't supervising our kids in the tub any longer.
A thirteen month old child, Kian Dale, was left unsupervised by both his parents. He was in a tub by himself for 13 minutes, and then he was found face down in the water not breathing. The parents both admitted it was their fault for not being upstairs, and that they were stupid. In a metro.co article, Mrs. Dale said, "I don’t want any pity. I was stupid for not going upstairs." This might be an extreme example, of what could happen if you step out of the bathroom for a moment. It is a reminder none the less, that supervision is better than none.
11 Drinking Cleaning Supplies
We all went through at least one chemistry class in high school. In these classes we learned that certain substances, chemicals, and liquids are toxic for human consumption. Try explaining this to a curious toddler, will they likely understand? No, of course not. We then must step in, and hide such chemicals or cleaning supplies from them. I myself, currently have cabinet locks on the kitchen cupboards where we keep these supplies. Since my kids have learned that they can not gain access to these materials, they have stopped trying.
To a toddler, all these cleaning supplies might look like juice or something else they can drink. They don't know any better, and of course they will want a taste if they can get it. In an odd story, a little girl was reported to have swallowed bleach. The mother was passed out on the bed too high on drugs to notice. The kid swallowed bleach because it was found in a sippy cup. It was reported that this child no longer used sippy cups, because she was three. The great grandmother smelled that bleach was on her breath, and sent her to the apartment above theirs. The man who lived upstairs said the girl complained of her throat and stomach hurting from the bleach. She was fine, and needed minor treatment.
10 Toy Batteries
We live in a world of technology, we are bombarded with it daily. Even our children are subjects to the techno monarchy of the modern era. With this subjugation comes certain dangers. I would like to discuss the dangers of toy batteries, specifically button batteries. These little batteries can become lethal if swallowed by a toddler. They are a small tiny and shiny object, the perfect item for a kid to swallow. On December 28th, 2015 a toddler in Oklahoma consumed one of these time bomb batteries. The two year old, Brianna Florer, died six days later.
Fox News reported that when these batteries are swallowed they can sometimes pass through the body with no harm. But in the case of children, it gets stuck in their esophagus and then the body is exposed to all kinds of alkaline substances. These batteries are found in children's toys, greeting cards, hearing aides, remote controllers, and watches. Because these batteries contain lithium, children are exposed to and may suffer from internal chemical burns.
9 Getting A Hold Of The Family Gun
Not every family believes in the right to bare arms. But there are others who would be willing to protect themselves from home invaders, robbers, and the like. To clarify, guns don't kill people, people kill people. If you left a gun on the floor all by itself, would it cause anyone harm? Probably not. It is when the gun gets into the wrong hands, that people's lives can change forever. When toddlers have access to these dangerous weapons, something they believe is innocent may end their life.
Sha’Quille Kornegay, was two when she shot herself with a 9-millimeter handgun. Her father was snuggling with her in bed, and he fell asleep. He kept the gun under his pillow. The girl found it and shot herself in the skull. The father was charged with child endangerment and 2nd degree murder. More gun laws and regulations is not the answer to these tragedies. People need to take responsibility with how they handle guns. They need to follow all gun rules, store guns appropriately, and always keep them out of kids reach.
8 No One Watching Them By The Fireplace
As much as we all love fireplaces and the warmth they provide our homes, they can be dangerous. Fire is not a toy, and this is something we all need to teach our children. Even with the help of fire safety guards, children still should always been supervised while around these furious flames. A little girl, 13 months old was learning how to stand. She placed her hands against the glass that covers the fireplace. With her parents, distracted in the room, the little girl burned her hands and her forehead. If her parents had not been present to help her run cold water on her hands, she could have been hurt more than she was. Even though Christmas and its fireplaces are a good eight months away, it is important to remember to keep our children away from all flames; ones in the kitchen, candles, camp fires, and stoves should always have adult supervision.
7 Accidentally Running Kids Over With Car
Protecting our kids is our calling. We baby proof everything to the best of our ability. We even take precautions as we install our car seats. We never think of that possible accident that could take our kid's life. The unthinkable horror of accidentally running over our kid with a car. It could happen to the best of us. For the parents of 18 month old Jackson Bayers, this tragedy fell upon their home. Brian and Amanda Bayers, were the best parents Jackson could ever ask for.
In an interview with Wave3 News, Brian Bayers speaks about how he was the dad to always make sure that no coins or other choking hazards were in harms way of their son. He spoke about how one morning he had to back his truck out, and he did not even know his son had left the house. The door of his house was apparently open. So the frantic father began searching for Jackson all over the house. As Brian came outside, he realized his son had been hit by the truck. He called 911 and called his wife Amanda. The Bayers have told their story for other parents to be aware that accidents can happen to anyone.
6 Teething Tablets Linked To Deaths
Teething sucks for everyone involved. It is a time we get to witness our little ones going through razor sharp pain. At one point or another, we turn to medicine to make our lives easier, as well as theirs. With things like freezer teethers/pacifiers, to tylenol, or to teething tablets, we all just want the pain to stop so we can get through a meal or get a much needed night of sleep. With teething tablets comes a world of trouble that parents might want to know about.
In a New York Times article posted in October of 2016, it warns parents of the danger of homeopathic teething tablets/gels. It is believed that these gels/tablets are linked with the deaths of ten toddlers. The F.D.A (Food and Drug Association) reported that parents who have administered these teething tablets/gels to their toddlers have claimed their kids to have had ,"seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness and agitation." Pharmacies like CVS, have long since taken these products from their shelves. These drugs have also been recalled.
5 Other Choking Hazards
Early I mentioned that grapes and popcorn were dangerous to have around children. What about the other hazardous items that lurk in our purses, car floors, or house floors? In my own home, I am constantly sweeping to the point of ridiculous. Perhaps it is not insanity, but a mother attempting to protect her children. I never know what I may find on the floor, sometimes it's needles, coins, paper clips, buttons or pins. Either way, making sure these tiny objects do not end up in the mouths of tiny people is my ultimate goal. A six year old girl named Hawa swallowed a coin.
When a child swallows a coin, for example, it won't always get stuck within their system. Coins have been known to make their way out in stool. However, if they do not come out there are signs to look for , according to a new vision article these signs are "symptoms of distress include drooling, inability to swallow or pain when swallowing, vomiting, chest and neck pain." If we as parents are worried about choking hazards, we should perhaps get educated and learn how to perform CPR on adults and children. These classes are always being offered by the American Red Cross.
4 Poisonous House Plants
When I was a little girl I pretended that I was a dinosaur. With that being said, I would go around my grandparents house and eat any house plant leaf that she had lying around for me to munch. Perhaps this was not the safest practice for me to indulge in at the time, but at least I am still alive. In ancient times it was discovered that certain plants could kill, while others were used for healing. A few common house plants that should not be kept in reach of children are poinsettias, aloe vera plants, and even the peace lily flower. Poinsettias are those wonderful plants that are red at Christmas time, and surround church stages during the holidays. How can this plant be poisonous? It has been discovered that the sap of this lovely plant, could cause a very severe allergic reaction in humans. When it comes to aloe vera, I praise it for how it relieves my back from the harshest of sun burns. I condemn this plant for its ability to cause diarrhea and dehydration, if taken as an overdose. Peace lilies however, were a plant that surprised me, I learned that they can cause difficulty with swallowing/breathing, skin reactions, and painful burning within the mouth. The next time I go and purchase a house plant, I am going to do my research to make sure the plant doesn't have a poisonous aroma, death if consumed warning, or a skin allergy as a side effect.
Children like to poke people, pets, and outlets. Let's face it, outlets can be a serious hazard to a child's health. A child can potentially place a fork, knife, or anything metal into an electrical outlet, and then boom he has in his hand a conductor through which electricity can be triggered into his body. My parents laughed at me when I bought outlet protectors, but after working in enough preschools and hearing stories of kids who were so severely electrocuted, I wasn't chancing it.
I am not willing to find out what it looks like when Zeus throws his wrath upon my motherhood misfortune. If a kid does place his hand or finger into the electrical mouth of the wall, they could experience minor injury, serious injury, or at worst death. Even the minor injuries aren't worth risking in my opinion. I might be some paranoid, over protective helicopter mother to some extent, but I know that by baby proofing to some extend I am protecting my kids to some degree from some freak accident. Maybe my son will attempt attaching a key to a kite during a lightening storm, but until that day I praise my outlet protectors.
2 Medicine Cocktail
Adults are tired, tired from work, tired from kids, tired tired tired!! With all this fatigue hanging over our heads, and a bed tempting our eyes to sleep, it is no wonder that misplacement of medicine can become a common thing. When a child goes exploring in their parent's bedroom, they will find all kinds of things from buttons, to shoes, to medicine. As a kid, I personally always found my parent's Tylenol pills lingering on the floor beside the bed. It's like they lived there, tempting me to swallow them. Luckily I never did. When I found them, I usually passed them off to mom and dad.
Some children might find these pills and get ideas, ideas that could be fatal. Some children have even gone as far as making their own medicine cocktails. When I say that, I mean they mix different medicines together and are injured as a result. ABC News reported the story of a one year old child, who swallowed a pill. The mother was scared when he swallowed it and was also confused. She was confused because she always locked her family's medicine cabinet, so nothing like this would ever occur. However, despite her best efforts he still swallowed a pill. This pill turned out to be Tramadol, which is a drug known to trigger seizures. The pill had fallen out of a friend's pocket, this mother found out. The mother has since learned that accidents can happen and nothing is in our control.
It is a beloved spice all over the world. In ancient times it was deemed only fit for a king. Today, this spice is most likely in everyone's kitchen, we use it in french toast, apple cider, and especially on cinnamon rolls. Hint: It's cinnamon. A mother from Iowa learned how fatal cinnamon could be. Her son, Matthew Radar, was at home one day and was playing in the kitchen. He then came across cinnamon while he was playing. Brianna Radar, his mother told her local news WRX, that her son was having seizures, that his breathing was off, and he was choking on the cinnamon. Matthew was declared dead an hour and a half later. The coroner said he died due to cinnamon asphyxiation.The boy had literally breathed in the cinnamon. It was suggested that because he inhaled this spice, that the spice got into his lungs and his body had spasms as a result. Radar is not the only child who has died from cinnamon asphyxiation. Social media has shown hundreds of teens posting videos of themselves inhaling cinnamon, putting cinnamon in their mouths and not being able to swallow. All of these acts are dangerous, hazardous and life threatening. Remember this spice, may one day not be so nice.
Sources: livescience.com, collective-evolution.com, foxnews.com,healthychildren.org, parentscanada.com, choice.com, lonetreepediatrics.com,mommynearest.com, stuff.co.nz, kidspot.com, mamalette.com, redbookmag.com,, sheknows.com, mirror.co.uk, chicagotribune.com, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov,nytimes.com, abcnews.go.com