When shopping for a baby, there is a general assumption that anything for sale in the store must be safe. They are kids’ products after all, and on the plus side, they are government regulated. Apparently not! There are so many items in your environment that are hazardous for your baby. A parent just has so much to worry about, from the baby being well fed, being healthy, as well as other basic necessities, they just don't have time to worry about items that are considered potentially dangerous.
Every now and then, baby products are removed from the market after being deemed unsafe for young ones. So how does a parent tell if a product they are using is dangerous for their child? Once a child is injured, and multiple cases of a similar injury take place that product is considered dangerous. Unfortunately, so many cases of baby products harming young ones have been reported. Normally, a well-publicized and far reaching recall effort is done in order for unsafe products to be gotten rid of. A Google search won’t just cut it when it comes to your baby’s safety, otherwise, you’ll pretty much spend all your time on the Internet.
The situation could most probably get worse considering that the baby product industry keeps to be growing and so does the potential for unforeseen circumstances and scary accidents.
Next time, while shopping for your baby, having some background product information, strict guidelines and using common sense will go a long way in keeping your child safe. Here is a list of 15 American baby products that an American parent can’t buy because the American government has banned them and deemed them dangerous.
15 Crib Tents
Crib tents sold like hot cake and for various reasons. They prevented curious toddlers from crawling out of their cribs and then dropping on their head. The tents also kept curious pets such as cats and dogs out of the infant’s crib. The problem with a crib tent is that your baby can get wrapped up in the tent’s mesh fabric, causing strangulation or injury.
Ensure you keep the door to the nursery closed in order to keep a curious pet out. Another strategy you can put in place is lining your baby’s crib with either tin foil or balloons at least a few weeks before the baby; this prevents your pet from making the baby’s crib their bed.
When your little one begins climbing out of their crib, it’s probably high time to get her a toddler bed, which resembles a regular bed but has a crib mattress.
14 Drop-Side Cribs
Drop side cribs made high media reports in 2010 after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission otherwise known as CPSC informed parents on the dangers of using drop side cribs. The CPSC warned the public after 32 infant deaths were reported as a result of drop-side crib misuse and malfunction.
Eleven product recalls over five years is what it took for the sale of these types of baby cribs to be permanently stopped.
There are several risks attributed to using these types of cribs; from falls due to structural or hardware malfunction or even strangling and suffocation. Parents attempting to MacGyver a broken crib using additional hardware or duct tape make the crib worse and this has caused several infant deaths. CPSC has reported over 32 deaths at least since 2000, and over hundreds of other incidents reported before being banned. Tough standards have been put in place for cribs and each parent has to, therefore, check for a compatible and allowed crib for their baby.
Any product that your baby comes into contact with can no longer contain BPA. Manufacturers were therefore forced to remake their products and cut a lot of pacifiers and plastic baby bottles out of the market.
The argument is that Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in almost all semi-soft resins and plastics can seep into the fluid kept in the container. The Mayo Clinic affirms that the risks associated with BPA-containing products include behavior, brain, and prostate gland problems.
There is even a possibility of BPA being linked with high blood pressure. BPA has been banned from baby items, and therefore all items containing BPA has been taken off the shelves of any local US store. What each parent needs to keep in mind is that not all products containing BPA have been taken off the shelves, especially items not targeted for infants, but parents may use them.
In the United States, however, product labels don’t disclose if BPA is contained in the product and parents can’t, therefore, tell what to use or avoid.
12 Baby Powder
Not what you were expecting? Just unbelievable! It just turns out that baby powder contains some ingredients, namely talc, which is quite dangerous. Weirdly enough, the product is still on the market.
The product seems so innocuous, but in a settlement, a woman named Eva Echeverria sued the company Johnson and Johnson, the baby powder market leader, after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The company was ordered to pay $417 million in damages to Eva, who unfortunately didn't survive. Eva claimed that her consistent use of the baby powder for over 20 years caused cancer.
Her lawyer clearly stated that women using the powder on a daily basis all over the country for over a decade have problems that can be linked to the talcum powder. However, the case was thrown out and science isn’t really conclusive, with various findings indicating minimal to moderate increases in the risk of getting cancer. These cases are, however, self-reported.
Most women have switched to talc-free powder. No woman wants to take such a huge risk after all. It has reportedly caused breathing problems, pneumonia and damaged lungs for babies when inhaled. It is definitely crossed off your baby’s next shopping list.
11 Crib Bumpers
Bumpers are considered criminalized in both Chicago and the state of Maryland. Why? You may wonder, yet they have been designed to keep your baby from hurting her head on the crib slats. They are associated with a high suffocation risk.
Local governments are therefore trying to crack down on the use of crib bumpers due to the suffocation risks.
Today’s Parent reported on a study done that observed many infant deaths in relation to crib bumpers. There were at least 48 deaths reported to have been caused by crib bumpers from 1985 to 2012. There were an additional 146 accidents that involved baby injuries.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is against the use of crib bumpers and this includes the breathable models. The crib bumper is definitely cute, but is it really worth the risk? I don’t think so.
10 Sleep Positioners
Parents love to keep their young ones on their backs; this is because sleeping on their backs has been linked to preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs). These became very popular for babies too young to master proper head control or for babies with reflux and other issues. However, these sleep positioners have been linked to positioning babies in a way that could probably cut off their oxygen.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement cautioning parents against the use of positioners since they have led to over 12 deaths. In some cases, the baby rolled onto their fronts, ending up on their stomachs, causing them to stop breathing. The FDA along with the CPSC has since called for a ban on the positioners, but they are still available.
EBay has since banned the sale of sleep positioners and issued a statement saying that due to recent US recommendations, they can no longer sell products of that nature on their platform. Unfortunately, Amazon continues to sell sleep positioners.
The Guardian reports that phthalates can be found everywhere. Children’s and baby products should, however, contain no phthalates.
Phthalates were banned in 2008 from all baby merchandise; unfortunately, the safety bill did not cover all of them.
However, the bill still ordered for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to closely observe all phthalates for safety purposes.
Published reports that were released gave parents a reason for concern. This is because the reports linked phlathates to breast cancer, type II diabetes, asthma, low IQ, ADHD, autism disorders, behavioral and developmental issues, and fertility/reproductive issues.
Since the 2008 bill, plastics and packaging that is used for kids is reportedly phthalate-free. Babies are not completely off the hook, with phthalates being present in other products and materials that kids are exposed to.
Despite being banned, research into phlathates is still being conducted because some phlathates are being added during manufacturing, but without the intention of the manufacturer, or rather unknowingly. Sounds scary!
8 Chlorinated Tris
Lately, parents are very careful when buying items for their babies. Most parents make the majority of their buying decisions based on several calculated risks. Would you rather the risk of your kids getting sick or the risk of textiles and clothing that have a chance of catching a fire? Feels like a tough choice to make. I know I’d rather not make it!
In the 1970s, an argument came down to this when a certain flame retardant chemical named chlorinated tris was prohibited on the grounds that it was a carcinogen.
The biggest shocker is that the Huffington Post reported that despite the ban on chlorinated tris, the chemical can still be found in a whopping 80 percent of children’s and baby’s clothing products.
Chlorinated tris may have been banned and technically ejected from baby products, but the horrifying news is that the replacement used is a chemical from the same family. Therefore, you should expect plausible toxic and flame retardant chemicals in those beautiful clothes and toys that you buy for your baby.
7 Yard Sale
We all love yard sales. There’s nothing as exciting as getting rid of all that old stuff crammed in your house and making money while at it. Furniture, toys, clothes and baby supplies tend to be in-demand and very popular. If you thought that all that excess baby stuff in your garage could probably make you some quick cash, think again. Unfortunately, there’s is a legality one needs to consider before they have the yard sale on their front lawn.
Technically, it is illegal to sell any baby products at a garage or yard sale.
Why? Everything up for sale is something you have used before and considered it safe? This law has everything to do with safety regulations and there is a high chance that you could be selling an outdated version that was either recalled or banned.
When it comes to prohibited products and toys, safety is a major priority. In order to keep potentially harmful products out of the parents’ and babies possession, this law is on the books. To be on the safe side, ensure the items are not outdated, then you can gift them to friends or family.
6 Blankets And Pillows
A majority of the tragedies in cradles, play yards and bassinets announced between 2006 and 2008 were caused by extra bedding or pillows. Many cushions and pillows that have been marketed as strictly being for kids are prohibited in the United States. Suffocation risks associated with these pillows are high, therefore inhibiting the manufacturers from advertising fancy pillows for babies. The Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute has a code that states that any item labeled as an infant pillow or an infant cushion is unlawful to sell if it falls within specific parameters.
The law prohibits the sale of cushions that have flexible coverings with an inner filling made of loose materials that can be compressed easily and promoted to specifically target kids under a year old.
Basically, any pillow or cushion that is soft and squishy and enough to accommodate the infant’s body or face or body is harmful. These laws are meant to curb manufacturers from selling any product that could put your baby at the risk of suffocation.
5 Sling Carriers
Sling carriers are to die for. It is cost effective and a simple way of keeping your baby close to you. Another reason people love sling carriers is cause they are trendy and come in various patterns and colors. Every cool mom wants to use a sling carrier to carry their baby. I’ve got bad news for the fashionista moms, though!
Over the last twenty years, over 14 infant deaths have been reported as a result of slings and most cases were attributed to the baby falling out of the sling. Horrific! Dozens of injuries, including head injuries, contusions, abrasions, and skull fractures have been reported. Over the years, several models have been recalled due to injury or death and standards have been put in place to protect the baby. However, experts argue that the recent models are not strong enough.
There is also increased risk for kids under four months to suffocate if their head bends forward and compresses against the mom’s body. It is advisable to use specific strap-on carriers, strollers and handheld car seats or baby carriers.
4 Baby Walkers
Baby walkers provide babies with an option to either stand or walk before their legs are strong enough to support them on their own. This, therefore, slows down motor development in your kids. This isn’t the bad news though!
Use of the walkers has caused numerous accidents with babies flipping over, falling down a flight of stairs, crashing into hot things such as stoves and heaters, as well as kids accessing toxic items that you hide such as house cleaners.
Although the categories of stationary exercises, baby walkers and jumpers are not separated, in 2010 alone, the CPSC accounted for around 4000 kids aged under five being injured due to using at least one of the three baby products. Many countries, including Canada, have prohibited the use of baby walkers. The AAP advises parents to not use baby walkers and has suggested that the U.S. government prohibit them as well.
Parents are advised to use an activity center deemed either walk around or stationary. This lets your baby move freely or stand in a circle and on a firm, secure base.
3 Baby Monitors
I was as shocked as you are upon discovering this. I mean, baby monitors are one hell of a life-saving invention. Could any parent ask for more? You get to relax, enjoy some quality time without worrying about your baby. A baby monitor is definitely a worthwhile investment. The added features allow you to listen to your baby while watching their movements in full color. This is something many parents get to enjoy and we can consider keeping an eye on your baby from another room an amazing parenting trick.
However, before you buy that baby monitor, there are several factors that you need to consider and one of them is that monitors have their risks as well. The neighbors' electronic devices could interfere with your monitor and a hacker can access the live feed of your child in her crib. Clearly, these life-saving inventions are not perfect after all. Various types of baby monitors have even been banned because they don’t meet the safety precautions put in place. The Daily Mail reported that Angelcare manufactured a monitor that was recalled due to the strangulation deaths that occurred while people used these monitors.
The monitor had a long cord that proved life-threatening to some infants who met their death through being choked by the tightly wrapped cords. This is, unfortunately, something that could have been prevented.
2 Infant Bath Seats
Bath seats are designed to help your baby sit upright while in a bathtub. However, infant bath seats are known to give a parent a false sense of security. The reason they are dangerous is that these seats can tip over and your baby can tip into the water causing them to drown, especially if you’re not within arm’s reach to avoid that accident.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 300 accidents and 174 deaths attributed to bath seats between the years 1983 and 2009. In most cases, the baby had been left unattended. The CPSC put new rules in place in 2010, and they set new standards for the seat's safety.
Any parent shopping for an infant bath seat should ensure it’s a 2010 or newer model.
You can also decide to forego the seat and instead purchase a hard plastic baby bathtub for your baby. The most important ritual you need to adopt is watching your baby at all times and keeping one hand on the baby throughout.
1 Hyland Teething Pills
Herbal and natural remedies are definitely safe for your baby, right? I mean, what could be considered so dangerous in these natural products? Most of us moms will opt for natural remedies compared to mainstream solutions and medicines. So it comes as no shocker that Hyland’s Teething pills became a popular household name for teething infants.
However, a link has been traced between the use of Hyland’s tablets used for teething and infant death, bringing the manufacturer under fire for a potentially hazardous ingredient. That ingredient, Belladonna, is a plant that is used to treat various health conditions. Its roots and leaves can be used for the blockage of several functions of the body’s nervous system. Believe it or not, Belladonna helps reduce digestive disorders, sooth pain, and heal routine illness.
If used in the wrong dosage; the plant can be poisonous, therefore the prohibition of the Hyland’s Teething pills. Ingestion of excessive Belladonna can make your child ill and the FDA enforces stringent measures on the teething tablet to prevent such incidents from ever occurring.