It's hard to find a parent who doesn't want the newest, latest and greatest accessory for their bundle of joy. After all, the baby industry is worth millions. That's why a new parent's credit card is usually maxed out until the child moves away from home. We kid, but in all seriousness, there is a plethora of baby accessories parents can buy for their wee one.
Before falling into the baby accessory trap, put some forethought into the things being purchased for the baby. What we're talking about, is the safety of the items that parents want to adorn the baby with, or believe will make it easier to raise the baby. They should think about the risk these items pose to the baby.
Maybe it was a present that the parents received at a shower or as a welcome home gift and since they already have it, they think they might as well use it. We all the know the obvious no-no's, but it might be time to think a little harder about the accessories parents use for the baby. Some of these products that can cause harm to babies may be surprising.
Parents can check out a longer list at consumer reports.org.
There are a lot of safe products on the market that parents need to use that can cause harm to a baby if they are used in the wrong way. That's why it's always important to read through all safety instructions and never cut corners during assembly. Babies are precious and a little accident prone, so it's important to also always keep the little ones within view.
Little bumps and bruises will happen along the way (even though it will leave mom and dad feeling terrible), so make a note of these 15 products that can seriously injury to those precious babes.
15 Sleep Positioners
These are most commonly used to keep a baby from rolling over onto his or her stomach while they sleep and they range in a full array of styles and positions. They are also used to help relieve a baby's acid reflux by elevating their head and back.
However, with these in the crib a baby can suffocate if their face ends up along a sleep positioner or if they happen to slip free from it while they are sleeping and simply roll into the crib bedding. Thirteen deaths have been cited by the CPCS over the past 13 years caused by sleep positioners.
Not only has the CPSC called for a ban on sleep positioners, but the FDA has as well. Yet, these baby accessories are still available for purchase. You should stop using these immediately if you own them. If your baby does suffer from acid reflux, talk to your pediatrician and make a plan.
14 Baby Headbands
These cute accessories adorn little baby girls' heads everywhere you look. Scattered on the internet, posing on Facebook, shopping in the grocery store and when you head out to dinner. But, how many parents have actually considered the dangers of putting a headband on their baby girl?
If you've never really thought about it, you should start now. More and more experts are begging parents to stop with the headbands (as cute as they may seem) because they can pose as a chocking hazard. A few experts are even claiming that the headbands can affect the baby's skull growth and brain development.
Obviously a tight headband is a bad thing and the new rule of thumb is to only leave a headband on your baby for a short photo shoot (possibly no longer than 5 minutes). Also, any headband with a flower or fancy decoration is a serious choking hazard, as babies love to play with anything they can get their hands on.
And as soon as they do get their hands on anything, it goes right into their mouth. As you can guess, headbands were not made for teething and petals on flowers and rhinestones can come off easily.
What can you use instead? Try a cute clip or barrette in your darling's hair. If they don't have much hair, try nothing at all. Even a cute hat could top off an outfit in place of a dangerous headband.
13 Amber Teething Necklaces
Amber necklaces are another item that have a potential to harm children. Necklaces themselves pose as several dangers. Should a necklace get caught on something, they could cause harm through strangulation, if a bead should get gnawed in half, then it may come off the necklace and cause the baby to choke. So parents are warned not to put necklaces on their babies, even if they think that it would look cute, safety first.
Another reason parents might want to rethink the amber necklaces is that the amount stores and retailers charge for these items may not be worth the price parents pay. If parents were looking for some peace for those teething gums, they might wind up being dissatisfied with the results. Even if certain types of amber having healing properties, it's more than likely that these properties won't work.
As with anything for babies, there is mixed reviews of people who love it and others who feel swindled. Buy at your own risk!
12 Bottle Slings
When it comes to feeding with a bottle, sometimes it can be difficult to juggle everything you need to do as you're feeding your baby. For instance, eating a meal yourself can be difficult if both your hands are tied up. That's one of the reasons why bottle slings are gaining such popularity. And they can be an amazing addition to the baby accessory list, but only when they are used under close supervision.
Otherwise, they can be very dangerous for babies. This is because the bottle sling is holding the bottle wedged in your baby's mouth. If they fall asleep or are simply full, they have no way to remove the bottle and if you're not watching them, you won't be able to tell because they can't cry with that bottle still in their mouth.
This poses a serious choking hazard for babies of all ages. If you plan on using a bottle sling, make sure your baby is always in view as they're eating and remove the bottle as soon as they are finished, because it's no good for them to suck on air either.
A bottle sling can be safer to use once your baby is able to hold the bottle on their own. This means they can move it once they are full, as long as they are awake. Still, it's good to practice only using the sling when your baby is in view.
11 Car Seat Toys and Add-Ons
During long car trips it can be hard to keep a little one calm, especially when they're too little to really understand what's happening. So it can seem like the best investment ever for something that can keep your little one entranced and starring happily.
But, recently car seat experts have claimed that 99% of these hanging toys are unsafe. They dangle and can continuously hit your baby in the face during trips. Not to mention if it comes loose off of one end it could potentially get wrapped around the baby's neck or pose a choking danger. A good rule of thumb to exercise is this: if it didn't come with the car seat, don't use it.
So, what can you use as a calming effect in the car instead? Try giving your little one a teether or a rattle to play with.
10 Baby Monitors With A Cord
Baby monitors are perhaps the best investment parents can make when it comes to keeping an eye (and an ear) on their baby as they sleep. But, these amazing accessories can also be incredibly dangerous. A baby monitor that has a cord and is placed too close to a crib is a serious strangulation hazard for infants.
When they can stand, they'll reach for anything and if they see a baby monitor, they'll pull that monitor along with the cord right into the crib with them.
While there isn't an alternative to a baby monitor, it's important to make sure that you take the time to make sure you position it in the right place. Carefully read the instructions as you're setting up the monitors. Make sure that not even you could reach the monitor if you were in the crib. You don't have to stand in the crib, just reach your arm through a slat.
Can you grab the cord? If so, it's too close to the crib. Also, make sure that the plug for the monitor is not within arm's reach of the crib either. A good rule of thumb when setting up the monitor is to keep everything: the monitor, the cord, and the plug, at least three feet from the crib. Another thing to keep clear from babies is the cords on blinds, curtains, and shades.
9 Humidifiers And Vaporizers
These appliances can become hot, resulting in burns from steam. While they can be essential to a parent whose little one's have respiratory problems, they can also be quite dangerous, so try to avoid using warm-mist vaporizers in children's rooms if there's no real need to have one in there.
Instead, purchase a cool mist vaporizer for use in the children's rooms and try to unplug and remove it when it's not in use, just to keep your child from playing with it, which can result in spilled water or electrocution if they play with the cord. Also, never point any humidifier or vaporizer directly at a baby's crib.
And always make sure that when these accessories are being used in the house that there are no loose wires, the water containers are secured and that they're store properly away when they're not being used.
8 Jogging Strollers
It can be a stressful time after your little one is welcomed home, and the haunting thought of losing the baby weight can hang over your head. A jogging stroller can seem like a great investment. A way for you to get some great and well-deserved exercise, and maybe finally get back into your old routine, and the both of you can get some fresh air.
But recently, experts are recommending that a baby should be at least one year old before they ride in a jogging stroller. This is because of the improper recline for babies that can result in their head falling forward when they are not yet strong enough to hold their head up on their own.
If a young infant's head falls forward and she cannot move it, there is a large risk of asphyxia, since her breathing can be restricted, and can result in death. It's also good to note that all the jostling around inside the stroller while mom jogs might not be good for an infant. Not to mention, you or the baby could potentially fall and get hurt.
7 Safety Gates
While pressure-mounted gates are a great safety feature that can be used to keep your little one from climbing up the stairs, they offer no restraint from a baby falling down a flight of stairs. These gates can easily let go from the wall if your little one falls against the gate or tries to climb over it. The pressure is only good for between the walls, but once pressure is applied from either side, the safety of the gate is reduced.
What's a good substitute? Try a hardware-mounted model at the top of your stairs. Anything that has to be screwed into place is going to offer more security. They offer secure protections indoors and out. Just keep in mind that there is no baby gate that takes the place of supervision.
6 Unfastened Harnesses
Baby accessories such as highchairs, strollers, bouncers, swings, and car seats come with harnesses for added safety and restraint. It's always important that you use them! There are thousands of reports every year of babies that fell from their equipment because of unfastened harnesses. Some have resulted in death from the injuries.
A baby is going to wiggle and squirm and try to get out of anything, even if they want to be in it. Harnesses keep them secure and safe, unable to fall and suffer from something as minor as a scrape or brush-burn to as major as head trauma or a broken bone. And always make sure to keep the harness fastened until the very last second.
The moment you unfasten the harness you should be picking up your baby. It's also important to make sure that the harness is a snug and secure fit, otherwise it won't be able to properly restrain your child.
5 Bulky Baby Clothing
You're all ready to go and you're little one is all bundled up in that cute, fuzzy jacket. You strap them in the car seat and head off to run your errands, but what you may not realize is the serious risk that bulky winter clothing case pose to infants and toddlers. Even if the straps feel tight, at just 20 mph, if you slam on the brakes there's a good chance your baby can slip free from his/her car seat.
This is because those straps that feel tight aren't really all that tight, leaving enough space for your baby to flop out and get seriously hurt.
So what can you do? Experts recommend wrapping your kid in a blanket instead of wearing their heavy jacket in the car and then simply sliding the jacket on when you arrive at your destination. But, there is also a way to make sure your child's winter wear is safe for car seat wear if you don't like the blanket idea.
Bundle your baby up in the jacket you wish them to wear and buckle them into the car seat. Tighten the straps until there is only room for one finger to fit along their collar bone. Now, remove your kiddo and take off the jacket. Buckle them back into the car seat and test the straps. If there's room to tighten them again then the jacket is too bulky.
4 Infant Bathtub Seats
These can be a great accessory to help your baby sit up while they're in the bath, but it's also a very dangerous option. The suction cups on the bottom of seats never really work properly, giving the seats a tendency to tip over while your child is still inside. Infant bathtub seats have been the cause of over 175 deaths in just the past 16 years.
A good alternative for baby bath-time is to use a hard plastic infant tub. Only transfer your little one to the full-sized bathtub when they can sit up on their own without your help at all. Also, make sure you constantly watch your baby during bath time.
Don't let them out of your sight for even a second, as it takes only a tiny bit of water for a baby to drown and a short bit of time. A good rule to follow is to always keep at least one hand on your baby during their entire bath.
3 Sling Carriers
A great accessory for keeping your darling snuggled up close to your chest, but carriers such as these pose a serious suffocation risk for babies, especially those under four months. This arises when they baby's face becomes pressed against the adult's body, blocking their little airways and suffocating them.
Sling carriers are also responsible for multiple injuries to babies, mostly when they have fallen out of them, such as bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, head injuries, and contusions. Over the past 20 years they have been responsible for 14 infant deaths.
What's safe instead? Try handheld carriers, strollers, or backpack carriers (these will be covered over more stringent baby carrier safety standards). Another good alternative is a Ring Sling, as long as they are used properly. But, all baby carriers need to be used properly and respected.
Make sure the fit is comfortable for you and your baby and read through the instructions before you carry your baby around inside the carrier. When you are carrying your baby, constantly check on their head position to make sure it is not pressed against anything and remember to always bend at the knees. Even safe carriers can be dangerous if you bend at the waist, because the baby can fall out and become seriously hurt.
2 Bumbo Seats
While these adorable seats that come in a variety of colors are used to help babies sit upright, they are extremely dangerous for babies as most offer no way to properly restrain your little one. With the lack of restraint, if babies simply arch themselves, lean, or rock they can fall from the seats and injure themselves.
Even with restraints, the seats can be easy to tip over with a lot of movement from a little one. In November of 2011 the CPSC issued a safety warning of the use of these seats. With the alert there were 45 cited injuries that involved infants falling out of the Bumbo seats. The seats were placed on tables, countertops, and adult-sized chairs.
Of the 45 injury reports, 17 were of infants younger than 1 year who ended up with skull fractures due to their falls.
Instead of purchasing a Bumbo seat to help your little one sit, try a bouncer seat or a stationary activity center. To avoid serious falls that can result in harmful injuries, never place the seat on a bed, table-top, counter-top, or couch while your child is inside. It's also a good idea to make sure your child is properly restrained in any seat you're using, for added safety.
1 Walkers With Wheels
These can seem like a great accessory. I mean you can put your little one in here and it can help them to walk before they can do it on their own. That has to be a good thing, right? Well, according to recent studies, maybe not so much. Turns out, a walker may actually delay your baby of their developmental milestone of learning to walk and hold them back from learning to walk on their own.
In addition to that, there are more than 21,300 injuries reported in emergency rooms each year from babies who rolled down the steps while in their walkers. If you're deciding to use one of these, please make sure your baby is safely watched and kept clear of any and all steps. It may be a good idea to only use these products downstairs altogether.
If you decide you don't want to use a walker, is there any alternative? Yes. Experts recommend a walk-around or a stationary baby activity center, something with a solid base that will be safe for your baby to learn to maneuver around.
Sources: What To expect, Mom Junction, Consumer reports