Motherhood is scary. As much as a mom works to read and research about how to take care of her baby, things can happen that no one expected. Sometimes it can be traumatic or even tragic, and a mom can be left shocked and confused.
There are millions of articles on car seat safety, and how to choose the right seat and buckle the baby up safely, but no one talks about the risks of oxygen deprivation that some moms have encountered with tragic results. When a woman learns about something that could have saved her baby some hurt, she wants to share it so that other little ones don't have to go through it if they don't have to. After all, it can take a village to know all the little things to raise a child.
That runs the gamut from the baby products that could be dangerous to the every day items that no one realizes could have an impact on your little one. Social media helps in passing along the word, and there have been quite a few moms that have gone viral as they share their tragic tale and how other people could avoid it. It's hard being a mom, so we do all that we can to help.
Here are 15 moms who want to warn other moms.
15 Mold Inside Teething Toy
We all know that everything a baby gets his hands on ends up in his mouth. That's why we all bought on to the idea of giving them a toy that is made for chewing. Sophie the Giraffe has been one of the most popular versions, as its little horns are perfect for massaging gums. Tons of moms have told us that Sophie was their child's favorite toy, but a mom last year discovered that it may not be the safest chew toy ever. The rubber animal can get pretty gross, said Dana Chianese, a New Jersey woman who posted a warning that went viral.
Dana thought her daughter's toy smelled pretty gross, so she decided to cut it open and see what was inside.
She discovered a disgusting amount of mold growing inside, even though she regularly washed the toy with hot, soapy water, per the instructions, and never submerged it in water.
While it's gross, most kids don't get sick from mold like this, although if they have an immune disorder or a mold allergy, it could be a really big problem. We've also seen some pretty yucky pacifiers once they are opened up. We strongly recommend replacing toys every once in a while. Seeing is definitely believing, and Dana really showed us something disgusting.
14 Babies In Car Seat For Too Long Are At Risk
When it comes to car seats, there are so many rules and dos and don'ts. Most parents spend a lot of their time and energy focusing on whether they have strapped their little one into the seat correctly, but that's not the only thing to worry about, as a Scottish woman learned recently.
She began warning others this April, after her 3-week-old little one suffered a seizure for being in the car seat too long.
Kirsti Clark had heard warnings about leaving a baby in the car seat to take a nap, as they can slide down in a way that their little windpipes could get obstructed. But she had no idea that a two-hour car trip could end up hurting her little one. The family got stuck in rush hour traffic, and after they got home, Kirsti placed her daughter on a play mat only to find her with blue lips and white foam coming out of her mouth.
"It was so scary. My husband was holding her and patting her back and I was trying to get her mouth open to make sure she didn't swallow her tongue but her jaw was clenched shut," Kirsti said in the Daily Mail, describing the scene. "Seeing her like that was the worst feeling. It was horrid. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone."
Doctors determined that baby Harper wasn't permanently harmed, but they said that any baby who is in a car seat more than an hour could suffer from oxygen deprivation. It's scary, and we're glad the Kirsti warned us before it happened to us.
13 Misleading Packaging Means Moms Must Always Read Labels
Teething is just a terrible time in a child's life. It's hard for moms as well, as they watch their baby in pain without many options to help them. A lot of moms thought that they had an option to use Orajel to help out, but a Virginia mom recently learned the hard way that it's really not a good idea to use it on a baby.
Danielle Kapetanovic bought an Orajel with a picture of a baby on it, and she used it for her daughter Chloe, just 15 months. She put just a tiny amount on her gums, but the baby immediately stopped breathing.
She went from red-faced and screaming to limp and blue in a matter of seconds, so her mom started CPR while her dad called 911. Luckily, she woke up after about 15 to 20 seconds, and by the time the ambulance got there, she was OK. Danielle looked at the back of the package and saw that it says that it is intended for kids 2 years of age and older — but it has a photo of a sleeping baby on it. Danielle wanted to warn other parents, since it is so confusing, and she contacted the manufacturer about putting on a larger warning or even taking it off shelves.
“I felt it was important to draw attention to this so that parents know the risks associated with using Baby Orjael Nighttime on their children under two," Danielle told Scary Mommy. We had no idea, so we definitely thank you for the warning.
12 When Breast Isn't Best But Mom Doesn't Realize
While mom shamers seem to think that breastfeeding is the only healthy option to nourishing a newborn, Jillian Johnson knows better. Jillian spoke out on the fifth anniversary of her son Landon's passing to let people know that breast isn't always best — in fact, the current climate that discounts moms who choose to formula feed their infant could have fatal consequences. She learned that the hard way.
According to the article, which was first posted by the Fed Is Best Foundation, Jillian was told that her son was doing well. Lactation consultants told her that he had a great latch, although they recommended some nutritional supplements for her to boost her breastmilk supply, since she suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can cause women to struggle to produce milk.
Jillian seemed to be constantly nursing, but she didn't know that her baby was actually starving. Less than 12 hours after she and her baby got home from the hospital, she found Landon unresponsive.
He was diagnosed with cardiac arrest caused by dehydration, and he passed away at just 19 days old.
"There's nothing wrong with giving your child a bottle," Jillian said in a People article about the story. "If you think something is wrong, push on those doctors and nurses as hard as you can to make sure, until you feel that you’re being taken care of, that baby’s being taken care of. Especially at that age, you’re the only advocate that baby has so you have to do everything in your power to make sure that baby’s taken care of."
11 Nearly Trapped On An Escalator
Remember a few years ago when we all panicked over Crocs getting stuck in elevators? It's still a big issue, and a Calgary woman is trying to warn moms and proprietors about the elevator.
Andrea Diaczok was holding her 2-year-old's hand when going down an escalator at Vancouver International Airport when his boot started to get eaten on the side of the moving platform. She started yelling for someone to push the stop button, which probably saved the boy's life.
As someone called 911, her husband tried to cut through the boot, but the boy was already injured.
"He was screaming. I think I was screaming too," she said, adding that his leg was broken and her son had nightmares afterward. "You can be riding responsibly and all it takes is a touch — you can have your life changed for the worse."
Andrea went on to talk about how many people are cautious at the top and the bottom of the elevator, but they aren't aware that you could get trapped at the side. It's true; we didn't know that was a possibility. We're going to be a lot more careful in the future, and we hope that Andrea's son recovers well.
10 Ineffective Sunscreen Warning
Summer is supposed to be a time for fun in the sun, but as Rebecca Cannon found out, sometimes it can be very dangerous for babies. Cannon warned other moms last summer of a danger that they may not expect when they are trying to protect their baby's delicate skin from sun burn. Sometimes the sunscreen can actually be dangerous. Rebecca usually had sunscreen with her, but when she was out for a day of fun without it, she borrowed some of the sunscreen spray that Banana Boat sells.
The spray was SPF 50, so it should have protected little Kyla, but instead, the baby ended up with second degree burns on her face.
She had to rush her daughter to the emergency room later that day, and the entire summer ended up miserable. Rebeccca made headlines with her warning and the terribly sad photos of a red-faced Kyla, but others have said that the reaction may have been related to an allergy. It's controversial, but we think we'll be steering clear of the spray stuff and going for the more traditional application method. It's important to take care of a baby's skin, and not just because of the pain of a sunburn. There is a link between lots of sunburns and skin cancer later in life, so be sure to do all that you can to protect your little one's skin.
9 Daughter's Big Spending That Mom Can't See
There are a lot of reasons to keep cell phones out of the hands of kids, including concerns that too much screen time can damage a child's brain development. But Corinna Spaziani warned people earlier this spring that they should monitor their kids very carefully when they have their smart phone.
She ended up learning the hard way that her daughter had racked up an astronomical bill on her iPhone.
Giorgia was allowed to play a game called My Talking Hank that was free to download, but the child was able to use the fingerprint authentification that was supposed to be for unlocking the screen to actually open up the digital wallet. In just a few weeks, she ended up spending nearly $5,000 in real money on virtual currency.
“She doesn’t know how she did it. I don’t know if it’s a glitch in the system, I’m thinking it is," Corinna told CTV Edmonton, adding that the receipts went to her spam folder. “I just want parents to be aware. To make sure they have everything set up. I thought I did, and I didn’t.”
By the way, Apple said the purchases don't meet the conditions for the refund, so Giorgia's game privileges have definitely been changed.
8 Trust Your Instincts
It's always sad when it takes something drastic to help us learn to trust our instincts. If only Georgia Boyton had pushed her midwives more, she wouldn't have had to issue a warning for moms last year. The 20-year-old shared a photo of her stillborn baby on social media to get the point across that a mother's instincts are always best.
Poor Georgia, a woman from the United Kingdom, had noticed that her baby's movements had slowed around 33 weeks into her pregnancy.
She did all that she was supposed to do, going to the hospital to get it checked out, but her midwives told her that all was well. About a month later, during an ultrasound, she learned that her daughter had no heartbeat.
She thinks that is she had pushed for treatment earlier her baby might have been saved. In fact, the midwives said that she might have survived if she had come in just days before.
“My pregnancy was perfect until I reached 33 weeks and I noticed Dollie-Raie's movements change,” Georgia wrote in a heartbreaking social media post that went viral. "I wish I'd trusted my instincts but when you're told everything is OK, you trust the professionals."
7 One Single Strand Of Hair Can Really Wrap Around
For babies, the smallest things can make a big difference — for good or for bad. It just took one single strand of hair to nearly cause the worst for Heather Fricke's young son Jacob, so she talked out last year to try to warn other moms. One day when she and her husband were getting Jacob dressed to go to a party, they found something unexpected when they took off his socks.
Jacob's toes were blue. Two of them were tied together with a little strand of hair, and it had cut off the circulation to the tiny toes.
Heather did her best to get the hair off, and then she had to rush the baby to the emergency. In her viral social media post, she said that it took an hour and five doctors to get the rest of the hair off, and it was only because of the swift response that the little guy got to keep his toes.
Heather learned later that hair can be dangerous for every appendage, so she warned that parents need to check everywhere. "They are such tiny babies and our hair can be such a hazard but it’s something that we never really pay attention to," she warned.
6 Car Seats Work So Use Them Every Time
Car seats have been mandatory for infants for more than 30 years, and we all know that they can mean the difference between life and death for kids. But, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and one mom knew that her photograph would make a big difference in bringing home the case that it is imperative that children are safely buckled in their five-point harnesses every time the car leaves the garage.
Jenna Casado Rabberman posted a photo of her entirely smashed vehicle beside the two car seats where her children sat during a major auto accident. The car seats look pristine next to the mangled metal that is unrecognizable as her Honda CR-V.
“THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time,” Jenna wrote in her Facebook post. “Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing.”
Jenna's two boys, ages 3 and just 6 weeks survived the crash without a scratch thanks to their car seats, and she knew that the image would let other parents know exactly what can happen. “Hopefully, it will save a life by making someone think twice about buckling their child in,” Jenna in a York Daily Record article.
5 Fidget Spinner Scare
Fidget spinners were all the rage in 2017. Kids spent hours watching those little things spin and collecting cool designs, and as much as we talked about the facts that the cheap versions could be dangerous, there were still kids who got sent to the hospital. That's why Johely Morelo went public with what happened to her son. Johely had actually heard of other kids who had chocked on fidget spinners, and she warned her son Cayden about it.
But boys will be boys, especially when they are 5. He broke off a piece and put it in his mouth, which lead to him having to go to the hospital, where doctors struggled to help him and had to transfer him to another facility for treatment. "It was super scary," Johely told Good Housekeeping. "When they were putting a tube down his throat, he was throwing up blood. It was really scary for me to see he was in pain." Those little toys have lead to a number of injuries for kids in the past year or two.
While choking is a big risk, some kids have also had hand injuries, and other places are in danger if they do tricks.
Johely said she wished she had been watching her boy while he played with the toy — supervision could have saved him a lot of pain and her a big pile of hospital bills.
4 Twin Cribs With Space To Fall, But Not All The Way Through
There are so many warnings out there about crib safety, and moms and dads are bombarded with information these days about not having loose blankets in cribs and the dangers of bumper pads and stuffed animals. But one Phoenix woman learned from a very scary incident last year that there is one thing that they don't teach you. She posted a warning on Facebook that went viral, letting all twin moms know that they really need to worry about how apart their cribs are.
Alison Johnson didn't know that her 18-month-old was able to pull himself out of his crib until one day when she head him crying and rushed in to see him trapped between the edges of her two cribs, which were a few inches apart.
Little Caleb was holding himself up by his arms, but she realized that if she hadn't responded so quickly, his arms may have tired out and the poor thing would have been dangling by his head.
“I’ll never forget the image of him there,” Alison said to a local television station, adding that she wanted her twins to be close to each other for bonding, but didn't realize the danger that it posed. “I’m thankful we shared this story because I’m totally confident that we’ve saved a life by it.”
3 A Common Pool Incident Leads To Lung Infection
Every parent worries about their child around bodies of water. Many try to get their kids in to swimming lessons when they are still small so that they will be safer in the water, but Lacey Grace had no idea that there was a danger for her daughter when she never went under the water at the pool. Lacey's daughter Elianna, nearly passed away earlier this spring, and her story has become viral because it's a big warning to parents about the things that can go wrong at a time when we are looking for fun in the sun.
Little Elianna was playing with a pool noodle, blowing in one end so water sprayed on someone else, and then the other would do the same to her. At one point, they both accidentally blew at the same time, and the water went into Elianna's wind pipe. The 4-year-old threw up, but she appeared fine afterward. A few days later she developed a fever, but her mom didn't think much of it other than a virus.
When the virus came back after subsiding, her mom remembered the warnings she had heard about dry drowning. She rushed to urgent care and then was sent to the hospital, and a chest X-ray showed that her lungs were inflamed and infected.
Poor Elianna had to be on antibiotics and oxygen for four days, but she improved and got to go home. Her mom Lacey knew that it could have been worse, so she shared her warning. If hearing a cautionary tale had helped her to save her daughter, she knew that it could help others. We are grateful that Elianna is well and that her mom posted her story so that we can watch for the danger for our own kids.
2 Dog Warning
Many families these days aren't complete without our four-legged friends. But one mom warned parents recently about the incredible danger that kids can face in the blink of an eye when a dog bites — even if it is a dog that they know and love. Tracy Fain said she was shocked when her son Ethan was attacked by dogs at his grandmother's house on Christmas Eve in 2016. He had played with the dogs before and had never had any fear of them. But the dogs pulled him when he was hanging from a tree and then bit him all over while his parents ran to help.
"I want to begin by saying I've always been a 'dog person.' It is not my intention to instill undue fear through the sharing of my family's story, as I'm very much aware of the joy pets can add to a home," Tracy wrote in a blog post that was shared around the world. But after her son needed 300 stitches and may have lost an ear (doctors sewed it onto his belly in hopes that it would grow tissue that would allow for later reattachment), she wanted parents to know the importance of being cautious "no matter how well you know the dog or how comfortable the child is around dogs."
Poor Ethan isn't just suffering the physical effects of the attack, but he may also have psychological issues to deal with the rest of his life. It's scary, so we should all educate our children about dogs and do our best to supervise every time pets are around our kids.
1 Have Cold Sores? Don't Kiss A Baby
Everyone loves to love on a newborn, but moms these days are really cautious about letting people kiss their babies for very good reason.
United Kingdom mom Claire Henderson may be one of the reasons because she spoke out when her little girl contracted a terrible virus all due to a kiss. Her Facebook post went viral in 2015, showing her little daughter Brooke covered in cold sores.
The virus was passed on when the baby was still in the hospital, she said.
"Before 3 months old, a baby cannot fight the herpes virus. If a baby contracts this it can cause liver and brain damage and lead to death," Claire wrote on Facebook. She said her daughter got really sick and had a lot of healing to do when she was so young. "I know this sounds like I am scaremongering, but if my friend had not told me about this my baby girl could have been seriously ill."
According to doctors quoted on CBS News, passing on the herpes simplex virus is rare, but if a person has an outbreak it is possible — and sometimes people aren't aware that they are contagious at the time. It's definitely important to be especially cautious around newborns, and that's why moms don't like it when strangers go to kiss their babies.