Putting things into the mouth is an inevitable practice that all babies do. They see something, grab it and pop it in. This is their way of exploring the world around them. Sadly, many accidents do occur in the home environment. Since there is no way parents can prevent babies from their taste-testing explorations, keeping small objects out of their reach is the only thing parents or caregivers can do.
The majority of such incidents with everyday objects occur in infants under the age of 3 years. In fact, according to statistics, such accidents are the leading cause of issues in infants and toddlers. As compared to adults, the size of a child’s windpipe is as narrow as a drinking straw (in diameter), and hence issues and accidents surrounding this are worrisome.
The US Academy of Pediatrics provides parents and caregivers guidelines for accident prevention. Having knowledge about the objects that can cause issues helps parents to take the necessary precautions to avoid such occurrences. With this in mind, the article has listed 20 everyday things that are actually not good for babies.
20 Latex Balloons
Balloons are a standard part of children’s birthday parties along with ice-creams and cakes. But they are also problematic for infants. Latex balloons pop easily. Due to its smooth and slippery texture, it becomes difficult to remove it from the child’s mouth. It needn't pop to cause an issue; babies tend to suck or chew on the balloons even if they can't blow them up.
When even bits of it are swallowed, they easily conform to the trachea. For your child’s next birthday party, look for safer options like shiny foil balloons commonly known as Mylar.
Found in some household devices like TV remotes and certain toys, button batteries are the riskiest objects your baby could swallow. When swallowed, lithium batteries can cause problems within a time frame of just two hours.
Discarded batteries too can generate a current that is enough to affect your child. Hence, parents need to make sure that they discard used batteries safely. They should keep loose batteries on shelves that cannot be accessed by the child or in a locked box. Remember to tape the battery section of electronic devices.
18 Coins, Marbles Or Pebbles
Ingestion of coins, marbles, and pebbles are very bad for infants. Swallowing these objects can be harmless as many of them will easily pass through the digestive tract. However, coins can cause bigger issues.
Parents or caregivers should leave no loose change in their pockets or purses. If they fall on the floor, they can be eaten by your infant. Toys and games, of older siblings, that include pebbles and marbles should be kept out of reach of your curious toddler.
17 Cord And Ribbons Of Hanging Toys
Toys are made keeping the child’s safety in mind. But all toys aren't safe. Toys that break down easily can become risky. Age-graded toys reflect on the safety guidelines based on the skills the child needs to play with the toy.
Toys with cords or ribbons longer than 7 inches can be bad for infants and toddlers. Parents should never hang toy with ribbons or cord in the playpens or cribs. They should remove the crib gyms when the child starts to pull up on their hands and knees.
16 Wires of Electrical Appliances
Wires of electrical appliances can wrap around your child’s neck hurt them. Old electrical appliances and their wirings can cause issues if the child fiddles with the wires when the appliance is plugged in.
Another peril of electricity is it can cause house fires from faulty or misused electrical appliances. Electricity accidents can be prevented by keeping electrical devices away from children and water. Parents should keep devices like hair dryers and radios out of the bathroom. Ensure that plug sockets are not be overloaded.
15 A Tub of Water
Two inches of water is enough to cause big issues for babies. It is advisable that parent should not leave their infant unattended in the bathtub especially when the tap is on. You never know when the water level rises more than required.
A baby's skin is extremely sensitive. So check the temperature of the water before placing the child in. It should be lukewarm. An ideal way would be to first add cold water to the tub and then add warmer water till an ideal temperature is reached.
14 The Cosy Fireplace
The fireplace is not safe for children. Gas units are safer than wood-burning fireplaces, though they can still cause issues. A fire extinguisher should always be kept nearby.
Baby-proof the area as much as possible. Parents should keep the windows open for proper ventilation while the fire is burning. Keep flammable furniture, books, paper, curtains etc. away from the fireplace. Avoid keeping a child near the fireplace that is still warm. Keep fireplace tools and accessories such as lighter, matchbox away from your child.
13 Soft Mattresses
Soft mattress, pillow, and cushion may seem like a comfortable cozy bed for adults. But it's not the same for babies. In fact, the US Academy of Pediatrics says that parents should avoid soft bedding for their infants.
Parents should make their infants sleep on firm mattresses. Research states that soft bedding can be bad for small children. For infants between the ages of 1 month to 1 year, make sure you get a firm mattress and remove all fluffy blankets and stuffed toys from the bed.
12 Baby Blankets
If your child is less than 12 months old then blankets should be kept away from them. Blankets can get caught over the child’s nose and mouth, so soft fluffy blanks are a no-no item as far as a bay is concerned.
This rule applies to pillows, bumper pads, and other soft objects. At night, your baby’s crib should only have your child in it. Keep your little one's room at a comfortable temperature. Dress him with one layer of clothes. Soft fabrics such as cotton pajamas, sleep sacks work well for your infant. Place the crib away from the window, heater or air-condition.
Dishwashers give children an easy access to sharp kitchen tools like forks. Also, the detergent can cause irritation to the child skin and their eyes.
Parents should place the fork, and other pointed items downwards in the utensil basket. Avoid filling the dispenser with detergent beforehand until you are ready to load. Wipe out any leftover after each cycle. Bottle caps should be tightly closed and kept in locked cabinets. Dishwashers should be kept closed and latched when not in use.
Whenever you smoke, many unwelcome things such as nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide get into your hair and clothes and stay there for an hour or so. If you cuddle a baby after having smoked, the baby will breathe these substances too.
Research also states that babies breathing cigarette smoke have increased health risks. Exposing babies to smoke from cigarettes can lead to issues like cold, asthma, ear and chest infections. Quitting smoking is the safest option for the baby. Don't let anyone smoke near your house or anywhere near your baby when she’s outdoors.
9 Kitchen Ranges
Kitchen ranges should be kept away from mobile toddlers. If the range is not properly installed, it could fall forward when the toddler leans on it or tries to climb over the oven door. Toddlers can get hurt when they are near any hot appliance, so keeping them out of the kitchen and making sure appliances are safe is key.
Make sure that the slide-in ranges are properly installed with anti-tip brackets. This will affix the rear legs to the floor. When the oven is not in use ensure that its door is kept closed. Be cautious and never let your toddler climb on the range or the oven door.
8 Used Toys and Baby Equipments
Used toys and baby equipment with missing or jagged parts should be kept away from babies and infants. They may not meet the current safety regulations. For instance: Placing your child on a high chair without using the safety straps can lead to issues.
Always inspect second-hand items. Look for broken or missing parts in them. Make sure that the chords, strings, and straps are less than 7 inches in length. Avoid children from playing with decade-old painted or metal toys, as such toys can contain lead.
7 Bath Seats and Rings
In order to help the baby sit up in the tub, bath seats and rings are used. However, if you leave the child unattended these objects can cause problems. The suction cup at the bottom may get suddenly detached.
Always monitor your child while they are in the tub even if they have their bath seats and rings. All it takes is for one second of leaving the baby unattended, so constant vigilance is absolutely necessary.
6 Some Bath and Baby Oils
Be alert and careful about what you choose to use on your child’s skin. some baths and baby oil contain liquid hydrocarbons. The use of liquid hydrocarbons can cause issues.
According to CSPC, all products containing hydrocarbons must have child-resistant packaging. Read all the labels before you buy. Children are always curious. Child resistant caps on such bottles may slow them down, but do store the bath and baby oils product at a place that your child can’t reach to be on the safer side.
To err on the side of safety, Mom should very closely monitor all interactions between animals and her baby, and should keep the baby at a safe distance. Even with familiar pets, things can go wrong, as animal behaviour is not always predictable.
Also pets with fur like dogs, cats etc. can create respiratory issues such as asthma for children. Never leave kids alone with pets. Teach them to be gentle with animals. Don't trouble the pets while they eat, sleep or care for their babies. Keep pet food and their toys out of children’s reach.
4 Power Windows
Infant’s fingers and limbs are tender, and for that reason, car windows can cause issues. The ease with which they can be opened or closed can cause a lot of situations to arise that Mom does not want.
The child can lean out from the window with his head out and the switch can get accidentally pressed. The most viable option is to use the lock function so that children can’t operate the power window. Never leave the child alone in the vehicle.
3 Whole Round Fruits and Vegetables
Children are curious to try out new things and explore the world around them. This sounds good but it can also be problematic for infants. For children below the age of four, always cut the whole fruits and vegetables, such as apples or carrots, into bite-sized pieces. The size of the pieces matters a lot.
The same goes for soft foods like grapes, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes etc. Always try to crush the food and give your toddler. This will let them swallow the food easily and will improve their digestion too. You need to be especially careful with grapes.
2 Small Toys
Undoubtedly small toys are one of the biggest risks for infants and toddlers. Parents and caregivers need to be extra vigilant while purchasing toys for infants. Keep in mind that each part of the toy should be bigger than one and three fourth inches.
Regularly inspect their toys and check if no part is missing or loose. Check the floor for small parts and items that could be easily reached by your small brat. The parent should keep the siblings toys away from toddlers and infants as their toys may contain smaller parts.
1 Certain Food Items
You may be surprised to find that hot dogs are ranked as a major cause for concern for babies. The cylindrical shape, slippery skin, and consistency can cause many issues when consumed by toddlers.
So such foods are a big no for children below 3 years. The perils of these foods were acknowledged in 2010 when the US Academy of Pediatrics asked the government to order warning labels on foods that offer risks to children. If you still want to feed your toddler such foods, make sure you cut it into small bits that pose no issue if swallowed.
Source: novidocs.com, health.ny.gov, jjbs.hu.edu.jo, cps.ca