Even before the baby is born, new moms and dads do everything they can to keep their little one safe and happy. But unfortunately, that can be really hard. Things that might seem perfectly safe could present a big danger to an infant — even things that are marketed for the baby registry.
Baby proofing is one of the the most complicated and important things that parents will do in the beginning of their child's life. People seem to have gotten a handle on some of the things like making sure that the baby can't get into the cabinet with the cleaning supplies, but other things are still hard to understand. That includes the concern about baby bedding, especially when crib sets come with the things that experts say could be really dangerous for the baby.
Everything from the furniture to the baby gear to the toys that the baby is given should be considered carefully and checked for any risks. Even the toiletries should have labels on them that make sure that parents are aware of what could go wrong.
We know that all moms and dads want their babies to be safe, so we have a list. Here are 25 ordinary things that can actually be dangerous for the baby.
25 Latex Balloons Deflate Into Small, Biteable Pieces
Kids love balloons. For some, it can be the best part of their first birthday party — other than maybe the boxes that are so much fun to play in. But balloons, especially the latex kind, can be very dangerous. If they are inflated and decorating the room, they are just fine, but balloons can be a big problem before they are blown up and after they pop. Things can go from a party to a hospital in such a short period of time.
According to St. Louis Children's Hospital, more than 100 children have passed away because of balloons or balloon pieces in the past few decades. Nearly all of the children were preschool age or younger.
If a broken piece gets in their mouth, babies can either choke or suffocate, and if they try to blow up a balloon, they might accidentally suck the balloon into their mouth and cover up their windpipe.
It can be very dangerous in just a moment, and no parent wants to rush their child to the hospital or perform mouth to mouth because of something that is supposed to bring happiness. It's really important to supervise a child when there are balloons around, and parents should dispose of broken balloon pieces as soon as possible.
24 Mom's Earrings
Everything changes for a mom when they bring home a newborn. The baby dictates everything from what and when she eats to how she wears her hair. Moms may have had to change their wardrobe while they were pregnant, but they didn't realize that the baby will change things even further soon — because when you are a mom, your jewelry has to change too.
Some moms have to take off their wedding ring when they are pregnant because of the swelling of their hands and fingers, but even though they can put that back on after the birth, there are other pieces of jewelry that prove to be dangerous for a baby. The necklace is probably dangerous for mom, since babies tend to grip them and pull, ringing the mom's neck and possibly breaking the chain. But mom's earrings are actually dangerous for the baby.
Sometimes babies get fascinated by the earrings and give them a pull, while other times earrings can just slip off unnoticed. If the baby gets ahold of one, it's likely going to end up in her mouth.
And with a metal stick on the end, that could end up cutting up the mouth, the throat, the stomach or the intestines. Earring backs frequently get lost, and they could end up choking the baby, but it's not as dangerous as the fronts. It's probably time to take off the earrings, along with all the other dangerous items we've listed here.
23 Open Dishwasher Is Loaded With Hazards
Most of the time, moms and dads can keep the dishes out of the reach of the kids. Usually, they are kept in cupboards so high that the baby can't crawl up for years and couldn't dream of reaching until they start elementary school. But there is a danger that might seem to be hidden — it's the dishwasher. It can seem just fine when it is closed. But when it is opened up, which happens a lot when you are loading and unloading throughout the day, that's when it can be a big problem with a baby crawling around the house.
When the dishes are in the dishwasher, they are in arms reach of the baby. And when the dishwasher is open, especially, things like knives and forks can pose a big time danger.
At some point in the first year, the baby is going to start pulling up, and an open dishwasher is a huge temptation, since it's at the perfect height to get the baby in a standing position. It usually has really sharp edges, which can really hurt when the baby falls. And those sharp utensils are shiny and hard to resist. If the baby pulls out a plate, it's likely to be broken in two seconds flat, which means the baby will be in the middle of a pile of glass. It's really dangerous, so it's important to keep the dishwasher closed as much as possible and keep the baby away when it is open.
22 Baby Oils Have A Lot Of Chemicals
Bathtime can be full of bonding for mom and baby. After giving a fun bath, many moms like to give the baby a little massage with baby oil and lotion to continue the bonding and help protect the little one's skin — but there can be a big danger to using products, even the ones that are marketed for parents to use for babies. It can be scary to learn the truth behind baby oil, but it's not the best idea to use it after bathtime.
According to Parents, baby oils and some bath products contain hydrocarbon, which has been tied to a serious condition that is similar to pneumonia, as well as lung damage or worse.
The products are required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be in child-resistant packaging, but if moms are putting it on their babies, they could be doing their baby a disservice. According to Livestrong, baby oil is actually bad for the baby's skin too. It's mostly made from mineral oil, which can put a barrier on the skin that locks in toxins that would naturally come out. It attracts moisture from the skin, which means that it is being pulled away from cells that need it. Apparently overuse has been tied to hormonal issues, including fertility issues in women and damage to the immune system. It's best to check other lotions out and leave the baby oil alone.
21 Babies Don't Need Pillows
Most adults can't imagine sleeping without a pillow, but for infants, they can be really dangerous. That's why doctors have campaigned for years to let parents know that they should keep them out of the baby's crib.
Anything soft can be a problem for the baby's breathing. The baby might be able to get their little nose in the middle of it, and it be able to get out.
It's a real fear that the baby could suffocate that way.
The same fear is true for blankets and soft bedding, and that's why doctors have spread the word that moms should also strip the bed of any blankets and pillows if she plans to co-sleep with the baby in her own bed. It might not seem like an issue if the baby isn't going to be by the pillow, but moms could be surprised about how much a baby scoots around on a bed, even before they start turning over. It's just dangerous so don't do it.
The number of crib deaths has gone down dramatically since doctors began working to warn mothers about pillows and beddings, along with stressing to put the baby down to sleep on their back. It's definitely worth it to just keep the pillows away. They won't miss them.
20 The Family Pet: Too Friendly And Carries Germs
We love our pets — they were our babies before the human baby came along. But unfortunately, they actually can be really dangerous for the baby. Whether it's the cat, the dog or the fish, parents should definitely be aware of all of the risks associated with animals when they bring a newborn home — and that's true even if they think that they have the most docile, well-behaved pets in the world. It's better to be aware of the dangers than to learn too late.
Let's start off with the fish — really, we just mean any other pet other than a dog or a cat. We're not really sure if there are actual issues with all of them, but animals can carry diseases, and it's possible that there could be a disease introduced if you aren't extra careful when changing the water or, in the case of hamsters or gerbils, the litter on the floor of the cage.
Dogs and cats might be very interested in the baby when he comes home, and it's important to introduce the scent before the baby comes home.
Be aware that cats might want to jump into the crib and cuddle up with the baby, which could pose a suffocation risk.
And dogs — even those who have never bitten anyone before — could nip at the baby. The situation can turn dangerous at a moment's notice, so be sure to be careful when the pets get around the baby.
19 Window Shades
A baby's sleep is valuable — that's why many parents would do anything to keep sunlight out of the baby's room at nap time. That usually means they have blinds or shades on the windows that they can close to keep out the morning sunshine or to pull down for the afternoon nap. But shades and blinds can be incredibly dangerous for the baby, and parents need to be aware of the risks before it is too late.
The window blinds themselves aren't usually the problem — it's the cord that can be pulled to open and close them that can be dangerous.
While many moms are aware of the danger, NPR reported in December 2017 that on average one child fatality every month because they get entangled in the cords. A baby can get strangled even when moms take all the precautions that they think that they should, such as putting the cord on a tack out of reach.
According to the article, an average of two kids a day between 1990 and 2015 were treated for emergencies related to window blinds, although most were not serious. Manufacturers are now taking blinds with cords off of the market, but most people already have them up in their house. It's important to understand the risk and do all that you can to keep your baby safe.
18 Power Windows Are Stronger Than Children
The windows in the house are not the only ones that should concern parents. They should also pay attention to the danger that presents itself in the car, where the windows can go up and down at the push of a button. Power windows can present a real risk for little ones, who enjoy pushing buttons more than just about anything else, especially when all of their toys do something cool when they push a button.
Power windows can exert about 30 to 80 pounds of force, and it just takes 22 pounds of force to injure an infant, according to KidsandCars.org. Unfortunately, more than 50 children have been fatally injured by power windows since 1990, and an unknown number of kids — most of them under age 3 — have suffered injuries, including amputations of fingers and brain injuries.
The injuries most often occur, they say, when the driver is the one operating the window and can't see the child in the back seat.
That's a pretty scary statistic for a mom or dad who would never injure their child on purpose. Rolling up the window seems like a simple, everyday, safe task, but unfortunately, it could end in tragedy if moms and dads aren't careful.
17 High Chairs Have Straps For A Reason
Of all of the baby gear that is around these days, parents may feel best about high chairs, since they have been around for decades, but it's that false sense of security which had lead to an increased number of accidents in recent years. Even with improved safety standards for manufacturers, parents need to be aware of the possibilities. According to a 2013 report in Health Day, there are around 10,000 high chair injuries every year, and most are for babies that haven't yet reached their first birthday.
Research showed an increase in injuries over a decade, and the possibility of a serious injury has gone up, since most injuries happen on chairs that are higher than a standard dining room chair onto a hard kitchen floor.
A lot of the accidents happen because people don't use the straps that have been added to the chairs over the years. The baby can slip through the bottom of the seat onto the floor, or they can try to stand and topple off of the top.
Either way, an unrestrained baby could fall out very quickly, and if mom and dad aren't nearby by to catch their little one, it's a long way to the ground. The poor baby can end up with a concussion or worse.
16 Baby Powder Has Been Linked To Cancer
We've got another warning about a product that has been around for decades. People have used baby powder for a couple of generations, but it turns out that the powder is a big danger, so parents should consider something else to fight diaper rash. In fact, last year a jury awarded $417 million to a woman who had gone through ovarian cancer in a suit against Johnson & Johnson, the most well-known company that sells baby powder.
Now, we must point out that the woman was exposed to a lot more talcum powder than a baby will be in his two or three years in diapers. She said she used the aid every day for over 50 years to help her be dry down there. Many women use the product for similar reasons, but the woman argued successfully that the company should have put a warning on their product to let women know that talcum powder use is linked to ovarian cancer.
Baby powder is made from talc, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer, but it is safer than it was in the 1970s, when asbestos was part of the combination.
According to a Cosmopolitan article about the danger, aging and genetics have a greater role in whether a person will develop ovarian cancer. Many experts, though suggest using something else that doesn't have talc in it as a diaper rash ointment.
15 House Plants Are Often Toxic
House plants are a great way to brighten up a room and clean the air, since plants use carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. But there is a big danger to having plants around babies, and moms need to know that there are some plants that they should definitely keep outside.
There are a number of toxic plants that can make the baby sick if she eats them — and let's face it, babies eat everything they can get their hands on.
According to The Stir, amaryllis flowers are gorgeous, but they can cause the baby's tongue and lips to swell. That can lead to the airway getting blocked, so it's a pretty big deal. Caladium is a pretty common leafy house plant because it combines gorgeous green and pink colors on its leaves. But it can also cause swelling, as well as diarrhea or vomiting. If the baby rubs the leaf on her eyes — which is a definite possibility — it could damage them. English ivy has cute little berries that might be tempting to at, but they can cause fever or rash, and oleander flowers can actually be fatal. Peace lilies are a favorite in many households, and they can live for years — but if the baby gets ahold of it, it can cause burning and swelling. During Christmas, be aware of the danger of poinsettia plants. There are a number of other risks, so parents should definitely check on the danger of plants before the baby comes home from the hospital.
14 Barbecue Grills Are Unsteady And Hot All Over
Lots of moms and dads are aware of the dangers of ovens when it comes to their baby, and that is a huge deal. But they may not be aware of the extra risks that come when you use the barbecue grill. As much as they work to keep the baby away when they are cooking on the stove, they may forget the problem when they are outside grilling up some dinner. It's usually a more relaxed atmosphere — and often dad is at the helm instead of mom — but it's an even bigger deal that could end up with a trip to the hospital of parents aren't careful.
The thing about using a stove cooktop is that the oven is usually OK. While parents don't want the baby to touch the top, and they are quick to warn their baby that it is hot, when the grill is heated up, it's not just the top that can't be touched. A baby can't pull up on the bottom of the grill because he could also get burned.
It's also a lot less stable, so for a charcoal grill especially, it's possible he could pull the entire thing down, burning himself in the process.
Often, a man can walk away from his grill for 10 minutes before it's time to turn over the steaks, but he needs to keep an eye out and make sure that the baby isn't crawling around nearby. It's a really dangerous situation at a time when everyone just wants to relax and have fun.
13 Little Legos Are Too Sharp To Eat
Kids are huge fans of Legos, but when they are teeny tiny, those building blocks can be a big problem. It's especially bad when the Legos are small, as they are for sets that older children do. So if there is a new baby in the family, it's important that the little blocks are kept out of the playroom. The biggest problem is that babies are quick to put things into their mouths, and no kid wants to lose an important part to his project to his little sister's tummy.
Of course, moms are probably most aware of the pieces as a choking hazard, but even the tiniest little lego can be a big problem in the baby's mouth. That's because they can have really sharp edges.
It's possible that the little pieces of plastic could go in and come out in the baby's diaper a few days later, but it's also possible that they could damage the baby's esophagus or intestines.
Anyone who has stepped on a lego piece in the middle of the night knows how sharp they can be, so it's a big deal to keep it from the hands — and mouths — of babes. The Lego Group offers Duplos for small kids — larger blocks that are easier for them to stack and harder for them to get in their mouths — for this very reason.
12 Fidget Spinners Have Small, Loose Parts
Kids toys are not always so safe for kids. Many parents found that out the hard way in the past few years with the fidget spinner craze. Kids love those little gadgets, which can spin like crazy and keep them entertained for hours. But the demand for spinning machines has caused the market to be flooded with thousands of different kids of devices, many of which are cheap, just a couple of bucks apiece. We're sure that parents were happy that they could buy a coveted toy for so little money, but the problem is that a cheaply made toy is even more dangerous for kids, especially when there is a baby around.
Those little washers that weigh down the different sides of the fidget spinner can often come loose, and when it falls out, that's a big choking hazard for youngsters who always want to put things in their mouths.
Some kids have had to have surgery to have the pieces removed, and Reports have also come out about the dangerous amount of lead in many of the toys. Kids can certainly get sick if they ingest it. It's a big danger that should be kept away from the baby unless they are supervised while they spin.
11 Grandma's Purse Is Full Of Hazards She Forgot About
Little ones love to explore, and sometimes there can be nothing more exciting to figure out that what is in Grandma's purse.
If reaching into an empty box is fun, just imagine what they think when they get their hands into a handbag and find something shiny. And grandmas usually think it's so cute — and it keeps the baby entertained and quiet — but it can actually be dangerous depending on what the baby finds.
So she needs to make sure that she is supervising the entire game.
Of course, we aren't trying to pick on grandmas. Any woman's purse can be a big booby trap, and she may not even notice it. Some women keep things like perfume in there or some makeup. They might have a laundry stick in there in case they spill something on their shirt. Or maybe a sharp nail file or something. Baggies can be cause for concern if it ends up in the baby's mouth — even the keys can be dangerous in some cases. Lots of women aren't even sure what they have in their purses until they see the baby pull it out in public. Women should keep their bags out of the baby's reach unless they are watching and as certain as they can be that there isn't anything dangerous in it.
10 Bumper Pads Are Dangerous And Unnecessary
Setting up the baby's nursery is one of the most fun and exciting things that moms get to do to prepare for the baby's arrival. Moms-to-be can spend hours planning and putting together Pinterest boards with ideas for the theme and all of the things that they want to use to decorates. But while comparing the different brands and searching out the best deals, it is important that moms learn about how to make the baby's room safe. And unfortunately most crib sets include bumper pads that aren't safe for the baby.
A couple decades ago, parents started to worry about their kids getting hurt by the little rails in the cribs. That's when the bedding companies started making the cute cushioned crib bumpers. But now those are unsafe (and the crib rails are too, thanks to standards set for the manufacturers). The bumper pads fall into the category of soft bedding.
It's possible that the baby could get his little mouth and nose up against them. He could suffocate in his sleep. It's just as dangerous as a pillow or blanket.
There are some mesh crib bumpers that are considered safe, but they don't come with the cute crib sets. And really the baby can do without anyway.
9 Baby's Dresser Must Be Anchored To The Wall
The baby's bedding isn't the only concern when thinking about setting up the nursery. The furniture can also be very dangerous to the baby.
Specifically, parents have learned the hard way that children's dressers from Ikea have proven to be tragic, falling over on kids and severely harming a couple dozen.
There were recalls to warn parents about the dangers, but the truth is that large furniture in general has the potential to hurt the baby.Between 2000 and 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission had reports of nearly 300 kids dying because of unstable furniture.
As much as parents worry about the look of the nursery, they need to worry about more than the feng shui. They need to decide the proper placement of the furniture and then they need to anchor the furniture into the walls. Televisions used to be a major concern, but now that most homes have flatter screens, it's more about making sure that the dressers don't tip over when the baby tries to climb on it. It may seem crazy, but it's happened way too many times for comfort. No one wants to find the baby trapped underneath a piece of furniture, so it's worth anchoring it to the wall.
8 Bath Seats Aren't As Safe As They Seem
There are lots of grandmas who can't believe all of the gadgets that people have these days for babies. The market is flooded with things that are supposed to make motherhood easier — and keep the baby safer — but unfortunately, many of them really fail on that county. Bath seats are a new-ish kind of product that seem like a great idea, but parents actually need to be aware of the danger that they can present for the baby.
The biggest problem with the bath seat is that it gives moms a false sense of safety. Parents think that they keep the baby safe because they allow the baby to sit up, so there isn't any possibility that the little one can drown.
It can make some parents think that it is safe to leave the baby in the bath to grab a towel or a diaper, but in a split second tragedy can strike, even with a bath seat in use.
The baby can slip out of the seat, since they are still pretty slippery themselves all wet from the bath. The legs have pretty wide holes which can make it easy for the baby to slip but hard for them to pull themselves out.
At the same time, the suction cups on the bottom of the seat can detach from the tub and the baby can get tipped over into the water. According to KidsInDanger.org, bath seats have been linked to more than 100 deaths and 100 additional accidents. The organization is calling for the seats to be banned because they can be so dangerous for the baby.
7 Space Heaters Are Fire And Overheating Risks
When the baby arrives one of the biggest worries of a new mom is making sure that her little one stays warm. When they are tiny, keeping them bundled up in their blanket usually does the trick, but if the house is cold, moms may want to heat up the baby's room with a space heater. The problem, though, is that can be very dangerous.
First of all, most moms are probably aware that there is a fire hazard when it comes to a space heater. Parents need to make sure that they have a safe brand, and they need to check the cord for any problems that could spark a fire. They need to keep anything that could catch fire far away from the device, including anything with paper, window treatments and such. And once the baby starts crawling, they need to keep the space heater out of reach. The baby could be burned if she touches the device, and she could also knock it over and start a fire.
There is also a big danger that moms might not be aware of — the baby could overheat and that could cause brain damage or even worse.
That can be a big danger if the mom isn't in the room with the baby while the space heater is on. If she isn't there, she may not be aware of how hot the room has gotten, and that could have disastrous results.
6 The Fireplace's Risks Are Obvious
Just like a space heater, the fireplace can also be a big risk for the baby, even when the first isn't on. Of course, when the fire has been lit, there are the same concerns about the baby overheating, and moms and dads definitely need to be worried about the baby getting too close and getting burned. Sparks can fly out of the fireplace (or an outdoor fire pit), so it's best to stay a few feet away to avoid any possible danger.
The fireplace or firepit can also be a problem, though, when there is no fire to speak of.
First, it can stay hot for a while after the last embers have simmered down, so don't let the baby get close enough to touch for a while afterward. Also, it can be bad to let the baby crawl or pull up on the hearth because of the hard edges.
The baby could end up with a nasty cut or a big bump — or they could end up being rushed to the hospital.
It's also bad news if the baby actually gets into the fireplace. Many moms might worry about their little one getting dirty, but the biggest fear is that they would put the ashes into their mouths — and of course, that is the first place that anything goes. It's best just to keep the baby away from the fireplace, fire or no fire.
5 Plastic Bags Are Good At Tangling And Suffocating
Plastic bags are really useful — they can save a mom on certain days when she needs to pack a few things to take in the car. And it's always a good idea to have a few stashed away in the diaper bag to put stinky diapers in or wet clothes, so the stench doesn't get all over the place before you can take care of them. But as handy as it is to have plastic bags around, it's important to keep them out reach of the baby.
There are a lot of dangers with bags and babies. If the baby's head gets in the bag, she could suffocate, and the handles can get caught around her arms, legs or neck.
The baby could get tangled up to the point where she could get strangled or her arms or legs could have the circulation cut off. It doesn't seem very dangerous, but when you are little and can't get yourself out, the effect can be tragic. The risks are just not worth the reward, so keep your bags in a safe place, maybe in the pantry or in a special holder. It might be nice to have them close at hand, but it's just too dangerous when there is a baby in the house.
4 Baby Walkers Aren't As Stable As They Seem
Baby walkers are definitely controversial. In fact, for a while they were practically taken off of baby store shelves. That's because a lot of babies in the '80s or so had some pretty nasty falls in the devices. That was especially dangerous if there were stairs. But pretty soon parents thought that as long as they put a baby gate by the stairs the devices were safe, so they started becoming popular again.
But the truth is that walkers are still not the safest way for the baby to get around. They can fall over and the baby could get caught in them.
Some people are also concerned that they actually limit the baby's ability to learn to walk because they aren't helping them figure out the balance issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to skip the walker and instead consider allowing their child to use an activity center or something to play on. Time in those should also be limited, and moms and dads should work with their child on pulling up and walking to let the process go more gradually and naturally. Walkers are just a part of the baby registry list that is better off skipped. They aren't worth the risk.
3 Laundry Pods Look Like Candy
Teenagers have gotten a lot of flack these days for a very crazy, dangerous dare called the Tide Pod challenge. It seems obvious that it could lead to disaster, but there are many who have taken the challenge and popped the pods into their mouths — and all too many have ended up in the hospital because of the toxic chemicals that end up in their systems.
But even before the teenagers started out the craziness, there were concerns from parents about the colorful little pods.
They look like candy — they could be a toy or a piece of candy as far as the kids are concerned. They can't helped but be tempted by them, and if they pick them up, it's inevitable that they put them into their mouths.
According to poison.org, kids who bite into a laundry pod will need emergency medical treatment. They could quickly begin to vomit and their throat will burn. The pods could also cause burns on their skin or eyes. They could have trouble bleeding and fall into a coma. Worse, at least one child has died because of ingesting the chemicals from a pod. It's very dangerous, so it needs to be off the floor and safely out of the reach of babies.
2 Battery Buttons Need Surgery If Swallowed
Another big problem technological advancement that is putting babies at risk is the advent of button batteries. They are amazing for making even the smallest little thing function, but they can be a pain to change, and when they are out and about, they look like shiny little innocuous buttons, not the dangerous things that they actually are.
Once again, the problem wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the fact that babies put everything in their mouths. They find a button, and they are attracted to it since it's so shiny — like the crab in Moana, right? — but within seconds, the button ends up in the mouth.
Sometimes the baby chokes on it, and that can be terrible. But even worse, the thing ends up all the way in the intestines because they swallow it. It can cause serious problems in just a matter of hours, and the baby may end up in the hospital in need of surgery.
According to Kids Health, batteries could cause abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, coughing, breathing problems diarrhea or worse. Parents should not give their child a toy where the battery compartment can be opened easily, and they need to keep the products out of their reach.
1 Magnets Cause Problems With MRIs
Moms spend so much time in the kitchen that it's only natural that babies do too. Some spend so much time crawling around on the kitchen floor that they learn to pull up on the refrigerator. That sounds great, but only until they end up noticing all of the refrigerator magnets — and if they pull them apart, they could end up swallowing a magnet and that could be really bad news.
It's never a good idea when a baby ends up eating something that isn't food, but usually, as long as it doesn't block the intestines and it's small, it could come out the end no problem. But if it is a magnet, ti can do serious damage to the stomach or the intestines. According to WebMD, magnets could puncture the lining of either of those organs, and they could also restrict the blood flow. If a kid swallows more than one magnet, they are still going to be attracted and repelled like they are outside of the body, and that could cause some major problems in the digestive tract.
It can be really dangerous if the parents and doctors aren't aware of the obstruction and they use an MRI, since that can tear the magnet right out of the body. A baby who swallows a magnet could need surgery, so it's a big danger that parents need to know about.