As if the stress and pressure before having a newborn isn’t enough already, I am going to put the cherry on top. As I sit here in my white tufted chair realizing that adorable sticky hands could potentially end this trendy item in less than five minutes, I start to panic a bit. Is my house ready for a baby? A little sense of panic sits in my stomach realizing that just about everything I currently own could be a problem. Bad images start to play in my mind when I look at the sharp corners of the cute Wayfair coffee table I bought last season. Or the adorable Pottery Barn ladder leaning against the wall is definitely not secured like the directions once read.
So, here is the deal. The time is ticking and baby is coming. Ready or not, right? Well, I’m here to help take a few worries off of new parents' shoulder and help them relax. Don’t worry- mom and dad don’t need to run out to the store to get supplies to turn their home into a padded jail cell! There are just a few everyday household items that can create a problem if parents are not careful. I’ve got future mama's back! Now, get ready for 20 surprisingly problematic items mom and dad need to be aware of before their little miracle comes home!
20 Grocery Bags
There are two types of people in this world; ones who LOVE to grocery shop, and others who despise it with a passion.
Regardless, unless you have become 100% environmentally friendly, you end up carrying those heavy groceries in plastic bags as fast as you can to your door.
Grocery shopping is a full time job. So, you know the drill. Unpack the frozen food as fast as you can, throw the bags on the floor, and walk to the couch to kick your feet up for five minutes. Well, once this baby is crawling, those bags are a big hazard. According to Familyeducation.com, an average of 20 kids are affected by plastic bags like this. This statistic may seem on the lower side, but you would be surprised how many moms have reported that their little kid tried to suck on the dry cleaning bag that was hanging on the chair. Recyclable bags, here I come!
19 Sharp Corners
I know, most couples weren’t thinking about babies when they were using that wedding registry gun a year before the big day! You most likely picked the most sleek glass table with sharp edges and spikey table legs. Classic! Coffee tables, dinner tables, and TV stands are one of the most hazardous things in the house for babies.
They all seem to be the perfect height for your little one to stand up and hold on to, and the perfect height to get in the way of their head or chin when they fall.
No worries, Walmart usually has a big sale on duct tape and pool noodles each summer. Better stock up! Totally kidding, most baby stores and department stores sell covers and slip cushions that fit like a glove over these sharp edges! But, if you are looking to add some color into your home, the pool noodle trick really does work!
18 Dressers And Bookshelves
Remember when you spent three hours putting together that Ikea bookshelf? You got frustrated, slabbed it together, and did your best to drill it up on the wall? Well, time to get the directions back out and actually put it together the right way! Nationwideschildren.org states that, “every year 14,700 children under the age of 18 years of age visit the emergency department for injuries from furniture tip-overs.”
You can’t blame these curious kids for wanting to climb up to grab a book, take a peek at the fish in the tank, or touch the bright screen on the TV stand.
A few suggestions to help solve this issue is to place the heavy items at the bottom of the selves and to also fasten the objects to the wall. Time to get the toolbox out!
17 Laundry Pods
Ignore the 2017 trend of kids thinking it was okay to eat Tide Pods. I am not sure when in this world that became socially acceptable, but kids do the darnest things, right? Like I said, not okay! Sadly, older kids should know that this is not an healthy snack and clearly isn’t an item on the food pyramid they learn about in school.
But, our new babies see it as a bright, colorful, squishy toy. When babies are small we know they put everything they see in their mouth.
Be sure to buy the locked bags of detergent. Place them in a locked cabinet, and keep the washer shut at all times! Laundry pods contain poisonous chemicals. If your child comes in contact with one, be sure to call poison control right away!
16 Anything Smaller Than A Nickel
Vacuuming better become your new favorite house chore! Seriously, I swear I vacuum every other day and still manage to find bobby pins hidden in the carpet. Just like house pets, your active crawler will find every crumb, scrap, and penny on the floor. You best believe their first instinct is to eat it. Even if it is a fly! Be sure to take the small trinkets off the shelves, the magnets off the fridge, and put away the cute little coffee table decorations. Babygooroo.com says that, “One U.S. child [has this issue] approximately every five days; and 75 percent of [these fatalities] occur in children under the age of 3 years, making choking a leading cause [in] infants and toddlers.” This may be a scary one, but it is important to put away these small objects to avoid a bad situation.
15 The Trash
You probably just rolled your eyes and wanted to say, “come on, seriously?” Yes, I am serious. The trash has got to be kept away too. Think about it. Where do you toss the cloth you used to bleach the counter, or the rotten cheese? The trash, of course! So, what happens if your little one decides to get into the trash while you are in the other room? Clearly, they are going to touch every toxic item, dirty cloth, and out dated food in that bin. We see our animals get into our garbage during the night and it usually results in cleaning up dog puke the next day. What do you think will happen to your little one if he or she does the same thing? A simple solution is to keep the trash in a baby proofed locked drawer. Plus, it may help hide some of the bad odours!
14 Rub A Dub Dub
Some kids never want to get out of the tub and it is easier to let them play till the sun rises then cause a tantrum trying to get them out. While we are sitting there watching them play, we often slip away to grab a fresh towel or a glass of bubbly. The movies may make it seem like a long event. Truthfully, it is a silent and quick event happening within 30 seconds or less. This may seem surprising, but it is the reality of having a clean baby. Be safe and keep your two eyes on the tub at all times!
13 Dirty Dishes
A simple rule when raising your infant is to always keep doors, cupboards, closets, and dishwashers closed. I have never heard sharp objects and toxins being positively used in the same sentence when talking about babies. Those pointy forks, dirty knives, and choppy cooking utensils are a hazard to your baby. They see food on them, or the shiny sparkle and want to touch it! Not safe! Also, dirty, gross, and toxic waste is sitting in that dishwasher. That sounds like an immediate infection, sickness, or issue. Keep the dishwasher shut and the danger away from your baby!
Aren’t these things already dangerous enough for us adults? I feel like I cringe some mornings plugging in my blow dryer waiting for a spark to occur. Obviously, if these pesky things are an issue for us, they must be a problem for little monsters who crawl around and stick their fingers in everything! The Electrical Safety Foundation reported that each year 2,400 in the US are treated for injuries caused by electrical outlets. The main electrical issues with children are kids poking their fingers in the plugs, playing with a plugged in device, chewing on the cord, and touching the wires. Other than buying outlet covers to block the plugs, many moms push their furniture up against the walls to block them. Your house may not look so stylish with the furniture like this, but a safe baby is much more important than a boujee home!
11 Dog Toys
How could we possibly point our fingers at those adorable little fur balls? I know, I thought the same thing until I heard that about 100,000 children under age 10 are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for dog-bite-related injuries, according to the CDCP. Did you forget that dogs can be jealous too? Or maybe your little fluff doesn’t realize your little baby isn’t trying to annoy him? Another doggy problem we see is babies mistaking their toys and the dogs toys. My first thought is all of the germs crawling around on those toys! Ew! Lastly, the dog food. It is meant for your dog, not your child. Be sure to keep the dish out of reach to avoid any unknown processed and toxic ingredients. Chill out! No need to send your fur baby to a new home, just be sure he or she is properly trained and do your research on how to introduce your new baby to your fur baby!
With the busy life of a mom it is so common to forget to put something away while moving on to your next task. Leaving out lotion, ointments, soaps, and cleaning supplies is a huge hazard to young ones. Most of these are found in the kitchen and bathroom, but it is also important to check that the humidifier is misting clean air too. The scent of lotions can harm kids. Ointments and cream medicines often create a reaction on the babies skin or can burn them. And of course, they want to taste it too! Even if you tell them a million times that is wont taste like candy, they will still do it! Be sure to have the poison control number saved in your phone and get locks on your cabinets. Just because we don’t want the babies getting into these beauty products, doesn't mean we don’t want mommy to still smell nice!
9 A Cozy Bed
A surprising hazard in the house is our overly soft and comfy beds we try to make for our new special one. As mommy’s we want to make sure they are comfy and happy, but sadly piling them up in with pillows and blankets is not safe. It is best to have a simple mattress and no stuffed animals and frill. Babies struggle to lift their head, so they can easily roll over and land on something that can block their breathing. Familyeducation.com shared that, “around the age of 4 to 7 months, the danger of [this] while sleeping lessens because that's when most infants begin to roll over on their own.” Take note that many babies are affected each year as well from babies sleeping with their parents too. Play it safe and keep them in their crib. I promise you have a lifelong of baby snuggles in your future.
Girl, I am all about a good deal or anything free too. Nothing is wrong at all with hand-me-downs! One major hazard though is broken hand-me-downs. Many parents are given used high chairs, toys, and clothes. New mommy’s are over ecstatic about their new deal but forget to check the loose screws on the high chair. Maybe a broken toy with a sharp corner or exposed plastic will send them to the hospital with a few stitches. Many moms report receiving clothes with detergent that gives their child an allergic reaction or a broken zipper. Be sure to check whatever you get, even if it is from a family member!
7 Power Windows
Ouch! Have you ever seen the bruised hand of someone who jammed their fingers in a window or door? Not fun and definitely not the kind of pain your want your baby to go through. You would be shocked by the number of reports each year of kids being treated for jammed fingers in doors and windows. BBC News reported that “About 30,000 children trap their fingers in doors each year and more than 1,500 of them need surgery.” Sounds like this is a constant reoccurring issue. Experts say to always keep the child lock on to prevent kids playing with the windows. Don’t forget to do a check before rolling them up and down. Finally, make a family rule until the kids are old enough to understand opening and closing car doors!
6 Adult Pop
Don’t worry, I am not about to lecture you on how you shouldn’t feed your child alcohol. I think those facts are pretty obvious. Have you heard of the saying, “monkey see, monkey do?” Well, to start, if you are drinking a nice summer beverage out of a red solo cup, chances are when your child sees a red solo cup in reaching range, they are going to attempt to act just like you. The Poison Control states that “Children who drink alcohol can have seizures and coma,” or worse. Another hazard is the broken glass or broken plastic cups found around the house after a Summer BBQ. With them crawling and running around, broken glass is the last thing you need them to find and put in their mouth!
5 TV Remote
We already discussed how the TV can come tumbling down on your child if the stand is not sturdy. The TV remote is a huge hazard, especially when no one in the family can find it! Plus, those little Apple TV controllers are even smaller and will definitely end up in a toddlers mouth. It’s the batteries in the remote that freak me out. Those little suckers are the devil. Sheknows.com explains that "The tiny round batteries are the most dangerous. They can leak corrosive chemicals and cause serious burns, and they have been known to be fatal." So, instead of duck taping the batteries in on the back of your controller, please go out and just buy a new one!
4 Window Blinds
This is probably one of the most common household items that we forget to baby proof. Window cords are listed as one of the top issues for infants. “A child gets strangled every two weeks by the cords of window shades and blinds.” This is a surprising number and very sad. We often place baby cribs near windows to give them sunlight but forget that the swinging cord intrigues the baby. They easily can tie themselves up within seconds. Our suggestion is to keep your crib away from the window and tie up the cords so they can not be reached.
3 The Kitchen
There is no shame in teaching your kid how to cook and about health at an early age. As soon as they are old enough to sit up straight, parents love to prop them up on the counter to help them wash the lettuce before dinner. The kitchen is full of danger, so proper safety is crucial. Let’s see, boiling water, hot appliance, sharp silverware, and raw meat. All it takes for your child to touch the hot stove or want to touch the boiling water before you are at the hospital with a 3rd degree burn. Kids are young and eager. They are curious and want to touch everything. Just be aware of all the dangers in the kitchen before you allow them to be the next Gordon Ramsay.
2 Medicine Cabinet
Even though medicines cabinets are found high above the sink, parents can forget to put their medicine bottles away. All it takes is for one pill to fall on the floor and a wondering baby. Surprisingly, about 185 children a day are rushed to the ER from taking medicine on their own. That is one child every eight minutes. So, how do we avoid this hazard in our household? Be sure to keep cabinets locked, purses where medicine may be kept high out of reach, and the pill bottles closed. Keep in mind, vitamins are just as bad! Even if you do everything to keep these out of your baby’s sight, accidents happen. It is important to call poison control right away.
1 Hard Candy
Kiddos are constantly surrounded by candy. Halloween, birthday parties, and Grandma’s house! Their little eyes beam with excitement when they see a Candy Cane or Snickers bar with their name on it. The problem is those fun events are a choking hazard. The New York Times reported that, “Dr. Gary Smith, the lead author of American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on food hazards, says some foods should simply not be given to children under 4 or 5: he mentioned raw carrots, marshmallows, peanuts, popcorn, hard candies and gumballs.” So, stick to soft foods and if you must feed them a hard candy, Life Savers are your go to!