9 Commonly Overlooked Baby Safety Hazards
Baby-proofing a home is what every responsible parent should do, but does that make our abode completely safe for our kids? Well, there’s always such thing as accidents, and these are perhaps the most common reason why children are being brought to the emergency rooms. Often, that’s because of the following hazards that lend to evade our sights.
1. Furniture-Related Accidents
On top of our list is perhaps the most common cause of accidents that can potentially get our kids a visit to the ER. These are tall furniture that kids can sometimes, somehow, get on top of and inevitably fall off from. Of all the furniture inside our homes, high chairs are most commonly associated with these incidents.
A recent study has found a surprisingly high statistic of children being brought to the ER due to injuries caused by falling off a high chair: one per every hour. Often, this is caused by children attempting to stand or get off of the chair. Vigilance, as well as the responsible use of the high chair’s restraints can easily prevent this sort of accidents.
2. Tripping or Falling while Holding an Object In or Near the Mouth
Falls are certainly a common accident for babies, although not all of them are lethal. One fall that we should watch out for is one where kids are holding something near or in their mouths. Indeed, in just the past twenty years, over 45,000 babies have gone to and from the ER for suffering injuries in the mouth, most often sustained by falling while having something, commonly bottles, pacifiers, and sippies in their mouths. A good safety rule that you should observe regarding this matter is to keep things out of your baby’s mouth when they are moving about.
3. Swallowing a Battery
Adults certainly know that batteries are harmless so long as they are not ingested. Babies, on the other hand, find batteries no different from food or their oral toys. As a result, about 3,000 babies go to the ER every year due to the accidental ingestion of batteries. Button batteries are the most common ones that babies swallow because of their size. A couple of ways to avoid such occurrence is to make sure that the battery enclosures in your baby’s toys or your gadgets are firmly covered, and clean out your house of loose batteries. Be sure to check cupboards, drawers, toy boxes, and every place else that babies can access for these potentially hazardous objects.
4. Tangling with Electrical Wiring
In this day and age, electrical wiring is a common feature of every home, and often, we tend to leave them unsecured. Sometimes, babies run into our wiry messes and end up entangled in the cords. In fact, there are seven known cases of children dying from entanglement with the cords of safety monitors located in an accessible distance from their cribs. To avoid the risk associated with electrical wires, it is recommended that you organize and keep electrical cords out of children’s reach. The Consumer Product Safety Commission specifically advised to keep baby monitors three feet away from cribs for starters.
5. Drop-Sided Cribs
Old cribs have a drop-sided design, and this is a known cause of suffocation and entrapment of babies. These cribs have been banned in 2011 for this reason, so if you currently own one, you might as well want to replace it with newer models.
6. Sleeping on the Stomach
Let your babies sleep on their backs, or make them – sleeping on the stomach is known to cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The “Back to Sleep” campaign urging parents to do so has caused a dramatic drop in SIDS rates recently, so make sure that you are a follower.
7. Keeping Soft Objects like Blankets in the Crib
Soft items like blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals pose a risk of suffocation to a crib’s young occupant. As such, make it an imperative to remove such objects from the crib, especially when you are not watching.
8. Leaving the Child Alone in the Bathtub
Drowning has taken many a baby’s life in recent years, thanks largely to parents who have left their children alone in the tub during bath time. Now, be a responsible parent and be vigilant as you wash your child.
9. Unattended Liquid-Filled Buckets
Unattended buckets filled with liquids is another potential hazard that poses the risk of drowning to babies. That said, the best way to avoid this risk is to be mindful of the buckets you use when cleaning the house. You may also explore alternative ways to clean the house, like dry mopping.