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July 27, 2016 by Heng Thye Tan
Top 10 Most Commonly Overlooked Baby Hazards In The Household
1)Toy parts and accessoriesToys and other baby stuff are of course made especially safe for babies, and that they have undergone specific factory and industry standards such as BPA and chemical screening tests before they went out to the market and into your shopping bag. Toys, however, can be a probable hazard to your child and some parents just shrug this fact off thinking that these baby items are absolutely safe to their child just like what the ads are claiming. Most often, parents do not realize that toys which have the tendency to be smashed, torn, pulled and broken into pieces can be swallowed by accident or fall upon by their child. Toy bicycles for example, have accessories and features like buttons, chains, and built-in rattles. if these parts fall off, there is a tendency that the child might put them their mouths or have their tiny hands stuck into. The best way to prevent these kinds of accidents to happen is to throw broken or damaged toys immediately-- do not ever think that it’s a waste of money. Your expenses can never par up to your child’s safety. It is highly-advisable for those who have kids bellow 14 months not to give their child toys that are prone to swallowing and choking. Examples of these toys are puzzle parts, legos, as well toys that are assembled such as trains and cars. Go for soft toys that are not segmented and cannot be torn easily and broken by your child’s strong hands.
2)The baby’s sleeping areaIt is unknown to many that most cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are found to have occured while the baby sleeps. Babies who are below 12 months are considered high-risk to infant death. Researchers conducting studies on SIDS have not been able to identify any single, specific cause of SIDS up to date and with each varied situations from asphyxiation, to suffocation and very odd cases when the baby just stops breathing. Most parents, especially moms tend to worry about SIDS and just can’t get their heads off from it. How can parents face these fears and prevent the unlikely from happening? First, one should acknowledge that accidents happen even in intentionally-safe areas of the house such as the nursery room or your baby’s crib. Make sure that bolster pillows and beddings are carefully set up or tucked, preventing it from covering the baby’s face leading to suffocation. Baby essentials such as feeding bottles and pacifiers should not be left with a sleeping baby nor left hidden under the beddings as it might cause damage to the sensitive backs and necks of infants. Also make sure that bed rails are safe for your baby. Sure, bed rails prevent babies from falling off but they might also bump their wobbly heads and cause injuries to them. Choose sturdy wooden or plastic bed rails that have rubber paddings.
3) Painted wallsDry, painted walls might appear harmless, but most parents are unaware that paint, even when dry, can cause allergies and asthma among children who might be sensitive to its chemical components. If you have small children at home, always see to it that materials and furnishings in your house are not hazardous to your family’s health. There are paints and finishes that are safe for children and are environment friendly.
4) Wires on chargers, cables (string-like items)Babies and toddlers like to tug and pull things. Sometimes it includes mommy’s hair and daddy’s key chains. Your little one’s curiousity might urge them to pull a dangling phone charger or wire from the desk. These wires are highly-hazardous and might cause strangulation and injury to babies. Make sure to tie your wires with velcro or cable ties and store them in a storage box with covers to prevent little children from reaching out and playing with them.
5)Furniture-related hazardsIt is amazing how little children acquire their motor skills in such a surprising pace. Parents would be in shock seeing their kid climbing up on a chair or glass table in the living room, but that is not the hazard we are trying to stress. While you may easily spot your kid and prevent him or her from falling off the ground, how about your kid running towards a pointed corner? You cannot easily catch that when a toddler is in swift motion. Pointed corners on chairs, tables, and desks can cause serious injuries to children. Your child’s safety is your priority but of course, you cannot simply live without furniture at home! However, you may choose furnitures that do not have or have less pointed edges, or with foam or rubber paddings on the edges. You can also visit your nearby hardware or home store to get rubber pads or strips with adhesive and stick it to table edges and corners so that if ever your highly-energetic kid runs into it, any potential injury is reduced.
6)Small common items found in common areas of the house prone to swallowing
At times, you cannot simply say or be confident enough for your child to stay in one area of the house. Babies become more curious as they grow and would always want to seek and try anything new. They are very curious little beings that can outwit you when you are not looking. They might climb out of their playpens and even crawl their way into the living room or your bedroom, and when they catch something that pleases their eyes, they would grab it and put it in their mouths to taste them. If you have babies and small children at home, make sure that you don’t have any clutter left on the floor or on top of your dresser or table. Small items like AA batteries , coins, jewelries, and other items that can cause choking found in your bedroom or living room should be secured in a place that is not accessible to curious little children.
7) BookshelvesBookshelves add character to a bare wall but can also mean danger to your kid. As aesthetically appealing as they can be, bookshelves can be main hazards to your child. Kids might climb on it and books can fall on their head. Worse still, the whole bookshelf may topple over. Try to keep your kids away from them or better yet, do not put them on areas where your child frequents.
8) Chemicals used for cleaning stored in inappropriate containersThere are stories published in newspapers or in TV wherein children mistake containers filled with cleansing agent or chemicals as a drink. Yes, it can be a parent’s nightmare when that happens to one’s own child. Some of us are guilty of using water containers and bottles when storing liquids and chemicals used for cleaning such as bleach, liquid soza, etc. If you have small children in your home, and even if you don’t, just simply do not store any hazardous chemicals in water containers or other containers which can be mistaken as a beverage. Just simply don’t. Also, secure those items and store them in a place far from the reach of children.
9) Glass and mirrorsGlass and mirrors are among the most common items in the house-- glass windows, glass table tops, glass shelves, mirror decals, and among others. These items can pose a danger to your little ones when not taken well into consideration. Small children can climb on top of glass tabletops in the living room or run into wardrobes and hanged mirrors. Place a rubberised table runner on your glass table tops to lessen pressure and impact in case your kids climb on them. Make sure hung mirrors on wardrobes and in the bedroom are screwed tightly and secured in its place. Also, avoid placing glass items and breakables for display such as figurines on shelves.
10) Newly polished floorsWhen a toddler starts walking, they feel amazed on how they are able to reach their milestones, especially on motor skills. They feel challenged and thrilled to try their newly-acquired skills. That’s why they tend to be literally all over the place; running back and forth, jumping and crawling and skipping around, and parents cannot simply stop these little balls of energy from bouncing back and forth! One of the things parents often overlook is the floor of the house. Whether your flooring might be tiled or made of wood, newly polished floors can be a main hazard to your little one. They can slip and fall on their faces and backs. Worse still, if they have something in their mouths like a pacifier or feeding bottle which they might fall upon . Keep children away from floors which are newly- polished or better yet, place a carpet or rubber mat on areas where your child frequently plays around.
Baby-proofing a home is not an easy job for every parent-- either they tend to overlook things like those points mentioned above or overthink things to the point of intervening in the child’s areas of development because of being too scared on compromising the safety of their precious one. The safety of your children shall not simply rely on your own efforts of keeping the house safe and free from hazards but also on proper guidance and instilling discipline within them.