The world is a dangerous place for a child. And parents being parents obviously can’t stop fretting about their little ones. They will do anything to make them happy and keep them safe and healthy.
However, danger lurks around every corner. There are things that could potentially hurt children everywhere, even inside your home. But sometimes it would never cross your mind that some common, everyday objects could cause injuries.
1. Unsecured Furniture
Children are very curious and inquisitive. They want to investigate and see everything, so it’s not unusual for them to start climbing the furniture. There is a danger of the furniture falling over and landing right on top of them, so make sure it’s properly secured. Anchor your dressers and bookcases to the wall or to the floor by using anti-tipping brackets. Also, check if your TV is positioned firmly on its stand or, better yet, mount it to a wall!
2. Sugar Overload
Pay more attention to what your child is eating. Ingesting too much sugar can cause a lot of health problems, including diabetes and dental issues. Sugar is found in a lot of everyday products. Junk food is an obvious example, but sugar can be also found in processed foods, fruit juices, and even milk!
Always check the label for the sugar content. Avoid products with added or artificial sugar. And if your child is less than 1 year old, don’t feed them cow’s milk or fruit juices.
You could laugh when you see your toddler has raided your makeup stash and made a complete mess of themselves, but be warned that some cosmetics contain ingredients that, if ingested, could be toxic. Place your makeup somewhere where your child is not likely to get at it – put it in a kiddie-proofed cabinet or drawer!
4. Infant Sleep Gear
Pay special care to your child’s sleeping gear. Don’t use pillows, crib bumpers or sleep wedges. The risks of suffocation or strangulation are too high. They look pretty and you think they actually keep your baby safe while their sleeping, but, in fact, crib bumpers and sleep positioners have been banned in some states.
Another thing you should keep an eye on is toy and furniture recalls. You need to know when something has been discovered to be unsafe and throw it away as soon as possible.
Please contact your pediatrician about any doubts you might have about whether a certain toy is safe enough for your child to play with, or questions about sleep and car safety, or about anything else.
5. Electronic Devices
Nowadays everyone is dependant on their electronic devices. Whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or a simple cell phone, we always seem to have our noses buried in a computer screen. However, these gadgets can have a negative impact on your child’s health. Spending too much time looking into the light of your screen, or putting the screen too close to your eyes is a known cause for blurry vision, headaches and other eye problems.
Another risk is developing neck or spine pain from staying too long in an uncomfortable position. Don’t let your kids spend hours on end hunched over their tablet or phone. And keep in mind that the Internet is a dangerous place where your child could chance upon scams or cyberbullying, or even predators.
6. Seat Belts
Using the seat belt is a must during every car ride. But a lot of women use it incorrectly while pregnant. The lap belt is supposed to go under the belly: that way the belly will be protected in the event of an accident.
How to know if you can stop using the child seat? It’s too early to let your child ride in a car without a child’s seat, if they’re not tall enough for their knees to hang over the edge of the seat, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Another thing that shows that your little one should still be in a car seat is that the upper part of the seatbelt, instead of fitting snuggly across the chest, cuts into their neck.
Don’t let your children play with small toys unsupervised. They are very likely to put them in their mouths. Always check the label on the toy to find out if it’s appropriate for your child’s age and also what materials it’s made of. Choking is not the only danger when it comes to toys. Sometimes they can contain harmful substances, like lead. Batteries and magnets are other things your child shouldn’t be playing with.
Always make sure that the toys are in pristine condition. If you notice any broken bits, chipped paint, or ripped seams, toss them away immediately.
Some toys are so loud they can damage your child’s hearing. A lot of modern toys make noises louder than 100 decibels. For comparison, a lawn mower is around 90 decibels. Besides, anything over 85 decibels has the potential to cause hearing loss, according to the Academy of Otolaryngology. So keep the beeping, noisy toys at a safe distance.