10 Ordinary Indoor Objects That Can Hurt Your Baby
Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize the threat ordinary household items hold over babies and little kids — even the ones found in their very bedrooms. After all, all adults love to lie down on pillows, use air fresheners when necessary, and cover themselves with blankets at night. Meanwhile, even these familiar items can hurt babies and toddlers.
At Bright Side, we researched which objects should be used with caution in the presence of a child, which objects shouldn’t be left in a baby’s crib, and which objects should be set aside for a while.
10. A pillow
Adults know firsthand how uncomfortable it can be for one’s neck to sleep on a flat surface without a pillow. Based on their own experience, young parents may decide that a baby also needs a headrest. However, experts say that your baby can’t sleep with a pillow until they are a toddler. Babies should sleep on a firm, flat surface that’s free of pillows, blankets, and other soft bedding until at least the age of 1 and preferably 18 months or later.
There are a few reasons for this, and the main one is that a baby can accidentally bury its face in a soft surface in its sleep. And at a slightly older age, they can use it as a step to get out of the crib. Finally, the wrong filler (feather or down) can become the source of strong allergic reactions.
9. A humidifier
A humidifier is a very useful item for kids’ rooms since moist air has a positive effect on both children’s breathing and skin. However, if used improperly, this device can cause problems. The most common problem is dampness and mold.
To prevent this from happening, pediatricians recommend combining a humidifier with a device that measures humidity, known as a hygrometer. Alternatively, you can purchase a device with a built-in hygrostat that will help you monitor the humidity level. It’s believed that the optimal level is 50%.
Colorful, magnetic letters and other magnetic toys attract children’s attention, but they can be really dangerous, especially if the magnets are not properly secured inside them. Without supervision, a child can easily swallow these small parts. If swallowed, they can pull together with enough force to cause serious and life-threatening damage to the digestive system.
To avoid this serious risk to a baby’s health, never leave them alone with such toys. Monitor your child when they play and don’t buy big sets of magnetic toys, as it will be difficult to notice if some parts of them have disappeared.
7. Crib bumpers
Despite the fact that crib bumpers are very popular and young parents often believe they protect children from injuries and bruises, child safety organizations recommend against crib bumpers because they pose the risk of suffocation. Just like a pillow or thick blanket, crib bumper pads can restrict a baby’s breathing if the bumper is up next to the baby’s nose or mouth.
Besides, thick bumpers can block the flow of air into the crib and cause your baby to overheat. The American Academy of Pediatrics is sure they’re not needed.
6. Baby monitoring devices
Everyone knows about the danger of open and accessible sockets. However, it’s worth paying attention to all wired devices. That being said, don’t attach baby monitoring devices to the inside or outside of the crib. A child can accidentally wrap themselves with a wire. Besides, babies love to chew on objects. Therefore, it’s best to buy a wireless device or install it in a place inaccessible to the baby so that they can’t reach the wire.
5. Blankets and covers
A blanket is included in the list of prohibited items for the same reasons as crib bumpers and pillows. They can lead to a lack of air and possible overheating of the baby’s body. Keep in mind that there should be no extra objects in the crib until the baby reaches 18 months in order to minimize any risks and ensure the safety of the baby’s sleep.
At the same time, correct swaddling in a blanket for a baby up to 2 months is not prohibited and really promotes the sound sleep of a restless child. In other cases, if you’re worried about whether your baby will feel cold, keep in mind that all kinds of sleeping overalls are good alternatives to blankets.
4. Battery operated toys
Batteries are a chemically active foreign body, and if swallowed, they burn through a child’s esophagus in just 2 hours, leading to surgery and health complications. If batteries are placed in the nose or ears, this can also lead to unpleasant consequences. Due to these risks, batteries should never happen to be in a child’s hands. As for battery-operated toys and devices, make sure that batteries are safely secured inside them and that a child can’t get to them.
3. Unstable furniture
The furniture in a child’s room must be safely secured to avoid accidents. We’re talking not only about large pieces of furniture like wardrobes and dressers, which the child will want to climb on, but also about floor mirrors as well as TV sets and other equipment that can easily topple.
To reduce the risks, choose low furniture with a solid wide base, and use all kinds of wall mounts. And don’t leave toys or other attractive objects on top of furniture that may make your child want to climb on it.
2. Scented candles and air fresheners
It’s no secret that scented candles and air fresheners contain chemicals. If there is insufficient air circulation, they can irritate the respiratory tract, even in adults, especially in those prone to allergies and asthma. Therefore, it’s generally advised to avoid the use of fragrant products inside your newborn’s nursery or sleeping environment. Their lungs are still developing and exposure to aerosol irritants won’t provide any benefits.
If you really need to get rid of an unpleasant smell, at least take the baby out of the room and provide an influx of fresh air.
1. Stuffed toys with long fur
Apart from the fact that you shouldn’t leave big, stuffed toys in the baby’s crib for the same reasons as pillows, you should also keep in mind the following aspects when choosing a plush toy for your child:
- A toy’s eyes and nose should be attached to it with thread. Buttons are very easy to tear off and swallow, and the baby will probably do this first.
- The fur should be colored with fast dye or not colored at all.
- Pay attention to the seams: the toy should be stitched very tightly so that the stuffing doesn’t come out and get into the child’s mouth.
- The same applies to the toy’s material. Despite the charm of a long-haired lion, it’s better to refrain from buying it until your child reaches a certain age. Besides, the toy’s hairs will begin to fall out sooner or later and they will certainly end up in the baby’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
For greater safety, it’s best to choose specialized toys of a small size, designed specifically for babies.
We’re sure that there are experienced parents among our readers. What else about ordinary objects would you recommend to our future moms and dads? Share your knowledge in the comments below.