20+ Everyday Things That Can Be Dangerous for Kids
Having babies or toddlers prompts all parents to do everything in their power to build a baby-proof home. They get rid of sharp edges, lock away dangerous chemicals in a cabinet, and close off bath tub or pool areas from their children. Yet other things that seem safe, like dresser drawers, could still cause injury to unknowing toddlers.
Bright Side feels that we ought to be cautious about the things at home that could be risky to little ones and wants to highlight a few things that we all tend to think are safe.
1. Carpets and rugs
Carpets or rugs may make a room look wonderful, prevent kids from slipping, and reduce noise. But research on the toxins in carpets has shown that carpet materials can be hazardous to our health. In fact, carpets impair the indoor air quality, according to a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study. It is also particularly harmful to kids, especially toddlers, who might find and swallow small items that are overlooked in carpets.
2. Candy-like medicine
An American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) study found that even teachers are not able to differentiate between candy and medicine and that the average household does not store medicine appropriately. Children who are unable to read, are more likely to mistake medicine for candy. Even worse are medicines that are circular, shiny, and have no identifiable markings — since they look even more similar to candy.
3. Baby headbands
Baby headbands are a trendy accessory that parents like to dress up their babies with. But this fashion accessory may cause discomfort to little ones. If it’s too tight, the pressure against a baby’s soft head may be hazardous. There have also been cases of fatality due to suffocation by these headbands.
4. Sippy cup
Bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups are essentials for children, but what if they also cause injuries? An AAP study finds that the majority of these injuries involved one-year-old children (66.4%) who are unsteady on their feet and prone to falling. 95.9% of these injuries occurred at home. It is recommended that parents ensure the proper usage of the bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups, for example by not letting the kids run around with these items in their mouths.
5. An open bag
A bag is an essential, especially for mothers of small kids who need bigger bags to carry around their children’s needs. However, if let unzipped, these bags can be dangerous for kids who might want to reach for something inside the bag and the contents of the bag, like medication, perfume, or makeup can still be dangerous for kids.
6. Cribs, playpens, and cradles
Parents often install cribs, playpens, and cradles for their little ones to ensure comfort and safety. But instead of safeguarding against harm, these could actually cause harm. A study by AAP shows that 66.2% of the injuries caused by these items are form falls, with head and neck being the most frequently injured part, at 40.3%.
Too much television may be bad for the growth of young children, but also television as an object itself can be dangerous to children. A study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that, compared to appliance and furniture falls, fatalities caused by television tip-overs are the highest, at 62%. Injuries from fallen TVs are around 44% and in most cases occurred at home.
8. Baby walker
Baby walkers help babies who are unsteady on their feet to move around. But a study by NCBI states that the risk of a skull fracture in a baby walker-related injury sustained before one year of age is 12 times that of head injuries not associated with walkers. This is because babies can fall using these walkers whether it’s down the stairs or on a level surface.
9. Paint chips
Care should also be taken to ensure that the paint on the walls and doors in your home is not worn and chipped since children might swallow old paint chips, causing lead poisoning. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, lead poisoning in children may damage their brain, slow their development, and cause hearing and speech problems.
Balloons are fun and fairly common, especially during kids’ birthday parties. CPSC warns that suffocation death from balloons can occur in 2 ways. One is by sucking uninflated balloons in an attempt to inflate them and the second is by chewing on broken pieces of a balloon. An NCBI study found that toy balloons top the list of common items that cause deaths due to foreign body aspiration in children. Another says that toy balloons are the leading cause of childhood deaths that are related to choking on children’s products.
11. Metal keys
They’re shiny and able to make a great jingling sound. Kids are easily attracted to playing with keys. But metal may be hazardous when swallowed and on top of that, dust and grease could be stuck on the keys and their sharp edges are dangerous around kids’ eyes.
12. Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are great for the development of young minds, but they can also be dangerous. CPSC has warned against the improper handling of tools and chemical exposures by way of inhalation, skin absorption, and ingestion.
13. Cheval mirror
A cheval mirror, or a tall mirror that can be tilted, may be dangerous to children. Not only can it topple over kids, a cheval mirror that can be swung may even knock little ones over or they may try to climb it like a seesaw. Worst case scenario, the mirror falls and breaks into pointy shards that could injure kids.
14. Toy chest
A toy chest keeps children’s toys away when they’re not in use, which reduces injuries caused by toys that are laying around. However, CPSC warns that the toy chest itself can be a cause of children’s injury and death. Children could climb into the chests and be unable to get out. As a result, they suffocate because there is no ventilation. Some are strangled while reaching for items in a chest when the lid falls on them or because their necks get trapped between the chest’s walls and its lid.
15. Sleep positioner
Sleep positioners are intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. However, CPSC advises against the use of sleep positioners. There have been reports of infants between the ages of one month and 4 months old who died by suffocation involving sleep positioners.
Children younger than 6 years old tend to swallow a lot of small items, but coins are the highest when it comes to foreign body ingestions among young children at 61.7%, according to a new AAP study. Across all age groups, the most frequently ingested coin was a penny (65.9%).
17. Baby gate
Baby gates are used to guard children from home hazards. Unfortunately, a study by Academic Pediatrics shows that children younger than 2 years of age were most often injured by falls involving stairs after the collapse of the gate. Patients between the ages of 2 and 6 were most often injured by contact with the gate, resulting in open wounds (55.4%) and soft-tissue injuries (24.2%).
Humidifiers are meant to increase the relative humidity in the air and improve comfort in dry climates. Unfortunately, the AAP has reported inhalational lung disease in children associated with humidifier “white dust” from the mineral content of the water. The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine also mentions that lung disease among children is affected by humidifier disinfectants.
19. Toys and add-ons for the baby’s car seat
Toys and add-ons, like mirrors, are often sold together with baby car seats. But these non-regulated add-ons could be dangerous since a mirror could break and other add-ons could fly into children’s faces or strangle them.
20. Glass coffee table
The height of coffee tables makes them irresistible for toddlers to hold on to as they walk. But coffee tables made from non-tempered glass are a risk to children. A study by Pediatric Emergency Care found that facial injuries was most commonly involved, at 45.6%.
21. Blinds and shades
Blinds are a normal installation in a home but blind cord entanglement could cause hospitalization or death. In a study by AAP, 98.9% of entanglement injuries involved blind cords, and 80.7% were to the neck.
22. Button battery
Shiny and candy-like, button batteries are ingested by children more 2,500 times a year in the United States. Certain types of button batteries, if swallowed, require an urgent endoscopic removal, according to a study by NCBI. This is to avoid sudden death by the button battery. As an immediate protection after swallowing, honey can used as it has been found to have protective effects against button battery injury according to researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
23. Detergent pods
Detergent pods have colorful liquids that are packaged in small, shiny plastic which make them look like candy or juice. When swallowed, these laundry packets could cause serious poisoning. They could also cause pain when coming into contact with the eyes. According to an AAP study, the exposure was the highest among one- and 2-year-olds and 98.9% occurred at a residence. These should be added on to the list of things to be kept away from toddlers.
Which of these seemingly harmless things that could be dangerous to your kids is the most alarming? Can you list out more harmful things for little ones in a home?