10 Common but Overlooked Child Safety Hazards
Dishwashers give children very easy access to sharp knives and forks. Also, the dish detergent can irritate children’s skin and eyes and can even burn the lining of their mouth and esophagus if swallowed.
Knives, forks, and other sharp utensils should be placed downward in the utensil basket. Detergent should not be put into the dishwasher until you are ready to run the load, and you should make sure to wipe out any left over detergent after each cycle.
Make sure that the detergent cap is placed on the bottle tightly and store it in a locked cabinet. Dishwasher detergent should be closed and latched whenever it is not in use. Detergent pods should be kept well out of a child’s reach.
2. Latex Balloons
You should buy Mylar balloons instead of latex balloons. Children should always be supervised while playing with latex balloons and never be allowed to bite or chew on balloons.
Children under the age of 8 should not be allowed to blow up latex balloons, and children over the age of 8 should still be supervised to make sure they do not inhale it. Whenever a balloon pops, immediately throw it away along with all pieces.
3. Kitchen Ranges
An improperly installed kitchen range can fall forward if a child leans on the front of it or climbs on the oven door. Upon tipping over, children can be doused with scalding liquid from pots atop the stove. Free-standing or slide-in ranges need to be installed with anti-tip brackets that secure the rear legs to the floor.
Manufacturers are required to provide brackets on ranges made after 1991, and these parts are easily accessible by contacting the company or ordering them from a parts store.
The oven door should remain closed whenever not in use, and children should not be allowed to lean or climb on the range or oven door.
4. Soft Bedding
Big, fluffy comforters and bumper pads may make your child’s crib cozy, but soft bedding can also mold around your child’s faces and suffocate them. Deaths from SIDS have dropped dramatically because of a widely publicized campaign introduced in 1991. However, around 900 infants suffocate due to soft bedding each year.
You should place your child on their backs on a firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting mattress pad and sheet. Pillows, comforters, thick bumper pads, and soft toys should not be placed in the crib until the child is at least a year old. To keep them warm, place a lightweight blanket tucked tightly around the mattress or dress them in a blanket sleeper.
5. Hand-Me-Down Baby Gear
Used toys and baby equipment could have broken or missing parts, or could not meet current safety regulations. Therefore, you should inspect hand-me-down items for damaged or missing parts. You should also make sure that strings, straps, and cords are shorter than 7 inches.
Parents can review current safety standards is cpsc.gov. Children should not play with decades-old metal or painted toys, which could contain poisonous lead.
6. Bath Seats and Rings
Bath seats and rings are used to help babies sit up in the tub, but they can also present a drowning hazard if you just leave your child alone, even for a couple seconds. The suction cups on the bottom can suddenly release and allow the seats to tip, causing the child to become trapped underwater.
Between the years 1983 and 2003, 106 babies drowned because they were left unattended in bath rings or seats. Always make sure to stay within arm’s reach when your child is in the bathtub. Bath rings and seats are not safety devices!
7. Bath and Baby Oils
Several bath and baby oils contain liquid hydrocarbons, which can cause a pneumonia-like condition, irreversible lung damage, and death if a child aspirates the substance into their lungs.
You should read labels and store all bath and baby oils out of your children’s reach, even if they are child-resistant packaged. Child-resistant caps do not always stop a child from opening them; it just slows them down.
8. The Family Dog
Roughly 100,000 children under the age of 10 are treated in emergency rooms every year due to a dog-bite related injury. These attacks usually happen in familiar places by a dog that belongs to the victim’s family or friend.
Pet food and pet toys can also be choking hazards for children.
Children should never be left alone with a dog. Dogs that are spayed or neutered have reduced aggressive tendencies. Children need to be taught to be gentle with dogs, and never tease, corner, or disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.
Dog food should be removed out of child’s reach once the dog is done eating.
9. Power Windows
Car windows cause hundreds of children to lose their fingers or crush their limbs every year. Further, power windows have been associated with 28 deaths.
If a child puts their head or hand outside the window and then accidentally leans on the switch, the window may close on them. The lock functioning should be used so that the child cannot operate the power windows.
Before rolling up a window, a head and finger check should always be done, and children should never be left alone in a vehicle.
Any cosmetic bag, backpack, or suitcase can contain items that could poison, choke, or injure children, such as change, medications, candy, pen caps, safety pins, scissors, or matches.
Children love getting into bags because they are new and exciting. A way to prevent this is to place friends or relatives’ purses and luggage in a closet or room where your child cannot get to them.