While raising children can be one of the most joyous times in our lives, we have a primal urge to keep them safe and happy. However, there are a number of products that have been proven to increase the incidence of childhood injuries, and in some more dangerous cases, fatalities. So, in order to help raise awareness and keep our children safe, here’s a list of products that require an increased level of caution.
1. Laundry detergent pods
If swallowed, laundry pods can cause poisoning and burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach. Other than ingestion, if the liquid leaks or is squeezed from the pod, it can cause severe skin and eye irritation and burns. It can also damage the lungs if your child breathes it in. If you suspect that your child has ingested or had some form of contact with an open detergent pod, call a doctor immediately.
2. Balloons and other small objects
Balloons are a great way to brighten up a party. But, they cause more childhood deaths than any other toy. Balloons, especially those made of latex, conform to the shape of the narrow windpipe in children. This leads to choking. Other small objects like batteries, magnets, marbles and bottle caps can also lead to occlusions of the windpipe. If you notice your child choking, give them several firm blows to the upper back while they are in a forward position. Be sure to call an ambulance.
3. Pet food
Pet food, though not poisonous to humans can cause children to become sick after ingesting dry cat or dog food. The most dangerous is dry food pellets, usually given to large dogs. This can result in a choking hazard for kids.
4. Toys with propellers
Small, hand-operated drones cause an increased risk of injury. In one situation, a child had his eye cut out by a drone propellor. While they can indeed be fun toys to play with, do follow the safety precautions.
While trampolines can be a fun addition to the backyard, they do come with a number of risks. According to the EU Injury Database, approximately 51,000 children aged 0-14 require an emergency department visit every year due to injuries sustained from using a trampoline. In the United States, that number is closer to 250,000
6. Toy Chests
If you keep your child’s toys in a chest with a heavy lid, it’s probably best to remove the lid or to use open storage boxes. Heavy lids pose an injury risk if the toddler were to have a body part reaching into the open lid and it wasn’t secured. Reported incidents have also noted cases of suffocation when a child has become trapped within the box. Most modern toy chests have added safety elements to help prevent injury. Alternatively, open boxes and play areas can be a safer alternative.
7. Certain houseplants
While houseplants can be aesthetically pleasing for your home and garden, some can be quite toxic and lethal if eaten. Philodendron, oleander, and peace lilies are three common examples. Should an incident occur, call an ambulance.
Candy can be a real choking hazard, depending on the age of the child. Be especially aware of sour hard candies, like Warheads, which have been reported to have caused burns and erosion to children’s mouths. So either proceed with caution or avoid them altogether.