Once you have kids, you become a lot more cognizant of how you do things. That’s because you worry about their safety, health, and well-being. It’s natural.
Unseen dangers are everywhere, however. Sadly, children are being injured or worse due to hidden hazards inside and outside of the house. Some of these things are easily overlooked because they’re a part of our everyday lives.
Below are a few points on these overlooked areas that may need a second thought or glance to reduce the risk of injury, health problems, or death in children.
TVs, dressers, bookcases, and other furniture are a hidden risk to small children who like to climb and rock on furniture. If not properly secured, it can tip over and fall on top of them.
Top-heavy pieces can be attached to the wall, and anti-tipping brackets are available to anchor furniture to the floor and wall. Mounting the TV to a wall or positioning it firmly to a stand can prevent it from falling over.
Depending on how long and how often they’re used, laptops, tablets, and even cell phones are impacting your child’s health. The lights and proximity of screens contributes to blurry vision, headaches, dry eye, and other eye conditions.
In addition, the same way adults are susceptible to text neck and spine problems from being hunched over a device, kids are too. Limit screen time for kids so that they’re not spending 6-7 hours a day plugged in. Children left to their own devices could also be exposed to online dangers such as predators, scams, and cyberbullying.
Junk food isn’t the only source of high sugar amounts. Processed foods, fruit juices, and even milk could be sneaking extra lumps of sugar into your child’s daily meal rotation. Dental issues, weight gain and diabetes are just a few problems that too much sugar can cause.
Look for foods that don’t contain added or artificial sugars, and take a look at labels to check the sugar content. Avoid giving cow’s milk and fruit juices to children under 1 year old.
As you know, toys with small parts are a choking hazard to children. Batteries, magnets, and lead-laced toys are also a threat. Check toy labels for age appropriateness and material listings. Also give toys a once-over for broken parts, ripped seams, or chipped paint. Throw them out. If you’re unsure of a toy’s origin, leave it alone.
One other thing to keep in mind is that loud toys can contribute to hearing damage in young children. According to the Academy of Otolaryngology, anything above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. Many popular toys are over 100 decibels. Imagine running a lawn mower (around 90 decibels) close to your baby’s ears. Singing, beeping, or other noisy toys should be kept at a healthy distance.
It may be cute when your toddler smears makeup everywhere, but some of those ingredients are toxic – especially if ingested. Keep cosmetics out of reach by stowing them in cabinets or drawers – kiddie-proofed of course.
You know that buckling up is a lifesaving measure when riding in a car. But do you know how it’s supposed to fit? If you’re pregnant, place the lap belt under the belly to protect your abdomen in case of an accident. It’s recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association that kids should be tall enough for their knees to hang over the edge of the seat before they wear seat belts without a child’s seat.
The lap belt should rest on the thighs, and upper part should be fit across the chest and shoulders. Do not let it cut into your child’s neck! If it does, they should still be in a child’s seat.
Infant Sleep Gear
Pillows, crib bumpers, and sleep wedges are no-no’s. In some states, crib bumpers and sleep positioners have been banned due to their suffocation and strangulation risks. Though they may look decorative or seem to keep baby safe while sleeping, fillings and outside coverings pose a huge smothering risk. Avoid placing them in the crib.
It’s also a good idea to keep up with toy and furniture recalls so you can get rid of what’s unsafe. If you’re unsure about infant toys, sleep safety, or car seats, speak with a pediatrician.
The key? Stick to being diligent about household dangers that can be avoided with a few extra precautions. Better to be safe than sorry!
Are you already doing the things on this list? Have you ever had a close call or nightmare situation with a hidden danger and your child?