You’ve done it, you’ve baby-proofed your home and you think your all set. You have checked all the items in your baby proof home checklist. Little did you know that your little one is a genius when it comes to putting himself in danger. Just when you thought you’ve done all the necessary precautions, BAM! Something comes up that you least expect.
Baby Proof Household Items We Tend To Overlook
Baby accidents are something all parents dread. We hope for the best, but we must be prepared for the worst. We baby proof our home as much as we can, but sometimes, it is the common items that we overlook that can lead to accidents. Here are seven household items that we tend to overlook which can be hazardous for our little ones.
1. Button Cell Batteries.
I can almost hear parents say, “Nah, we don’t use button batteries in our household.” But don’t you really? There are several items in your home that uses such batteries, the most common of which is a remote control.
One two year old was brought to the hospital because of coughing and sneezing a greenish phlegm, which turned out to be acid reaction on a button battery stuck in the kid’s throat. Apparently the back cover of the TV’s remote control fell off together with the battery. The child put the battery in his mouth and swallowed it. Fortunately, the child was able to recover after months of treatment.
You can try to keep the remote control out of your child’s reach, but it would be better to secure the back cover by taping it up with duct tape. Children can easily remove scotch tape with their prying fingers, so duct tape would be better. Some parent even punched a hole and screwed the back cover shut. If you’re going to do this, make sure you place a hole where you won’t damage the circuit board inside.
Other items that use button batteries are wall clocks, wrist watches, singing greeting cards, digital thermometers and even some toys. Although button cell batteries are pretty scary stuff, don’t ignore regular-sized batteries for they too spit out acid which can be harmful for your kids.
2. Cinnamon Powder.
How in the world can this aromatic powder be hazardous for your child? Cinnamon powder, in small quantities can improve the smell and taste of food. However, cinnamon powder in large quantities can be dangerous, both for adults and children alike. This powder is resistant to water, so if someone accidentally inhales or eats this powder in their mouth, the throat would dry up and be irritated causing a coughing fit. The coughing fit can become so intense that can lead to bronchial constriction. Cinnamon powder also burns the throat and mouth which can cause swelling that can lead to suffocation.
To prevent accidental ingestion, use a container that has a push-down-and-turn mechanism so your child won’t be able to open it easily. Push-down-and-turn vials and containers are also useful for storing pills so your child won’t accidentally eat it thinking it’s candy. Such bottles are also great for storing medicine. This is essential in baby proofing.
3. The Slamming Door.
Doors are fun things for our little humans. It moves as it is pushed and pulled – an exciting activity for your little one. If she pushes or pulls too hard, the door can slam on her little fingers. And inconsolable cry will follow, with the child refusing to play or be put down in the next hour or even in the next day due to trauma. You can use door stoppers or door slam guards such as Safety First Finger Pinch Guard.
You should also be careful when closing the door yourself. Not a few fingers were caught in between the door and the frame even when an adult is around. There are instances when you think it would be better to close the door so her fingers won’t get caught, but right when you close the door, your baby springs out of nowhere and places her fingers right on the hinge or at the door frame. You will realize too late that small fingers were jammed when you hear the screams. So before closing the door (or window, or cabinet door or drawer), make sure your baby is not around or is at least at a safe away.
4. Refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens.
Walking babies can easily open refrigerator doors, and when it’s open, there are a ton of baby hazards inside. It could be that jar of mayonnaise that can fall on this head, or the fact that your baby can crawl into a space and have himself locked inside the fridge. To baby proof your refrigerator doors and cabinets, use latches such as Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches or the Safety 1st Multi-Purpose Appliance Lock Décor.
Ovens are highly dangerous, especially when something is cooking. Parents should place safety latches because even when cooking, the heat coming from inside will not deter a young child from opening the door and getting himself burned. Aside from the latches, make use of knob covers so your little one won’t be able to turn your oven on and off.
5. Plugged in power cords.
Baby proofing an unused outlet is easy as 1-2-3. You only need to purchase outlet plugs and you’re done. But baby proofing an outleg with something plugged in is an entirely different story. It would be easier to hide the outlet, but you can’t rearrange your house easily, right? One solution is Lectralock — a plastic transparent enclosure that secures the plugged cord into the outlet. You won’t be interrupted in the middle of your movie time, and you won’t get worried that your child would get burnt or electrocuted.
6. Cabinets and Other Furniture.
Heavy furniture and appliances are always a tipping hazard. The moment its center of gravity changes, the item can easily fall on the young one, trapping and injuring him in the process. Don’t just assume that your furniture is too heavy for your child to move and tip over; it is best to always be on the safe side. Place furniture anchors and anti-tip straps or brackets for cabinets and bookshelves. Parents should use wall brackets for TVs so that the appliance is high above the child’s head and is secure. Include TV anti-tip straps in your to-do’s or baby proof checklist.
7. Rubbers and latex. Latex balloons
This is one of the most overlooked items in the house, especially during celebrations and parties. What harm can an inflated balloon do? Inflated, there is little to worry about, but when deflated, latex balloons pose a threat when a baby places it in her mouth. Latex can easily take the form and shape of anything, so once inside the throat, it can potentially block the entire airflow, causing suffocation.
Having houseplants are great for beautifying and aerating the place. However, there are some houseplants that are toxic when touched and/or ingested by children. It would be best to keep those out and replace with safe plants instead. One technique to baby proof plants is that if you don’t know the name of the plant inside your home, place it outside instead. Better be safe than sorry.
9. Broken Toys
It’s not unusual for your little one to break some of his or her toys. After all, it is one of children’s ways of exploring (don’t you remember the sheer amount of toys you have broken yourself?) However. this can also be hazardous, especially if the toy breaks into smaller pieces. Parents should vacuum the area properly to get rid of all remaining pieces. If you don’t want to throw away the broken toy (hey, some are sentimental like that), make sure the remaining piece does not have sharp edges and is not small enough to fit in your child’s mouth.
There loads more baby-proofing stuff that needs to be double-checked in the home. Check this baby proofing list by Parents.com for other stuff that you might have missed. ClaytonAndClayton also has this extensive baby-proofing guide that will help you address all aspects of your home.
What other baby hazards do you see in your home? Please share your experience below so we can help the community of moms out there.
We’re coming up with a comprehensive guide to baby-proofing your homemade especially for a paranoid first-time parent. Watch out for it soon!