From the first moment those tiny hands are holding ours, sometimes even before, we get busy childproofing everything and everywhere. We lock up medicines, install baby gates, and plastic plug covers because we want to be the best parents we can be, but here is a list of things to add to the childproofing list, that you might not have thought of, but that are very dangerous to small children.
Batteries and Magnets: Place all batteries and magnets out of the reach of young kids, they can cause severe internal injuries if swallowed. The batteries are dangerous for the leaking acid they contain and the magnets if swallowed can attaching to other magnets and cause a blockage. We had a rule in our house of no small magnets in our house, no matter how cute they may be. The magnets needed to be large and sturdy or put away until the kids were old enough to know better than to put them in their mouth.
Nightlights: What baby or child’s room is complete without a nightlight? While ideal for overcoming childhood fears of the dark and vision around the room, certain nightlights can get extremely hot. With new LED nightlights available, this may not be such a big problem anymore, but when I was still a kid, the nightlights were warm enough to scorch tiny hands after a while. One night while my younger sister and I slept on the floor in my older sisters room, a teddy bear fell against the nightlight and started to burn.It could have caused a fire, but luckily we woke up because the smoke alarms went off. No one was hurt, but the bear’s fur was not so lucky, it was left black and melted. I’ve never liked plug-in nightlights ever since.
What’s the alternative? If possible replace bulbs in the older nightlights with LEDs or opt out of having the plugin versions and get the outlets with built-in led lights that turn on when it is dark. Another alternative to plug-in nightlights is the DREAMLITES™ for kids. My kids loved them and after, I tried several other wire-free nightlights, but many said, “For decoration only. Keep out of reach of children”, I decided the DREAMLITES were the best option, but as my kids got older, they loved the FLASHLIGHT FRIENDS, because the were brighter and better for reading with in bed. They can be battery hogs if the kiddos forget to turn them off, but I love the peace of mind. My second solution for removing plug-in nightlights was a hall light with a motion sensor and very dull bulb. Then the kids could see all the way to the bathroom, and the light did not need to stay on all night wasting energy.
Another often overlooked danger to children is human hair. Yes, hair. It can tangle around tiny toes and cut off blood circulation, creating a tiny tourniquet. My daughter who was two at the time, told me her toe was hurting. I removed her sock and found a hair had wrapped around her toe. The toe had already changed color, and I carefully removed the hair from the toe. The toe was fine afterward, but thank goodness that she was old enough to tell me something was wrong, but a baby won’t be able to say to you, so please check their tiny toes. Hair ties & rubber bands are also guilty of this, so remove hair ties during nap time and rubber bands out of the reach of little hands.
What do baby bottles, lollipops & marbles have in common? They are all choking hazards. Marbles may seem like an obvious choking hazard, but baby bottles and lollipops can be just as dangerous. So, make sure you are checking your baby bottle nipples for rips, especially if a baby with teeth uses them. The baby can chew off the end of the rubber nipple and choke on it. As for lollipops, I don’t know why people think suckers are safer than regular hard candy, because the very first time, I tried letting my kids try a sucker (it was a bad idea, and I shouldn’t have caved in), one chewed off a big chunk and almost choked on it, never again will I let them have hard candies and lollipops until they are older.
Plants are the last item on my list of hidden danger for kids. While you may have remembered to put that poisonous Christmas Poinsettia out of their reach and the other indoor plants, did you think of the plants in your backyard? Outdoor plants like the beautiful fragrant Wisteria plant (pictured above) are also poisonous. I am always talking to my kids about which plants in our backyard are poisonous and which are safe, but I remind them all the time, “NEVER EAT ANYTHING OUTSIDE UNLESS YOU CHECK WITH ME FIRST!”. Wisteria pods can look similar to sweet peas to small kids. While Sweet Peas are edible, Wisteria is not. So, remind your children to check with you BEFORE eating any garden goodies.
I hope this list helps you keep your little ones just a bit safer. If you have anything to add to the hidden dangers, list I’d love to hear from you.