Nerves are a natural state for new parents. Hazards seem to lurk everywhere and having responsibility for protecting your little one can feel overwhelming. In honor of Baby Safety Month in September, the California Poison Control System offers a quick guide to dangers you might not have noticed – right in your own home.
“Babies and toddlers require constant supervision. When babies begin to reach out with their hands, they can quickly get into trouble, and even more so when they become mobile,” says Dr. Cyrus Rangan, Assistant Medical Director at California Poison Control System. “Get down on the floor, and crawl through the house, garage and yard yourself to see where possible dangers lurk.”
Parents understandably focus on household items under the kitchen sink and in bathroom cabinets, usually protected with baby locks, but other risks may not be as apparent. “Ant poison treatments hidden in corners, the dog’s heart medicine placed in the pantry and dangling cell phone cables all pose risks parents might not have thought about until they get down to baby’s level,” Rangan says.
Here are 10 overlooked baby dangers for parents to consider:
- Dishwashers hold knives and detergent pods. Put a lock on it.
- Bathroom trashcans may contain medications and chemicals. Think before you toss.
- Refrigerator magnets pose a heavy metal and choking hazard. Store them away for now.
- Pets can be unpredictable. Never leave babies unsupervised with pets, and don’t bring pets into the baby’s room.
- Bedding such as comforters and blankets can suffocate a baby during sleep.
- “Hand me down” toys could be recalled. Check before use at https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls.
- Child-resistant caps do not prevent accidents; they just slow babies down. Store medications and other hazardous substances up high.
- Watch out for water. Almost 500 children drown each year. Infants under age 1 are more likely to drown in a bathtub, especially when unsupervised.
- Dry pet food and toys with small parts pose choking hazards. Use pet bowls with safety lids.
- Crib mobiles can pose a strangulation and choking hazard. Don’t place them above the crib.
For further information, visit www.calpoison.org or call the free California Poison Control help line at 1-800-222-1222, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo.