Hazardous Baby Products
There’s a lot of inherent trusts that goes into buying baby supplies. For most people, the thought goes something like, “If it’s meant for children, it must be safe for infants, right?” Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case, and not all things are government regulated. There are some things on the market that should be avoided at all costs, like:
The feature that serves at these cribs’ selling point is also their most dangerous attribute. The movable side can lower, suffocating or strangling a baby. Officially banned in 2011 by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), drop-side cribs have been responsible for 32 deaths since 2000, as well as hundreds of other incidents. Instead of a drop-side crib, an average crib with four fixed sides is recommended. Drop-side cribs can be immobilized with hardware included with the crib, but it’s still best to get a crib made after 2011, as strict standards went into place then.
Meant to keep babies from hitting their heads on the crib walls, the problem with bumpers is they can be a suffocation hazard. They may also be associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The Journal of Pediatrics found there were 27 deaths from 1985 to 2005 in direct result of suffocating or strangling on crib bumpers. It’s best to leave them off entirely; the risk of harm is not worth their perceived use.
Used to keep a baby from rolling over or to elevate a baby’s head to alleviate acid reflux symptoms, sleep positioners are another suffocation hazard. If the baby rolls over in its sleep, it can suffocate from having its mouth pressed up against the positioner; else, it may roll over the positioner and get tangled up in bedding the positioner was meant to keep the baby away from. As far as putting a baby to bed, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing babies on their backs to lower risk of SIDS.
Shaped like a dome, crib tents go over the top of the crib and are supposed to keep babies from climbing out. But they can be dangerous as babies can get tangled up in the netting and suffocate or be strangled. If your child has gotten to the point where they can clamber over the sides of the crib, it’s time to switch them to a toddler bed.
Walkers are meant to help a baby stand and walk on its own, but that’s also why they’re unsafe. The CPSC estimates there were 4,000 injured children below the age of five attributed to the use of a walker. Walkers may aid children in getting in the way of danger or falling stairs. Many people also neglect to baby-proof higher off the floor, being so used to the baby being on the ground, causing children to run into sharp corners or other hazards. A stationary activity center is a much safer way to keep your child entertained.
Being a new parent is stressful enough without having to worry about potentially dangerous products. A great resource to use is the CPSC website, where you can search for specific goods and any associated recalls. Don’t forget to fill out and mail in registration cards upon purchase when possible, as this will add you to a list to be notified of any safety issues.