With parenting can come many stresses. You stress about the foods your child eats, the clothing that they wear, whether or not they have reached their milestones and about their safety. But sometimes the things you do not consider to be unsafe can be the very thing that puts your child in the Emergency Room. It is estimated that 64,000 children under the age of 5 are treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. for injuries from accidents involving everday nursery projects. And I am totally guilty of two of these, but you won’t get which ones out of me. You’ll just have to guess on your own! But I can tell you, after reading this, that I will no longer be the mama makin’ those mistakes again.
From the publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart, a fabulous magazine, has put together steps that we, as parents/caregivers, can take to help minimalize the dangers in our homes, daycares, etc- all of which are common safety slip-ups. Below are some common child safety mistakes mentioned in the May 2009 issue of ShopSmart.
BATHING * Not Safe: Using a baby bath seat. Toddlers sometimes slip through the leg holes and often try to climb out of or over the seat. The seat can also dislodge and tip over.
* Safer Bet: Bathe your toddler in an adult or toddler tub with a small amount of water. And never turn away from your baby during bath time, even for a second, even when you’re just filling the tub with water.
BOUNCY SEATS * Not Safe: Placing a baby bouncy seat on an elevated or soft surface. Your baby’s movement could rock the seat to the edge of a counter or table and cause it to tip over or fall to the floor. And soft surfaces are a suffocation hazard if the seat should tip.
* Safer Bet: Put the bouncy seat on the floor.
CHANGING TABLES * Not Safe: Using a changing table with only two or three side barriers. In the split second it takes to turn away to grab a diaper or wipe, an active baby can roll over and tumble to the ground.
* Safer Bet: Changing tables with barriers on four sides of the top comply with voluntary safety-testing standards. Always use the safety straps on the changing table or pad, and never leave your baby unattended even for a moment, even if you’re using the safety straps and you’re sure your baby is secure.
WALKERS * Not Safe: Using a walker. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a ban on walkers, and they are banned in Canada. These products can allow babies to scoot into danger and might even delay their development. Despite the name, a walker lets a baby simulate walking but doesn’t really help her acquire the skills she needs.
* Safer Bet: A stationary activity center-an all-in-one, molded-plastic play station that doesn’t have wheels- is a safer way for your baby to have fun and get a little exercise.
HIGH CHAIRS * Not Safe: Relying on a high chair’s tray instead of using the safety belt. It doesn’t prevent your child from standing up and possibly falling out of the chair or slipping under the tray.
* Safer Bet: Fasten the safety harness, even when your baby is in a reclining position. Also, your child should always be in your view when she is sitting in a high chair.
STROLLERS * Not Safe: Skipping the stroller’s safety straps. The stroller can tip and kids can bolt out of it unexpectedly. Also, you never know when you could hit a bump that could cause a nasty tumble.
* Safer Bet: Be sure to use the five-point safety harness on your stroller even if you’re just wheeling your child up the block or strolling slowly.
STORAGE * Not Safe: Overloading a stroller with packages and bags. Hanging heavy bags or a purse on a stroller’s handles can cause it to tip over and injure your child.
* Safer Bet: Store your stuff in the basket or storage area underneath the stroller. Check the product directions for weight limits so you don’t overload that area.