Raising children can be the most joyous time in our lives. We have a primal urge to keep them safe and happy. Some consumer products have been proven to increase the incidence of childhood injuries, and unfortunately, fatalities. As with anything in life, if due care is taken, risks of injuries can be reduced.
In order to help raise awareness and keep our children safe, we at 5 Fun Facts have compiled a list of products that require an increased level of caution.
1. Laundry detergent pods
Laundry detergent pods, if eaten, can cause poisoning and burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach. Other than ingestion, if the liquid leaks or is squeezed from the pod, it can cause severe skin and eye irritation and burns. It can also cause damage to the lungs if your child happens to breathe it in.
If you suspect your child has ingested or been in contact with an open detergent pod, call poison control for advice.
2. Balloons and other small objects
Balloons may brighten up a party, but they actually cause more childhood deaths than any other toy. Balloons, particularly those made of latex, conform to the shape of the narrow windpipe in children, leading to choking. Other small objects such as batteries, magnets, marbles, and bottle-caps, for example, can also lead to occlusions of the windpipe.
If your child is choking, try giving them several firm blows to their upper back while they are in a forward position, call an ambulance, and then follow these steps.
3. Pet food
Generally, pet food isn’t poisonous to humans, however, there have been cases of children becoming sick after ingesting dry cat or dog food. The biggest danger comes from dry food pellets for larger dogs combined with small, inquisitive children which can be a choking hazard.
Again, if your child is choking, try giving them several firm blows to their upper back while they are in a forward position, call an ambulance, and then follow these steps.
4. Toys with propellers
With the rising popularity of small, hand-operated drones comes the increased risk of injury, as this child found out when his eye was cut by a drone propeller.
With proper safety precautions, these can indeed be fun toys to play with. Follow these drone safety tips to minimize the risk of harm.
Trampolines can be a fun addition to the family backyard, but naturally, don’t come without risks. According to the EU Injury Database, approximately 51,000 children aged 0-14 require an emergency department visit every year due to injuries sustained from using a trampoline. That number is closer to 250,000 in the United States.
Follow these trampoline safety tips to help keep your children safe.
6. Toy chests
If your child’s toys are kept in a chest with a heavy lid, it might be best to either remove the lid or use open storage boxes. Heavy lids pose an injury risk if the toddler were to have a body part reaching into the chest and the open lid wasn’t secured. There have even been cases of suffocation when a child has become trapped within the box.
Fortunately, most modern toy chests have added safety elements to help prevent injury. Open boxes and play areas can be a safer alternative.
7. Certain houseplants
Houseplants can be aesthetically pleasing for your home and garden, but some can be quite toxic and even lethal if eaten. Philodendron, oleander, and peace lilies are just 3 common examples. Check this extensive list here for toxic and non-toxic household plants.
Call poison control or an ambulance if you think your child has ingested anything unusual.
8. Candy and costumes
With Halloween having recently passed, many people around the world were involved in dressing-up and eating candy. Trick-or-treating is a fun activity for the entire family and should continue to be considered as such. Any candy should be checked, if anything, to judge whether it could be a choking hazard depending on the age of your child. There have been reports of candy being “poisoned” but this has been found to be false. Sour hard candies like Warheads have also been reported to have caused burns and erosion to children’s mouths, so proceed with caution or avoid them altogether.
Costumes are also a big part of Halloween and other special occasions, and kids of all ages love to dress up. Parents should keep in mind that there have been incidents of costumes catching fire due to the types of materials they’re made of.
With all this in mind, we only want Halloween and other activities to remain fun and family-oriented as they’re meant to be.
If your child requires emergency medical attention please call your local emergency telephone number. Worldwide emergency numbers can be found here.
What other dangerous or potentially hazardous things do you know of? Share them in the comments — let the rest of the world know what to be careful of!
Preview photo credit Images courtesy Hayley Canak