Using outlet covers, keeping cleaning products out of reach, and blocking staircases with baby gates are common child-proofing practices that can help to keep infants and toddlers safe. However, there may be some hidden dangers in your home that can be just as harmful. Take a look at these four unexpected hazards.
1. Heavy Furniture
The CDC has launched an “Anchor It!” campaign to help bring awareness to parents about the dangers of heavy furniture tipping over and falling on children. Remember to always mount TVs on the wall, even if they are not flatscreens. Parents should also secure dressers and other large pieces of furniture using anti-tip brackets to avoid tipping.
2. Certain Plants
Some common household plants can be toxic to kids and pets if ingested, including:
- Mountain laurel
- Rhubarb leaves
3. Soft Bedding
Although it might seem like soft pillows and blankets can make your baby more comfortable, soft bedding can be extremely dangerous to infants and small children and should therefore not be provided in cribs, playpens, or other sleeping areas.
Not only can soft bedding pose a serious threat of suffocation, but it has also been linked with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The safest sleeping position for infants is on their back with a wearable blanket or sleep sack and no loose blankets, sheets, or pillows.
4. Laundry Hampers
Certain styles of laundry hampers can also pose a risk to kids. Most notably, collapsible hampers that include metal wiring can cause eye injuries. In addition, empty laundry hampers can look like fun playhouses to kids, but there is a risk of tipping and suffocation.
If you have specific questions about potentially dangerous items in your home or other child development questions or concerns, you can contact the Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation’s community nurses for additional resources.