Many homes are full of products such as cribs, baby gates, and playpens. Parents naturally think that these products are safe, otherwise they would not have been allowed to have been sold… right? This could be a dangerous assumption. Some older products have caused deaths and have been taken off the market, but they’re still found at garage sales or are passed from family to family. Another problem is that some common products are often used incorrectly, putting children at risk for injury.
Products to check include:
Baby walkers with wheels: Don’t use them! Children have suffered head injuries from falling down stairs in walkers.
Baby bath seats with suction cups: Babies left alone in bath seats have drowned; some have almost drowned even when their parents were in the bathroom. The suction cups on the bottom of the bath seats don’t always stick properly, and babies may fall over into the water.
Playpens: Millions of playpens have been recalled for safety reasons in the last decade.
Baby gates at the top of stairs: Make sure that any gates at the top of stairs are fastened to the wall with screws, it’s not uncommon for parents to mistakenly use pressure gates, which aren’t fastened to the wall, and these can give way if children lean on them.
Bunkbeds from garage sales: Every year many children die, not from falling off bunk beds, but from sliding underneath the “safety rail” and then choking to death, their feet unable to reach the ground to push themselves back up. This safety rail may have been the reason the parent in fact bought the bunk bed thinking it was safe, as their child would not have been able to fall out. The safety rail on a bunk bed, must be solid, or if slatted, the slats must be so close togethor your child can not slip through. Modern bunk beds are usually fine, but garage sale version have often been modifed and unsafely so.
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Jasmine is one of the owners of Mybaby.net.au, a WAHM and prolific baby and parenting writer.