Babies and toddlers are natural explorers. They want to touch and feel everything within their reach—this is how they learn about the world around them.
As their parent, you want to keep them safe, while still letting them experience the different textures and sensations around them. But, how do you know when a simple object can pose a danger to your young one?
Tracey Fejt, registered nurse and a Banner Health trauma outreach and injury prevention coordinator at Banner Children's at Desert in Mesa, Arizona, shares her expertise on some everyday items are not safe for your little one:
- Pet toys. Children’s toys must go through rigorous safety inspections and be designed appropriately by age – that is not the case for toys designated for your pets. These toys can also expose your little one to dangerous pet germs that can make them sick.
- Trash can lid. What could be more fun for a toddler than opening and closing the trash can lid? Germs, like Salmonella and Norovirus, aren’t the only concern, your child’s little fingers could also be shut in a closed lid. To keep your child safe, consider a trash can lock.
- Amber teething necklaces. These teething necklaces have become very popular, but there is no scientific evidence that they are effective. Amber teething necklace dangers include choking or strangulation.
- Laundry pods. Colorful and small, these tempting contraptions can cause vomiting, breathing problems or child poisoning, if ingested.
- Latex balloons. These are a leading cause of choking in babies and toddlers. If swallowed, it could cover your child’s airway. Balloons should only be given to kids 8 years and older.
- Your purse. A treasure chest of items for your toddler or baby, it is also like a bottomless pit of potential danger. Small items could be a choking hazard, and medications could be ingested—just to name a couple of concerns.
- Button batteries. Dangers of small button batteries include choking or even internal chemical burns.
Being aware of possible everyday dangers to your toddler or baby is important. But knowing what to do in case of an emergency is critical. Fejt recommends learning CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver. Be prepared and keep the phone number for poison control—800-222-1222—saved to your phone and know what to do when you need to call 911. For minor injuries, visit your local urgent care and for more serious injuries or illnesses, visit your nearest emergency department or call 911.
For more safety tips, visit bannerhealth.com.
Minor updates were made to this content on October 19, 2022.