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10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Dangerous for Your Baby

Toddler eating marshmallow is a hidden danger and hazard for babies and toddlers

Hidden Dangers and Hazards to Your Baby that are not Always Obvious

There are many things that we do as parents, and whilst they might seem the right thing to do, they can actually pose dangers we simply didn’t know about. We have put together a list of some of the more common dangers, plus a few that may not be quite so obvious.

Amber Teething Necklaces

Amber teething necklaces are very popular and are promoted as a natural remedy for teething pain. However, there are 2 reasons why they should be avoided:

  1. Amber beads are a potential choking hazard. Being made from resin, Amber can and will shatter under pressure. These broken fragments can subsequently be in inhaled or swallowed.
  2. Necklaces are a strangulation hazard. We would never recommend putting a necklace on a small child, especially when left unsupervised. With suffocation being the leading cause of death in children under a year old, avoiding anything that can increase the likelihood of strangulation seems the obvious thing to do. Instead, we recommend a teething necklace that is worn by mum that can be used to ease baby’s teething pain with no risk of strangulation.
Baby wearing an amber teething necklace

The danger of amber teething necklaces has been covered in great depth on numerous occasions by medical resource centers such as here.

Covering Your Baby Too Much at Night

Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS, this is why it’s important not to use too much bedding, clothing, or maintaining high temperatures in their room. The perfect room temperature for baby is between 16-20C, and you should opt for a sleeping bag with the right TOG based on seasons and room temperature. Remember, babies don’t release heat like adults do which is why it’s important to follow these rules. Another thing to remember is to remove your baby’s hat when indoors, as this can also lead to overheating. You can read more at our recent blog on safer sleeping for babies and toddlers.

Using Baby Products that are not Safety Tested

At Mamiina we talk a lot about safety-tested baby and toddler products, and for good reason. There are many small business start-ups selling baby products purchased cheaply abroad. Unfortunately what they don’t always realise is that before selling these products in the UK they need to be independently safety tested and follow strict safety standards. It’s not enough to simply take a factory’s word for it that their products are safety tested and certified to UK standards. It’s easy to pick up a wooden block and wonder what could possibly go wrong with it, but have you considered if the paint used is safe for baby to put in their mouth? Simple things that we take for granted in this country might easily be skipped during the manufacturing process of toys from questionable sources.

What to look out for when buying online and at market stalls?

  • The UKCA mark, the code of which safety standard the products follow.
  • Cleaning instructions and any safety instructions.
  • ALL products MUST be safety tested to sell in the UK.

Giving Marshmallows and Popcorn to Children Under the Age of 5

These are a huge choking hazard that many parents are not aware of, but what makes these two types of food so dangerous?
Marshmellow’s can melt and stick to a child’s throat making all backblow actions almost useless.
Popcorn is a common choking and aspiration hazard due to unpopped or partially popped kernels. The kernels could end up in the lungs causing significant damage, as you can read from this mum’s story.

Not Changing Dummies Every 3 Months

Many parents are not aware of the fact that dummies must be replaced every three months. You should also always check the nipple every day, and especially before bedtime and naps. You can do this by simply pulling the nipple outwards and to the side to check for damage and that there is no risk of it coming off.

Having your Baby Forward-Facing in the Car Seat

The UK government recommends against having your baby forward-facing in the car until the age 15 months, however, many experts recommend keeping them turned around for as long as possible. This is considered a safer position in the case of a car accident which can help reduce the risk of serious injuries, as their bones at such a young age are still too delicate to cope with the force of a car crash.

Children should sit in rear facing car seats

Falling Asleep on the Couch with Your Baby

Falling asleep on the couch is a huge SIDS risk. Baby can easily slip out of your arms during sleep and end up smothered between you and the couch. Aside from this, for safer sleeping for babies and toddlers, they should always sleep on a flat and firm mattress.

Using a Muslin Over the Pram for Shade

A common sight every summer that worries me every time I see it! When the sun comes out, it’s natural for parents to worry about their child getting too hot or even sunburnt, but when parents use a muslin over their pram to create shade, what they are not aware of is that the temperature inside the pram raises to a potentially dangerous level as the heat is trapped between the muslin and the pram. What seems like an obvious safety step is actually putting your child at risk of overheating and SIDS. Read one of our recent blogs for tips on shielding babies and toddlers from the sun.

Taking Advice From Social Media

As much as we love watching videos and reading posts on social media from other mothers or parents, please remember these are not medical professionals. If you are looking for any health advice for you or your child always contact your doctor or health visitor first. Have a look at our influencer blog for more reasons why you should be careful when following social media parenting advice.

Button batteries

Button batteries are one of my biggest fears! Books and toys with button batteries are generally not allowed in my house and on the odd occasion that they are, they are always kept out of reach from the kids unless under close supervision.

So why are button batteries so dangerous? Button batteries can cause huge damage to a child’s throat or stomach when ingested. They can burn the internal organs, which in most cases results in death. If you think your child has eaten one, take them to A&E immediately!

if you know your child has definitely ingested a button battery one piece of advice is to give them a spoon of honey every ten minutes until you arrive at the hospital. Honey creates a barrier to the throat and stomach, and was the advice given to me from 111 when we suspected our little one had swallowed a battery, thankfully that turned out to be a false alarm! You can find more information on how honey can save a child’s life here.

Follow Us for more Essential Tips for Parents on Safeguarding Your Baby

As parents ourselves, our priority is always the safety and well-being of our girls. By staying informed on hidden dangers and hazards to our babies we are helping ensure a safe environment for our kids to grow and thrive. The key is education and awareness of our surroundings and identifying potential risks.

We hope you have found this article useful, and if so we would encourage you to share it with other parents and caregivers.


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