#10 Button Batteries
Every three hours, a child in America is taken to the Emergency Room after swallowing button-sized batteries. The advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide says button batteries are often found unexpectedly in things like musical greeting cards. Be sure to put up your holiday cards and other electronics so your children don’t remove the button batteries and swallow them.
#9 Detergent Pods
The small single-load detergent pods that you use for laundry (or for the dishwasher) are attractive to children and teething toddlers. The liquid pods, however, pose a threat because they can be punctured, with the liquid eyes. About 1,000 children under the age of five chew or swallow detergent pods each month. Parents should stow the pods in a safe location out of the reach of children.
#8 Medicine Cabinets
According to magazine Up and Away, about 60,000 children are taken to emergency rooms because they swallowed pills on their own. The likely culprit? Medicine cabinets. Many adults overlook the medicines and don’t keep them out of easy reach of children. Medications should be kept away from the bathroom, including over-the-counter remedies.
#7 Plastic Bags
All plastic bags are a choking hazard, but sandwich bags and store bags are particularly dangerous to babies and children. Babies can eat the bags and choke. Meanwhile, toddlers and small children may attempt to put store bags over their head, which could suffocate them.
Toddlers love to stick things in their ears and Q-tips are very tempting. The small objects are also candidates for chewing and choking. Ear swabs may seem like a necessity, but they’re not. Experts say they can counteract the body’s natural protections by pushing ear wax closer to the ear drum. They also can be filled with bacteria.
#5 Juice Boxes
To many parents, juice boxes are a necessary evil: how else are you going to get your child to drink juice? However, be careful, because the plastic cover that covers the straw is a choking problem for babies and toddlers. Be sure you throw it away!
#4 Play Magnets
The Consumer Products Safety Commission sued the maker of Buckyballs, which are toy magnets than can be shaped any way. A report shows that 7,700 children were taken to the ER after swallowing them and at least one toddler died. They can cause holes and tears in the intestines.
#3 Plastic Caps and Covers
Removable caps and covers pose a threat that your child may choke. Things like water bottle caps, pen caps and toothbrush covers are easy to remove and swallow. Be aware of plastic caps and covers and keep them away from small hands.
#2 Baby Sleep Positioners
Baby sleep positioners are marketed as safety products that prevent SIDS. However, the opposite has been proven to be true. The FDA and CSPC both recommend discontinuing their use, since at least 13 children have died by suffocation when the positioner flipped over and trapped the baby.
#1 Latex Balloons
Balloons typically come with a warning label that most parents ignore. But the consequences are shocking: 43 percent of all child deaths from children’s products come from latex balloons. The main risk is from choking when the balloons are deflated. If you have small children, it might be better to skip balloons at their next party.