Posts Tagged ‘hazard’

Toys and choking risks: Be careful with balloons

Friday, February 26th, 2010

balloonsEverybody has a favorite toy while growing up. For me, It was a life-sized baby doll. She went with me everywhere! We were real buddies.

We all want kids to have fun toys, educational toys, safe toys, toys that they will remember with love.

We also know that kids sometimes choke on parts or pieces of toys. What can a parent do to lessen this risk? The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a new policy statement that can help.

Did you know? Plastic balloons are one of the most hazardous toys for children. When swallowed, uninflated balloons or pieces of broken balloons can seal the child’s airway so he can’t breathe.

Other toy hazards are small objects that are round or cylindrical, like marbles. Watch out for any toy with small parts that are loose or that could come loose. Small, curious fingers love to pick them up and pop them right into the mouth. Also be aware of toys that belong to older children. Sometimes we focus on the baby’s toys and forget about the other toys and objects in the house. It helps to remember that your child’s airway is smaller than yours.

Do  you have any suggestions on how to reduce choking hazards in your house?

Hot dogs, serious choking risk for kids

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

hot-dog-2It’s a common thing to do. Take a hot dog and slice it up into small pieces for toddlers to eat. Usually, the little ones can easily pick up the pieces with their small fingers and put them into their mouths.

But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), hot dogs are the food most commonly linked to fatal choking among children. Because they are cylindrical or circular in shape, hot dogs and those cut-up pieces can wedge tightly into the child’s airway, blocking it completely.

And there’s another problem. When you squeeze a hot dog, it compresses and then expands when you let go. So the hot dog piece works like a plug or a cork in the child’s airway.

Today the AAP issued a new policy statement on choking hazards and children. Other foods besides hot dogs can also be risky. They include hard candy, peanuts and other nuts, seeds, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter, marshmallows and chewing gum. Whenever you give your baby solid food, be sure the pieces are very small and that he has swallowed what was in his mouth before.

For more, read the March of Dimes article Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods. On Friday, I’ll write about the choking hazards of coins and toys. Stay tuned.

Recall: Toy wind chimes, several models

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

tiny-love-wind-chimeThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of 600,000 wind chime toys made by Tiny Love. The toy can be pulled apart, exposing sharp metal rods. These rods can cut or puncture a baby’s skin or eyes. For more information, read the CPSC statement.

Several types of wind chimes have been recalled. The picture shown here is one of them.

New study: Herbal products during pregnancy

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Have you taken any herbal products during your pregnancy? Are you tempted to do so? A new national study has found that about 1 out of every 10 women takes some type of herbal product while pregnant.

In the study, ginger was one of the most commonly reported products taken early in pregnancy (probably for nausea). Among some women, herbal teas, including chamomile, were popular throughout pregnancy.

It’s good to remember that there can be safety issues with herbal products. In many cases, we don’t know if they work or if they’re safe for women during pregnancy. Also, manufacturing standards for herbals are weak so they can sometimes contain dangerous ingredients.

The best rule of thumb is to ask your health care provider before taking any herbal product while you’re pregnant.

To learn more, read the March of Dimes article about drugs and herbals during pregnancy. The new study “Herbal Use Before and During Pregnancy” was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dorel car seats/carriers recalled

Monday, December 21st, 2009

dorel-carrierOver 400,000 Dorel car seats/carriers have been recalled because the child-restraint handle can loosen and come off. As a result, the infant may fall.

A repair kit is available. The handle of the seat/carrier should not be used until it has been repaired.

The car seats/carriers have been sold by Costco, Eddie Bauer, Disney and others.

For more about the recall, see the news release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Molly and Betsy cribs recalled

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  has announced the recall of Molly and Betsy cribs made by LaJobi, Inc. The cribs have cut-outs in the end panels that can allow young children to get their heads trapped. This poses a strangulation risk.

This recall was first announced in 2001, but some of the cribs remain in use. For more information, visit the CPSC Web site.

TV and furniture tipovers: A hazard for baby

Friday, May 8th, 2009

big-screen-tvFurniture and TVs sometimes tip over and cause injuries. The number of these injuries is increasing. Our wonderful big-screen TVs that are so perfect for the Super Bowl are part of the problem. These are the findings of a new study published in the medical journal Clinical Pediatrics.

One out of four of these injuries occurs when children pull over or climb on furniture. For children under the age of 7, the main hazard is the television. Children may injure their heads or necks or break bones. Tthese injuries can be serious.

So what can we do?

  * Place the TV low to the ground and near the back of the stand.

  * Attach TVs and furniture to the wall with safety straps or brackets.

  * Buy furniture that has wide legs and a solid base.

  * Install drawer stops on chests that have drawers.

  * Place heavy items close to the floor on shelves.

  * Don’t put your child’s favorite toy or the remote control on top of furniture or the television. Small children love these items and will reach for them every time.

Do you know any tips that can help? Be safe, everybody.

Earth Day, your baby and you

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

earth-nasaToday is Earth Day. Take a few moments to notice our beautiful planet and be inspired by it.

* If you have a baby, the March of Dimes has some articles about how to protect your child’s environment.

* If you’re pregnant, learn more about environmental risks that could harm your baby and yourself.

* Spend some time outside today. Really look at a tree or a flower. Watch a squirrel scamper across a lawn. Be thankful for Mother Earth and her gifts.

Doing anything special on Earth Day?

Photo: NASA

Evenflo recalls Majestic high chairs; falling and choking hazards

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Evenflo has recalled Majestic high chairs made before January 2007. They may lead to falls or choking. If you own one of these chairs, stop using it immediately.

Plastic caps and metal screws on both sides of the high chair can loosen and fall out. A child may put the caps or screws in her mouth and choke.

If the caps and screws come loose, the seatback of the high chair may fall back or detach. Children may fall out or hit other objects. They could break bones or have serious cuts, scrapes and bruises.

For more information, visit the Web site of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.