When I think of the "most dangerous" baby products, I tend to think of things like old-school baby walkers positioned next to an open stairway, pajamas coated in flame retardant, and lead-painted toys teeming with tiny, removable magnets.
According to an email I received from the folks at Brilliant Baby Products, however, it turns out the five most dangerous baby items are surprisingly common. At least that's what I'm telling myself, because I've used almost every item on the list.
(Forget mother of the year awards—apparently I'm gunning for mother of the decade.)
The list of the top 5 most dangerous yet most widely used baby products on the market is based on consumer reviews, CPSC recalls, and injury reports. Naturally, Brilliant Baby sells alternatives to each of these items, so I'm taking the compilation with a tiny side serving of salt, but I still found it interesting.
1) Bumbo Baby Seat, due to fall hazards and skull fractures. Yep, I bought one for my first son and we used it for my second son as well. I'd heard about the possibility of a kid falling if the chair was used on an elevated surface, but ... we plopped ours right up on the table during dinnertime and never thought twice about it. I guess I don't really have an excuse for that, other than we only did it when the kids were little enough that the danger of them tipping over seemed remote.
Apparently baby seats now come with straps. Me, I always found that cramming those pudgy thighs into the leg holders worked just fine, but obviously two CPSC recalls say otherwise.
2) Baby Hammocks, due to suffocation hazards. Now, this one I totally understand, because I bought a baby hammock before my first son was born and I think I put him in it all of one time before I packed it back up and got rid of it. His tiny body just slid down in that thing until he practically disappeared in the fabric. Yikes.
3) Warm Mist Humidifiers, due to fire/burn hazards. I never considered the potential for my child to burn himself, or for a fire to break out, or for bacteria and mold to grow in the warm, wet environment it created—all I knew is that my baby had croup and I bought the first thing I could find at the drugstore. I don't think we used it very often after that one scary night, but if you're in the market, apparently you're only supposed to buy the cool mist variety.
4) Plastic Outlet Covers, due to choking hazards. Okay now we're in CRAZYTOWN. Those stupid plastic plugs that you're supposed to cram in every outlet to keep Junior from electrifying himself are ALSO dangerous? GAHHHHHHHHHH.
Well, frankly I'd like to see any baby pry one of those covers out since I can barely do it with a butter knife and 10 minutes of grunting, but okay, the deal is you're supposed to swap out your traditional outlet plate covers with one that has sliding plastic doors to cover the sockets.
5) Crib bumpers, due to SIDS hazards. Yes! This one I knew about! I bought a breathable mesh bumper! I AM SUPER MOM! ... ahem. Oh come on, throw me a bone here, at least I didn't buy ONE out of the FIVE DEADLIEST PRODUCTS EVER.
(PS: I also had a drop-side crib. I KNOW. But I didn't know at the time, you know?)
Have you used any of these items? Also, do you think there's any way to truly stay on top of what's deemed dangerous by the baby product experts?
Image via Linda Sharps