10 Most Dangerous Baby Products

Judy Dutton | Oct 30, 2014 Baby

baby opening cupboard

New moms need lots of stuff. But before you add anything to your registry or head out to that baby boutique, take a look at our safety lowdown. Just because a baby product is sold in a baby-specific store, child safety experts warn that doesn't guarantee it's safe. In fact, there are quite a few dangerous baby products still sold in stores.

We always thought #5 would make bathtime even safer -- uh-oh!

 

Image © Arman Zhenikeyev/Corbis

  • Walkers

    1

    Baby walkers may seem like a great idea because, hey, they get baby walking around! (With a little assistance, of course.) Heck, you probably used one when you were a kid. Yet although walkers are still sold in the US, it's baffling why: every year, emergency rooms treat about 21,300 injuries associated with baby walkers, mostly when babies roll unwittingly down a flight stairs. Although the regulations changed to make them safer in 1997, the American Academy of Pediatrics is still calling for an outright ban, especially since studies show that in spite of the name "walker," they actually delay babies from reaching this developmental milestone.

  • Crib Bumpers

    2

    Doesn't that flowery pattern on those cute crib bumpers tie in perfectly with your nursery décor? Tempting we know ... but reconsider because those padded cushions pose dangers as well. If the baby's face presses up against them, they can be a suffocation risk. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents to avoid them, and certain states like Maryland have banned crib bumpers entirely.

  • Baby Slings

    3

    Having baby snuggle up to you in a sling is so sweet! It's also a convenient way to carry a baby around and allows for plenty of mom/baby body contact that would make any attachment parent proud. The problem: unless you really know how to wrap a sling in just the right way, your baby could have his face pressed up against your body and post a suffocation risk, warns Nancy Coles, executive director of Kids in Danger. In fact, one in 20 babies have gotten hurt or come close to being injured in slings because their parents weren't sure how to safely position them in there. If you use a sling or baby carrier, make sure your baby's head is elevated and "kissable" to ensure it's safe. 

    More From The Stir: How to Wear a Baby Sling as Shown By a Hot Dad (VIDEO)

  • Baby Co-sleepers

    4

    Although many studies say co-sleeping is a risky practice, plenty of products called "baby co-sleepers" -- boxes or beds you place on your bed -- claim to make this practice safer. "But many actually pose additional risks," says Coles. For one, the padding in these containers could suffocate baby, or the sides may be so low or flimsy parents could still roll on top of their infant. That's why Coles and other safety experts say these are best to be avoided.

    More From The Stir: 7 Tips for Safer Co-Sleeping With Baby

  • Bathtub Seats

    5

    Ain't it great how bathtub seats enable baby to sit up in a bath? Well, not really. "These can be a hazard as they can create a false sense of security for parents," says Coles. You may be tempted to leave your baby for a minute to grab more bubble bath ... and baby could easily slip out and drown. Bath seats have been tied to 174 infant deaths in the past 16 years, according to the CPSC.

  • Car Seat Toys and Add-ons

    6

    Sooner or later babies are bound to kick up a fuss during long car rides, so those little mirrors and stuffed animals you can attach to the front of their car seat can be a godsend in terms of keeping them entertained. But car seat experts say that unless that toy came with your car seat originally -- and 99 percent don't -- it's not safe. "The general rule of thumb is this: if it didn’t come with your car seat, don’t use it," says Nathan Washatka, Cincinnati Children’s Certified Child Passenger Safety Tech and Project Specialist at Buckle Up for Life. The reason: Car seat manufacturers don't crash-test their seats with all the different after-market products available to parents, so no one knows what they'll do in a crash. Do you really want a toy mirror hurdling toward your tot's face at 65 mph? Thought not.

    More from The Stir: 9 Dangerous Car Seat Mistakes Parents Make & How to Fix Them

  • Sleep Positioners

    7

    Oh, the irony: sleep positioners were original designed to keep babies safe by preventing them from rolling onto their stomachs while they sleep. Instead, babies rolled into the cushiony barriers and suffocated. After 12 infant deaths over 13 years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned moms to stop using them. Nonetheless, they're still sold in stores.

  • Jumpers

    8

    Jumpers that hang from doorways may be a hoot for baby, but many pediatricians say they're not safe. One concern is that the straps or clamps can break and fall on the baby, another is that babies may jump so hard that they bonk their heads on the doorway frame. In either case, that hurts!

  • The Bumbo Seat

    9

    Millions of moms fell for the cute Bumbo seat, especially since it seemed like such a handy way to feed infants without a high chair. Yet in 2007, this popular infant seat was recalled after the CPSC received reports of 50 incidents where the baby fell out of the Bumbo placed on a raised surface (like a kitchen counter). But now, it's back in the market with a strap to keep baby in his seat and supposedly safe ... but Coles warns that's not enough. "The entire thing could still topple over with baby in it," she points out.

  • DayDreamer Sleeper

    10

    The DayDreamer Sleeper is touted as the "perfect" place for babies to snooze outside of their crib, but safety experts say it's anything but. The reason? This product is very similar in design to the Nap Nanny (which was recalled!). And while the DayDreamer Sleeper is still in stores, Coles thinks it's just as dangerous for the same reason: because the baby could roll up against the sides and suffocate. Plus, while cribs and bassinets are regulated for safety, these types of sleep devices are not, so there's no way to ensure they've been tested.

    More from The Stir: 11 Mistakes Moms Make When They're Putting Baby to Bed

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