Post contains affiliate links. Cafemom’s “The Stir” is aptly named, as many of the articles tend to be click-bait and/or pot stirring topics. Their recent 10 most dangerous products sold article was misleading and gave incomplete information. Here’s my take, minus the irritating slideshow and Pampers ads.
Note that this is “The Stir’s” list of dangerous baby products. I’m simply adding my commentary.
1. Walkers – Walkers were all the rage when my 35 year old husband was a baby. My mother-in-law tells a story of turning her back for a minute only to have him zip over and pull something off a table, giving himself a black eye. The largest danger talked about these days is babies tumbling down stairs. If you have a walker, you’ll want to be vigilant in making sure all stairs are securely gated with a hard mounted (not pressure mounted) gate that will not budge if baby rams against it. Be sure all items are out of baby’s reach and know that it only takes a minute of turning your back for something to happen. I’ve read reports that walkers can actually delay development, so if you choose to use one, make it an occasional thing, like any other baby doo-dads.
2. Crib Bumpers – Puffy crib bumpers can be a pretty part of a bedding set but they are no longer recommended due to the suffocation hazard, and are actually banned in my home state. Try a breathable mesh liner to keep baby from getting his arms or legs wedged in crib slats.
3. Baby Slings – This list item in particular really peeved me because it lumps all slings in with the bag slings that were recalled more than 4 years ago. Ring slings are incredibly safe when used properly, and like all babywearing, can be a lifesaver for a new mom. Following basic safety guidelines, slings are in no way unsafe.
4. Co-Sleepers – Co-sleeping is another lifesaver for new parents and has tons of benefits for mom & baby. An Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper or Halo Bassinest allows you to room share with your baby on a separate sleeping surface – an arrangement recommended by the AAP. This article has lumped all co-sleeping and bedsharing products together, including products designed to put baby in-between parents for bedsharing. While I don’t have experience using these products, I can see how they could lull families into a false sense of security. If you are following safe co-sleeping guidelines with baby beside mother (not between parents) you can bedshare safely.
5. Bathtub Seats – The danger of bathtub seats comes from the false sense of security they may provide. No matter what type of tub seat you’re using, never leave baby alone in the tub. Ever. Not for a minute.
6. Car Seat Toys and Add Ons – This isn’t a bad one to mention. Car seat add-ons are everywhere but you should never put something between baby and the seat or baby and the harness (like a bundler or heavy coat). Even under-seat mats shouldn’t be used if not tested and recommended by the car seat manufacturer. A good rule of thumb for what toys baby can hold in the car seat is “would I throw this toy at my child’s face?” Ok none of us are in the habit of throwing anything in our child’s face, but a toy that would hurt if you threw it at baby could become a projectile, and seriously injure or kill them in the event of an accident.
7. Sleep Positioners – Anything in baby’s crib could potentially become a suffocation hazard. Sleep positioners are not recommended for use.
8. Jumpers – This is another product I haven’t used myself. If you decide to use one, be sure to place it in a wide doorway where baby can’t potentially bang against the doorframe. Ensure it is properly installed and will not come loose with repeated jumping. Consider using a stationary jumper instead (like a walker without the wheels). As with any baby gear, keep time in a jumperoo minimal.
9. The Bumbo Seat – We purchased a Bumbo floor seat for our son in 2009. At the time, there was no harness included and the packaging clearly stated it was for use on the floor only, and with adult supervision. We only used it on the carpet and only when someone was beside him. When he started pushing with his feet and nearly toppling it over, we stopped using it. In 2012, Bumbo recalled the seats to add a restraint belt (a 2007 recall added additional warning stickers to the product), after children were injured toppling from elevated surfaces. Following instructions, using it properly, and always supervising your child is very important. (Duh, right?)
10. Daydreamer Sleeper – The Nap Nanny was recalled in 2012 after 4 children died (92 additional reports of children hanging or falling off the side). At first glance the Daydreamer looks similar but in fact it is different. The Daydreamer has high sidewalls, a secure safety harness and clear instructions. It is for use only on flat surfaces and not on furniture or in cribs. I can see that it might be a great place for baby to lounge and keep his eye on you while you do dishes, but may become unsafe if not used properly (putting it on the couch, in a crib etc.). I think I do a lot of dishes because I keep looking at these things saying “hey, he could sit in that while I do dishes!”
Any product can become dangerous if used improperly. Use some common sense, read the instructions, and follow your instincts. If it doesn’t seem like something you’re comfortable using with your child, don’t use it.
You may also like to read my tips on childproofing.
What do you think about these “10 most dangerous baby products?” Have you used any? Which do you think are truly dangerous?