Kids are like injury-magnets. You may do everything to make your home childproof, but your kids somehow still find ways to hurt themselves. Don’t start to question your parental skills if you’ve done your best to buckle them up, lock the cabinets, and not leave them alone even for a few minutes.
However, as the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Gary Smith, of Columbus, Ohio has said, the world is inherently dangerous because it is the world of adults, where everything is supersized and hazards are hidden in the most unsuspecting items. You might never have thought that your favorite evening relaxation buddy, that huge flat-screen TV, can injure your kid, but it will when it topples over your tot.
And no matter how you do your best to hover over your kids, it is just not humanly possible to watch over them ALL the time.
It might help though, if you know, other than the obvious hazards, what strange ways kids hurt themselves, so you can watch out for these for the sake of your kids.
These are attractive to kids because they are cute, shiny, and generally non-threatening. Even adults might not think much when looking at these small batteries, especially when they are commonly used in kids’ toys, cameras, watches, and TV remotes.
If not removed immediately, the battery can block the child’s breathing as it stays in the esophagus or burn a hole in this part of the body in as little as two hours.
Smith’s recommended solution? Keep these batteries away from your child’s reach. Shut those battery compartments completely with tape.
These colorful and spiral-patterned laundry detergent pods look exactly like candy, which is an explanation enough why they become silent hazards for kids at home.
When swallowed, they are poisonous enough to put kids in a coma, according to Smith. In fact, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to consumers about the dangers of these pods in the US, especially in households with kids 5 years of age or younger.
When ingested, laundry-detergent pods can induce coughing, vomiting, drowsiness, and choking.
Aside from pulling your kids away from the junk food aisle in the grocery, you may also want to refrain from putting your kids in shopping carts. These carts are made for shuffling groceries anyway, not kids. If they are not handled right, these carts can easily flip over, cause your kids to fall to the hard floor, especially when your kids love to ride in the carts, climb in and out of one, or hang onto it.
When kids get too rowdy while playing in bouncy houses, they might end up in the emergency room. This could be due to bouncing too much, colliding with other kids, or falling the wrong way after a bounce. Most of the cases reported were sprains or fractures to the legs or arms.
Experts recommend bouncy houses should come with adult supervision, with regulations on the kids’ high-risk movements in the inflatable. He added that it would be safer to allow only kids of the same height and age to play.
Kids and magnets don’t mix, but the higher risk comes from some rare-earth magnets that are more powerful than the regular ones, such as the ones used in stress relievers Zen Magnets and Buckyballs. These are among the most dangerous and strange ways kids hurt themselves because when kids play with these magnets as lip or tongue piercings and accidentally swallow them, they can attract each other while inside the kid’s body. When this happens, the magnets may cause tissue damage, obstructions, or worst, death.
TVs and Furniture
It is in kids’ nature to climb over anything, including storage cabinets, shelves, dressers, or TV sets. The problem is that these furnishings can topple over, injuring or even killing the kids in the process. Even your light and thin flat-screen TV is a hazard on its own once it tips over and pins your child underneath it. What you can do is to anchor your TV or furniture so they won’t easily topple over your kids, or anyone in the house.
Sometimes, you might not trust your toddlers to go down the slides on their own, so you’d end up letting them sit on your lap and slide down with them. However, this only exposes kids to even greater danger. Once they try to slide down and their shoes or cloth get snagged on something, you might fall on top of your child and injure them.
If you want your kids to play with the slides, you can slide down with them but make sure to let them sit completely on your lap to avoid any obstruction along the way. Or, you can let them slide on their own with your supervision.
Hair-thread Tourniquet Syndrome
This type of hazard can be difficult to spot, seeing as how the injury is brought about by a thin strand of hair. It might start off with your baby playing with your hair, until one strand of hair wraps around your little one’s finger, toe, or even penis, cutting off their circulation. You might not notice the injury until the affected area turns purple and your baby starts crying in pain.
These hidden hazards are only among the few of the strange ways kids hurt themselves. It pays to be observant of your surroundings to spot more silent dangers.