9 Popular But Unsafe Products
We know about the biggies - the bath seats and bicycle seats and baby walkers - but what about the other, newer and quite popular products that pop onto shelves daily? It can be months or even years before word gets out that they are unsafe. But a little common sense and some simple baby product education can help you spot an unsafe new product a mile away. Here are our least favorite new products threatening the safety of tiny ones everywhere.
Bumbo Baby Sitter
We were the first (and only!) ones to warn of the danger of this unsafe seat. As soon as it came out. A seat with no straps for baby or the seat didn't sound like a good idea to us. You can't really feed baby in it, since it's only supposed to stay on the floor (and we don't think it's all that sanitary to lie on our stomachs on the floor to feed our babies). Babies are too little for food at this stage anyway. And inevitably, the product gives parents a false sense of security, and as a quick trip on YouTube will confirm, helpless babies were being perched precariously on counters, next to hot stoves, on high table tops and couches. And videotaped for fun. Go figure.
Turns out the CDFC finally agreed with us, and after enough skull fractures were reported since babies can easily arch their back and pop right out of the Bumbo, the seats were finally recalled. Warning sticker or no, flat on the floor or no, your tiny baby still shouldn't be folded in half unnaturally and forced to sit up before they are ready.
To read our full review: /news/bumbo.php
Thousands and thousands have been recalled for malfunctioning and causing fires in the most precious room in your house. Let's see why: an electrical box that heats up wet paper right next to our sleeping baby? Yeah, the danger in clear. So why are so many moms still buying them? Stop! Most of us live in cold climates and know all too well how tiny bums don't appreciate a freezing wipe. But God gave you 2 hands. Use them. Pressed together with a wipe in between for just a few seconds and your body heat will magically warm them: quickly, safely and for free!
Pacifier Tethers with any beads attached
Can you say choking hazard? You mean that attaching a string of small beads to my baby's shirt is a bad idea? Yeah, that's what we are saying. That string breaks and those beads are going straight in your baby's mouth. And a child can aspirate and die on a bead as small as 1/4 inch. Don't think a string will break? A string your baby tugs on all day? Want to risk it? We don't.
We are definitely thinking choking hazard here as well. Anything that small is not going in our babies' mouth unless it can be eaten (even if it's tied to a string). Also sets up a bad habit of allowing a baby to chew some of your jewelry, but not all. Six-month-olds can't tell the difference between your teething necklace and your 1-carat diamond solitaire. Bad news for all parties involved.
Graco SnugGlider Infant Car Swing
There have been recent studies that warn small infants in car seat carriers are not positioned for optimum breathing, due mostly to the incline of the seat, especially when it is out of its in-car base. Experts are now recommending that parents leave car seats in the car, as they were designed as car seats and should not be compromised, or compromise their tiny passengers, by being used any other way. So, snapping your baby in his car seat to a swing frame and then walking away? We don't think so. Plus, the SnugGlider leaves too much room for human error with having to attach an infant car seat to a swing frame correctly every time. Not even remotely worth the risk. There are plenty of great travel swings with the appropriate reclining backs and non-removable seats. Get one of those instead.
Warm Mist Humidifier
We know, we know, your own moms swears by them. They just seem to work better or disperse medicine better. Wrong, wrong, wrong. First, warm mist humidifiers are a major burn hazard. Putting a device with boiling water in a child's room that a walking child anywhere in our house could potentially access is a no-go. Second, since electrical appliances with heating elements are also prone to become fire hazards when they fail, it's not surprising that tens of thousands of warm mist humidifiers have been recalled through the years. Third, warm mist humidifiers create a warm, muggy environment in the room and invite more bacteria growth in carpets, on drapes, and in bedding. Finally, when you usually need a humidifier for a sick kid, they usually have a fever. Blasting hot air at a feverish kid is not a great idea. Pediatricians don't recommend them. We don't recommend them. Do not use them. A cool mist humidifier puts just as much, but much safer humidity into a room, and is the only humidifier you should ever consider using in your nursery.
Even though the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has warned parents of young children about the suffocation hazard presented by latex balloons, parents don't seem to be listening. The risk is that an uninflated balloon is easily swallowed, and when a latex balloon pops (usually because a small child was biting on it), tiny pieces of latex can shoot into a child's mouth and cause them to suffocate to death.
How dangerous is this problem? Balloons cause more childhood deaths than ANY OTHER TOY. Seriously. We know your kids love them. Ours go gonzo when they see balloons too. But if you must inflate to celebrate, choose a mylar balloon instead, since they don't pop into a million pieces (but still look out for anything near a child's mouth and watch out for choking hazards from the strings!).
We're not sure why they're even selling this stuff anymore since there are so many wonderful creams and ointments available on the market for use instead. Baby powder used to be used to help shield a poor baby's bum from constant rub and moisture, but advancements in modern diapers have pretty much negated this as a daily need as well. The danger? The squoosh of the finely ground particles in any powder, especially talc, can be easily inhaled by a baby just inches away. The inhalation can cause pneumonia, life-threatening illnesses, and even death. Leave the baby powder in the last century, where it belongs.
The content is exclusively the personal opinions of the authors of BabyGizmo.com.