5 safe baby products that may be dangerous if not used properly

Parents, read this article now and follow all the safety tips listed here. Nothing is more important that your child's safety and wellbeing...

When babies comes into our lives, along with them comes a range of specially-crafted baby products that promise to keep our little ones safe and happy, and make mum’s life easier.

Of course, this is true for the majority of baby products out there — they are perfectly safe for your baby’s use.

However, there are some popular items that could be dangerous if not used properly.

So, to help all you mums keep your sweet babies extra safe, here’s some important information* on baby-care items that are quite safe, unless used incorrectly.

1. Safety gates

Safety gates are very useful to keep your little ones out of danger, especially when they become for active and curious about their surroundings. Personally, I used safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs in our home, and also to block off the kitchen area, which can be a highly dangerous area for little ones to explore.

What could go wrong? 

Pressure mounted safety gates are those that press on to opposite walls and are sometime used by parents who want to avoid drilling holes in their walls.

While these gates can help stop your baby from going up the stairs, they may not prevent him from falling down them — so avoid using them at the top of the staircase. It’s also best to avoid accordion-style gates without a top filler bar, and gates with horizontal bars which active toddlers and babies can easily use as ‘steps’.

Safety tips

  • Use sturdy hardware-mounted safety gates, especially to block off access to steps. Your walls can be fixed but if a baby falls down a flight of stairs, the consequences could be devastating.
  • Always remember that no safety gate out there can substitute for the careful supervision of your child.

2. Baby monitors with cords

baby product safety

Cords should be at least 3 feet away from your child.

A baby monitor is an essential baby product that can help mums keep an eye on their little ones during naptime, alerting them immediately when baby wakes up.

Most of them can be used with batteries also, but of course those with cords are more practical as parents not just save on battery cost, but also don’t need to be concerned about the battery dying and the monitor turning off unexpectedly.

What could go wrong? 

Babies as young as six months have strangled on baby monitor cords, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of America, when the cords were in easy reach.

Safety tips

  • Check the location of all monitors and other products with electrical cords (also those mounted on the wall), to ensure all cords are well out of your little one’s reach.
  • Cords should be at least three feet away from your child’s sleep environment.
  • Never place a monitor on the edge of, or inside your child’s cot.
  • Be aware of blind/curtain cords as these can also pose the same strangulation risks.

How to prevent health risks using jogging strollers, vaporisers and more, on the next page. 

3. Humidifiers/ vaporisers

I found my vaporiser to be so useful when my kids were little, to ease congestion when they were suffering from a cold.

Humidifiers are also used by mums to add moisture to a room ‘dried out’ by the use of an air-conditioner.

What could go wrong? 

Both humidifiers and vaporisers can get dangerously hot, posing the risk of serious burns in a child, if toppled over or the child gets too close to the hot steam.

Safety tips

  • Try a cool-mist humidifier. Medical experts at Mayo Clinic say they are as effective in adding moisture to the air as their warm-mist cousins. What’s more, “by the time the water vapor reaches your child’s lower airways, it’s the same temperature regardless of whether it started out warm or cool.”
  • Remove the humidifier from your child’s room when it is not in use.
  • Keep it clean to avoid the growth of bacteria and mold. According the Mayo Clinic website, you can safely clean a humidifier by wiping it down daily with a 10 percent bleach solution — 9 parts water to 1 part bleach.

4. Jogging strollers

baby product safety

It is recommended that your baby is at least 1 year old before you use a jogging stroller.

These are popular among parents looking to keep fit while being close to their babies.

What could go wrong? 

Some manufacturers suggest a baby as young as a few months can safely ride in a jogging stroller.

However, an infant who can’t hold up his head firmly on his own is at risk of asphyxia if not properly reclined — his head could fall forward, obstructing his breathing. Many jogging strollers cannot be reclined so your child will be in an upright position in one of these strollers.

Safety tips

  • Medical experts at Consumer Reports suggest waiting until your child is at least one year old before using a jogging stroller.
  • If you would like to jog before your child turns one, go on solo jogs while keeping your little one with someone you trust.
  • An alternative is to go for brisk walks, placing your infant in a stroller that reclines.
  • If you have a forward-facing stroller which blocks your vision of your little one while you are walking, do remember to check on him regularly.
  • Do proper research before investing in a jogging stroller.

5. High chairs

baby product safety

Look for a high chair with a 5-point safety harness.

Most high chairs come with safety harnesses — and for good and obvious reasons.

But sometimes as our babies grow older, we may pay a little less attention to securing these harnesses properly, especially if both we and our babies are quite comfortable with the product the harnesses are attached to.

For example, I used the very popular, easy-to-clean and affordable IKEA high chair for both my kids. Of course, it comes with a safety harness — which I used faithfully when the kids were babies and just started using the chair.

But as they grew older and bigger, I gradually stopped strapping them in. I now realise this was a huge mistake on my part.

What could go wrong? 

The obvious: babies can suffer serious injuries, even death, if they fall from a high place due to the safety harness not being fastened at all, or properly.

According to a European Child Safety Alliance report, children can easily slip out of a high chair in a moment if not properly strapped in or if the strap between the legs is missing.

The report also states that:

“The most severe cases, those resulting in death, have occurred when children slipped down under the tray and were strangled.

“Most often, these children were either unrestrained or were restrained only by a waist belt (i.e. strap between the legs was not used).”

Safety tips

  • Always properly fasten the safety harness and do not remove it until a second before you are ready to take your child out of the chair.
  • Opt for a model with a five-point harness as they are much safer than those with a three-point harness.
  • Select a high chair design with a post between where your child’s leg will go. This will assist in preventing your little one from slipping and becoming trapped under the tray, even if strapped in.

Parents, we hope you found the information in this article useful. Do remember that with any baby product — as safe as it is — nothing replaces the watchful eyes of a parent or trusted carer.

Click this link to read a theAsianparent article on 9 baby products you should avoid using and what to use instead.

*This information is adapted from the US-based consumer safety watchdog Consumer Reports website

**Always do your own, thorough research before purchasing baby products for the first time. Ask you friends who have babies and read reviews online. You could also ask a medical professional for advice. 

What are your own safety tips when it comes to using popular baby products? Do share them with us in a comment below.