From houseplants to wet wipes… 8 ordinary household items that could be a danger to kids
AS a parent, making sure our children safe is always a top priority.
So keeping them away from things that could pose a risk is an obvious precaution.
But some household items – which may appear harmless – could actually pose a great danger to a youngster.
And not only is it important to be aware of such everyday products around your home, but it's vital you know how to react too.
Three in four parents lack the first aid skills to save their toddler from choking, figures published by the Red Cross reveal.
Yet it's one of the leading causes of infant death, killing 24 children every year.
Here Rich Quelch from Origin, which specialises in child-resistant medical packaging, shares some household items to keep out of a child's reach and the first aid skills you need to know…
1. Wet wipes
You might not think you need to keep wet wipes under lock and key, but some of them certainly shouldn't be near children.
While the ones used for nappy changes or facial cleansing are harmless, the types used for cleaning the bathroom or kitchen can contain harmful chemicals.
Disinfectant wipes contain active ingredients which have been reportedly linked to asthma and allergies, according to US reports.
However as yet there is no proof to substantiate those claims.
What we do know if that they contain chemicals that could cause skin and eye irritation – so it's best to keep them out of the way after wiping down surfaces.
While houseplants are enjoying a bit of a revival in the interior design stakes, some varieties could pose a poison threat to children.
So, it's worth checking before you invest in some new foliage for your home.
Dieffenbachia, also known as dumbcane, and philodendron are common houseplants that contain oxalates, microscopic crystals.
When one of these are chewed by an unsuspecting toddler, it can cause extreme pain and inflammation.
My baby is having a fit… what do I do?
Step 1. Protect your baby from injury
Don't restrain your child.
Instead use a blanket or clothing to protect their head from banging against something, causing injury.
Step 2. Cool them down
Remove their clothes, to help lower their body temperature.
If the room they're in is hot, open a window or door to get a flow of fresh air through the room.
Step 3. Wait and watch
When the seizure is over, help your baby rest on their side with their head tilted slight back to ensure their airways are open.
If their symptoms continue or it's your child's first fit, call a doctor and get medical advice.
In the modern world, most homes will now be cluttered with chargers for various devices – from smartphones to fitness trackers.
But as most parents will know, young children will be tempted to put anything in their mouths, including electrical items that might still be plugged in.
Always unplug the cable and store it away somewhere safe.
4. Plastic bags
With stores now charging for plastic bags, many of us will find we're actually clinging on to more of them in our homes so we can re-use.
But bags pose a serious suffocation hazard if played with.
Be sure to keep yours out of reach and sight of youngsters.
What do I do if my baby is unconscious?
Step 1. Check for breathing
Tilt your baby's head back and look and feel for breaths.
If they're not breathing move on to step two.
Step 2. Tell someone to dial 999
If you're on your own carry out rescue breaths, and chest compressions described below for one minute, then dial 999.
Step 3. Give five rescue breaths
Tilt your baby's head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and nose and blow steadily.
Repeat five times.
Step 4. Give 30 chest compressions
Push firmly in the middle of your baby's chest with two fingers and then release.
Maintain a regular rate of around two compressions per second.
Repeat 30 times.
Step 5. Give two rescue breaths
Then continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.
More drugs are being prescribed than ever before and according to the NHS, medicines are the cause of over 70 per cent of hospital admissions for poisoning in under-fives.
Where possible, only buy or request medicines which come in child-resistant packaging and never empty them into easy to open and unlabelled containers.
Remember, child-resistant does not mean packaging is entirely child-proof, so always keep all medicines out of reach of children.
6. E-liquid refills
More people are making the switch to e-cigarettes, which reduces the risk of burns for children.
But it comes with a new worry.
E-Liquid refills contain large quantities of concentrated nicotine which is highly toxic when ingested, inhaled or touched.
Never let your child near your vaping products or leave them lying around and for peace of mind, choose a vaping brand whose packaging has child-resistant features.
7. Blind cords
Another potential hazard for young children involves blind cords, with official statistics revealing suffocation or strangulation was the cause of death for half of all under-ones who die.
And for those aged one to four that drops slightly, but only to 36 per cent.
There have been multiple cases where a toddler or small child has got themselves entangled in the cord, leading to death.
The Government’s safety leaflet instructs parents to keep blind cords away from cots and even nappy changing units.
What should I do if my child is choking?
Step 1. Give your baby five back blows
Hold your baby face down, resting them along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom.
Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times.
If back blows don't dislodge the object, move on to step two.
Step 2. Give up to five chest thrusts
Turn your baby over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples.
Push sharply downwards up to five times.
Step 3. Call 999 if the object does not dislodge
Continue with cycles of back blows and chest thrusts until the blockage clears or help arrives.
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