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The Nursery Products That Pose The Greatest Risk To Your Baby

Tips To Keep Your Toddler and Infant Safe

Every parent knows little children are like magnets for danger, but may not know which nursery products pose the greatest risk of injury or death for a 0-3 year old. A new research study examining 50,000 injuries from nursery-related products emphasizes the importance of keeping an eye on safety for nursery purchases.

First, 90 percent of these injuries and deaths occur at home, according to the article published online and in the April issue of Pediatrics. Infants age 0-6 months are the most likely to be hospitalized or die from injuries. Overall, bruises, bumps, cuts and concussions were the most common types of injuries. Here are the things parents should be cautious of by age group:

0-5 months old: Injuries were usually due to breathing-related problems such as suffocation, strangulation or entrapment due to an unsafe crib/mattress. This was also the most common cause of death. 

Another important cause of injury was caregiver-related falls, such as a parent tripping while holding a baby carrier. Less commonly, malfunction of baby carrier such as a failed connector results in a fall. Head and neck injuries from falls were most likely in this age group. The products most often involved with head and neck injuries were baby carriers, changing tables, portable baby swings and baby bouncer seats.

6-11 months old: This group has the highest number of injuries, mostly from walkers/jumpers/exercisers. Risk for entrapment injury is higher in this age group, which can result in suffocation or upper extremity injury. Risk of head and neck injury remains high in this age group.

1-3 years old: Falls in this age group are more likely to have fractures of the arms or legs, and cuts to the face.

Tips to keep your infants and toddlers safe:

Tips to keep your infants and toddlers safe:

  1. Babies should be placed flat on their back for every sleep and relaxation time.
  2. Babies should have their own sleep surface with a firm mattress and tight fitting sheet.
  3. Offer a pacifier at every sleep time to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  4. Keep blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, mobiles, monitors and other humans or animals out of a baby’s sleep environment
  5. Do not use infant positioners such as wedges or pillows due to risk of suffocation and entrapment.
  6. Do not use bumper pads: they are a suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment risk to infants and a fall risk for toddlers.​
  7. Baby should sleep in a footed onesie or sleep sack because loose blankets can cause suffocation and strangulation.
  8. Swaddling is not necessary and could be harmful. If you must swaddle, make sure you completely stop before your baby is 8 weeks old and could roll over onto their face, causing suffocation.
  9. Keep living spaces free of tripping hazards.
  10. Use one hand to grasp the handrail when walking up or down stairs with an infant.
  11. Don't leave your infant in a car seat or carrier on a raised, slippery, or soft surface to avoid tip-over head injury, strangulation, or suffocation.
  12. Do not allow other children to play with a stroller while another child is inside. Buckle all straps of the safety belt, and make sure there is a "dead man brake" on strollers to prevent roll-away fall injuries.
  13. Never use recalled nursery products. Those hand me downs? Make sure they haven't been recalled for safety concerns. 80 percent of recalled items remain in consumer households.
About the author

Dyann Daley, M.D., is the executive director of Cook Children’s new Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment. and an anesthesiologist at the medical center. Through efforts such as providing education and support to families of all socioeconomic backgrounds and training doctors and first responders to recognize possible signs of abuse and neglect, the center aims to reduce Tarrant County’s alarmingly high number of known cases.

Comments 1 - 2 (2)
Thank you for your message. It will be posted after approval.
What is the best way to check all items for recall? As a foster parent with many different children of all ages and stages, we have many hand-me-downs and things we share with other foster parents. Of course, I want to make sure we are not using anything that is recalled. Thanks!
Cook Children's
Hello Jennifer, Great question. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the main provider of recall information: From the home page you can go to recalls and put in “toys” or other categories to narrow it down. From that website you will be directed to to report an unsafe product. You can search for recall information there too. Thank you.
photo:Jeff Calaway
Jeff Calaway
Senior Content Specialist
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