Baby stores sell hundreds of different baby products every day in the United States. However, not all of them are useful. Some can even pose a threat to the safety and health of infants and toddlers. While the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) monitors the use of baby products and bans certain products that cause a significant number of injuries to children, it is important to take precautions before using certain products. You can take action to help increase the safety and comfort of your child and avoid dangerous incidents that could result in long-lasting physical trauma.
Here are 3 Categories of Defective or Dangerous Baby Products to Stay Away From:
1. Unsafe Bedding Products
It is important to keep your child safe and comfortable while sleeping. There are many products that claim to do this. However, the CPSC has found that some products actually increase the risk of infant injury and death.
Dangerous baby bedding products include:
- Drop-side cribs
- Crib tents
- Sleep positioners
Drop-side cribs have one side that can drop down. This has led to more than 30 infant deaths since the year 2000 due to strangulation or suffocation. Millions were recalled, and the CPSC has since banned drop-side cribs. It is best to have a regular crib with fixed sides and plain design without embellishment. If you have a drop-side crib, you can fix one of the sides with the included hardwire, or call the manufacturer for a kit. However, you should never use a crib that is more than 10 years old, because it lacks the safety improvements of newer products.
Bumpers are designed to prevent an infant from hitting his or her head against crib slats. However, they can easily lead to death by suffocation, and they are also linked with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Crib tents likewise pose a suffocation hazard if the child becomes entangled in the mesh.
Sleep positioners are used to keep an infant from sleeping on his or her stomach. They also elevate an infant’s head and back, supposedly to avoid acid reflex. However, they have caused 13 deaths in the past 13 years. A baby can turn his or her face into the fabric and suffocate, or roll out of the sleep positioner and become entangled in crib bedding. It is best to lay your child on his or her back to avoid SIDS, and to avoid using a sleep positioner.
Blankets and pillows can also lead to infant suffocation. Thus, the CPSC experts recommend providing an empty crib with just a fitted sheet for your child’s bed. Footed pajamas or a sleep sack is also okay to use. While some parents like to see their baby wrapped in plenty of blankets and bedding products, the risk is high.
2. Unsafe Seating Products
There are 2 main kinds of dangerous seats for babies: infant bath seats and Bumbo seats. Infant bath seats are used to help children sit upright in the bathtub. However, they can tip over and cause the baby to drown. Many parents get a false sense of security seeing their child sitting in a protective chair in the bathtub and turn their backs for a few minutes. Because of this, nearly 300 incidents occurred between 1983 and 2010, resulting in 174 deaths. Instead of using infant bath seats, the CPSC recommends a hard plastic baby bathtub. It is also important to never turn your back on your child, and to keep one hand on the infant at all times while in the water.
Another seating product that has resulted in several injuries is Bumbo seats. These are colorful chairs designed to help an infant sit upright. However, they are easy to fall out of, and injuries such as skull fractures occurred in more than 45 incidents. It is never a good idea to place Bumbo seats on furniture, on tables, or on countertops. Babies can rock themselves out of the chair, and they can also fall out by arching or leaning. Instead of using Bumbo seats, it is best to use a bouncer seat or a stationary infant activity center to reduce the risk of injury.
3. Unsafe Carrying Products
There are many products for carrying children on the market. One product, called sling carriers, poses serious health risks to infants. The sling carrier holds your child in front of you in a sling close to your body. However, children can easily fall out of it, resulting in serious injuries.
Injuries from sling carriers include:
- Head injuries
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones
Infants can also suffocate from positional asphyxia by pressing against the mother. This could block the airways and result in death or severe brain trauma from lack of oxygen. Instead of using sling carriers, the CPSC advises parents to use strollers, backpack carriers, and soft front carriers. It is also a good idea to practice with each carrier before putting the baby inside.
Call Our Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Today at (512) 271-5112
At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, we have guided hundreds of clients through the Texas legal system. If your child has suffered an injury because of a defective product, our compassionate Austin personal injury attorney can represent you. We can discuss your options and provide knowledgeable legal advice for your case.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.