Babyproofing 101: 10 Household Safety Hazards

Baby Oil and Family Dog

7. Bath and Baby Oils

baby with pet dog

LWA/ Getty Images

The danger: Some bath and baby oils contain liquid hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition, irreversible lung damage, and even death if your child aspirates the substance into his lungs. In 2001, 16- month-old Jaiden Bryson, of Bakersfield, California, died 28 days after drinking from a bottle of baby oil that had been knocked off a shelf. His death and similar tragedies led the CPSC to require child-resistant packaging for products containing hydrocarbons.

Safe strategy: Read labels and store all bath and baby oils out of your child's reach, even if they're in child-resistant packaging. (The same goes for other household and cosmetic products containing liquid hydrocarbons or mineral oil, such as some makeup removers, massage oils, and nail-polish dryers.) "Child-resistant caps don't always keep kids out -- they just slow them down," says Karen Sheehan, MD, an emergency-room physician at Children's Memorial Hospital, in Chicago.

8. The Family Dog

The danger: About 100,000 children under age 10 are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for dog-bite-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of attacks happen at home or in familiar places by a dog that belongs to the victim's family or a friend. In 2000, a 6-week-old infant was killed by her family's Pomeranian when she was left unattended with the dog on a bed. Pet food and pet toys with small parts can also be choking hazards.

Safe strategy: Never leave your child alone with a dog. While pit bulls, rottweilers, and German shepherds are more likely to attack than other breeds are, any dog can become aggressive. Having your dog spayed or neutered can reduce aggressive tendencies. Teach your child to be gentle with dogs and to never tease, corner, or disturb a dog that's eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Until your child is 3, don't buy pet toys with eyes, buttons, or other small parts that can be pulled or bitten off. Remove hard dog food when your pet is done eating.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment