There is nothing worse than turning your back for two seconds only to hear your baby choking on something in the background. However, it happens. Babies and young children love to explore with their mouths and this means that little things often get stuck. Knowing some of the most common things that children swallow can help you be better prepared and help you know what to kept well out of reach.
Earrings, rings and jewellery are great fun for little hands. However, often they resemble a small treat and your child won’t be able to resist going in for a taste. Many mums keep their jewellery in the bathroom cupboards or on the counter which makes it easy for a child to get into. One solution is to use a jewellery box that comes with a lock so that you can lock these items up. Furthermore make sure you are well aware of where you have taken your jewellery off.
Marbles look like the perfect lolly to little eyes and thus one of the most common objects that result in a trip to the emergency department are marbles. Avoid giving your child marbles to play with and if your older child has a set, then make sure they keep them well away from younger siblings.
We leave money lying all over the house without even thinking about it. However, coins are dirty, disgusting and often ingested by little kids. Make it a habit to have a special coin jar somewhere out of reach that you place all spare change into, empty your pockets every day and check the car for loose change as well.
You most likely have a drawer full of different packets of batteries for your tools, toys and remote controls. For some reason children have a fascination with these cylinder objects. Batteries are extremely dangerous if ingested and thus this is one item that should be kept well away and in a locked cupboard.
Make sure your medicine cabinets are locked and out of reach of children at all times. Many medications look like lollies but they can be extremely dangerous to children. Even ingesting antacids and vitamins can require a trip to the hospital.
Have a quick check of the garage and shed area to ensure that there are no nails, screws and other bits on the floor. Children love to help Dad in the shed but this can be very dangerous if the floor is not clean.
Magnet backings can easily fall off, especially when your kids are playing with the ones on the fridge. Make sure you check that your magnets are safely secured and that there are no little pieces on the floor.
Drawing Pins can be a godsend for organizational purposes but they can also be extremely dangerous, so if you are using drawing pins, make sure they are stored well away from wandering hands and curious mouths. You may want to look into other organizational methods such as BluTack.
Crayons, playdoh, stickers, jewels, googly eyes all of these things often end up on the ground after a craft session and are often picked up and explored through the mouth by little ones. So always clean up after craft time and monitor your children while they are getting creative.
Keep your own craft items, such as buttons for your sewing projects in a safe place as well. A box of colourful buttons, needles, thimbles and wool can keep a toddler entertained for hours but don’t taste so good if swallowed.
A general rule of thumb is that if it’s lying on the floor, it’ll probably end up in your toddlers mouth. Be conscientious about picking up small items to prevent strange items in dirty nappies or worse, a hurried trip to your nearest hospital.