On June 25, 2011 a funeral was held for an 18-month old boy in Delavan, Wisconsin, who had strangled on cords hanging from a set of venetian blinds. His mother had been in the house with him at the time, and she was the one who discovered him strangling. Emergency technicians were unable to save him. He was just the latest child in a heartbreakingly common story.
Many people use venetian blinds, and when they have a baby they often do not think of this little detail, especially as it takes a few months before baby is moving around on his own anyways. There are cheap little gizmos you can buy to wind these cords around, and also ways to shorten them so they are still functional but no longer hanging down where baby can reach them. Leaving cords within reach of children of any age is a common mistake that can be deadly. Sadly enough, and with disastrous results, some parents do not even think as far as removing cords from the range of their child’s crib or cradle.
Bookcases that can be climbed upon are also a danger. This is one of those things like when a baby rolls over. You never know when the first time will be, so you can never assume they won’t do it. Children love to climb as soon as they can possibly manage, and will always be trying to get up to the stuff on the next shelf. Do not let them try! Always supervise your child in room with a bookcase or put doors on the front of the case that they cannot open.
Dressers are also a big danger, especially faulty ones that do not close properly. If the drawers stay a little open, a small child can get his or her fingers in enough to try to climb and possibly topple the dresser onto themselves, which can often be fatal. Not to mention the pinched little fingers that might occur even if nothing fatal happens.
Leaving dresser drawers open is another danger. If you have been in the habit of leaving your drawer open after removing clothing while dressing for the day, and one or two of the top drawers remain open, this makes the dresser extremely top heavy, especially on cheaply made or taller dressers. Any small tug could topple this forward, and if one of your children can reach one of those open drawers, they may easily pull it on themselves with their little body weight alone. After having a baby, you must get into the habit of always closing drawers, doors, and cupboards completely to avoid danger to your little one.
Where baby sleeps can have two danger spots: his blankets and the crib rails. Crib death or SIDS has many times been merely a case of suffocation because the child had something fluffy next to their nose or rolled over onto a toy or blanket that covered their little nose for too long. SIDS is not preventable, but suffocation is. Put your baby in warm pajamas or a sleep bag and keep the blankets out of her crib.
Crib rails are generally not a fatal danger but they can cause broken arms and ankles. A mesh screen around baby’s crib (there are specially designed mesh screens for just this purpose) will prevent him or her from inserting their leg or arm through the rails and getting caught in an awkward position. Its a small investment to prevent a quite common injury.