SUMMER HAZARDS FOR BABIES
Like with every stage of parenting just as you get to grips with current issues another set of problems crop up. So you baby proofed the house and up till now you have been able to sit back and smile or even pat yourself on the back. Yes I do this sometimes as who else is going to do it if you don’t? Then the sun comes out and the fear sets in as your baby or toddler eats everything in sight. Pebbles are a hazard as are hot barbecues, poison berries, water and the list goes on. Your first thought is to get them back inside to safety where you have every cupboard locked tight, every corner padded and stair gates that block all escape routes to danger.
However, after a very long winter a few simple precautions will allow you to enjoy the alien yellow object that appears as if to tease us sometimes in the Irish sky. If like my son your two year old panics and screams ‘ouch, ouch mummy. My eyes hurt’ don’t panic like I did and be happy they’re finally getting Vitamin D. Feeling like I had reared a mole I reassured my son that this bright light In the sky was great and it would make everyone happy. However I can’t protect him from all the red arms, legs and faces he’s going to endure watching but instead I have decided to teach him the importance of suncream.
Keeping our kids hydrated and protected from the sun is one of the most important things to remember during summer months. I love the Hamilton range of Sun creams, as they are suitable for all the family and especially kids with sensitive skin.
The snoozeshade for your buggy is also fab for the summer months as you’re baby will be protected and won’t overheat in the buggy. Make sure they always wear a sunhat and suitable comfy breathable clothing. Be careful not to leave creams or insect repellents lying around as some liquids and oils contain liquid hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition, irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates the substance into their lungs. This is obviously extreme but a real danger at the same time. Child resistant caps are a must throughout your house and garden.
Beware of poisonous plants. Many of the plants and their parts can be poisonous for babies. Because of their fascination for putting everything into their mouths they may eat flowers, berries, leaves or bulbs from garden plants. Make a list of all the plants and shrubs in your garden and
find out from someone knowledgeable whether they or any of their parts are poisonous. Beware of garden plants like rhododendron, deadly nightshade, azalea, rhubarb leaves, lily of the valley, hyacinth, privet, foxglove, delphinium, laburnum and yew that are known to be poisonous. Also beware of plants with thorns or spikes. These can cause a lot of pain if your baby falls face first into them. Teach your child not to pick flowers or plant parts and keep your baby away from them.
Please be careful near water as drowning is quick and silent. Young kids rarely make a big splash, thrash around, or scream for help like you see on TV. They usually fall in headfirst and sink to the bottom like a rock. A child who’s underwater will lose consciousness after two minutes and suffer irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes. Never leave your child unattended for any length of time near water.
Babies have the habit of putting everything into their mouth so watch for soil that might contain cat or dog feces that can harm your baby if ingested. They may contain harmful parasites like toxoplasmosis found in cat feces and toxocariasis in dog feces. Therefore for baby safety fence or grass over the flowerbeds or any exposed earth. The same goes for sand pits, which should be kept covered when baby is around. If your child is anything like mine he will also be quite a good escape artist so make sure you have no holes in the fence and don’t leave the gate open.
Finally babies and toddlers are drawn to barbecues that are hot and very dangerous. Even after the barbecue is gone out the coals remain hot for quite a long time. The last thing you need is little fingers getting burnt and a trip to A&E. Two things I always try to remember is to stay aware and never leave them unattended. Now all I hope is that we finally get that Summer we’ve been longing for!