Accidental injuries are the leading cause of death in children and send more than 16 million kids to the E.R. each year. While you may already be taking precautions against obvious dangers, there are some we're sure you haven't thought of yet.
With six kids, Lyssha and Jake Bowden know a thing or two about child-proofing. "Any toy that has loose parts, small parts, electric outlets" said the Bowdens. Even with all that caution Tino, their only son, proved that boys will be boys when he swallowed 16 tiny craft magnets and was in the E.R. within an hour. Jake Bowden said "when we saw the x-ray, we actually saw that a couple days prior, he'd also been eating magnets along with a Christmas tree light fuse that was down there." Once swallowed, magnets can attract and "glue" the esophagus, stomach, or small bowel tissue together. Dr. Manoochehr Karjoo, a pediatric gastroenterologist said "they need surgery because they are very tight together."
Another danger: swallowing just one mouthful of baby oil can cause lung inflammation and death and ingesting Visine can cause breathing problems and seizures. Also, just a few teaspoons of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in kids. Dr. Karjoo added "I know they warn on the box, but when the danger's in the house, all the kids, they have access to it." Finally, batteries. from 1997 to 2010, more than 40,000 kids were treated in the E.R. for battery ingestion. Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Dr. Sangeeta Bhargava said "if they get stuck in the esophagus, they can do damage very, very quickly."
Dr. Bhargava says the bottom line is "caution, caution, caution," it may just save your child's life. Doctor Bhargava also says loose computer cables and wires are also a strangulation hazard and that you should make sure these are tied properly. She adds that pennies are the most common item she sees kids ingest and they will often pass on their own, but the coins can get stuck in the esophagus.