by Erica Surman
The diaper bag. It’s one of the things that expectant moms and dads have ready before baby even arrives. You bring it everywhere with you and rely on it to carry around all of your baby’s essentials. But some things inside could pose a potential hazard. Beware of these five items you may have hanging around your precious cargo.
- Hand sanitizer. I learned this one the hard way. The small hand sanitizer parents often have gel banded to the outside of the diaper bag is full of ethyl alcohol. Generally, the hand sanitizer would be too bitter to ingest enough to cause intoxication, but the recent news story about a little girl drinking a near deadly amount proves that it can happen. Sanitizer can also sting if it got in a child’s eyes or nose, and the cap itself could be a choking hazard. It’s best to keep hand sanitizer out of your child’s reach at all times.
- Toys, books or remotes that have button batteries in them. Lithium button batteries are especially dangerous, because the severe burning of the esophagus can occur after only 2 hours, and can last even after the battery is removed. Often time’s parents don’t even realize what has been ingested because these batteries come already present in most of these products.
- Medications. Sure, when baby is born, you keep the acetaminophen readily available in the diaper bag pocket. These items typically have a “child proof cap.” As you learn more and more about your baby, you’ll realize that “child proof” is more of a challenge than a certainty. Make sure the diaper bag is stored out of reach of mobile tots, or keep medications out of the diaper bag entirely.
- Baby powder. Inhalation of baby powder can potentially cause a lung injury. Keep baby powder away from little hands and be mindful to avoid clouding your child’s airway tract if you choose to use it during diaper changes.
- The diaper bag itself! Any item can become a deadly projectile if unsecured in a car during a car crash. A great idea is to buckle in your diaper bag if you can’t keep it stored in the trunk.