Irresistible Things for Babies: What to Offer Them Instead for Play

Entertaining babies and toddlers requires much creativity. Children tend to move from plaything to plaything quickly, forcing us to constantly come up with fresh plans.

As parents, it can be exhausting allowing our kids to play with whatever comes their way – I know because that was me before becoming a pediatrician! When my boys were born long before becoming one, they played with nearly everything within reach – including most non-toxic items that I now consider dangerous!

September is Baby Safety Month and an excellent opportunity for you to examine what household products truly pose no risk when playing with small children.

At first glance, baby products might seem harmless enough; but here’s a shortlist of eight household products you should definitely avoid giving to your little one, detailing potential hazards they pose as well as more suitable options that might help.

  1. Thermometer
    Children tend to love holding anything that has been used on them and thermometers with blinking and beeping features are irresistibly appealing for curious minds.

What Is The Risk: Button batteries top my list of items not to give to children, as their ingestion can prove very hazardous and even life-threatening if swallowed. They may damage both feeding and breathing tubes within hours and many thermometers contain button batteries which, should they fall out, could end up inside their child’s mouths.

What to Do: Stop playing with it altogether; there’s nothing fun in doing so! Perhaps try colorful pretend doctor kits which typically include thermometers as alternatives for entertainment purposes.

  1. The Remote Control
    Why Children Are Drawn To It: Children tend to gravitate toward what their parents and older siblings use most; anything which appears magical draws in curious young minds like my daughter when she discovered she could turn our television set off and on with ease is bound to capture their interest. My daughter became increasingly curious as soon as she realized the remote could turn our TV set on or off!

What Is the Danger: Most remotes operate using small lithium button batteries which pose risks similar to thermometers. Furthermore, certain remote controls contain small parts or buttons which could come loose if chewed upon, becoming potentially swallowable for children who may also manage to break it open with enough force from banging against surfaces on which it rests – something kids are adept at doing quickly with just a few bumps to the floor!

What you should do: Make sure they have access to an accessible remote control, one without button batteries for optimal use.

  1. Your Keys
    Why Children Love Keys Children find keys magnetic. Not only are they shiny and exciting to manipulate when jangled, but parents get very frustrated if a key goes missing — which only adds more appeal for little ones!

What Are The Dangers: Keys made of brass contain trace amounts of lead that could pose serious developmental risks, even though not enough to cause immediate injuries. Unfortunately, no federal standards exist concerning how much lead should be present in keys.

What you should do: Give babies and toddlers their own toy keys so that they can chew on it as an aid to teething.

  1. Pill Bottles + Containers mes Why are children drawn to them: Children often become drawn to shiny objects and small containers, as well as to hearing the sounds made when shaking pills inside of a container.

What Are the Risks: Accidentally swallowing pills is an ever-present possibility; most pill containers are intended to be childproof but I’ve seen some children find ways to open them anyway.

What to Do: Invest in child-safe containers that make noise when shaken; some contain objects that make sounds when babies shake them–so look out for rattles with noisemakers that won’t fall out when opened.

  1. Straws Why Children Love Straws
    Older infants and toddlers enjoy sipping from straw cups; it helps build lip, cheek and tongue strength as you wean off a bottle. Straw cups also encourage development when weaning off of bottles altogether.

What’s at Stake: Children can come under threat when engaging in active play such as running and jumping with a straw in their mouth, such as jumping. In extreme instances, hard plastic or metal straws could poke far back into a child’s throat and cut deeply enough that vital blood supply lines may become damaged.

What you should do: Keep an eye out when children use straws, making sure that they do not play actively with it in their mouth. Also teach children to put down straw cups before engaging in play with others.

  1. Diaper Rash Cream or Other Creams
    Why Children are Attracted: While babies might not initially gravitate toward diaper cream tubes, I’ve observed parents reaching for any quick and easy consoling tool within reach when struggling to change an unruly diaper change – including giving one over as soon as a child reaches for what you hold if needed during a change – so giving out what may become something they are drawn to may happen accidentally!

What’s At Stake: At this age, most things go directly from mouth to stomach and vice versa. Your child could suck and chew their way through an entire tube before opening it completely–thus swallowing potentially hazardous amounts of content from it! Additionally, unintentionally unscrewing its cap presents an additional choking hazard.

What to Do: Make sure there are safe toys ready for your infant so they can distract themselves during a diaper change.

  1. Coins Its Why Children Like Coins
    Young children tend to be naturally fascinated with coins due to their shiny surfaces and interesting textures; older toddlers might enjoy holding coins to feel “rich”.

What Are The Dangers: Coins pose an immediate choking hazard that may quickly lead to obstruction and compromise their airway, potentially even becoming life threatening for infants or toddlers.

What to Do: Always store coins and small items safely away. For optimal results, purchase a smart kid piggy bank which teaches your children how to safely sort coins without endangering themselves – look out for piggy banks with large coins which cannot fit through mouth openings.

  1. Small Brick Sets Why Children Like Legos: Legos have long been popular toys among households around the globe. Younger children especially are attracted by these small building brick sets – their vibrant colors and small size often draw their interest and may end up right where it should – in their mouth! Although building bricks can provide hours of engagement for older kids like I do, parents need to exercise caution if young ones are also part of your household.

What Are The Dangers: Swallowing small items can pose an immediate choking hazard for young children, particularly infants and toddlers. Furthermore, certain building bricks are small enough to fit through other holes such as those found within ears or noses if swallowed accidentally.

What to Do: Separate toys by age group. Purchase an appropriate container that snaps shut or locks to store building bricks and small toys such as dolls. Raising Dragons provides some fantastic DIY brick sorting ideas; always encourage older siblings to pick up after themselves!

Here’s hoping that both you and your little ones stay safe this year.