Injuries and hospitalizations are not something that we ever want to think about with our little ones...even mentioning the words elicits feelings of panic and worry.
Having said that, arming ourselves with the knowledge of which simple daily activities and household objects can put our babies at risk ensures that we can prevent the majority of these injuries from ever occurring.
If you were asked to guess what the top 5 causes of serious injuries and fatalities are for babies and young children, what would you choose?
The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) analysed data on deaths and hospital admissions for five years from 2008-12 and found the top causes of serious injuries and fatalities were as follows:
Sadly, many of these could have been prevented.
Before you had kids, if someone told you that changing your baby’s diaper would be one of the most dangerous things you would do with them, you probably would have laughed. Maybe you still would. But the reality is, it could well be…
Some of the most common places we change our babies are changing tables, sofas and beds. They seem so immobile in those early days that there doesn’t seem to be any risk involved. Unfortunately, the day a baby learns to roll is very like the day before they learn to roll…we never know exactly when it’s going to happen and baby really doesn’t warn us! That might be why for children less than 1 year of age, falls account for over 50% of admissions to emergency departments. Falls from changing tables, beds and sofas are among the most common furniture from which they fall.
Last year, a video of a brother catching his baby brother falling off a changing table went viral. His mother released the video to raise awareness of the dangers of changing tables to other parents.
Sadly, other cases do not have such happy endings. In 2015 there was a tragic case of a two-year-old toddler who died after falling from a changing table. She had not been left unattended – she had just wriggled backwards while her mother was changing her in her NYC home. Indeed the Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 5 deaths related to baby changing products between 2005 and 2015. There were also an estimated 31,780 injuries related to baby changing products between 2005 and 2015, including skull fractures, brain and spinal injuries.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the most common recommendation from safety experts and paediatricians to avoid injuries is that babies should be changed on a changing pad on the floor.
While changing a baby on a pad on the floor is undoubtedly the safest solution, it’s not without problems. Being changed on the floor can give babies extra freedom to wriggle, roll and crawl away. Indeed, one study found that up to 40% of mothers experience ‘frustration, anxiety and feelings of being burdened’ while changing their children’s diapers (www.statista.com). Mom blogs are also filled with parents desperately searching for solutions to change their wriggly babies.
How do we know this? Because we were those parents trawling the net for solutions when our little one started to wriggle during diaper changes. We soon realized our changing table was unsafe but couldn’t figure out how to have a quick, mess-free nappy change without either a wriggly wrestling match or a runaway baby that seemed inevitable when we were changing him on the floor. When you consider that we change our little ones on average 6 times per day until they are potty trained, it’s not surprising that we began dreading diaper changes, which was starting to have an impact on our daily family life.
But problems are only problems when there are no solutions. So we invented a solution that worked for us and it returned diaper changing to the calm, loving bonding experience it had once been.
The Wriggler is the world’s only portable changing pad designed specifically for babies who wriggle during diaper changes. Its patent-pending kneepad design gently hugs the child in place, keeping parents’ hands free for safe, fast and stress-free changing at home or out and about. Designed with the principles of deep touch pressure in mind, parents also comment on the calming effect it has on their babies and the feeling of security they get from it, and how much this contrasts with previously chaotic stressful battles. The child-centered teddy-bear character also adds to the enjoyable diaper change for babies, ensuring a safe, positive experience for parent and child.
The Wriggler - Changing struggles to snuggles