Child Proof Better: 7 Common But Dangerous Products You’ve Probably Forgotten

Willie Grace | 3/23/2016, 10:44 a.m.
Child proofing is a commonly performed process for parents with babies and young children. They lock the kitchen cabinets and ...
Excited children receiving shoebox gifts

Child proofing is a commonly performed process for parents with babies and young children. They lock the kitchen cabinets and hide cleaning products, but there are other poisonous and dangerous toxins that are often forgotten.

Here are seven items you should keep in a safe place or avoid altogether:

  1. Food Extracts

Although they are safe to use in cooking, food extracts contain alcohol that should not be consumed as a drink because of their alcohol content. Pure vanilla extract, for example, is 35 percent alcohol at minimum, and should be kept out of children’s reach.

  1. Perfume

A few dabs of our perfume may generally be safe, but ingesting these toxic products is dangerous. Perfumes and colognes contain 50% to 99% ethyl alcohol and may cause severe breathing problems and seizures.

  1. Sunscreen

Many sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a chemical often used in cosmetics that can cause hormonal disruption. It’s only okay to use on children older than 6 months, and pregnant women may also want to switch to an oxybenzone-free option since it’s also linked to low birthweight babies.

  1. Hand-me-down Toys

Phthalates are a group of common chemicals that help give plastic its flexibility. The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned many types of phthalates from toys as well as childcare items such as teethers and bottles in 2009, but many products before that contained these chemicals. So, if you can’t track what’s in your hand-me-downs, throw them away.

  1. Button Batteries

Button batteries — the flat, round batteries found in small everyday electronics like garage door openers, keychains and watches — are quite dangerous. If ingested, they can burn through a child’s esophagus in two hours, according to Poison Control. Check battery compartments to ensure they’re closed and don’t let small children play with remotes.

  1. Teething Gels

Many topical anesthetics like teething gels contain benzocaine which can cause seizures and a condition called methemoglobinemia, which prevents blood from carrying oxygen through the body. These shouldn’t be used on children under the age of 2 and should be locked up when not in use.

  1. Adult Vitamins with Iron

Adult-strength vitamins and iron pills are extremely dangerous for kids. Too much iron corrodes tissue in the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamins should be treated with the same care as prescription medicines and secured out of reach properly.

For more information go to