Baby Hazards and What to Do

In the 2011-2021 period, there were 76 recalls annually for baby products, almost half compared to 2001-2010 which had average annual recalls of 132 products.

The chart below shows the falling number of recalls from 2001 to 2021;

This chart shows the anual number of recalls of baby products from 2001 to 2021.

Part of the improvements in the safety of the products has been credited to the 2008 law passed called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Recalls for baby products have included walkers, play yards, bassinets, high chairs, and much more.

Read more on CPSIA here.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

At Motherhood HQ, we understand that child safety is a top priority for parents. That’s why we’ve compiled a guide to help parents identify unsafe products and choose the best safe alternatives for their children. Over the past two decades, there have been over 1,000 deaths linked to unsafe baby products. We take this issue very seriously and want to do everything we can to help keep your children safe.

Each category on our site has been thoroughly researched to provide parents with the most up-to-date information on product recalls, safety standards, and tips for choosing safe products.

When it comes to baby safety, knowledge is power. Keep reading to learn more about baby product safety hazards and how to avoid them.

Back to CPSC standards,

Through the CPSIA, CPSC has released new mandatory standards for baby products such as bassinets, bouncers/infant swings, changing tables, cribs, play yards/travel beds, strollers and toddler beds.

You can find a summary of the new CPSC safety standards for baby products such as toys here.

In addition to federal safety standards, many baby products are also subject to voluntary safety standards developed by ASTM International. ASTM International is a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of products, materials, systems, and services.

Some notable ASTM safety standards for baby products include:

-ASTM F2236 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers

-ASTM F2907 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers

-ASTM F833 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Walkers

You can find a full list of ASTM safety standards for baby products here.

CPSC Standards for Different Baby Products:


– No more than 2 3/8” between the slats

– Corner posts no more than 1/16” above the end panel

– No drop-side rail

– Sturdy construction

High Chairs:

– Must have a crotch post that is at least 3” high

– Must have a tray that locks into place

– Must have a footrest

– Must have a 5-point harness

Car Seats:

– Infant car seats must have a 5-point harness

– Convertible and forward-facing seats must have a tether strap

Bouncers and Swings:

– Must have a 5-point harness

– Must have a seat that is at least 16” wide

– Must have a seat back that is at least 12” high

Does CPSC Ensure all Baby Products Are safe?

No, the CPSC does not have the resources to test all baby products on the market for safety. However, they do investigate reports of injuries and accidents involving baby products. If they find that a product is unsafe, they will issue a recall. You can check the CPSC website for lists of recalled products.

Although the CPSC has issued many voluntary standards for baby products, not all companies follow these standards. Additionally, some products may be recalled after they have already been sold to consumers. That’s why it’s important for parents to stay up-to-date on product recalls and to register their products with the manufacturer to receive updates.

Some products such as baby monitors that use batteries are covered by CPSC’s standard on batteries as they are the identified hazard due to the risk of fire. CPSC’s categories of the products it has set standards have to have a safety component and not just be a comfort or preference item.

For products that don’t have a specific CPSC standard, such as strollers, ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) creates voluntary standards that are often followed by manufacturers.

There are also independent organizations such as JPMA ( Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) that have their own certification program which is one way parents can be sure a product meets certain safety standards. Products that are certified by JPMA have a logo on the product or packaging.

In the next section, let’s look at some of the top hazards babies are prone to and associated recalls if the hazards are caused by baby products;

Hazard #1: Strangulation Hazard:

One of the most common hazards associated with baby products is strangulation. Strangulation can occur when a baby’s head and neck become entangled in a cord, strap, or another object.

Strangulation can be caused by wires in a baby nursery. Cords for products such as baby monitor receivers, changing table lamps, and window blinds can all pose a strangulation hazard.

1.7 Million video baby monitors are being recalled due to a strangulation hazard posed by the electrical cords. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that Summer Infant, Inc. is taking action to recall all video baby monitor systems with such cords.

Threads in woven baby blankets can come loose and detach also posing a strangulation hazard.

In October 2022, 108,000 units of woven baby blankets by Mittal International Baby Blankets

were recalled by CPSC after it was discovered that the threads in the blanket’s fringe could come loose and detach, posing a strangulation hazard to babies.

To prevent strangulation hazards:

– Keep all cords and wires out of reach of babies and toddlers

– Do not place baby cribs, bassinets, or playpens near windows with cords from blinds or draperies

– Do not hang toys or other objects with cords or strings in cribs, bassinets, playpens, or within a baby’s reach

Hazard #2: Suffocation Hazard:

Suffocation can occur when a baby’s nose and mouth are covered by an object, such as a pillow, quilt, comforter, or stuffed animal.

Babies can also suffocate if they sleep on their stomachs with their face pressed into a mattress, sofa cushion, or another soft surface.

Some baby products that may pose a risk of suffocation include incline sleepers, soft bedding, and stuffed animals.


On Wednesday in 2010, more than a million Infantino baby slings were recalled after reports stated that they had killed three infants by suffocating them with the soft fabric. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that parents should stop using the slings for infants under 4 months immediately.

In February 2019, the CPSC recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after it was linked to over 30 infant deaths. The recall included all inclined sleepers with model numbers starting with “Fisher-Price” and “Kids II.”

SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper was recalled in January 2020 after it was linked to the death of an 8-month-old baby. The recall included all SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleepers with model numbers starting with “10930” or “10931.” Graco also recalled Little Lounger Rocking Seats and Evenflo also recalled its inclined sleeper – the Pillo Portable Napper. Delta’s new brand of inclined sleeper was also recalled in January 2020.

How suffocation happens:

– When an object covers the baby’s nose and mouth, preventing the baby from breathing

– When a baby sleeps on their stomach with their face pressed into a mattress, sofa cushion, or another soft surface

According to Safe to Sleep, more than 85% of all deaths from Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed occur from birth to 6 months of age. Your baby is, therefore, at high risk from birth to 6 months.

To prevent suffocation:

– Do not put pillows, quilts, comforters, or other soft products in a baby’s crib or bassinet

– Do not place a baby on their stomach to sleep

– Do not allow a baby to sleep on a sofa, couch, or another soft surface

– Do not put stuffed animals or other toys in a baby’s crib or bassinet

Hazard #3: Choking Hazard:

Choking is a leading cause of injury and death in children under the age of 5. Small objects such as toys, coins, jewelry, button batteries, and food are all potential choking hazards. Don’t give kids under age 3 dolls or stuffed toys with eyes, noses, or ribbons that might come off. Also, check toys regularly to make sure they are still in good condition. Sometimes parts break off.

CSPC has entire regulations on small parts in baby products. This regulation is designed to prevent injuries and fatalities in children under three from choking, inhaling, or swallowing small objects they may put in their mouths. It prohibits the manufacture and sale of toys and other products intended for use by children under three that have small parts or produce small parts when broken.

This regulation covers products that are intended for use by children under three. These products include, but are not limited to, toys, dolls, and puzzles; nursery equipment; infant furniture and equipment such as playpens, strollers, and baby bouncers and exercisers. See 16 C.F.R. Part 1501.2 for a more detailed list of covered products.

Below are what qualifies as small parts;

Below are baby products that must meet the regulations on small parts;

  • Pacifiers – 16 C.F.R. 1511
  • Rattles – 16 C.F.R. 1510
  • Cribs – 16 C.F.R. 1508, 1509
  • Infant Pillows, Cushions – 16 C.F.R. 1500.18(a)(16)
  • Baby Walkers, Bouncers, Jumpers – 16 C.F.R. 1500.18(a)(6)
  • Electrically Operated Toys – 16 C.F.R. 1505
  • Dolls, Stuffed Toys and Other Products that may cause lacerations or punctures. – 16 C.F.R. 1500.18(a)(1), (2), (3)
  • Small Balls – 16 C.F.R. 1500.18(a)(17)

Of the five fatalities reported by CPSC, three of them Involved choking on a small toy(a party favor toy, rubber ball, and an unspecified ball). One child died from blunt head Injury after falling into a toy organizer; while another passed away due to positional asphyxia–being found wedged between a bed and stuffed animal. The victims ranged in age from 8 months old to 3 years old.

There have even been cases of dog deaths from chewing stuffed animals. A recent report from December 2019 revealed that a 3-year-old Virginia boy died after choking on a toy horse. The child was found unresponsive at his home and later pronounced dead at the hospital.

In the book “Safe Infant Sleep” by James McKenna, he explains that in order to prevent positional asphyxia, it is recommended that parents avoid letting their infants sleep on their stomachs or side. The book also recommends the use of a firm mattress in the crib and avoiding soft bedding, such as blankets and pillows.

How to prevent choking hazards:

  1. Avoid objects with small parts that, such as marbles, buttons, coins,and toys with small parts that can be detached.
  2. Choose age-appropriate toys.
  3. Read the labels on toys and follow the recommended age range.
  4. Inspect toys regularly to make sure they are still in good condition.
  5. Avoid giving children under 3 years old stuffed toys or dolls with eyes, noses, or ribbons that might come off.
  6. Make sure that balls are the right size for the child. A good rule is to choose a ball that is small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll.
  7. Be aware of foods that can be choking hazards. Some examples are hot dogs, popcorn, nuts, seeds, hard candy, and gum. Cut food into small pieces and supervise children when they are eating.

What to do in case your baby is choking on a small part like a marble?

If your baby is choking on a small object, remove it if possible. If you are unable to remove the object, call 911 immediately and begin CPR if you are trained. Do not try to give the child anything to eat or drink. Try not to panic as this will only make the situation worse.

CPR training can be lifesaving in an emergency situation. Knowing how to properly perform CPR can help you save a life. There are many organizations that offer CPR training, such as the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. You can also find CPR classes at your local community center or hospital.

Red Cross recommends giving 5 chest thrusts:

1. Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards.

2. Place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples and push sharply downwards up to five times.

3. Chest thrusts squeeze the air out of lungs and may dislodge any blockage that might be causing difficulty breathing

If after 5 blows the object doesn’t come out of your baby’s mouth or nose, do these 4 steps recommended by Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente;

1. Turn the infant face up. Use your thigh or lap for support. Support the head.

2. Place 2 fingers on the middle of his breastbone just below the nipples.

3. Give up to 5 quick thrusts down, compressing the chest 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.

4. Continue this series of 5 back blows and 5 chest thrusts until the object is dislodged or the infant loses consciousness.

If your baby is choking on a small object, remove it if possible. If you are unable to remove the object, call 911 immediately and begin CPR if you are trained. Do not try to give the child anything to eat or drink. Try not to panic as this will only make the situation worse.

Below are the signs your baby is choking;

  • Inability to cry or make much sound
  • Weak, ineffective coughing
  • Soft or high-pitched sounds while inhaling
  • Difficulty breathing – ribs and chest retract
  • Bluish skin color
  • Loss of consciousness if blockage is not cleared

Hazard #4: Burns and Fire Hazard:

Choking and suffocation are not the only dangers to young children. There is also the risk of fire. In fact, fires and burns are one of the leading causes of injury and death in children under the age of 5. CPSC has put in place children’s sleepwear flammability standards which require that children’s sleepwear must be flame resistant and self-extinguish if a flame from a candle, match, lighter or a similar item causes it to catch fire. The rules cover all children’s sleepwear above size 9 months and up to size 14.

Causes of baby burns:

According to, Out of all early childhood burns, scalds from hot water and other liquids are the most common. The severity of a burn can differ greatly, with some only needing at-home treatment while others require emergency medical care.

According to this NY State guide, below are the common causes of burns;

  • Children’s skin touching hot metals, like a stove, curling iron or flames (such as the fireplace).
  • Swallowing chemicals, like drain cleaner or bleach.
  • Biting on electrical cords or sticking fingers or objects in electrical outlets.
  • Sunburns are inflammation (swelling) of the skin caused by too much exposure to the sun.

There have been reports of children being injured by toy cars that contain lithium-ion batteries. One such report involved a 3-year-old boy who suffered first and second-degree burns on his leg after a toy car he was riding in exploded.

The boy’s mother says she was just feet away from rips in his pants. The boy’s mother says she was just feet away from her son when the car exploded and says she is now concerned about other children who may be playing with similar toys.

Upscale brand Roberta Roller Rabbit recalled about 32,000 sets of pajamas that pose a potential fire hazard to children back in 2015. This recall follows several reports in which the company’s products caught fire, causing minor injuries to children.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Children under five are at a higher risk for injury or death from a home fire than any other age group.

How to keep your baby safe from hot food that my cause burning.

Below are helpful guidelines from the official NY State’s Department of Health to keep your baby safe when serving hot food;

  • Never carry a baby and hot liquids at the same time.
  • Never heat baby bottles of formula or milk in a microwave.
  • Never leave food unattended on a stove when cooking.
  • Turn pot handles inward and out of a child’s reach.
  • Use non-slip placemats instead of tablecloths when serving hot foods or drinks. This will help prevent children from pulling on them and spilling hot items.
  • Stir and test all food prepared in a microwave. Microwaves heat foods unevenly. Foods may reach temperatures greater than boiling without looking like they are bubbling.

How to prevent your baby from fire hazards:

1. Never leave your child unattended near a fire

2. Keep matches and lighters out of reach

3. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home

4. Create and practice a home fire escape plan

5. Fireproof the fireplace in your home

6. Use only approved batteries for baby products – some run the risk of overheating and exploding

7.- Don’t leave candles or cigarettes burning unattended.

8. Keep matches and lighters out of reach.

9. Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat

What to do in case your baby has been burned;

If your child has been burned, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as burns can be very serious. To treat a burn, follow these steps

  1. Remove any clothing or jewelry from the area of the burn.
  2. Put some tepid water on the burn – not too hot, not too cold
  3. Hold the affected area under the water for 5 to 10 minutes
  4. Apply a sterile gauze bandage or clean cloth to the burn
  5. Do not apply ice, ointment, butter or any other home remedy to the burn
  6. If your child is awake and alert, offer ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.

Kate Cronan, MD advises that you get emergency treatment if;

  • The burned area is large (cover the area with a clean, soft cloth or towel).
  • The burns came from a fire, an electrical wire or socket, or chemicals.
  • The burn is on the face, hands, feet, joints, or genitals.
  • The burn looks infected while it is healing. Signs of infection include swelling, pus, or increasing redness or red streaking of the skin near the burn area.

The majority of people who are scalded by tap water each year are elderly or under five years old, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). To prevent accidents, they advise all households lower their water heater temperatures to 120 degrees Fahrenheit—which also conserves energy and saves money.

To prevent scalding, for kids under 1 year old set your water heater to 120°F (49º C) or lower, or between low and medium. If you can’t control the heater, install anti-scald devices on all faucets and showerheads. Stop the flow of piping hot water if it is hotter than 120º F.

What studies unraveled:

According to a 2005 Study by Dorothy A Drago published in the National Library of Medicine Journal reported scalds from 1997 to 2002 were nearly twice as common as thermal burns. Hot water was the primary reason for scald injuries. The 2 most frequent types of scald patterns were (1) when a child reached up and pulled a pot of hot water off the stove or other elevated surface and (2) when a child grabbed, overturned or spilt a container of hot water onto him- or herself.

One-year-olds had the highest risk for scalds and thermal burns. Scalds resulted in more hospitalizations than did thermal burns. In nearly all injury patterns, boys were injured more often than girls, but the ratio varied depending on the type of injury.

What about the info about babyproofing – and less info on anti-scalding products?

You will find a lot of affiliate-specific sites writing a lot about the best gates for fireproofing without looking at the holistic picture of specific fire hazards in a home. While fireplaces contribute to a substantial amount of accidental burns to infants and kids, the scalding risk is actually higher by more than 30%. Since most of these sites do not find many anti-scalding products for kids, they write extensively on the lesser risk of burns from home fireplaces.

Baby Hazards by Baby Product Type:

Baby Monitors (Strangulation through wires and Fire hazard by batteries):

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Tips to note:

– Do not mount camera on crib.

– Inspect monitor for damage before each use. If damaged, do not use and return to manufacturer immediately.

– Avoid placing any objects, including stuffed animals, near the camera lens as this can interfere with the view.

-Keep wires out of nursery of use a cord concealer

Baby Car Seats

20,000+ child car seats have been recalled because bits of detached foam can cause a choking hazard, as per WebMD reporting here.

The recall affects CYBEX Sirona M Convertible Child Car Seats manufactured between November 3, 2017, and August 31, 2018. This includes model numbers 518000385, 518002153, 518000387, 518002145 ,518002149 ,518002151 ,and5190002111 which were initially reported by GMA.

Poor safety protection in case of crash has also been a cause for some car seat brands being recalled, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The agency says that the affected child safety seats have a “defect in the harness webbing” and may not adequately protect kids in the event of a crash.

Tips to note:

– Before purchasing a used car seat check with the manufacturer to make sure it has not been recalled.

– Check for any damage and never use a seat with missing or damaged partsEven3,000+ car seats recalled because they may not protect kids in a crash. affects the following models of Evenflo’s Symphony and Maestro Booster Seats:

  • Evenflo Symphony 65 e3, Model Number 31011248
  • Evenflo Symphony 65, Model Number 31011541
  • Evenflo Maestro Sport, Model Number 31020828
  • Evenflo Maestro, Model Number 31021135:

Baby Cribs:

More than 9 million baby cribs have been recalled since 2007 due to entrapment, suffocation and asphyxia:

– Do not use a crib with missing, loose, or broken parts.

– Make sure the crib slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart to avoid entrapment.

– Avoid using drop-side rails as they can malfunction and cause injury.

– Mattresses should be firm and fit

– Inspect the crib before each use and do not use if it is damaged.

– Do not try to repair a broken crib, instead, contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

– When transitioning to a toddler bed, make sure to use a mattress that fits snugly against all sides of the bed frame to avoid entrapping


  • To report products that pose a choking hazard, call CPSC’s hotline at 800-638-2772.
  • Kitchen scalds and thermal burns in children five years and younger –
  • Comparison of childhood burns associated with use of microwave ovens and conventional stoves –