“I practically grew up in a funeral home, and like many funeral directors will say, children’s deaths are the hardest ones we ever have to work with,” explained Lauren.
“When you become a parent, you find yourself being extra-protective of your children, because you know what can happen in the blink of an eye.”
Anything with a string
Toys with magnets
The American Academy of Pediatrics backs Lauren’s warnings. According to its website, water-absorbing gel beads can grow up to 200 times their size when they encounter water, resulting in dangerous obstructions that may not be detected by X-rays if they’re swallowed or put in ears.
Toys with loose string, rope, ribbons or cord — specifically when the strings measure over 12 inches, as with pull toys or jump ropes — can pose dangerous strangulation hazards to kids.
Teething necklaces, which can cause choking or strangulation, should never be worn by little ones. Instead, parents should massage their children’s gums or give them hard rubber teething rings that are not frozen.
Button batteries — found in such items as musical cards, toys, remote controls, thermometers, hearing aids, calculators, bathroom scales, key fobs, cameras and holiday ornaments — can cause serious injuries or death if swallowed.
Trampoline use has long been discouraged by the AAP, as serious injuries can be incurred even when padding and enclosures are in place.
Magnets, if ingested, can trap tissue between them, resulting in potentially fatal injuries.
Balloons, the leading cause of choking deaths in children in the U.S., are not recommended for children younger than 8 years old.
Fidget spinners, both the plastic and metal varieties, often contain small pieces and/or batteries that can be a choking hazard.
Hammocks, whether intended for small children or for toys, can become twisted around little ones’ necks, resulting in strangulation.
Lauren isn’t the only TikToker pleading with parents to remove dangerous toys from their homes. Reese’s Purpose took to the internet in 2020 to warn parents about fatal button batteries, and That Water Bead Lady has been working hard since 2017 to educate families about the dangers of water beads.
‘I can’t imagine what you’ve seen’
Thousands of TikTokers responded to Lauren’s PSAs and shared their own scary experiences.
“I am an ER nurse and I have the saddest button battery story. People need to keep those away from kids and pets! So sad,” one user wrote.
“Answering 911 calls all day has made me the same! So many things can hurt little ones!” said another.
“As a former hospital chaplain… YUP,” a user agreed.
“I can see how all of these are valid. I can’t imagine what you’ve seen 🥺,” one user empathized.
“This video may save so many lives. thank you for bringing awareness to these for our babies❤️🩹,” wrote another user.
Parents wondering if their children’s toys are safe, or looking to research potential Christmas gifts this holiday season, can refer to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website or HealthyChildren.org.
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