Paediatrician Reveals Two Serious Dangers of Teddy bears For Babies
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A paediatrician has said that teddy bears pose two serious dangers for babies.
Dr Abdurrazzaq Alege, a Consultant Paediatrician with the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina State disclosed this to HealthWise in an exclusive chat.
Alege said that toys with furs can cause serious health problems for children including death.
He advised that babies, especially infants, should be protected from such toys.
The paediatrician said that close contact with furs exposes children to;
- Asthma( although this is rare).
Alege clarified that toys are very good for children. He, however, emphasized that toys made with furs should be kept away from children.
He advised mothers to embrace the use of plastic toys against furry toys because of the health hazards to furs children are exposed.
Dr Alege said the following factors must be considered before buying furry toys for children. They are:
- The size of the teddy bear is against the child’s age.
- Size of the child.
- The type of fur used in making it.
- The hygiene of the fur.
The child health expert explained:
“Size is very important because if you have an infant, that is a child less than one year, playing with a big teddy bear is dangerous. The teddy can suffocate the child.
“As regards type, if it is the one whose fur falls off easily, probably as a result of expiry or the fact that the kind of fur used is not of good quality and has particles falling off, so many things can happen.”
Defining allergies in children, Dr Alege noted that some allergies are genetic.
He explained that these genetic allergies may not be known to parents, however, their children may express a worse form of these allergies.
“If you have a child that has an intrinsic problem in terms of allergy if the parents are not careful and they are unaware of the kind of allergic responses of the child, that child may react to some of these particles that could enter the airway.
“The child will have respiratory difficulties or would start to cough or would have symptoms that would appear like they are having asthma. It is just because of the wool.”
The health expert warned that a teddy bear must be kept tidy to remove absorbed dust. According to him, dust can trigger an allergic reaction in a child.
“Dust can be a health problem in so many ways. It can cause an allergic reaction in terms of entering the airway.
“At the same time, if you have a toy that is not regularly cleaned, children at that age put everything in their mouth, they kiss and bite it. And in doing this, if the toy is dirty, it will harbour harmful organisms, bacteria, viruses, fungi and can cause so many illnesses in the child.”
He further explained that frequent inhalation of furs by babies triggers asthmatic symptoms. Also, if the child swallows the materials, the child will present with diarrhoea disease.
“This includes passing watery stool, frequent bowel motions, as well as vomiting. It could be as simple as the child just running a fever and you are wondering if it is malaria.
“In an older child, that is a child that can talk, the child will be complaining of stomach pain, and crying from discomfort.”
He said children with other allergies should not be exposed to furs. According to him, the child could, later on, develop asthma.
Alege those without allergies but are constantly exposed to furs may develop asthma in the future known as ‘acquired asthma’.
The doctor urged mothers to go for plastic toys instead of furry toys.
“There is no reason why they should be playing with teddy bears.
“If you have an older child, a toddler that can vocalise, at this age they can play with animated toys and since they can walk about, they can easily carry or back the teddy bear, but not one that will be too big for them.”
He further advised mothers to keep toys with detachable furs away from children.
He continued: “Some of these toys that you wear the fur on them if one is not careful, the older children may remove the fur and wear it on themselves.
“If they are not monitored, because some of these overalls may not have any holes, they can suffocate while wearing it. So, we have to be careful about the kinds of toys we have around children.
“Also, any parent that is aware that they have any form of allergies should avoid fur-containing toys generally for all their children regardless of their age.”
Meanwhile, the American Academy of Paediatrics listed furs among dangerous toys for children.
They warned parents and caregivers never to place them near a sleeping baby.
AAP said that toys made with stuffed items should be kept away from children. These toys include:
pillow-like toys, blankets, quilts, crib bumpers, and other bedding.
The academy says these toys increased the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It added that other risks are death by suffocation or strangulation.
In an old report posted on Facebook, a mother, Connie Rose recounted how she lost her baby to a teddy bear.
She wrote; “On the 6th March 8.01 am 2018, my life changed.
“I woke up to get my oldest child ready for school only to find out that my youngest baby had passed away. I have been blaming myself as she passed away due to suffocation as I had packed down the side of her bed with teddies and placed a big one on top of the smaller teddy to stop her from falling down the side of her bed, and she did exactly that but as it was all teddy bears she went under the massive teddy and fell asleep with the angels.
“All I think about now is what if I just left it empty, she would still be here maybe with just a small bump on her head. It’s all what-ifs now. But I want every parent to see and be aware of this. Let them fall don’t try to stuff small places up with soft things just leave it empty.
“She had a bed guard at one side and the smallest gap from her wall to her bed and that’s where I had put all her teddy’s my biggest regret in life.
“Please move everything off your kids’ bed and away from the sides.”
Source: PUNCH HealthWise