(Picture: Getty)What’s in your handbag?
If you’re anything like us, you’ve got old scrunched up receipts, biscuit crumbs, and far too many lip balms than any one person could need.
Those contents may be a bit gross or embarrassing, but you probably haven’t considered that they could be dangerous, too.
The co-founder and national training manager of Tiny Hearts First Aid, Rachael Waia, has issued a warning about the serious choking and suffocation risks posed by common items found in people’s bags.
She shared a photo on Facebook of a handbag spilling out 16 items, all common to handbags and all capable of causing serious harm to a child.
The handbag’s contents include the more obvious dangerous items such as paracetamol, but also things you wouldn’t consider dangerous, including lip balm, hand cream, and car keys.
(Picture: tinyheartsfirstaid)Rachel explains that for many of the products, the issue is the packaging. Small lids and caps can be easily undone and eaten by curious children, posing a severe choking hazard. The same goes for coins and batteries.
Even small scraps of food – those leftover Mini Eggs rattling around at the bottom of your purse, for example – are small enough to put children at risk of choking or an allergic reaction.
How common items in your handbag could pose risks to a child:
Chewing gum is a choking hazard and can cause suffocation.
Coins could block a child’s airway
Batteries can be both choked on or may poison the child, including those found in electronic car keys.
Batteries in car keys can cause burns to the airways if swallowed.
Headphones and charging cables can cause suffocation and strangling
Chocolate may cause allergies.
Bonjela caps, the backs of pens and highlighter lids are a choking hazard as there are no safety caps.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen can poison a young child.
The hair on a hairbrush and elastic bands may tourniquet around tiny wrists, fingers and toes – cutting off circulation
Scary stuff. So what can you do?
The obvious answer is to regularly clear out your handbag and get rid of any junk – it’s likely ripe with bacteria that isn’t any good for you, either. Keep an eye out for dangerous items and ditch them.
But also, make sure to keep handbags out of children’s reach and don’t leave them unattended.
It’s tempting to drop your bag on the floor when you arrive at someone’s house, but try to remember to place it on a table or coat hook instead, out of children’s reach.
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