In recent years, the bean bag chair has become such a popular choice for urban homes that there has been a four-fold increase in its demand and sale. Its popularity has also led to innovations in its design such that, now, it has been modified to encompass many different styles and sizes.
The baby bean bag is one such style that is specially designed for babies and toddlers. After all, if the parents are lounging around in oversized bean bags, then why shouldn’t their baby enjoy a comfortable haven of its own in his little bean bag bed?
Then again, as with any baby-related product, it is of the utmost importance to first determine whether the baby bean bag is safe for your child or not.
What Is a Bean Bag?
A bean bag is essentially a sack-like structure that is filled with polystyrene or foam beads. The size of these beads may vary according to the quality of the bean bag. With that said, know that they can be as small as just one-millimeter diameter.
Baby Bean Bags: Safe or Not?
It is important to know that a bean bag has an outer cover and an inner lining, which is opened when the beads need to be replaced. This inner lining poses a major safety hazard for toddlers. Why?
Toddlers are naturally curious at their age, and if they spot the lining zipper, they will definitely want to open it. Many cases have been reported where children have opened the inner lining, causing the dangerous polystyrene beads to fall out.
These beads can be either inhaled or consumed by the kids, causing major illnesses, blocking of the respiratory tract, and even deaths in some cases.
Another way that a bean bag bed or chair can be unsafe for both babies and toddlers is if the baby or a small child accidentally falls inside the inner lining of the bag. This can lead to almost instantaneous suffocation of the child due to the presence of PVC pellets or beads.
Safety Precautions Taken by Manufacturers for Baby Bean Bags
Over the years, there have been numerous instances of baby deaths and injuries due to the design shortcomings of baby bean bags. In fact, many leading manufacturers even recalled millions of their products in a bid to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.
The good news is that, now, baby bean bags come with a set of their own safety features, which are incorporated to overcome the safety hazards. The most important feature is a double zipper for the inner lining with a special child-resistant mechanism. This effectively ensures that a child is not able to open the inner lining and therefore, will not get access to the polystyrene beads.
Manufacturers have also ensured that baby bean bags are made of a tear-resistant material so that kids cannot easily rip them open to release the beads. Furthermore, it is mandatory for all baby bean bags to carry a warning label regarding the dangers of children being suffocated by the bean bag filling.
In line with that, it is recommended that children do not lie face down on the bean bag. Sometimes, the bean bag can also cause injury to a child if it is not properly filled or if the beans are old and hard.
Ensuring Your Kid’s Safety When Using a Bean Bag
Strap him in securely. The first and foremost tip for ensuring your baby’s safety is to strap him in safely using the baby strap. This is a standard feature for all baby-sized bean bags.
Simply taking this small step is enough to ensure the safety of small children or babies who cannot move around much on their own yet. It will ensure that the baby sits or sleeps comfortably without the fear of falling off.
Even with toddlers or young kids, it is necessary to make sure that they sit in place and do not try any antics on the bean bag. Comfortable as it is, the bean bag is not really a plaything.
Keep a sharp eye over them. The second precaution that you must take if your baby or toddler is sitting on the bean bag is to monitor the child as much as possible. Even if the baby is strapped in the bean bag, it is still advisable to check in on him once in a while.
If you have a babysitter or a nurse assigned to take care of your baby, you should explain to them the safety hazards of the bean bag and the precautions that need to be taken.
Use them only as a chair. Thirdly, it is suggested that the bean bag should not be used as a bed for babies but only as a chair. A child should also be discouraged from sitting on an adult bean bag. You should also take care that your child sits in the proper posture so that there is no danger of falling off.
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Blissbeanbags.com.au. 2021. Are Bean Bags Safe for Toddlers? | Bliss Bean Bags Australia. [online] Available at: <https://www.blissbeanbags.com.au/are-bean-bags-safe-for-toddlers/> [Accessed 31 August 2021].
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 2021. Bean bags. [online] Available at: <https://www.productsafety.gov.au/products/home-living/home-furnishings/bean-bags> [Accessed 31 August 2021].