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By Sarah Hunstead
Sarah Hunstead
23 Sep, 2020

Headbands on babies – are they safe?

Sarah here (paediatric nurse & CPR Kids founder). Let me tell you about an incident I was involved with recently.
I was shopping at the supermarket a little while ago (preCOVID) when I saw a mum shopping with her young bub.
All I could see was bub’s legs and body, the hood of the pram was covering her face.

I noticed that she was kicking her legs furiously, which I thought was a little strange so I ducked down a bit to look at her face, from an acceptable distance that a stranger should maintain from someone else’s baby!

What I saw sent a shock of adrenaline through me – I jumped straight over and grabbed mum’s arm (she was just browsing the shelves, one hand on the pram) and at the same time flipped back the hood – the head band that the baby was wearing had slipped down over her nose and mouth, and she was turning a dusky purple colour.

Mum and I seemed to simultaneously reach down and pulled the head band off her nose and mouth, and bub immediately let out a huge cry. It’s a bit of a blur, but I remember mum being stunned about what was happening. She picked up her baby who continued to cry for a bit then settled down, perfectly fine after the ordeal. Mum wasn’t so fine.
Mum was crying, saying that she knew not to let bub sleep with the headband on, but didn’t realise there would be any danger from having the headband on whilst awake.

However, just head movement or rubbing can move a headband down over the face. They are fine for a photo or while being held by someone, but please don’t leave a headband on a baby if they aren’t close, awake and in direct active supervision. And of course, NEVER when sleeping. Also be aware of any embellishments that an older baby or toddler may pull off and put in their mouth #choking

Please note the picture in this post is a stock photo, not of the child or the headband involved in the incident.

FREE VIDEO: Choking First Aid for Babies and Children

In this video paediatric nurse and founder of CPR Kids Sarah Hunstead steps you through the prevention, recognition and response to choking in babies and children. Essential knowledge for every family that you don’t want to miss.

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