WHEN you're a busy parent, tips to help motherhood run more smoothly are always welcome.
However, sometimes advice is just too good to be true – and, worse still, may even be dangerous.
A number of hacks, often to add fun to playtime or save precious time, that have recently gone viral on social media have been called into question.
These are the ones mums are being urged to avoid…
'Mini eggs' for breakfast
Last month, a mum was praised on TikTok as "genius" for her "mini eggs" recipe.
It saw her freeze eggs overnight, before removing the egg shell the following morning.
She then sliced it sideways into bitesize pieces and fried them in a pan.
However, while the video has received more than 1.6 million 'likes', some viewers warned that the cooking tip had the potential to be problematic.
One person commented: "Emergency Room doctor and child safety expert here. This is not a safe way to prepare eggs.
"They should not be frozen in their shells. The FDA [Food & Drug Administration] warns against this."
Another added: "My friend did this and his toddler got food poisoning."
Playing with dog toys
Similarly, earlier this year, another mum was called out for giving her baby a dog toy to play with.
The TikTok user claimed they were cheaper than regular toys, and kept her kid entertained for hours.
However, the particular dog toy she gave to her little one was a plastic ball which she filled with cereal.
As her baby rolled the ball, the edible pieces would drop out – leaving some viewers questioning hygiene levels.
One noted: “So teaching them it’s OK to eat off the ground. Wow 5 second rule."
A second added: “Ohhh noo why can I imagine this rolling into cat litter or dog dodo and the baby eats it still?”
What's more, regular baby toys often have to adhere to certain safety regulations – including being without spiky parts, or anything that could cause choking – as the Child Accident Prevention Trust outlines.
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Peanuts in lunchbox
Meanwhile, a third mum was praised for a "delicious" lunch she made for her toddler.
It featured apple slices, raisins, pretzel sticks, mixed nuts and sausages wrapped in cheese.
But numerous Facebook users claimed it contained a possible choking hazard for her two-year-old.
One wrote: “Food looks great and nut butters are great but whole nuts for a 2 year old is extremely dangerous.”
Another added: “Looks good I wouldn’t recommend peanuts under three years old."
Children are at a higher risk of choking on food or small objects because their windpipes haven't properly developed yet, or they haven't mastered chewing or swallowing techniques.
According to analysis of government data, in the four years leading up to 2019, it caused 14 deaths in children under five – with 40 kids rushed to hospital every day.
Ponytail with vacuum
While it might make sense that you wouldn't really want to mix children with vacuum cleaners, a viral video risked suggesting otherwise.
In the clip, shared on Daily Motion, a dad a can be seen using the suction of the pipe to tie his daughter's hair up into a neat ponytail.
While the little girl looks delighted with the results, others haven't been so lucky.
In 2016, The Mirror reported that a woman was left in tears when her hair was vacuumed into an up-do on Australian breakfast TV programme, The Today Show.
Electric mixer-powered baby bouncer
People have also criticised those using an electric mixer from the kitchen to rock a baby's bouncer so they fall asleep.
A gif showing the hack, titled Parenting Hack KitchenAid Bouncer, was shared to Reddit.
Many slammed the recommendation as “dangerous” and branded it a “monumentally stupid thing to do.”
However, it is unclear whether the original poster meant it as a suggestion or simply a bizarre joke.
Either way, speaking to The Sun Online, the executive director for the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), Colleen Driscoll, said: "With all children’s products (and other products in the home), it is very important that parents and caregivers follow the instructions for use.
"We have found that many clever 'hacks' are not safe."
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Blanket over pram
It might seem like a good idea to place a thin cloth over a pram to keep babies cool in the summer.
However, researchers in Sweden have found that it could dangerously overheat the interior of the pram because it reduces air circulation.
According to Kidspot, youngsters are more sensitive to heat than older children or adults.
This is because their body temperature rises three-to-five times faster.
It makes them more vulnerable to heatstroke and SIDS.
In other parenting news, we told you about the pregnant identical twins who are due weeks apart.
We also revealed how a mum-of-five was left amazed when she fell pregnant with quadruplets.
And this is how to get your toddler to stay in bed in the morning.
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