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“My Friend Says That it is All My Fault That Her Toddler Swallowed a Fridge Magnet When They Visited Me.”

When someone comes to visit you in your home with their toddler, is it your responsibility to baby-proof your home? Or is it the parent’s job to look for potential hazards? One woman found herself at the centre of an unfortunate accident when her friends 2-year-old son swallowed a fridge magnet when visiting her home. Fortunately, the little boy was declared fine after a trip to the emergency department, but her friend is furious with her for putting her son in danger.

My friend and her 2y old son came to visit me last week. She’s a single mom and we rarely see each other because we live far apart. I just moved into a bigger apartment, so they came to stay with me for a few days.

Everything was fine at first, we had fun and although I’m not good with kids, I tried my best. One morning we were all in the kitchen, my friend and I made breakfast while the boy was playing with a toy on the floor. After a while, my friend left the room to take a call and was gone for a few minutes. I’m not used to having kids around, so I didn’t think twice about leaving him alone when I left to go pee. My friend was just in the next room, the door was open too. I also had to walk through the living room to get to the bathroom, so she knew I was leaving him alone in there.

When I came back she was still on the phone (explaining something to her co-worker) and the kid was still in the kitchen. But when she came back, she noticed a bunch of photos on the floor. I had put them up on my fridge with small neodymium magnets, so we started looking for those but didn’t find any. Knowing how dangerous magnets can be for kids, we immediately tried to find out if he ate any but he just started crying, so I drove us to an ER.

My friend was panicking in the car and started yelling at me, “Why do you even have tiny magnets in the first place? You should have told me about it before! Why did you leave him all alone?” I was driving and tried to focus, so I didn’t answer her. Honestly, I just never thought about my fridge magnets being a hazard.

All was fine in the end, he ate one magnet but it wasn’t a big deal as there wasn’t any other ones. I was relieved and said “let’s go home, I’ll take down the other magnets and see what else I might have to baby-proof for the next few days.” But my friend was still furious with me and demanded I drop them off at a hotel and bring her things because “who knows what chemicals I have lying around in childs reach, she can’t take her eyes off of him for a second in that house”


I tried to calm her down and reassure her that nothing else was going to happen and I’d keep a closer eye, but she refused. She just kept yelling at me. I dropped her off at a hotel and haven’t heard from her since. Until this morning, she called and said that she’s disappointed that I didn’t even apologize for putting her child in danger. That I don’t care about his wellbeing because I don’t like children (I don’t, but I don’t want him to die, obviously?) and that I was clearly not even worried when it happened.

I don’t mind apologizing, but am I really the only one to blame here? I never have kids around and while I did remember to put detergent and cleaning supplies out of reach, I just didn’t think about the magnets. I could have done more and maybe shouldn’t have left him alone in the room, but she has done it too and I just didn’t consider it.

Many people thought that the mum was projecting her own feelings on guilt onto her friend.

Her guilty conscience is getting projected to you. NTA (AliceTawhai)

Absolutely- it’s easier to put the blame on someone else than it is to acknowledge that she should have done a better job of keeping her child safe. When she put him on the floor to play, she should have looked around to see if there were any hazards within reach. (rialtolido)


She is probably feeling very guilty and instead of taking responsibility like an adult she’s trying to shift blame so she doesn’t feel like a crappy mom. (Vivid-Army8521)

Many commenters expressed the opinion that it’s the mother of the toddlers responsibility to watch him and also spot and remove anything harmful in his reach.

NTA. I have a friend that comes over with her toddler and; A) The first thing she does is a happy lap around the room to inspect anything that may be dangerous or fragile and puts it away (I don’t mind) and B) She watches her toddler at all times.

Her kid, her responsibility. (Dazzling_Item4244)

People who don’t live with toddlers don’t understand how they just get into literally everything. And they do it fast af too! I would never expect a childless person to think about that. That’s on me as the mother. (?)

Sorry, the world is not baby proofed, she should have just watched her kid.

Don’t let her offload her guilt on to you.

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!! (AmIarealbunny)

However, not everyone agreed that it was the mum’s sole responsibility, and that OP should have used some common sense and not left a small child alone in a kitchen of all places!

ESH for communication issues. She shouldn’t have assumed that you’ll know to keep and eye on the child while she’s not without asking. Also, on your part it’s not that hard to figure such small child shouldn’t really stay in places like kitchen floor unsupervised, at least you should wait for her to finish her phone call or let her know you’re leaving to bathroom. At least communicating beforehand while she’s staying for that long that you don’t know how and that you’re not going to watch her child (if you dislike children).

As for her later reaction about baby proofing appartment and running away to hotel, that’s a massive overreaction of protective mother. She was quite foolish for not ensuring apartment is baby-proofed beforehand. (elvina10)



You don’t need to baby proof your home.

However, your friend should have said “Hey I’ve got to take this call do you mind sitting here and watching my child for a few minutes?” Before she left, that way you would know to not leave the room until she gets back.

Though, I am not going to coddle you and enable you like many of the other commenters are doing. Even when I was younger I knew to not leave a child unattended, it wasn’t even like people had to tell me but like…you can see how helpless small children are and so I really am not going to let you get away with just a ‘you couldn’t have know’. because honestly, it doesn’t take a genius to figure that a small child shouldn’t be left alone, ESPECIALLY in a kitchen where sharp, pointy and dangerous objects live. (Crushingtoday)

ESH – If you are the last person in a room with a baby, it may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility to keep that baby safe. (hobbysubsonly)

What do you think? Perhaps this accident could have been avoided if the two adults had communicated better. But should the home have been baby-proofed prior to their arrival, or should the mother have made sure there was nothing potentially dangerous near her child?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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