Toddlers know no bounds, and so it's no surprise that childhood injuries peak typically around 15 to 18 months of age. Toddlers are curious, natural thrill-seekers, and are typically fearless. Parents, child care providers, and any caregivers of this aged youngster know that there's no rest when it comes to supervising a toddler, as life is one big adventure. But, here are some tactics to keep that beloved and active youngster out of harm's way in the home and on the go.
Toddlers gravitate to the kitchen; after all, that's where families spend much of their time. Cook on the back burners and turn pot handles away so they aren't in reach. Drink hot beverages out of spill-proof and unbreakable travel mugs to avoid burns. Never leave dangling cords; unplug items when not in use and store, and those that are used, keep cords wraped tightly with a twist tie. Store cleaning fluids in locked cabinet out of sight and temptation. Don't allow access into pantry.
For safety and to avoid expensive plumber calls, keep the toilet lid down and locked when not in use. It's a good idea to limit access to the bathroom with a safety gate or lock, if practical. There is too much temptation. Never leave medications around; keep locked and out of reach. Also keep items like mouthwash, toothpaste and other kid hazard items away. Plungers can make a fun (if not disgusting) play toy to a toddler; don't leave one by the toilet. Always drain the bathtub.
With kids, when is there ever not things on the floor? Be on constant guard for small toys and objects that can be choking hazards, batteries, coins, marbles, and pieces of toys from older siblings (wheels, doll shoes, etc.) Keep elecrical cords out of reach and use outlet covers. Child-proof window treatment cords. Secure televisions and other electronic equipment to avoid any potential for tipping over on a child. Use safety gates on stairs. Remove temptations from tabletops.
Lamps, flowing curtains or drapes, area rugs, and even candles are items that add to the ambiance of a master bedroom but could prove to be a danger zone for young children. Cutesy table lamps and rocking chairs that were so precious in an infant's room can now spell disaster if a toddler starts standing in the chair or can reach for the lamp and remove it from its stand. Be sure pictures are mounted solidly on the walls and that bookcases are also affixed to the walls, if possible.
Be sure to limit access to outside with locks out of reach of a curious tot. Backyard swing sets and play areas are wonderful, but make sure they are safe by having a soft surface underneath. If your yard is fenced, be sure that is locked as well. Always enclose pools, ponds or hot tubs and put a safety fence between any water source and the house. Keep kiddie pools drained when not in use. Keep power tools and garden equipment safe and out of reach; the same holds true for insecticides.
Be sure you have your child's car seat installed correctly and in accordance with safety regulations. Utilize a booster seat for as long as child needs one for height and weight factors (which may be longer than your child wants). Be sure that kids cannot open a door or window from their seat (utilize child locks, as needed). The sun shades help with comfort for toddlers on car trips. Set safety practices with the opening/shutting of car doors to avoid smashed finger injuries.
Your house may be toddler proof, but neighbors and relatives may not have the need. That means parents must be on particular guard when visiting others' homes for safety. Medicine cabinets, drawers, and other "unsafe" areas may be a temptation to toddlers, and it only takes a moment to get into danger. If possible, bring entertainment for your toddler and designate a single "safe room" for your youngster to stay in. And, always accompany your toddler to the bathroom (even if potty-trained).
Parents greatest safety fears can sometimes be when walking with youngsters to and from stores, among parked cars, and in crowded situations--and with good reason. Toddlers are prone to darting around and insistent on walking independently. Kids should be told rules of hand-holding and other safety measures, and parents should enforce those rules at all costs. In crowded stores, consider tying a balloon on a wrist so you can see your youngster in case of an accidental separation.
Require that your youngster wear a bike helmet and other safety gear. Create/buy a safety flag on a bike, big wheel or other toy when used outdoors so you can distinguish your child and his location at a glance. Carefully consider toys like trampolines, spinning toys, scooters, bouncing balls, in-line skates, and other popular items that can be fun but also potentially dangerous. If you do buy such an item, be sure to follow safety recommendations and supervise your child's use closely.
More and more parents are placing their toddler-aged children into sports for exercise and to learn fundamentals of soccer, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, and cheer. Age-appropriate programs can be a great outlet for a youngster's energy and provide exercise and coordination activities as well. But, beware of programs that don't take a young child's limitations into account, or else injuries can occur.