Safety begins at home and should be a consistent factor everywhere you go. This is especially true if you have young children. Toddlers are vulnerable to accidents, so protecting them from harm should be foremost in all that you do. We’ve rounded up ten of the most important safety tips below to guide you at home and when you’re planning a trip with your kids.
Safety at Home. Keeping a home that’s a safe haven for your kids is not an option; it’s a must. Many toddler accidents happen at home, so it’s your job to create a space that’s conducive to their growth in a secure manner. Always remember that, beyond hiring professional childproofing services and buying child-safety gadgets, your supervision is still the best safety tool at home.
Childproof vulnerable areas. Get down on your hands and knees to get your toddler’s perspective, if you must. From that vantage point, you can tell what’s within reach, and which areas a small child can get to with a little effort. Once you’ve pinpointed the vulnerable areas of your home, childproof them with baby gates, netting, slip-proof carpeting, corner guards, electrical outlet covers, and tamper-proof locks. To be more thorough, create a baby proofing checklist as illustrated above.
Keep a first-aid kit at the ready. Boo-boos are part and parcel of growing up,
so make sure you have a first-aid kit within reach at all times. Put essential items such as bandage strips, sterile gauze, tweezers, cotton balls, pediatrician-recommended medication, rubbing alcohol, thermometers, antibiotic ointments, and other important things. Tape a list of emergency numbers (including your family physician’s and a poison control hotline) on the kit’s cover or near the phone for quick reference.
Store toys in easily-accessible places. As stated above, it’s important to know if your toddler can reach for something with relative ease. This means that if you store their toys in overhead bins, there’s a huge chance of them getting hit by overturned and falling things. Keep toys in a basket or in a chest on the floor, and store non-essentials under lock and out of sight.
Supervise feeding time closely. It goes without saying that you have to know how to give first aid to a choking toddler. But an ounce of prevention being worth more than a pound of cure, supervision still ranks higher when you’re feeding your child. Never leave your child alone while they eat. Place your child on a booster seat and encourage them to relax during mealtime; a hyperactive toddler won’t be able to focus on eating properly and can court accidents. Remove or switch off all sources of distraction such as toys, gadgets, and the TV. Cut your child’s food into bite-size pieces, taking care to remove those that can easily choke such as nuts, raisins, and small bits of fruit.
Be alert for toy and baby product recalls. Every year, we’ve come to expect kiddie products being recalled because they don’t meet federal safety standards. Always be on top of things when it comes to food and items you buy for your toddler. One of the best ways is to constantly check consumer-safety sites such as kidsindanger.org, which regularly updates its list of hazardous products for children. And when shopping for your child, always research on consumer reports about the item, and if it is age-appropriate for your toddler.
About Julie McCaffrey
Parenting expert Julie McCaffrey is a proud mommy to 3 kids and owns BabyNav Baby Planners where she offers personalized consultation to new and expecting parents along with functioning as the Chief Brand Officer at PishPoshBaby.com—the high-quality baby store that supplies the facts and advice, along with the right choice, to parents who are completely lost in the whirlwind of baby gear. She loves to help moms and dads navigate everything from baby gear, preparing for multiples, getting back to work and getting the whole family on a routine.
Photo credit to PrinceLionheart.com