Top Tips for Keeping Toddlers Safe and Sound

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 climbers, natural thrill-seekers, and are typically fearless.

Parents, child care providers, and any caregivers of children at this age know that there's no rest when it comes to supervising a toddler; for them, life is one big adventure.

Here are some tactics to keep your beloved and active youngster out of harm's way at home and on the go.


Kid Safety in the Kitchen

Little boy (1 y) trying to reach pan on stove
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Toddlers gravitate to the kitchen; after all, that's where families spend much of their time. However, it's one room of the house that has many potential hazards.

Here are a few key safety tips to remember:

  • Cook on the back burners and turn pot handles away so they aren't in a child's 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 wrapped tightly with a twist tie.
  • Store cleaning fluids in a locked cabinet out of sight and temptation.
  • Don't allow access to the pantry.​

Kid Safety in the Bathroom

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.

Always keep medications locked away and out of reach. Stow other items that can be harmful if ingested this way, such as toothpaste and mouthwash.

Plungers can make a fun (if not disgusting) play toy to a toddler. While it might be the most convenient spot, don't leave the tool sitting by the toilet.

Bath time with a toddler can be fun or a challenge (depending on the day) but a tub of unattended water always poses a drowning risk for little ones. Remember to always drain the bathtub after bath time.


Kid Safety in the Family Room

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.)

Other tips to keep in mind include:

  • Keep electrical 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.
  • Clear tempting items from tabletops.

Kid Safety in the Bedroom

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.


Kid Safety in the Yard

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. Make sure that power tools and garden equipment are safe and out of reach. The same holds true for any chemicals like insecticides.


Kid Safety in the Car

Be sure you have your child's car seat installed correctly and in accordance with safety regulations. Use a booster seat for as long as a child needs one based on their height and weight (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). Sun shades can make toddlers more comfortable on car trips.

Also think about safety practices when getting in and out of the car, such as carefully opening and shutting doors to prevent smashed finger injuries.


Kid Safety at Others' Homes

Your house may be toddler-proof, but neighbors and relatives may not have the need. Parents must be on guard when visiting others' homes for safety.

Whether you're out or at home, always accompany your toddler to the bathroom—even if they're potty-trained.

Medicine cabinets, drawers, and other "unsafe" areas can tempt toddlers, and it only takes a moment for them to get into danger. If possible, bring entertainment for your toddler and designate a single "safe room" for your youngster to stay in.


Kid Safety Out and About

Parents greatest safety fears can sometimes be when walking with kids to and from stores, among parked cars, and in crowded situations. These fears are with good reason: toddlers are prone to darting around and often insistent on walking independently.

Kids should be clear about the rules of hand-holding and other safety measures, and parents should enforce those rules. Consider tying a balloon to your child's wrist in a crowded store so you can easily spot them if you get separated.


Kid Safety and Toys

Always require that your youngster wear a bike helmet and other safety gear, even if they protest. Make or buy a safety flag for bikes, tricycles, or other on-the-go outdoor toys so you can distinguish your child and their location at a glance.

Carefully consider toys like trampolines, spinning toys, scooters, bouncing balls, in-line skates, and other popular items that can be potentially dangerous.

If you do buy such an item, be sure to follow safety recommendations and supervise your child's use closely.


Kid Safety and Sports

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 toddler's energy as well as provide exercise and coordination practice. Just beware of programs that don't take younger kids' limitations into account, as these activities may put them at risk for injuries or accidents.

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