Keeping Your Toddlers Safe At Home

Toddlers are curious about the world around them and love to explore everything and everywhere. While encouraging this curiosity is important to you, as it helps with your child’s development, you also want to keep your little one safe. To make sure your child stays out of harm’s way on her next expedition, use these easy and helpful home safety tips.

Bathroom Fun

There are so many entertaining gadgets and toys to be found in the bathroom. Taps that turn on and off; toilets that swirl the water away; creams and shampoos whose contents clearly belong on the floor (at least in your child’s mind). Yes, the bathroom is an ideal place to get up to some mischief; which is exactly why childproofing your bathroom is a must. Follow these child safety guidelines to make every bath time a good time:

  • Check your hot water heater to make sure it isn’t set above 120°F. This will reduce your child’s risk of hot water burns.
  • To avoid an accidental scalding, always check your child’s bath water with your wrist or elbow first. Remember, using cooler water will help protect your child’s delicate skin from an unintentional burning.
  • Children love anything that is sharp and pointy, so be sure to remove any nail scissors, tweezers and razors out of reach. Store them in your bedroom or in a cupboard that you keep locked.
  • Some other ideal items for that locked cupboard include medications, toothpaste, cosmetics and any other necessities that can be toxic if ingested.
  • Wet tubs make for a slippery bathroom hazard. Avoid this by putting down a non-slip mat in your tub.
  • Adults may know that electricity and water are a no-no, but children don’t. Reduce your child’s desire to experiment with the two by storing all electrical appliances far away from the bathtub, toilet, and sink.
  • To a toddler, an open toilet lid is a beckon to throw toys and other objects in as well as take a peek inside (and accidentally fall in). Installing a toilet child safety lock will keep that lid down at all times.
  • Finally, never leave your bathing child unattended. It doesn’t take much water for an unfortunate accident to occur in. If you need to leave the bathroom for whatever reason, then take your child out of the tub and with you.

Keeping it Safe in the Kitchen

There’s nothing better to a child then pulling on something that is within their reach. If there is a pot handle or a tablecloth dangling tantalizingly over a table’s edge, you can be sure your little one will do all that she can to pull it down and see what it is. With this in mind, some things you’ll want to move out of harms way include:

  • Pots and pans (always turn handles towards the back of the stove when cooking and keep these items away from the edge of the table).
  • China, glasses and other breakable items (store in a locked cabinet or one with a child safety latch or on a top shelf)
  • Knives, scissors and other sharp items (a locked cabinet is an ideal place for these items)
  • Avoid using long tablecloths (you can secure any long edges directly to the table legs as well as affix the cloth onto the table)

When you’re cooking, use the back elements if possible. This helps to minimize the risk of accidental burns when little hands go searching for the top of the stove. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher on hand. These can quickly squelch a small fire. If the fire begins to get out of control, though, don’t stick around. Gather your children and get out of the house. Call the fire department from a neighbour’s home.

For children that are still using a high chair or a booster seat, be sure to make use of the built-in safety belt. Your child may squirm, but it’s for his own good. If you need to leave the room, though, then take your children with you. High chairs and chairs can fall over, trapping a child underneath.

Child safety latches on cabinets are a handy addition to any kitchen. Not only can they help prevent access to sharp utensils, but also cleaning products, appliances and any other dangerous items you may have. And don’t forget to put that trash of yours outside or keep it locked up. The plastic bag is a suffocation hazard.

Living Room Relaxation

Many families may try to make the living room an “out-of-bounds” area in the home. Yet, children almost always find their way in. While putting up a child safety gate can help discourage younger children, it is still important to outfit the room with some child safety products.

  • One of the easiest and simplest things you can do is place safety covers over your electrical sockets (this goes for every room in your home, not just the living room). This will help prevent electrocution.
  • If your little one is learning how to walk, you’ll want to soften her bumps by placing bumper edges around those sharp coffee table corners.
  • Children often use furniture and appliances, like the TV, to pull themselves up and guide them as they learn to walk, so secure these items to keep them from falling over.
  • Fireplaces should always have a guard around them. This will keep your child from getting too close to the flames or from falling in.
  • Prevent your child from choking by removing any small objects from the floor.

Often forgotten, home safety also includes making your windows and glass doors safe. Screens should be used on all windows so that inquisitive children can’t climb out. Children love to play with dangly cords that accompany many drapes and blinds, but these can pose a strangulation risk, so move them out of reach by tying them up. To prevent your little one from running into your glass patio door, replace your doors with safety glass or some other type of unbreakable material.

Protecting the Bedroom

The bedroom should always be a safe haven where your little one can quietly dream away. When naptime or bedtime rolls around, be sure to remove any sweaters or bibs your baby may be wearing before putting him down. While you likely want to keep that bed as comfortable as possible, don’t overload it with pillows, which are a suffocation risk. Better yet, don’t use any pillows in the crib until your baby has celebrated his first birthday.

When you decorate your child’s bedroom, be sure to keep all furniture away from the window. This will help your child resist the temptation to climb up and explore just what is outside that window of hers. You’ll also want to get rid of any lock that may be on your child’s bedroom door, thereby preventing an accidental lock-in. However, it is a good idea to use child safety door locks on other bedroom doors. While you’re in those rooms, make sure that all clothes, belts, jewellery and perfumes are put away – these can cause suffocation, choking or accidental poisoning.

Hallway and Stairway Safety

Hallways are a favourite play area for children while those learning to walk love to try out their new skill on the stairs. To minimize the risk of someone falling down those stairs, put up some child safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. You’ll also want to keep these areas clean and clear of objects so that no one trips.

Slips and stumbles are common occurrences at night when it’s hard to see what’s in front of you. An easy way to help your family see where they’re going at 2 a.m. is by plugging in some nightlights in the hallway and along the stairs.

Now that your entire home has been updated with these child safety tips, you can let your little one safely explore all those interesting nooks and crannies throughout your home.

Mum of two. Loves cooking, doing arts & crafts with the kids, and long beachy dog walks.

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