Toddler Safety: Safety Checklist to Avoid Injuries in Your Home

By Pamela Noble

Accidents in the home make up a major amount of the over 1 million children brought to ERs each year. Household accidents are also usually avoidable with some foresight and safety measures put into place. Toddlers are an active, curious bunch and it can be tough to know what they will get up to next. Taking safety measures, makes a big difference, but nothing compares to the steady, vigilant supervision of a guardian or parent. Here are some things you can do to make your home a lot safer for your small ones.

Around the home

Place baby gates around your house to block hazardous areas like staircases, drops or any area where there's access to dangerous items. Test the gates thoroughly and make sure they obey today's safety requirements

Place locks and window fittings on all windows on higher floors to prevent accidental falls. Remove objects that a toddler could climb on to gain access to a window like chairs, shelves, etc.

Keep the floors clutter and hazard free to forestall trips and falls and other injuries.

Secure large items that could be knocked over like shelves, large appliances, televisions, etc.

Remove small items like matches, lighters, plastic bags, sharp objects, or anything that may be a choking hazard, from reach.

Barricade all low lying glass like windows and patio doors or replace with safety/shatterproof glass.

Fill in gaps or barricade areas with banisters, railings, anything a child might fit through or get stuck in.

Ensure all toys are safe and age appropriate. Look for small items such as buttons, googley eyes that could come off and become a choking hazard.

In the bedroom

Place in a safe sleeping position with no objects that could cause suffocation. Best options are a low cot or crib that prevents falls.

Do not allow animals into the bedroom while a baby or toddler is asleep. Pets may cause accidents or suffocation if they fall asleep in the wrong place.

Keep any appliances such as hair straighteners, hairdryers, curling irons, out of reach and unplugged.

Do not leave a kid unwatched for too long. Utilize a monitor and stay close by.

Make sure the temperature is comfortable and windows and doors are secure.

Bathroom and bath time

Never leave a toddler unsupervised in a bath, even for an instant. Accidents can occur in the blink of an eye.

Make sure the temperature is comfortable before placing a kid in a bath. Never use hot water as it can easily scald the skin. It is always better to err on the side of caution.

Do not have electronic items plugged in, in the room.

In the kitchen

The kitchen can be a very unsafe place for a child. Whenever possible avoid having your toddler in the kitchen at all, particularly when you're cooking.

Place a guard on the stove to stop burns.

Keep pot handles turned away from the outer edge of the stove and use back burners when possible. Take some time to teach your kid that the stove is not safe.

Be conscious of potentially hazardous items in the kitchen such as sharp things, toasters, kettles, for example. Keep them out of reach.

Unsafe substances

Place locks on medicine cabinets and store any harmful substance beyond reach.

Put all medicines in child-safe containers and be aware that these cannot guarantee to keep kids out completely.

Do not let your toddler see you take any medication if at all possible, don't let your child think of tablets as candy.

Safely dispose of any medicine or harmful substance, removing them completely from the house, rather than leaving them in a garbage bin.

Use common sense and ensure that toddlers are supervised at all times.

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