How to Make Your Home Toddler-Proofby Katlyn Joy | February 11, 2012 10:02 AM
Toddlers are problem-solving, mobile creatures who will surprise you daily with new antics and skills. This equals new dangers for children in this age group and new challenges for those tots' parents.
While you probably thoroughly baby-proofed your home when your little one was several months old, once your child reaches the toddler years you will want to go through your home more closely for safety these hazards.
Perhaps the greatest protection against injuries from falls for toddlers is the safety gate. However, knowing what type of gate to use, where to use it and the proper use of safety gates is imperative to protect your child.
Use gates to keep children from dangerous areas of the home such as the kitchen, garage and stairways. When using a gate that is pressure mounted, be sure to install it so that the adjustment bar or lock will open away from the child. Avoid using pressure mounted gates at the tops of stairways and instead use a gate that must be installed in a more sturdy manner.
Injuries can occur when the child uses enough momentum or weight to jar the gate loose, particularly if the gate is atop stairs. Also, make certain to always keep the gate closed except when you are going through the gated area. Do not step over the gate especially if carrying your child as you can both be hurt.
Gates that adhere with hardware to the doorframe or opening are best. However, like with any safety equipment, realize it is no substitute for your watchfulness. Children are often adept climbers and just because last week Junior couldn't scale the sofa don't believe he can't hurtle over a safety gate. Kids will always astound you with their new and unexpected feats.
Bolt heavy furniture to walls and be aware of the dangers of furniture that toddlers can either topple, climb or use to get to something else dangerous.
Choking and Suffocation
Any cord, tie or string that are 6 inches are longer can pose a choking or suffocation hazard. Watch out for toys, ribbons or blind cords around the home.
Don't feed toddlers round candies, hot dogs uncut or only cut into circles, grapes or popcorn. Keep toys and items two inches in length or shorter away from toddlers as well as items only 1 and 3/4 inches in diameter.
Never leave a baby out of your reach in the tub, and keep baby out of the bathroom period. Don't allow toddlers around buckets. If you have a pool, make sure you have a series of protective measures such as removing the ladders, having a locked gate and a door alarm set up to protect your child.
Check the temperature of the water heater. Keep it at 120 degrees or less. Keep pot handles on the stove turned away from the child's reach or only use back burners. Better yet, keep tots out of the kitchen.Make sure your toddler can't reach hot foods or drinks, either.
Keep cigarettes, matches and lighters locked up and away from small children.
Keep outlets covered with child proof devices to avoid electrocution. Keep all medications locked up and never rely on child-proof lids alone. Make sure any plants you have in your home are non-poisonous. Keep all poisons and hazardous materials in a locked cabinet.
If you are trying to decide if it's time to move your child into a bed and out of the crib, determine where your child will be safest. If he is climbing out of his crib every nap time, then you should go ahead with the big boy bed. However, if your little one is still snug in the crib no reason to hurry her out.
Crawl through your home and see the world from your child's eye-level and you'll be more likely to distinguish potential dangers.
Kids are amazing explorers and you don't want to squash that natural curiosity and fearlessness to soothe your own fears. Try to create the best and least restrictive environment that is safe for your little one to wander about and learn. You will miss something. It is inevitable. Just fix the problem when it crops up and count your blessing when your little one suffers an owie only.
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