Seven Things to Look Out For
You know how it is with toddlers. Turn your head away for a moment, and they’re putting a small object in their mouth or exploring the cabinets under the sink. Little kids are by nature extremely curious about their environments, and will touch, taste or smell just about anything. But you can stay one step ahead of them by identifying home hazards and taking steps to create a safe environment. Get started with this short list of dangers and easy ways to remedy them.
By Laura Childers
#1. Cords From Vertical Blinds
Long, dangling cords from vertical blinds are one of the most serious hazards for toddlers in your home. Keep those curious hands away by getting cordless blinds or a cord shortener, or by hanging them on a hook far out of their reach.
#2. Small Objects
Buttons, beads, marbles, coins, tacks, safety pins—keep these far away from the areas where your child plays to prevent choking. Also, be sure to buy age appropriate toys (toys larger than 1 ¼ inch in diameter or 2 ½ inches long). A great test is to use a toilet paper roll. If a toy can fit inside, it’s too small.
#3. Standing Water
Believe it or not, children can drown in as little as two inches of water. Never leave your toddler in the bathtub alone, and be diligent about emptying the tub after use. Also make sure to empty all buckets and containers after use, and even keep the toilet lid shut and locked.
Invest in guards for both the stove and the hearth. When cooking, use the back burners and turn pot handles away from the front of the stove.
Lock all cabinets and use child safety latches for all cabinets and drawers, particularly in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom. A short list of items you’ll want to keep locked up includes: knives, scissors, and other sharp objects; perfumes, make-up, and other toiletries; matches and lighters; and detergents or other household cleaning products.
#6. Sharp Edges
Invest in corner protectors, or “bumpers,” to soften sharp furniture edges that can bruise or cut your toddler.
#7. Electrical Outlets
It is easy for toddler-age children to be “out of sight, out of mind,” so try to hide as many electrical outlets as you can. The rest you can protect with plastic covers to keep them safe from small fingers and toys.