Toddler-Proofing: What you need to know

Now that your toddler is not only on the move, but very fast at moving, you need to ensure that your home is as safe as it possibly can be for them to roam (relatively) free. They are very curious little beings who love to explore!

You don’t have eyes on the back of your head (unfortunately, how convenient would that be?), you have blind spot where your little one can slip out of sight and into danger in a split-second. To ensure that they are safe when you can’t see them, it’s time to toddlerproof.

Below are the danger zones and the possible hazards that need to be toddlerproofed.

Stairs

Until you are completely comfortable that your little one can navigate stairs safely by themselves you’ll need to put up some stair gates. Two- one at the bottom, and one at the top.

Bathroom

  • Razors

Your little one can cut, scrape, or more seriously injure themselves on sharp objects. Keep them in a locked draw or safely out of reach.

  • Cosmetics & Medicines

Toddlers are likely to swallow any small objects left in reach. Make sure caps are tightly secured on medicine bottles (even vitamins) and any and all beauty products. Lock them away or ensure that are out of their grasp.

  • Toilet

Put a latch on the toilet seat and keep it closed when not in use (strongly worn the men in the house).

  • Tiny Products

Cotton balls, swabs, and other small items. Make sure the floors and lower shelves don’t have anything that could cause harm and keep dangerous items out of reach or locked away.

Living Area

  • Coffee Table

Corners will cause many cuts, bumps and bruises so it’s best to cover them where at all possible.

  • Bookshelf

Even your tiny toddlers can topple a bookcase simply by reaching for a book or climbing on a shelf. Secure bookcases and shelves to the wall with brackets. Check regularly to make sure they are sturdy.

  • Window-blinds

Cord strings can be dangerous to your little one. Cut window-blind cords or tie them out of your toddler’s reach.

  • Electrical Wires and Outlets

Toddlers can easily electrocute themselves playing with cord outlets or exposed wires, and loose wires can trip up toddlers. Cover up any exposed outlets with covers or cap plugs.

 Kitchen

  • Fridge Magnets

Toddlers can grab small magnets low on the refrigerator and pop them in their mouths.  Avoid tiny magnets or place them out of reach of children.

  • Appliances

Toddlers can be injured by a range of kitchen appliances. Dishwashers contain sharp objects and ovens can burn. Lock the doors on dishwashers, ovens, front-loading dryers, or any other appliance a toddler might be able to get into.

  • Utensils

Knives and forks can easily be misused by a curious toddler, causing injury. Keep knife sets away from countertop edges and lock away other kitchen utensils in drawers or cupboards.

  • The Stove

Toddlers can badly burn themselves by grabbing pots from the stove -or just by touching it. While cooking, turn pot handles away from the front of the stove to prevent dangerous spills, and watch your little one closely if they are near the stove.

  • Cleaning supplies

Toddlers can burn their skin or swallow harmful toxins if supplies are spilled or left out. Keep all cleaning supplies out of reach or safely stored away.

  • Plastic Bags

Whether they’re grocery bags or tiny food storage bags, toddlers can suffocate by placing plastic over their mouth and nose. Again, ensure they can’t get their tiny hands on them!

 

A few others to look out for:

  • Your handbag

You carry everything and everything you could need in your handbag from medications and toiletries, to cosmetics and nail files which can all be dangerous to your little one. Place bags out of reach on a shelf, coat rack, or in a wardrobe; not only to keep your toddler safe but also to keep your items unharmed.

  • The bin

The rubbish in your bin is full of bacteria and harmful objects that toddlers can get into if in reach. Hide bins under the sink or in a locked cabinet if possible, and if this isn’t an option, buy a bin with a secure lid.

The above is only a general list that will be found in most homes. There will be other toddler hazards that you come across (that your little one will probably bring to your attention). If you are unsure, it’s better to be safe, and just put it out of their sight and reach anyway!  This way they can run, explore and play safely!