Keeping your toddler safe is one of your most important jobs as a parent of a young child. It can also be one of the hardest jobs you have because toddlers naturally get themselves into a lot of dangerous situations due to their curiosity and lack of understanding of what is unsafe.
Follow these tips to make sure that your toddler is safe wherever he is:
1. Always be careful to check the area to make sure that it is “childproof.”This means constantly checking, not just once! Remember that things change. It can be the smallest thing that you may not notice that gets your toddler into a dangerous situation. Remember that toddlers are unpredictable and extremely curious. They may be interested in things that you wouldn’t even notice. That’s part of the wonder of childhood, but it’s also a big part of the danger of childhood!
2. Don’t let your attention be diverted away from your toddler when you are using cleaning products, electrical appliances, medicines, or anything else that may be hazardous to your toddler. You must realize that it only takes a few seconds for your toddler to get into big trouble with something like this. For example what if you are using a household cleaner and the doorbell rings. If you leave the cleaning materials unattended for even a moment while you go get the door, your child could be into them and cause a very serious problem in that short amount of time.
3. It’s important to be particularly alert of your toddler’s activities during very stressful times. It’s during these times that we let our minds get preoccupied with other things. It’s during these times that the worst accidents can occur. You have to stay alert!
4. You must never leave your toddler alone anywhere. Not in your house, not in the backyard, nowhere! You should also not leave your toddler alone in a room unless it’s absolutely 100% safe. And even if you do leave your child alone in such a room, do not leave them alone with another young child under age 5 or a pet.
5. You should be familiar with basic first aid procedures and with CPR.
6. Safety doesn’t mean your child can’t play. When your child is in a safe place let them “experiment” with their toys and with things that are safe. Children do need to learn from their mistakes. As long as those mistakes are not dangerous, they are OK to make.
7. Always set a good example for safety. Your child is more likely to do what you do than to do what you say. If you tell your child to be safe but then you regularly do things that are unsafe, they will certainly learn to ignore your words and to follow your actions.
8. Make sure your toddler knows that “hot” means very dangerous. You can make sure your child knows this by letting them touch something that is uncomfortably hot, but not so hot it can actually hurt them. Children learn best by doing, they need to know that hot is bad at a very young age to avoid an unthinkable tragedy.
9. You should always remind your child of the dangers of sharp objects whenever they see you using a knife, scissors, or anything else sharp. Let them know that only adults like you ever use knives and other sharp things. Let them know that they are extremely dangerous.
10. Have your child practice with steps. Steps can be very dangerous for a young child and it’s tempting to block them off from steps entirely. But they are better off learning how to use them in a safe way. Let them practice with just three steps at a time. Use a gate to keep them from going any farther.
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