Is my Toddler Safe at Home?
When babies start to walk, they are no longer called infants. Babies between the ages of 12 to 36 months are generally called toddlers. Toddlers are very curious about exploring everything around them.
It can be bit overwhelming and emotional at the same time, for a mother to see their little one so energetic and walking around non-stop all the time. However along with all the fun and playful times, there are usually some bumps and bruises involved as well. But, this is nothing to be worried about since this is just a part of every toddler’s life. However, care must be taken to avoid any possible serious injuries.
Preventable accidents are usually the most common reason for injuries in toddlers at home. Therefore recognizing potential hazards at home and eliminating them is the best way possible to prevent your toddler from any serious injuries.
Here are the top five potential hazards along with their methods of prevention:
1. Choking hazard
Playing with toys and meal times for toddlers are very common possible hazards at home. There is a risk of choking at almost every meal during the day. Further, toddlers are many a times seen to choke when they are playing with toys. However, choking hazards are preventable if the right precautions are taken.
Choking hazards in toddlers can be avoided by proper supervision of the toddler, especially during their eating or playing times.
Food as possible choking hazard
It is very important to keep in mind the foods to give and foods NOT to give to your child as per your child’s age. Food that doesn’t go well with the toddler, both in terms of ease of swallowing and possible food allergies should be avoided.
If you observe your child coughing and choking on a certain type of food, try not to repeat that food for your child. Another good way of avoiding toddlers choking on food is to make sure that small bites of food are fed to your child.
Small bites of food are easily chewable and swallowed by your little one. Making sure that your child has small bites of food to eat reduces the hazard of choking on food comparatively lesser.
Toys as potential choking hazards
Choosing age specific and safe toys for your toddler is also significant in preventing choking hazards in children.
There are numerous cases where serious choking has resulted from children swallowing (or trying to swallow) small pieces of toys or objects at home or otherwise.
Toys with small parts should usually be kept away from the reach of your toddler. Just to give you an idea, experts consider an object that could possibly fit inside the roll of a toilet paper, to be a possible choking hazard for your toddler.
Try your best not to leave anything so small in your child’s environment that he or she might try to consume and thereby get choked.
2. Electric outlets
Another common hazard for toddlers is, exposed electric socket holes on house walls. Toddlers are very commonly seen to be attracted to socket holes for curiosity reasons. Children’s inserting their fingers inside electric sockets has led to many serious injuries and even death in many parts of the world.
In some countries, including Australia, the electric sockets are designed with small holes taking in consideration the possible electrical hazards for babies trying to insert their finger in. However, this does not guarantee that your child’s fingers will also not fit inside your electric sockets.
It is ideal to cover or block all electric outlets that are exposed if you have a toddler, especially a toddler in the house.
Safety covers are easily available at stores. Sliding plate covers are preferable than the simple outlet cover as these might fall off whereas the sliding covers are screwed directly into the wall.
3. Hair dryers in bathrooms
There is a risk of electrocution if the hair dryer is plugged in and falls into the sink. Numerous incidents, even with adults have been reported where hair dryer used in the bathroom has led to serious injuries.
The risk is even higher when a toddler is trying to play with the hair dryer and has a liquid (in the form of water, fluid drink or even fluid foods such as custard etc.) in their reach.
The easy way to avoid preventing hazards caused by hair dryers is to unplug the hair dryer and keep it in a safety lock when not in use.
4. Risk of falling down the stairs
Your child could easily walk/crawl up the stairs and may get injured as a result of falling down. However, this is one hazard that many modern parents seem to be aware of. But of course, not all parents take the proper actions required to reduce such a risk for their child.
Installing safety gates at the stairway is the easiest solution to prevent your toddler from walking/crawling upstairs and falling down the down the stairs.
These gates may also be used at the entrance to the kitchen to prevent your curious toddler from entering the kitchen.
While buying and installing safety gates, make sure they meet current safety standards and are labeled with the warning statement and an instruction manual about the way to use those gates.
Make sure everyone in the house is aware of the gates being installed which will avoid adults tripping over because of the newly installed gates.
5. Falling from the toddler cot
When your toddler sleeps, there always remains a slight danger of them falling from cot. This could be due to them trying to climb up the cot or sometimes due to loose fitting of the cot. This can result in your toddler falling off the cot and getting hurt.
Therefore it is important to make sure that your toddler’s room is safe so that when the toddler falls asleep, you feel satisfied of the toddler not getting hurt due to a fall.
As far as the cot is concerned, the mattress should be kept at its lowest level. Regarding the toddler’s bed, be sure that the height of the bed is high enough and ensures your child’s safety.
Another important step to do is to remove any large and stuffed toys from the cot. This ensures that your toddler doesn’t suffocate due to the toys. At the same time, doing this also ensures that your toddler won’t try climbing up the cot using those large toys.
Toddler monitors could be of great help in order to keep an eye on your toddler while the toddler is sleeping in its room and you need to stay out of room. Video or audio monitors both are helpful. Keep the volume of monitor loud enough so you can hear your child easily and keep the monitor close to yourself to monitor and prevent any possible fall hazards.