It’s a challenge to look after a toddler. As soon as a small child can walk—a milestone children typically reach at around 12 to 36 months of age—the rest of the world opens up to them as a big playground that’s ripe for exploring and tinkering. Being exposed to new experiences, objects, and activities can help toddlers accelerate their development and gain a more realistic perspective of the world they live in. At the same time, however, it also exposes them to situations that put them at risk for injuries.
During this phase, guardians can get quite exhausted running after energetic kids who love to grab stuff and toddle about. To preempt safety issues, many parents opt to prepare ahead of time and toddler-proof their homes. Some take up first aid classes in Sydney in anticipation for possible injuries, while others install safety equipment like safety guards and gates, powerpoint covers, and lockable cabinets for their medicines and cleaners.
These preparations are obviously ideal for homes with children who are just learning to walk, but there are other points that many parents overlook when toddler-proofing their property. Among the hidden dangers that guardians should closely inspect are:
- Things That Can be Tipped Over. It’s easy to look at a heavy cabinet and think that there is no way that a child who is just learning to walk can tip that over. The truth, however, is that tipping objects injure more toddlers than you think they would. It might not seem apparent at first, but walking or climbing child is capable of knocking over furniture and appliances like a flat-screen TV. To prevent injuries and property damage, brace or strap your appliance, cabinets, and other furniture that are in danger of falling over to the wall.
- Dangling Cords and Strings. Adults might know better than to mess around with a loose cord or string on the floor, but toddlers don’t. They’ll play with just about any string they can get their hands on. Among item you should keep out of reach are blind cord loops and appliance cords. You should also closely inspect every piece of cloth and stuffed toy for strings and, to reduce the risk of suffocation, keep these items out of the child’s cot or sleeping area.
- Runaway Carpets and Cloths. At the earliest phase, most toddlers are not very steady on their feet. This puts them at high risk for slipping and falling. Unsecured cloths and carpets can be a source of danger for children who are just learning how to walk. Make sure that these items are secured to the ground and are free from bumps and folds that can easily cause young children to slip and fall. If possible, install automatic lights in high traffic areas, too, so people, regardless of age, can easily see what they’re stepping on.
- Batteries, Magnets, and Small Objects. Children love to put anything they can get their hands on into their mouth, and many guardians have made a habit of scanning a room for small items before letting their children play in the area. This is a solid step in preventing incidences of choking. Still, there are unseen nooks and crannies where children can source non-edible yet bite-sized items. These include remote controls with small batteries, spare change under and in between the couch cushions, and even magnets on the refrigerator.
The toddler phase is an exciting learning experience for both children and parents. Making sure that your children have a safe space they can explore it is a challenging task, but watching them safely widen their world and experience things for the first time is more than worth the effort.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does constitute, replace, or qualify as RPL for our first aid training courses.