The challenge always remains when it come to protecting toddlers and young children.
Toddlers and young children like to explore, climb, walk, run, and dance. These activities put them at risk for falls and injuries. You can help prevent accidents in the following ways:
- As soon as your baby can walk, lock doors to all dangerous areas. Keep keys out of your child's sight and reach.
- Be careful when using equipment such as high chairs and changing tables. Always use the safety straps, and keep a close eye on your child.
- Use sliding gates at both ends of stairways. Avoid accordion-style gates, because a child's head could get caught in the gate. Look for a gate with openings no bigger than 2.3 in. (5.8 cm).
- Keep stairways clean and safe. Carpeting on stairs should be in good repair. Uncarpeted stairs should be kept clean but not slick. Train your child to hold on to the rail and to walk carefully down each step one at a time. If you have pets, teach your child to keep away from them while on stairs.
- Attach double-sided tape, foam backing, or a rubber pad to throw rugs to secure them on flooring.
- Watch your toddler when he or she is outside. Uneven grass, sloping lawns, and hills can make walking difficult.
- Have your child stay seated when he or she is eating or drinking. And don't allow your child to walk or run with any objects in his or her mouth. Your unsteady toddler could get face and mouth injuries in addition to other injuries from a fall.
- Install window guards. Also, don't place furniture, including chairs, close to windows. Make sure windows are closed and locked securely when children are present.
- Don't allow your child to climb on high furniture.
Keep thinking ahead for new falling hazards that your child may encounter, such as:
- Playground equipment, especially slides and monkey bars. Avoid taking your child to playgrounds that don't have a soft surface beneath the equipment.
- Trampolines. Even with constant adult supervision and protective netting, many children are injured on them. It's best to keep your child off trampolines.
- Tricycles. Only allow your child to ride solid, stable tricycles that are low to the ground. Make sure your child wears a helmet. Also, watch where your child rides. Steep downhill slopes can make your child lose control and fall.
- Falling off the bed. Install bed rail guards to help prevent falls. Many are now available that are easy to attach and remove. Make sure openings in rails are small enough to prevent a child from getting trapped, which can lead to choking or suffocating.
- Source: C.S.Mott Children's Hospital