Toddler Safety – A Guide To Keeping Your Toddler Safe And Healthy
Accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Most of these deaths could easily be prevented and it is therefore important to keep your toddlers safety in mind at all times. Here are some tips to keep your toddler safe:
In your car seat:
Use a toddler safety seat in the back seat. Continue to use it until your child outgrows it when they are about 40lbs and then use a booster seat until your car’s lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (about when your child weighs 80lbs and is 4ft 9 inches tall) and never place your toddler in the front seat of a car with a passenger side airbag. Also be careful if your car has side impact air bags.
In the cot / bed:
Make sure the cot / bed is safe: have no more than 2 3/8 inches between the bars; the mattress should be firm and fit snugly within the cot or bed; place it away from windows and drafts; avoid placing fluffy blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows in the crib as they can cause smothering.
Make sure that used or hand-me-down equipment, such as car seats, strollers, toys and cribs, etc., haven’t been recalled for safety reasons. This can be checked on the internet.
General toddler Safety:
Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees F to prevent scalding burns.
Never leave small objects or plastic bags in your toddlers reach to prevent choking.
Prevent falls by not leaving your toddler alone on a bed or similar.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and use flame retardant sleepware.
Maintain smoke free environments for your toddler.
Avoid exposing your toddler to too much sun (use sunscreen and place sun hats on your toddler)
Correct use of the harness when seated in a high chair.
If using a bicycle-mounted child seat or a bicycle-towed child trailer, keep in mind that although they are generally thought to be safe, injuries do occur, especially to the child’s head and face. Injuries usually occur from collisions with a car or other bike, falls, or contact with things outside the seat or trailer, especially the bicycle wheel. To be safe, have your child wear a helmet, instruct them to keep their hands inside the seat or trailer, use a seat belt, and to prevent foot injuries, use a foot well or spoke guard.
Teach pedestrian (crossing streets, etc.) and playground safety (including not playing on trampolines unattended).
Teach stranger awareness (review scenarios that predators may use, including offering candy or toys to get in the car, asking to help look for a lost pet, or being told they are picking your child up because you are sick, this is more appropriate to toddler safety techniques in the upper age bracket)
Toddlers are at big risk for choking. They often put things in their mouth and smaller items can easily be swallowed and can get stuck in their esophagus or windpipe. To prevent choking you should review the following tips:
Cut food into bite size pieces. Foods to be especially careful with include grapes, hot-dogs, raw carrots, celery sticks, etc.
Do not let your toddler eat while playing or running.
Avoid foods such as peanuts, hard candy, whole grapes, popcorn, and whole hot-dogs, since they can easily cause choking.
Do not allow your toddler to play with coins.
Keep your child away from toys with small parts. Children under the age three should not be allowed to play with toys that have parts that are smaller than 1 1/4 inch in diameter and/or 2 1/2 inches long.
Avoid allowing your toddler to play with rubber or latex balloons. They can play with Mylar balloons instead.
Take a first aid course to learn what to do if your toddler is choking.
Take the time to look for small items, especially coins, safety pins, tacks, etc in the areas where your toddler is playing. You never know what may be on the the floor.
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Toddler Safety With Pets In The House
Be cautious of certain dog breeds (Rottweilers, pit bulls, German Shepherds) that account for over fifty percent of fatal dog bites and closely supervise toddlers and children when in the presence of animals.
Pet reptiles, including turtles, snakes and lizards, are a common source of infection from Salmonella in children. You should keep pet reptiles away from children under five years old, and teach older children to wash their hands after handling them.
Lead poisoning is an important cause of learning disabilities, anemia, growth problems and children exposed to lead may have problems with paying attention and being aggressive. Children are most commonly exposed to lead by the ingestion of paint chips or dirt that is contaminated with lead. Prior to 1977, lead was an ingredient of paint, so children living in older homes with chipping paint are most at risk for lead poisoning.
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