Safety

Toddlers STILL need FULL TIME protection.

Continue to use your car seat at all times. Change from an infant to a convertible car seat once manufacturers weight & height limits are met, however continue to keep the seat rear facing until 2 years of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay in a booster seat until they reach 4’9″. Remember, car accidents are the SINGLE BIGGEST THREAT to your toddler’s health.

Make sure the high chair has a wide base and will not fall over if bumped by another person or if the child is squiggling. NEVER leave the baby alone in a high chair. If your toddler starts trying to learn to climb out of the high chair himself, you must discipline them not to (or else discontinue using the high chair altogether). Falls from high chairs can cause serious injury.

Similarly, while this is no developmentally “right or wrong time” to switch from a crib to a bed, safety dictates that when a child starts climbing out of the crib themselves, it’s time.

If you haven’t yet, it’s now essential to “Childproof” your home. Be sure all small choking hazards are both out of reach and out of sight (e.g. buttons, coins, bottle caps, pins, nuts, raisins, older child’s toys). Put “shock stops” in all unused electrical outlets and move all cleaning fluids, medicines, etc. to high cabinets. Don’t rely on so-called “Childproof” cabinet latches – they don’t work. Make sure your water heater is set not to exceed 120ºF.

Be prepared for poisoning emergencies (see Acute Illness Guide).

Never turn your back on a toddler in a bath, around a bucket of water, or on a changing table EVEN FOR A SECOND! Toddlers can and do drown in less than 2 inches of water, and bathtubs are the most common sites of drowning in this age group.