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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Top 10 Ways to Keep an Active Toddler Safe

By Dr. Clare Albright


Parents always say, "I just looked away for a minute" when serious accidents happen to their toddlers. Safety First!

  1. Be watchful of balloons.

    Many parents do not realize that when a toddler swallows a balloon, it will probably be difficult to do the Heimlich maneuver to clear the child's air passages. If your child is walking around trying to blow up a balloon, their very life could be in peril moments later. The same holds true for popped balloon pieces that children put in their mouths.

  2. Monitor your toddler's interaction with dogs closely.

    Many children have their faces permanently scarred each year by a dog that suddenly bites or claws the child. Toddlers can accidentally provoke even the most docile dogs by their unpredictable behavior.

  3. Post the phone number for the poison control center by your upstairs and your downstairs phones.

    Toddlers are known to ingest cleaning products, medications, etc.

  4. Keep your child out of your car unless accompanied by an adult.

    Children should never be permitted inside of the family car without vigilant supervision. At this age, children easily knock cars out of the park gear, which can lead to the child's death, whether or not the car is running.

  5. Watch your child at all times when they're in the bathtub.

    Many parents leave the room when their child is in the bathtub to answer the phone or the door bell. Even a brief moment away from your child in the bathtub can mean brain damage or death. Even toddlers who know how to swim can slip, hit their head, and drown.

  6. Delegate duties when you are tired.

    This is not a good age to ease up on the constant monitoring of your child's safety.

  7. Schedule the CPR class that you have been putting off since the pregnancy.

    One evening invested in this class could save your child's life.

  8. Permit your child to eat only when they are sitting down.

    Children who are allowed to walk around while eating can easily choke on their food. When the air passage is blocked you only have moments to clear the passage to prevent brain damage and death.

  9. Find places where your child can roam freely and safely, such as the park.

    This freedom to roam sends a message from you to your child that they can express themselves and take initiative in life. In contrast, many children feel constrained by houses, sidewalks, car seats, high chairs, etc.

  10. Never let your child walk into the street, even in a safe neighborhood.

    It is best for your toddler to have too much respect for the danger of being in the street than to have too little respect for how dangerous it is to be in the street.


Written by Dr. Clare Albright, Psychologist and Parenting Coach. Excerpted from her booklet, "100 Tips for Parents of Two-Year Olds"

Child Development

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