Some parents dread their kids’ teenage years the most because that’s when children start to gain their independence, going out more with friends and developing their own opinions. But the toddler years can be even scarier because your little one can find trouble to get into in every corner of your home. Though your child is in your home under your watchful eye, it’s easy to think there isn’t much to worry about. But you’d be surprised to find out just how many hazards there are right in front of you that can pose a significant risk to your little ones.
Though there are risks in everyday items, there are steps you can take to help mitigate this danger. Moving household items, locking them away or ensuring they are out of reach can be enough to keep your little ones safe from harm.
Take a look at these common dangers and think about what you can do to child-proof your home as your little ones learn to stand, walk and explore.
1. Low Shelves
If the bottom shelf on a set of shelves sits low to the ground, a toddler will treat this as the first rung on a ladder and begin climbing. Since most shelves are not built to support the weight of a child, the entire thing could come toppling down. If possible, remove this shelf or cover it up so little ones don’t use them as ladders.
Remote controls aren’t inherently hazardous, but the batteries inside of them are. Little ones love to take apart everything they can get their hands on, and if they open something like a remote control, they may stick the batteries in their mouths. Batteries contain harmful chemicals that should not be ingested. Make sure you keep all remote controls out of reach, as well as anything else that may contain batteries, like appliances, hair dryers, radios and more.
3. Sharp Edges
You don’t allow your toddler into a bathroom unattended because of the sharp edges on the shower, sink and tub. But don’t forget about the fireplace, coffee tables and desks. If a little one falls near these and hits his or her head, the results could be tragic. Put bumpers on all sharp edges in your home.
4. Window Screens
Window screens are not designed to withstand a toddler relentlessly pushing against them, but that’s just what your toddler may do. Install stoppers in your windows that don’t allow them to be opened more than four inches so your child cannot fall through, even if they push the screen out.
5. Floor Lamps
Floor lamps may have to go if you have a toddler in the house. Unless they are incredibly well weighted at their base, floor lamps are easy for a toddler to knock over. Once on the floor, your little one may try to touch the hot light bulb, or worse – the light bulb or other components could shatter, creating a danger zone for children and adults alike.
6. Standing Televisions
If you haven’t upgraded to wall-mounted televisions, it’s time to start, if not for your entertainment’s sake then for the safety of your toddler. Most televisions these days are light enough to knock over, but still heavy enough to cause serious injury if they fall on a toddler. Plus, their flat designs make them incredibly easy to topple over.
7. The Dishwasher
If you have a toddler in the house, do not leave the dishwasher open even for a few minutes. Toddlers love trying to crawl into these, and in them, they’ll find sharp utensils and toxic dish detergent.
8. The Barbecue
Ideally, you just won’t have a propane tank on the same property where a toddler lives. Keep in mind that these sit on the ground, right at the level where toddlers crawl around. If you do, be sure to keep it locked away in a garage or shed, somewhere exploring hands cannot reach. This includes all related barbecue pieces, including grills, grates, coal, matches, utensils and more.
9. The Dryer
The dryer, like the dishwasher, is another appliance you shouldn’t leave open. A toddler can fall in, climb in or simply hit themselves or close the door on themselves.
10. Toxic Plants
There are plenty of nontoxic plants that are safe to have in a home with a toddler, but there are also a few toxic ones. Your local home improvement or gardening store will know which ones you can take home. Beware especially of plants that are not safe to be eaten, as toddlers immediately put anything they find in their mouths.
Having a no-shoe policy in the home is a good idea no matter what, but especially when you have a toddler. When crawling around, toddlers often end up face down on the floor, with mouths open and hands supporting them. Needless to say, those hands usually end up right back in their mouths. If people walk around with their shoes on the floor, they could be dragging in pesticides, feces and who knows what else.
Part of the reason toddlers are so cute is that they’re so curious, but that’s also the reason they can get themselves into a lot of trouble. Don’t let these toddler hazards go unnoticed!