Now that junior’s on the move, it’s time to toddler-proof your home. Answer these questions to help keep those little fingers intact.

1. Accidents can be prevented by parents…

a) Watching their child.

b) Remembering to turn off sockets.

c) Not leaving hot cups of tea or coffee lying around.

Answer: a

It’s heartbreaking when your baby hurts herself, but accidents do happen and are a normal part of a baby growing up and learning her limits. “If there’s one thing you can do to minimise the risk of serious incidents, it’s to keep a close eye on your child,” says Carl Christopher, spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in the UK. This is why parents talk about needing eyes in the back of their head. Apart from watching your child, try to spot potential dangers. “Clearing up is easier said than done when you have a busy schedule, but leaving clutter on stairs, halls and landings creates a tripping hazard,” Christopher says. In the same way, unattended hot hair straighteners or a forgotten cup of tea can have painful consequences for your curious toddler. Always be aware of how high or far your child can reach ― and remember this distance will only get bigger.

2. Which household chemicals are most dangerous?

a) Cosmetics

b) Medicines

c) Toilet cleaner

Answer: All of them

“The majority of poisoning cases involve everyday things like household products and cosmetics,” says Christopher, who also warns parents not to buy plants that have poisonous leaves or berries ― your toddler’s likely to want to try them! Store medicines, chemicals and cosmetics out of sight and reach of children ― ideally in a locked cupboard. “Wherever possible, buy products that come in child-resistant containers,” Christopher suggests. “Always store chemicals in their original containers and dispose of unwanted products safely.”

3. Which is the biggest danger area for toddlers?

a) Stairs

b) Kitchen

c) Living room

Answer: a and b

The majority of toddler injuries come from tumbles and falls, so be extra vigilant at locations where falls are likely to happen ― the stairs and an adult bed, for example. Scalds and burns are also a major cause of injury, so keep toddlers out of the kitchen and bathroom or think about placing a playpen or seat with a harness in those rooms, so your children can be kept safe while you’re busy.

4. Which of these has the highest safety value?

a) Safety gates
b) Door clips
c) Plug/socket covers

Answer: a

“Safety gates are good to have, as most accidents in the home are caused by falls,” Christopher says. However, as many people will tell you, there’s no such thing as “toddler-proof”. “Don’t rely completely on safety equipment to keep your child out of danger,” Christopher highlights. “While special clips and gates on doors and stairs can be vital in preventing accidents, there’s no substitute for watching your child at all times.” And that’s where those extra eyes in the back of your head come in handy…

Photo: iStock

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