Teach your little action terror how to stay safe at home from the start.

Make your home safe for your tot

Being up on two feet means your toddler can now reach, climb and tumble! Falls and collisions are the most common types of accidental child injury, with burns, scalds and suspected poisoning close behind.

The best way to teach your toddler to stay safe in the home is by example and repetition. For example, show her how you will never leave things lying on the floor, in case you trip over them, and how you will never run with a sharp object, like a pencil.

Teach him warning words like “ouch”, “hot” and “sharp”, and use them to explain why he mustn’t touch hot drinks, oven doors, the iron, sharp knives or scissors. Keep the messages simple and repeat them often.

But remember that your toddler has a short memory, is easily distracted, and can’t really imagine the consequences of his actions.

Falls and collisions

  • Use corner cushions on tables and other sharp areas.
  • Encourage your toddler to put his toys away.
  • Put a non-slip mat in the bathroom.
  • Secure carpets and rugs to the floor, so your tot won’t slip. Place non-slip protection under your carpets and rugs to make them skid-proof.
  • Make sure balcony railings are stable and children can’t climb on them, or fall through the gaps.
  • Fit gates at the top and bottom stairs until she can climb up and down safely on her own.
  • Keep furniture away from windows. Ensure that venetian blind cords and curtain ties are well out of reach.

Burns and scalds

  • Keep hot drinks out of reach, and don’t hold your child with a hot drink in your hand.
  • Fit protective covers on electrical sockets.
  • Keep matches and lighters well out of sight and reach.
  • Always turn frying-pan handles to the back of the stove, where your child can’t reach them. Fit oven and hob guards.
  • Coil wire cords or use short cords, so that your child is less likely to grab them.

Get more safety tips on burns and scalds here.


Keep dangerous substances in locked cupboards. These include medicines, household chemicals, DIY materials, even perfumes, essential oils and alcohol. Remember, your handbag may contain medicines, toiletries and other toxic substances, so keep them out of your child’s reach. For more on child-proofing your home, click here.

Photo: INGimages

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