Safety is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. Ever since Lila (current age 2 years, 1 1/2 months old) drank turpentine thinking it was water, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more potential hazards.
Every house has them, yet as adults we know they are dangerous and avoid them. We rarely, if ever, think about these things as dangerous, and many times it is not until our child gets hurt that we become aware of them again.
A child will taste something out of curiosity; they don’t know it is not edible so they put it in their mouth. This is something a baby or toddler has to do to learn about the world around them. Their taste buds are more sensitive than the nerves in their fingertips, so they learn about an object faster through tasting it. The only problem is, they can’t yet taste the difference between something that is edible and something that is not.
Start by keeping all poisonous items out of reach. If you use it to clean the house, your car, your laundry, or to kill pests, it is poisonous. The degree of danger varies with each item – some will only cause stomach upset, allergic reaction or vomiting – others can be fatal. These kinds of products are generally labeled as dangerous and will often tell you what to do if swallowed, but don’t count on it. If you have a poison control center in your area, then keep the number next to your phone (or in your mobile, labeled as such) so that you can call for help quickly if need be. The best thing you can do, though, is to keep these items out of your child’s reach at all times.
Look for other hazards in your house and do what you can to fix or remove them. Sometimes it can help to crawl around the house yourself so you can see things from your child’s eye view. If they grab that ledge to stand up, is it safe? Will they hit their head or eye on it while standing up? Is it loose? Could it fall off? Ask yourself these kinds of questions as you go from room to room and make a list of what you need to either fix, cover, hide or remove to ensure your child’s safety.
You should always know where you baby is playing at all times. With a toddler or fast crawler this can be harder, but is so important. See Random Safety Tips for a list of other things to be aware of with small children.