Toddlers don’t understand the idea of danger or what’s dangerous. Their interest in things around them and their speed in getting into places can put them in dangerous situations. You can increase their freedom by protecting them from obvious dangers in your home and other places they spend a lot of time. Some important things to think about are water, fire, electricity, sun, heights, vehicles, poisons, and choking.

Home safety

To keep your home safe, make sure:

  • Your toddler doesn’t eat alone in case they choke.
  • All medicines, household cleaners, dishwasher powders, alcohol and garden products are put away out of their reach. Often grandparents’ houses can have more medicines to be managed this way.
  • Your toddler doesn’t stay by themselves in the shower or during any part of a bath, and that it is emptied as soon as your toddler gets out.
  • The homes your toddler spends time in have working smoke alarms that are checked regularly.
  • A fireguard is attached to the wall in front of the fireplace and heaters.
  • Your toddler’s night clothes are close-fitting to reduce the risk of catching fire.
  • Matches and lighters are out of reach. If candles are used, make sure they are well out of reach.
  • Electric jug cords are out of reach.
  • Your child is supervised around stoves and hot taps.
  • Baby walkers are not used.
  • A stair guard is used at the top and bottom of stairs.

Out and about

To keep your toddler safe outside, make sure:

  • Your toddler uses a car seat for every trip in a vehicle. You have the right car seat for your toddler’s size and weight, and
  • it is installed correctly. You may choose a car seat that allows them to remain rear-facing at this age.
  • Your toddler is never left alone in a vehicle.
  • Outside play areas are fenced and away from the driveway and road.
  • In summer, your toddler is protected from sunburn. They play in the shade, wear a sun hat, and lightweight long-sleeved clothing. They wear sunscreen on exposed parts of their bodies when they’re playing outside.
  • Paddling pools are emptied after use.
  • The swimming or spa pool fencing is safe, and meets the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (law).

Important phone numbers to keep by your phone:

PlunketLine 0800 933 922

For information about parenting and your child’s development - like crying, settling, sleeping, solids, breastfeeding, potty training, safety, and parenting.

Healthline 0800 611 116

For information about illness and any health problem that worries you.

For more information on child safety visit or call 0800 844 657.

To keep your child emotionally safe, read more about connecting and communicating.

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