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What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
- By Lise Eliot, Ph.D
Top 10 Ways to Keep an Active Toddler Safe
By Dr. Clare Albright
Parents always say, "I just looked away for a
minute" when serious accidents happen to their toddlers.
- Be watchful of balloons.
Many parents do not realize that when a toddler swallows a
balloon, it will probably be difficult to do the Heimlich
maneuver to clear the child's air passages. If your child is
walking around trying to blow up a balloon, their very life
could be in peril moments later. The same holds true for
popped balloon pieces that children put in their mouths.
- Monitor your toddler's interaction with dogs closely.
Many children have their faces permanently scarred each year
by a dog that suddenly bites or claws the child. Toddlers
can accidentally provoke even the most docile dogs by their
- Post the phone number for the poison control center by
your upstairs and your downstairs phones.
Toddlers are known to ingest cleaning products, medications,
- Keep your child out of your car unless accompanied by an
Children should never be permitted inside of the family car
without vigilant supervision. At this age, children easily
knock cars out of the park gear, which can lead to the
child's death, whether or not the car is running.
- Watch your child at all times when they're in the bathtub.
Many parents leave the room when their child is in the
bathtub to answer the phone or the door bell. Even a brief
moment away from your child in the bathtub can mean brain
damage or death. Even toddlers who know how to swim can
slip, hit their head, and drown.
- Delegate duties when you are tired.
This is not a good age to ease up on the constant monitoring
of your child's safety.
- Schedule the CPR class that you have been putting off
since the pregnancy.
One evening invested in this class could save your child's
- Permit your child to eat only when they are sitting down.
Children who are allowed to walk around while eating can
easily choke on their food. When the air passage is blocked
you only have moments to clear the passage to prevent brain
damage and death.
- Find places where your child can roam freely and safely,
such as the park.
This freedom to roam sends a message from you to your child
that they can express themselves and take initiative in
life. In contrast, many children feel constrained by houses,
sidewalks, car seats, high chairs, etc.
- Never let your child walk into the street, even in a safe
It is best for your toddler to have too much respect for the
danger of being in the street than to have too little
respect for how dangerous it is to be in the street.
Written by Dr. Clare Albright, Psychologist and Parenting
Coach. Excerpted from her booklet, "100 Tips for Parents of Two-Year Olds"