Safety for Baby and Toddler
Many parents have had an unintended child photo op (or two) in the bathroom, perhaps involving talcum powder, Q-tips, or the creation of a toilet paper outfit. However, children should be taught that this is a room they cannot use alone yet. Help keep your baby and toddler safer in the bathroom with these key safety tips.
Prevent accidents by moving medicines and other hazards into a locked closet or up high, and completely out of a child's reach.
MAKE IT NON-SLIP
If you want to use a high chair with your young baby, be sure to purchase a reclining high chair or low chair. Reclining chairs support little bodies, and are the only chairs that should be used before a baby can sit up alone. Reclining chairs allow you and your baby to gaze at each other – a delightful part of the bonding process. Babies should be stable sitters before being placed in non-reclining high chairs. This means they should be able to hold their heads and spines up by themselves. Many babies begin to sit up between four and six months of age. This creates a perfect match of child development and parenting because it is the same age range the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends for starting solid foods. Using a high chair at this age gives you freedom of movement while you help your child discover healthy first foods. Many parents also wipe their babies’ gums or brush their toddlers’ teeth while children sit in their high chairs. Using your high chair for several tasks makes it easier to care for your baby.
SAFE, SMART STORAGE
Always choose a JPMA-certified high chair (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association). This certification guarantees the high chair meets current safety standards. Look for full-sized high chairs with wide, sturdy bases that adjust to fit babies as they grow. Insist on safety straps and also consider a built-in crotch post. Safety straps are four or five-point harnesses that fit snugly to keep your child in the seat. The crotch post keeps your child from slipping under the seat tray and falling out of the chair. These supports also keep your active toddler from standing up while in the high chair.
KEEP IT LOCKED
Position your baby’s high chair away from walls and at a “can’t reach” distance from counters and tables when the tray is installed. This keeps your baby safe by putting sharp, hot, or breakable items out of reach. When you place your baby in the chair, immediately fasten all safety straps and harnesses and lock the tray table. Securely latched straps keep your baby safe. Never, ever leave your baby alone in a high chair, whether he or she is eating or playing with items on the tray. Your little one can’t recognize dangers such as choking hazards. Be a proactive parent by always staying near your baby while they are in the high chair.
KEEP ELECTRONICS UNPLUGGED
One of the many portable high chairs might be the best and safest option if you and your baby are frequently away from home. Consider a foldable model to make your travel meals pleasant. If you choose a folding high chair, make sure all legs are firmly in place before placing your child in the chair. Bottom line: If you are away from home and there are no safe high chairs or booster seats with straps and crotch posts available, hold your child while he or she is eating. You’ll get some extra bonding time with your little one, and will feel confident your baby is safe.
An exterior lock on the bathroom door is often the best way to keep your youngster out of the bathroom until they have learned to use it safely on their own. This can be as simple as a hook and eye latch or a high door lock installed so that only adults can reach it. However, this tip only has a safeguarding effect if you remember to use it. For the inevitable time the lock isn’t used, be sure to address the other bathroom areas above on this list.
Your little one is getting more and more curious all the time. Use these safety tips to make the bathroom a safer space for your baby, toddler, or small child.