5 household hazards to toddler-proof today

Is your 1-year-old's picture next to the definition of "explorer"? Pint-sized probing is unavoidable—but you can take steps to keep your toddler safe. Start by checking your home for these common hazards.

Medicines

You likely know to keep your little one away from medications. Just make sure the products are really out of your toddler's reach. Child-resistant bottles can still be opened with a little twisting and prying.

Hand sanitizers

They're key for keeping germs at bay—but they can also be toxic when swallowed. Buy "denatured" hand sanitizer if possible. The flavor isn't appealing to kids.

Button batteries

These small, shiny batteries can be lethal if swallowed. They're often found in remotes, key fobs and toys. Make sure battery compartments are fully secured.

Cleaning products

Bright, bubbly liquids and colorful packets look exciting to young investigators. Single-use laundry packets are especially dangerous.

TVs and other furniture

If it's big and heavy, make sure it's firmly mounted or secured to the floor. Doing so greatly reduces the chance of a tip-over that could injure or crush a curious climber.

More toddler-proofing tips

Make safety a priority with these simple steps.

  • Keep harmful products out of reach. Assume that if your child can grab an item, they will. Store dangerous items high up where your child can't reach, and install childproof drawer or cabinet locks.
  • Do a bag check. Never leave purses or bags in areas where your child can dig through them. Put visitors' bags away in a safe space—don't leave them on the floor or couch.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. The fewer dangerous items you have in the house, the fewer chances for your child to get into something. Don't keep harmful products you don't need.
  • Know who to call. Call the poison center at 800.222.1222 if your child has been poisoned but is still awake and alert. Call 911 right away if your child is not breathing or has collapsed.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Consumer Product Safety Commission

Reviewed 9/8/2022

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