West County Pediatrics 16555 Manchester Road Wildwood, Missouri 63040 636-458-5858
SAFETY TIPS FOR THE 1 TO 2 YEAR OLD
As pediatricians, we are concerned about every aspect of your child’s health. Just as we help to prevent serious infections with
immunizations, we can help to prevent serious accidents from harming your child.
Always use your car seat for every trip no matter how short. Most accidents occur on short trips. Read the car seat manual carefully
and always use a seatbelt to secure the car seat. If your car has a passenger side air bag always put your child in the back seat. An air
bag, when it deploys, can slam the car seat and your child against the seat resulting in life threatening injury. A car seat should be used
until your child is four years old and forty pounds. Remember to wear your seat belt, too!
PREVENTION OF FALLS
At this age your child is much quicker and stronger but still doesn’t understand the danger of falling. Do not leave your child alone on
high places such as a changing table, chair, or bed. When in the crib keep the sides elevated. If your child tries to climb out of the crib
use crib netting or safety extenders. Lowering the mattress as far as possible helps, too. Do not leave anything in the crib which your
child can use to help them climb out. When your child is 35 inches tall, they should no longer use the crib (usually not until 2 years of
age). If your home has more than a single story use window guards to prevent opening of the windows more than five inches. Screens
will not prevent a fall. Use baby gates to block stairways and to keep your child out of hazardous places.
An toddler’s skin is thinner and dissipates heat much slower than an older child or adult. Avoid eating, drinking, or carrying anything
that is hot near your child. Do not hold your child near a hot stove or by a fireplace. Set your water heater temperature to 120F. Place
your toddler in a playpen while you are cooking. When possible use the rear burners of the stove and keep pot handles turned toward
the back of the stove. Do not leave hot liquids on the table and keep them away from counter edges. Make sure your home has a smoke
alarm on each floor and change the battery yearly. Place plastic outlet plugs in all outlets not being used. Keep electrical cords out of
reach or covered as toddlers will chew on the cord and can get a serious burn. Do not allow your child near floor heaters or central
heating vents during the winter months. If you smoke cigarettes or cigars, do not smoke while holding your child. Keep ashtrays away
from table edges and off short tables your child can reach. If you need a vaporizer for your child make sure it is a Cool Mist Vaporizer as
steam burns quickly.
Each year approximately 3900 adults and children die from choking. With these guidelines we hope to protect your young child.
Make sure all nipples and pacifiers are in good shape by pulling on them. Discard the nipple or pacifier with any evidence of cracking or
other signs of deterioration. Never leave small objects (buttons, pen caps, marbles, batteries) or plastic bags/balloons in your child’s
reach. Keep older children’s toys separate especially those with small or removable parts. Foods that are potentially dangerous include
hot dogs, nuts, raw carrots, hard candy, popcorn, grapes, frozen peas, raisins, meat chunks, peanut butter chunks, and celery. A
general guide is if the food is round, firm, or sticky do not feed it to your toddler. Do not place a string or necklace on your child. Make
sure all curtain ropes and mini-blind cords are out of reach for your child. Once your child crawls or walks, accidental poisoning can
occur as they explore. Make sure all potentially poisonous substances are safely stored and secured. All medicines, cleaning
agents/solutions, cosmetics, automotive supplies and fuels should be stored in an area which your child cannot access. Keep a bottle of
syrup of Ipecac at home for each child in case an accidental ingestion occurs but never use it unless you speak to your doctor or Poison
Control (314-772-5200) first. Keep medicines in their original containers. Request child proof caps on all your medicines. Do not call
medicine candy or take your medicine in front of your young child as they like to imitate you. Throw away old medications.
Safety in the water is important at all ages. Your child should never be left unattended in the bathtub. If you leave, take your toddler
with you. Never leave your young child alone near open containers of water such as a bucket, tub, full sink, wading pools, or toilet.
Keep the bathroom door closed and secured with a hook and eye latch or door knob cover. If you have a pool, fence all side s of the pool
so your child can’t accidentally fall in. If you have a hot tub keep a lockable, heavy cover on it when not in use. Always be with your
child in or near pools or other bodies of water.
GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES
There are several other areas to put safety into practice with your child. Do not leave your child alone with young siblings or with pets,
especially dogs. Do not leave your child alone in the car, house or yard. Inspect your child’s toys frequently for sharp edges or loose
parts and if present fix or discard them. Do not allow your child to ride on riding lawnmowers or an ATV with you. Keep your child
away from running machinery or your lawnmower. Do not give your young child electrical toys or a motorized riding toy. If you have
guns in your home, keep them unloaded and in a locked location. Keep outdoor play equipment over soft grass, wood chips, sand or
other soft material to protect against falls. Finally, if you have the opportunity, take a CPR class.
This handout is a list of suggestions only and is not meant to cover every possible safety hazard. No matter how child proof your home
is, nothing can replace constant supervision of your child. As your child grows and develops, remember to reevaluate your home for
safety hazards. Carefully inspect other homes in which your child may be staying for prolonged periods, such as grandparents and
daycare centers. If you have any questions regarding the information in this handout or safety in general, please feel free to call the