Once your child starts walking life changes forever! It is quite amazing just how fast someone who has just learnt how to walk can move, and how high they can climb. It is not really enough to just move your heirloom glass vase to a higher shelf and lock the medicine cupboard, because toddlers will still manage to injure themselves.
What are some of the most common toddler injuries?
Falling. Toddlers fall all the time. They will just be walking, and they will fall, they will fall off the bed, off the jungle gyms, they will fall out the car (really it happens). They are still learning about the space around them and their bodies and so they think they can do more than what they really can. You can, to a point, prevent these falls by not leaving your toddler unattended on the bed, or on a countertop or even on a jungle gym.
Strangulation. Toddlers do not understand danger and as a result they don’t understand that if they wrap their skipping round around their neck, they could die or if they tie something around their siblings’ neck, they can strangle them. All 4 of my children have, at times, had something dangerous around their neck.
Burns. I think these may be one of the most common. Toddlers are forever reaching for things, like mom’s cup of coffee or they assume the water coming out the tap is cold, and it isn’t. If you have placed your toddler on a counter while you prepare their food, make sure everything hot is out of their reach. Remind them not to touch the bath water until you have said it’ ok, explain why so they learn what the danger is.
Choking. Children always putting things in their mouth, it is actually not a bad thing and good for their sensory development but obviously not items that they can choke on. They will find the smallest things lying around. If your baby is crawling, they see the world at floor level so they can see everything under the couches, the tables, the bookcases, and they will grab them before you even realise what they are. Be aware of what is lying around on the floor especially and you do need to keep an eye constantly on what they have in their mouth.
Drowning. You do not need to have a swimming pool for drowning to be a risk. Children can drown in the bath, the toilet, or a bucket of water. Keep bathroom doors closed at all times and when your child is in the bath or playing with water, don’t leave them unattended.
Poisoning. This is similar to the choking threat. Children put things in their mouth all the time, they cannot read and have no idea that the green dishwashing soap is not cream soda. Some medication looks like sweets and if left lying around a toddler will grab them. Apart from keeping all cleaning items and medications out of reach, avoid putting poisonous items and medicines into unmarked containers so that should your child get hold of something you know exactly what it is.
Car seats. Far too many children are not strapped into their car seats which leads to a variety of injuries from mild falls to serious fatal injuries. If you are transporting a child, you need to have your child strapped into their car seat.
Toddlers are busy, they are on the go all the time and most of these injuries happen while they are learning. You can’t have eyes everywhere all the time, so try to make their environment as safe as possible and then make sure you keep an eye on them all the time.