My child explores unsafe places, what can I do?

Q: My 1-year-old is always looking for trouble -- climbing the stairs, reaching into the toilet. How can I keep her safe?

A: The best defense: Babyproof first, and divert your child's attention second. Your toddler is curious about her world, and as soon as she's mobile, she'll start exploring. Take precautions, such as putting locks on your toilets and gates at the foot and top of the stairs. For areas that are harder to safeguard (like a radiator), tell your child in a calm but firm tone, "No, don't touch that." If she's still focused on the forbidden object, distract her with a game, a book, or something fun. --Jeannette Moninger

Copyright 2008. Used with permission from the February 2008 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009

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