Tub faucet is covered. Rubber spout covers can protect your toddler from bangs and bruises. Also, because your child could burn himself if he turns up the hot water, make sure your water heater is set to 120?F. If you live in an apartment building and can't adjust yours, install an anti-scald device on the faucet itself. These have sensors that stop the flow of water when it reaches a dangerous temperature.
Wastebasket has no liner. It may be easier to empty the bathroom trash when you line it with a plastic shopping bag, but the convenience isn't worth the risk. Your toddler could put the bag over her head and suffocate.
Door can't shut. The most common types of amputations in kids involve fingers and thumbs, ac-cording to recent research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The usual cause among those age 2 and younger? Doors. "I've stitched up the ends of so many fingers -- frequently from a game of chase that ends with a door slamming," says Dr. Schmidt. You can buy devices that keep doors from closing all the way, or simply drape a towel over the top.
Puddle isn't wiped up. A little water on the floor could be all it takes to send your child flying. When toddlers fall, they're more likely to hit their head and face because they are too young to be able to break their fall using their arms. After baths, make sure you mop up all water on the floor.
Toilet is open. The toilet is just the right height for your toddler to stick his head in, and since he's top-heavy, he could fall over and not be able to get up. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional-injury death in kids ages 1 to 4. Keep the toilet-seat lid down, install a latch, and remind visitors to use it. In a Home Safety Council survey, only 21 percent of parents said they'd installed toilet latches.
Contact-lens case is on the counter. A twist-off lid is the perfect size for a toddler to choke on.
Hair dryer is plugged in. If your child turns it on, she could burn herself, and if she drops it in the sink or tub, it could electrocute her.
Pills aren't locked away. "It's not enough to place dangerous medicine up high," says Dr. Smith. "You need to put them under lock and key. In our home we had a locksmith install a lock in one of the drawers in the bathroom and we kept the key hidden." Some drugs, such as heart medications, are more toxic than others. But even the elemental iron in prenatal vitamins can be deadly if ingested in high enough amounts.
Toiletries aren't out of reach. As with pills, putting them up high isn't the answer; a curious child will simply climb up on the counter to reach them. And items you may think aren't dangerous can be deadly: "I'd rather see my kids play with bleach than with Visine," says Dr. Schmidt. In rare in-stances, the same ingredients that constrict the blood vessels to get the red out of eyes can cause blood-pressure changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coma in a small child, he explains. Lock products away using a magnetic latch or a childproof medicine container.
Originally published in the November 2011 issue of Parents magazine.