Toddler Danger Zones
Bathroom: Razors and Scissors
Hazard: Razors and grooming scissors -- children can cut, scrape, or more seriously injure themselves on sharp objects. Keep cosmetics, razors, grooming scissors, and medicines (even vitamins) in a locked cabinet or drawer.
Solution: Place sharp items in a locked cabinet or drawers.
Bathroom: Cosmetics and Medicines
Hazard: Cosmetics and medicines -- toddlers are likely to swallow any small objects left in reach leading to poisoning or overdose.
Solution: Make sure caps are tightly secured on medicine bottles -- even vitamins -- and beauty products. Lock them away in a cabinet or drawer.
Hazard: The toilet -- small children can drown in just a few inches of water.
Solution: Put a latch on the toilet seat and keep it closed.
Bathroom: Tiny Products
Hazard: Cotton balls, swabs, and other small items -- a child might choke on any tiny products.
Solution: Make sure the floors and lower shelves of your linen closet are clear. Keep dangerous items out of reach or locked away.
Living Room: Furniture
Hazard: Recliners and sofa cushions -- loose change and other small choking hazards can get pushed under furniture, but will still be in reach of toddlers.
Solution: Consistently check under living room furniture -- especially after guests leave.
Living Room: Coffee Table Decor
Hazard: Artificial fruit -- "To your toddler, they can seem like a delicious buffet," says Lauri Berkenkamp, author of ?Mom, the Toilet's Clogged!": Kid Disasters and How to Fix Them.
Solution: Avoid decorative food -- as well as potpourri and arrangements with rocks or marbles -- or keep it out of reach.
Living Room: Bookcases
Hazard: Bookshelves -- Tiny toddlers can topple a bookcase simply by reaching for a book or climbing on a shelf.
Solution: Secure bookcases and shelves to the wall with brackets. Check periodically to make sure they are sturdy.
Living Room: Window-blinds
Hazard: Blind cords -- Strangulation can occur with a tiny piece of cord or string.
Solution: Cut window-blind cords or tie them out of kids' reach. Also, remove small plastic pulls or metal slides from window cords to prevent choking.
Living Room: Electrical Wires and Outlets
Hazard: Wires and outlets -- Children can easily electrocute themselves playing with cord outlets or exposed wires, and loose wires can trip up toddlers.
Solution: Hide electrical wires behind furniture -- never run them under carpeting. Cover up any exposed outlets with screw-on covers or cap plugs.
Kitchen: Refrigerator Magnets
Hazard: Refrigerator magnets -- Toddlers can grab small magnets low on the refrigerator and pop them in their mouths causing choking.
Solution: Avoid tiny magnets or place them out of reach of children.
Hazard: Appliances -- Toddlers can be injured by a range of kitchen appliances. Dishwashers contain sharp objects and ovens can burn.
Solution: Lock the doors on dishwashers, ovens, front-loading dryers, or any other appliance a toddler might get into.
Hazard: Knives and forks -- Children can easily misuse dinnerware and can injure themselves with even the dullest of utensils.
Solution: Keep knife sets away from countertop edges and lock away other kitchen utensils in drawers or cabinets.
Kitchen: The Stove
Hazard: The stove -- Toddlers can badly burn themselves by grabbing pots from the stove -- or just by touching it.
Solution: While cooking, turn pot handles away from the front of the stove to prevent dangerous spills, and watch children closely if they are near the stove.
Kitchen: Cleaning supplies
Hazard: Cleaning supplies -- Toddlers can burn their skin or swallow harmful toxins if supplies are spilled or left out.
Solution: Keep all cleaning supplies out of reach or locked away.
Kitchen: Plastic Bags
Hazard: Plastic Bags -- Whether they're grocery bags or tiny food storage bags, toddlers can suffocate by placing plastic over their mouth and nose.
Solution: Place plastic bags out of reach or lock them away.
Kitchen: Plastic Wrap and Tin Foil
Hazard: Wraps and foils -- Toddlers can cut their fingers on sharp, serrated edges of foil, plastic wrap, or other packaging items.
Solution: Keep boxes of plastic wrap and tin foil in a locked drawer.
Home Office: Sharp Office Supplies
Hazard: Office supplies -- Sharp office supplies like scissors or letter openers can slice little fingers.
Solution: Keep sharp objects out of reach, but don't place them so high that you might drop them when you reach for them, advises Monica Clanin, president of Childproofing Services Diversified, in Virginia Beach.
Home Office: Power Strips
Hazard: Power strips -- If a toddler pulls on cords, power strips, or plays with outlets they can be electrocuted.
Solution: Cover up power strips and other electrical objects -- not only to prevent electrocution but also to keep your tot from unplugging the computer while you're working.
Home Office: Furniture
Hazard: Furniture -- chairs and desks with sharp edges can impale toddlers.
Solution: Buy furniture with rounded edges and corners, or cover any sharp areas with adhesive cushions. Clanin suggests also cushioning the legs and base of a swivel chair with a foam swimming noodle cut to fit.
Home Office: Keyboard Tray
Hazard: Keyboard tray -- gliding keyboard trays can pinch a child's fingers.
Solution: Avoid using a desk with a keyboard tray that slides. If you do use one, find a tray that locks in place.
Home Office: Blind Spot
Hazard: Your blind spot -- Children can slip out of sight and into danger in an office when you're intently working.
Solution: Install a mirror on the wall above your computer monitor so you can see your child playing in the area behind you.
Hazard: Wastebaskets -- The trash is full of bacteria and harmful objects that toddlers can get into if in reach.
Solution: Hide wastebaskets under the sink or in a locked cabinet. If this isn't an option, buy a container with a secure lid.
Hazard: Purses and bags -- visitors may carry risky medications or toiletries dangerous to your little one in purses.
Solution: Place bags out of reach -- on a shelf, coat rack, or in a closet -- not only to keep children safe but also to keep guests' personal items unharmed.
General: Vacant Rooms
Hazard: Rooms -- Children may sneak away to rooms out of your sight and end up in danger.
Solution: Install hook-and-eye latches or childproof knob covers on doors to your basement, garage, laundry room, exercise room, attic, and bathrooms.
Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.