When you start to think about transitioning your toddler to a big-boy or big-girl bed, toddler proofing comes to mind because one of the scarier things is the trouble they can get into when they are in their room alone and not sleeping. If toddler proofing doesn’t come to mind, it should. Between 1990 and 2007, in the U.S., about 15,000 children each year visited the ER from furniture-tipping injuries and about 300 died each year.
Up until now, many of your babies have been in a crib, where they can play safely, and you know they won’t get into trouble, because you have taken the time baby proofing his crib and nursery. But, once toddlers taste the freedom of being able to get in and out of bed, it doesn’t take long for a curious toddler to explore his room and possibly do things they aren’t supposed to do (like climbing a piece of furniture, which can be fatal).
Here are 5 toddler proofing tips for keeping your toddler’s room safe:
1. Furniture and windows
One of the most important things you can do is make sure your furniture will not fall and land on your toddler. It seems like that dresser or TV is sturdy enough to stay put, but when your toddler climbs up on them, his weight added to the front can pull the whole thing forward and down on top of him. It can be a fatal accident, unfortunately. To keep your toddler safe from falling furniture and toddler proof his room, make sure you use Furniture Wall Straps to secure the furniture to the wall.
Another scary thing that can happen in your toddler’s room, especially during beautiful Fall months, when you might want the windows open, is he can climb out of his window. He may have never done it before, but, as you know, toddlers are unpredictable and do the darnedest things and may decide one day to chase that butterfly he sees. Of course, living on the second floor makes this more dangerous, but even on the first floor, we don’t want our children roaming the streets, obviously. You might consider a mesh window guard or window stopper.
2. Choking Hazards
Although toddlers stop putting as many things in their mouths than when they were babies, toddlers are still unpredictable and do put things in their mouths. Make sure you rid the room of any choking hazards when you are toddler proofing the room. Anything that fits into an empty toilet paper roll is a good rule of thumb to use when considering a potential choking hazard.
3. Electricity and wiring
Most of us probably received quite a few of those outlet plug covers that you stick in the outlet at our baby showers. A safer alternative in your toddler’s room is to install a safe plate for your electric outlet. Children learn quickly by watching you remove and replace the outlet covers when you vacuum or plug in a new clock, for example, and start to try to copy you. You may want to be a bit more secure in your toddler’s room, when you aren’t right there watching everything she is doing.
If you have a lot of wires in your toddler’s room from the lamp, CD player, humidifier, etc. you may want to consider concealing the wires using a wire gaurd when you are toddler proofing. This can limit curiosity about “what happens when I do this?” that toddlers seem to fall victim of more often than not. it might just save a lamp from falling on her head.
If your toddler’s room is on the second floor like our bedrooms, you will probably want to have a safety gate at the top of the stairs, if you didn’t already have one from the baby days. Once she can get out of bed, she may wander out of her room and down the stairs. This can be dangerous if she’s not good at going down stairs, yet, especially if she is half asleep, but even if she is, you may want a gate just so you know where she is. One day she may just wake up from her nap and come downstairs when you don’t know and you could be in the shower or taking the trash out. It only takes a few minutes to get into trouble. As she gets older, you will use the gate less and less until you no longer need it…until your next baby, that is.
If you are still nervous about your roaming toddler, you may want to invest in a video monitor. We didn’t have a video monitor until our son was a toddler and transitioned to his big boy bed. We just wanted to be sure of what he was doing and when he actually fell asleep. It was especially important because we have three levels to our house (we have a basement), so once my son could open doors, we didn’t want to be in the basement and he go outside or something. It was also very cute to watch him sleep. We had the Summer Infant Day & Night Video Monitor, though it wasn’t color.
We all vary in terms of how nervous we get about our toddler’s new found freedom. Some of us will be very nervous and others won’t ever have a gate or monitor. How large your house is, the layout of the house, and what’s in your toddler’s room may be big factors, as well. Whether you are nervous nellie or not, I hope these 5 tips for toddler proofing your child’s room were helpful.