We’ve talked extensively about safety in the form of toddler car seats, and we’ve talked about safety for your toddler in the home, so let’s spend a little bit of time talking about different safety measures we can employ when we are out and about with our toddler.
In the summer, you’re hopefully spending lots of time outdoors with your kids. Make sure your little ones are protected from the sun. Hats and long sleeves are the perfect choice, but where sunscreen is necessary, make sure you read the labels to determine whether or not they are safe for babies. Also avoid applying it to their hands, as their hands often end up in their mouths, and sunscreen is not made to be ingested.
The same should be applied to bug spray. Again, make sure you read the labels to determine whether or not the brand you prefer is suitable for babies and toddlers. And like the sunscreen, don’t apply to their hands or face.
If they’re anywhere around a body of water, weather, a pool or something bigger like a lake or the ocean, make sure they’re either wearing a life jacket or some form of personal flotation device. Any child under five years of age should always be within arm’s reach of an adult when they are near or in the water.
Also be aware that extreme summer heat can be dangerous to toddlers. Since they don’t sweat the way an adult does, their bodies don’t respond to heat the same way we would. They will be suffering far sooner than we are.
If you take your toddler to the playground, the appropriate equipment for them is less than 5 feet tall. Make sure you supervise them and try to find a playground that has a soft surface, so that if and when they do take a tumble, they won’t land so hard.
Although it’s unlikely that you will allow your child to run around in the road unattended, it’s never too soon to start teaching them pedestrian safety. By the time they’re out of their stroller, they have hopefully learned some of the basics. And you can go a long way by teaching them with example. If you have to cross the road, stop and look both ways first, making sure your child understands what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Tell them they must always be holding your hand, or the hand of another adult when crossing the road.
Let them know that it’s never safe to run out into the road, even if one of their favorite toys should get away from them. And while they may play vroom, vroom around the living room with their toy cars and trucks, make sure they understand that the cars and trucks on the road are dangerous, and that the sidewalk is for people.