Help! My toddler can reach the door handle

Home & Family   |   Age: 2 years 2 months

Help! My toddler can reach the door handle

Keeping children safe is a top priority for parents. Gates on the stairs, plugs in the outlets, locks on the cabinets, and cleaning products up high are just a few examples of childproofing “to do’s” parents worry about from the minute they bring baby home. From rolling over to crawling and pulling up to walking, parents spend the next several years striving for a balance between letting a toddler explore her environment and keeping her safe from harm.

Why childproofing your home for a toddler is important

Most parents childproof the majority of the home before their baby even begins crawling. Unfortunately, many of the safety measures put in place for a baby are not enough to keep a toddler out of harm’s way.

Toddlers walk, run, and climb — and they don't always follow instructions that include the word “no.” While there are a few basic lessons you can teach your baby about avoiding hazards and dangerous situations, she is still too young to know (or remember) how to behave safely all the time. Expecting a young child to understand a verbal safety lesson well enough to be solely responsible for it is unrealistic and potentially dangerous. That’s why making your home safe for a toddler is essential.

What should you childproof?

Kneel down on the floor and look around. Ask yourself a few questions when you’re down there. What could a toddler pick up? What’s close by? Then look up towards the ceiling and consider what she could pull down. Assessing the environment on this level will help you determine what needs to be upgraded from your existing childproof plan. If it seems like there’s something she can reach, climb, grab, or put in her mouth, it needs to be addressed.  

As your baby gets older, you will need to continue to assess the dangers around her and make the appropriate adjustments. This is an ongoing process and one you will be tasked with for many years. The good news is, most homes are already thoroughly childproofed by the time toddlers start walking, so only a few changes are usually needed to make the environment safe for a busy toddler.  

The following tips can help guide you on toddler-proofing your home and creating a safe and friendly environment.

About the author: 
Sara Lindberg is a freelance writer focusing on parenting, health, and wellness. She is passionate about all things fitness and health and loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and son.  


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