How to Teach Toddlers About Safety on a Budget


Parents of toddlers have a front-row seat to adventure. Toddlers (children ages one to three) will find ways of learning which can be both exciting and frightening. They’re endlessly curious about their world, and their newly developed muscles and senses will catapult them toward everything they see and hear. When they see or touch something that makes them curious, it often goes into their mouths.

Make a Home Safety Checklist

Before teaching your child about being safe, do your best to make your home as safe as it can be. Check all the furniture and equipment in your home that’s within your toddler’s potential reach. Place covers on plugs or electrical outlets, especially when they’re in use. Keep any hazardous or sharp items or liquids in a baby-proof cabinet.

Place all breakable objects on a high level, and out of your child’s reach. If there are stairways – or other places your child shouldn’t go – install a secure baby gate to keep the children from going there. Buy only toys that are safe for your child’s developmental stage. Your pediatrician’s office can answer any questions you may have about safe toys or activities.

Make Safety Lessons Part of Playtime

You are your child’s first teacher. If you make their safety lessons fun and enjoyable, your child is more likely to learn and understand. Toddlers are only beginning to speak and understand language, but they will be able to understand the expressions of your face and body. “No!” becomes a warning to them not only because they learn that word, but because Mommy or Daddy has a stern and angry tone and wears a big frown.

Part of your safety lessons should also help keep your kids safe while you’re away from home. Be alert for any potentially dangerous situations as you walk. For example, if you and your toddlers walk near contractors working on scaffolding, keep in mind that scaffolding accidents are a frequent type of construction accidents. These types of accidents are so common that American companies sustain a loss of $90 million, annually, due to scaffolding accidents.

Make Their Playtime into Online Learning Time

If plenty of safe and stimulating toys are in your child’s play space, they’ll be less likely to seek stimulation elsewhere. Many online educational programs are designed for toddlers. Introducing your children to computers while they are toddlers can be an invaluable part of their education.

While you and your toddler are online together, it’s important to keep in mind the inner hardware of computer components holds potential electrical safety risks. Due to the Hall Current Effect, discovered in 1879 by E.H. Hall, computer sensors providing power to disk drives, keyboards, and printers have added potential as electrical hazards.

Make Their Car Rides into Safe Rides

Every time your child rides in a car, they should be in a car seat. You can also utilize car rides to provide safety examples to your toddler. For example, you can explain why you’re stopping at a railroad crossing. While driving, try pointing out red lights and telling your toddler, “Red means stop.” This can further be reinforced at stop signs, where, once again: “Red means stop.”

Part of your role as a parent is to act as a safety example. As you drive, perhaps an additional reason not to text while driving can be to provide that example to your kids. However, if that isn’t enough of a deterrent, there are laws against texting while driving in 39 states – including Kentucky and Tennessee.

Your toddler will bring you many joys, and they’ll make many discoveries. Keeping them safe will be one of your priorities. If you continue to mix joyful experiences with their playtime, you’ll be able to keep them safe while they have an enjoyable childhood.