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Golisano Children's Hospital / Child Safety / Age-Specific Safety Tips / Toddler/Preschool Safety Tips


Toddler/Preschooler Safety Tips

Now the real fun begins! Once your child is up on his/her own two feet, he or she is ready to conquer the world, and every day is a new adventure. This is an exciting and fun stage of life, but certainly has its risks and dangers too. The following are things you need to know to keep your budding explorer safe.


Poisoning is a particular danger because children this age (1-4 years old) are curious about everything! Younger toddlers will be inclined to put things into their mouths, and preschoolers are curious about items found in drawers and cabinets. Protect your child from an accidental poisoning:

  • Keep all medicines (and vitamins as well) out of the reach of children.
  • Never refer to medicine as "candy."
  • Store all cleaning products or other dangerous products out of the reach of children and/or in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep the number for poison control 1(800) 222-1222 on or near your phone.

For more information, contact the Finger Lakes Regional Poison and Drug Information Center.


Little fingers want to touch everything, so you need to take extra precautions to keep your child from being burned:

  • Keep your child in a safe place while you are cooking or ironing.
  • Turn pot/pan handles inward on the stove.
  • Never allow children to be unsupervised in the kitchen.
  • Keep items such as matches, lighters, curling irons, candles, and hot foods and liquids out of a child's reach.

If Your Child Gets Burned


Children of this age fall often, either because they are still a little unsteady on their feet, or because they are enjoying the thrill of climbing. Some tips to keep your child "well grounded":

  • Keep doorways leading to dangerous areas, such as basements or attics, locked.
  • Keep safety gates at the top and bottom of each stairway.
  • Keep window guards on all windows.
  • Put skid-proof pads underneath all rugs.
  • When grocery shopping, use the safety strap to buckle your child into the seat, and remain close to the cart at all times.
  • Keep a close eye on your child when they are climbing on furniture or at the playground so you can react quickly in case of a fall.

If Your Child Falls


This age group is particularly susceptible to choking because so many things - both foods and non-foods - go into their mouths. The following are some key tips for preventing your child from choking:

  • Until age 4 avoid foods that can block the airways such as: peanut butter, hot dogs, popcorn, whole grapes, raw carrots, raisins, nuts, hard candies or toffees, and chewing gum.
  • Provide safe finger foods such as bananas, well-cooked pasta and vegetables, o-shaped low-sugar cereals (such as Cheerios).
  • Keep items such as coins, buttons, balloons, safety pins, barrettes, and rocks out of your child's reach.
  • Follow age recommendations on toys, especially those with small parts, and make sure toys are in good repair.
  • Be vigilant. Small children put many things in their mouths. A watchful adult is often the best defense.

If Your Child is Choking


  • When riding in a vehicle, your child should be restrained in a safety seat appropriate for his/her size and age.
  • Childproof your home and practice standard home safety tips.
  • Never leave your child alone in or near water. Small children can drown even in very shallow water, such as the bathtub, wading pool or toilet.
  • Children should wash their hands frequently, especially after playing outside. Kids this age still put their hands and other objects into their mouths often, and this is the chief way of transmitting colds and viruses.
  • Outside play should always be supervised by an adult.