Updated: June 28, 2012 12:38PM
More than anything, your No. 1 priority is your child’s safety. Here is some safety wisdom that covers a little of this and a little of that.
What are choking hazards for infants and young children? They include anything that might be larger than your child’s esophagus, thereby anything that could close off her airway if swallowed. Some foods to watch out for:
◆ Grapes (cut them in small chunks, at least in half)
◆ Raisins (ditto)
◆ Popcorn (best avoided until your child is older)
◆ Hard candy (ditto)
◆ Carrots (cut into strips, not circles)
◆ Hot dogs (ditto)
◆ Seeds (you may crush these and throw into cereal, etc.)
◆ When you buy protective gear, look for the insignia from an approved safety organization, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Snell Memorial Foundation, the latter is found on bike helmets.
◆ Don’t relax safety rules during practice. Put protective gear on your child for practices just as you would for games. If your child is playing a contact sport, consider extra protection such as mouthguards, padding, and, for boys, athletic supporters.
◆ Work with your child’s coach to create a list of safety rules that are enforced during practices as well as regular games: i.e. no swinging bats near other players.
Every toddler should be able to let loose in her own home once in awhile. As the parent, it is your job to make sure there is a safe space for that:
◆ Put a mattress on the floor for her to jump on.
◆ Allow him to climb on low, soft furniture (such as a chair) with your hand there to guide as he goes.
◆ Fill lower kitchen cabinets with plastic containers and allow your child to pull them out, put them back, bang on them and whatever else fills her fantasies.
◆ If you have any dangerous corners near the play space, cut up some foam and tape chunks of it over the corners to make it childproof.
◆ Balloons can be a choking hazard. Avoid giving them to small children.
Toys and safety
Keep current with toy recalls and safety notices at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html.