Your safety worries solved

If you’re a constant bag of nerves now that your toddler’s mobile and getting her fingers into everything, use these simple tips to calm your fears


Wandering off

“Keeping tabs on them all is harder when you have lots of children like I do. Losing them tends to happen more when my husband’s supposed to be watching them on a family day out, as he forgets or he’ll let them out of the pushchair and they’re off.”


Jo Holland, 36, from Kent, mum to Harry, 10, Bridie, 9, Erin, 7, Arthur, 5, Arwen, 3, Matilda, 22 months, and Merlin, 8 months

The solution

“When babies become toddlers, the world suddenly comes to their attention and they start to get about extremely quickly,” says Jo Stagg from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. “You obviously need to have good supervision at all times and keep yourself alert, but also try to think in advance about where you’re going, and perhaps do a bit of an assessment of the environment you and your children will be in. For example, has it got a pool, a beach or animals she might be interested in? As your child grows and her personality comes through, you’ll start to learn what things attract her and what might trigger her into wandering off. That way you’ll be able to prevent it before it happens.”

Mum’s safety tip

“As soon as Emily became a confident walker, I sewed name labels into her clothes with my mobile number on, just in case she wanders off.”

Abi Smith, 29, from Kent, mum to Emily, 3

Your baby’s bath time might be harmful, say skin experts

Hot taps

“Katie has a real obsession with taps. At bath time, she always wants to play with them and stick her finger in the running water. I worry she’ll get burnt if she puts on the hot tap when I’ve turned my back.”

Yvonne Helland, 35, from Bournemouth, mum to Katie, 3, and Thomas, 8 months

The solution

“Hot water can burn just like fire does, and as you’d never leave your child by a naked flame, don’t leave her near hot water either,” says Lucy Atkins, parenting expert working with bathroom company Ideal Standard. “Always run the cold tap first then add warm water slowly, so that even if she manages to get in before you’ve run the bath, there’s no risk of burns. Seat her at the other end of the bath to the taps, and explain the tap is hot and will hurt, then keep an eye on her in case she tries to touch it anyway. To test the temperature, use your elbow, not your hand – it should feel 
the same as your body temperature.”

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Busy roads

“Marcus tends to hop and weave around a lot instead of walking straight, so he often veers towards the road without noticing or being concerned. Traffic lights can be a nightmare too, as if the cars are already stopped at the lights, I worry he’ll think it’s OK to cross and will do just as the lights change and the cars move forward.”

Sophie Mitchell, 24, from Cornwall, mum to Marcus, 4 

The solution

“Being out near roads with your toddler is a great way to teach him about road safety,” explains Jo Stagg. “It’s really important that you set a good example for him when you’re out and about, and that includes everyone you’re out with. At traffic lights, make sure you always wait for the green man before you cross over, and explain to him what you’re doing and why. Hold hands with him when you’re walking along the pavement, and try to position him so the chair is in between him and the road. Another great way to keep 
the road in his mind and keep him interested and alert is to play games like ‘How many lorries can we spot?’ as you walk along together.”

Mum’s safety tip

“We play cars at home with Ashley’s toys to teach him about traffic. He’s the car and me and his dad walk across the ‘road’ once he has stopped, to teach him to copy us.”

Helen Jones, 35, mum to Ashley, 3, and Jake, 6 months


Trapping fingers

“Ben is in to everything. He always wants to help me unload the dishwasher, so the cupboard doors and hinges are a worry. Also, when I’m putting his buggy down he tries to help, getting his fingers in the way.”

Siân Hall, 31, from Manchester, mum to Ben, 3

The solution

“Every month, more than 2,500 children are taken to hospital because they’ve had their fingers shut in doors or drawers,” says Katrina Phillips, chief executive of The Child Accident Prevention Trust. “But you can buy specialist equipment to stop this happening. For doors, look out for devices that fill the gap between the door and the frame. The best way to stop your tot’s fingers getting caught in buggy clips and clasps is to keep him well away from the buggy when you’re folding or unfolding it. If it has a storage lock, use it, and store the buggy out of his reach.” Get free hinge covers for Maclaren buggies by calling 01327 841320.


Electric sockets

“Maisie likes to go round and plug lamps and things into sockets, and I always worry she’ll find something like my hair straighteners, plug them in and burn herself, or put 
her fingers in the sockets.”

Charlotte Goatman, 27, from Cornwall, mum to Maisie, 2, and Emilia, 9 months


The solution

“The best thing to do with sockets and inquisitive toddlers is make sure all visible plug sockets have secure outlet covers,” says Lucy Atkins. “These are plastic plugs that cover sockets so no small fingers can get in. Also, never leave her near an open socket, as she could find it interesting and put her fingers in to explore.”

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