Picture this: You’re grocery shopping with your toddler who’s sitting properly in the cart as usual. You park the cart out of other shoppers’ path and try to make a quick selection just steps away. You turn around and there’s your little one standing straight up on the shopping cart seat nonchalantly looking down at the shiny concrete floor below. You, of course, have a heart attack and come to the rescue. You then buckle that baby in and never ever underestimate his ability to do such a thing again! Here’s my point. A lot of times we assume our babies aren’t capable of something like rolling over, or say, use a breakfast bar stool to climb on top of the counter to have at the knives. Most of us like to think this is all just common sense parenting but sometimes you get into routines of letting little safety measures go because it just doesn’t occur to you that your baby is even “there” yet. But it’s important to try to resist that. And here are some commonly overlooked areas:
Buckling in. Whether it’s a bouncy seat, a high chair, a stroller or shopping cart, those buckles are there for a reason. It’s really important to get in the habit of using them. And for toddlers who may be able to unbuckle the chest part of their seat belt harness, do a few rear view mirror checks while driving if you can safely, to make sure it’s still fastened.
Water Supervision. Yes this one is a given. But often when kids reach two and three years old, they can seem self sufficient enough for you to run down the hall to get a towel or take something out of the oven real quick. But the thing is, a lot can happen in those seconds. It’s just not worth the gamble. And of course, apply these same strict rules for yourself when it comes to kiddie pools and other swimming areas too.
The skin of little ones is vulnerable to harmful rays if unprotected, period. Five or ten minutes in the sun doesn’t sound like much but can certainly cause a burn. Even if you think you won’t be outside that much or know where your going will be super shady, get in the routine of putting sunscreen on your child along with getting dressed. And start the relentless hat-wearing early—they might fight you for a while, always taking it off and throwing it, but keep at it and they’ll be asking for it before long.
I don’t know about you but ticks and mosquitoes are rampant around here in the summer. To minimize the risk of your baby being bitten, get a kid-friendly spray and spritz when you’ll be in particularly buggy areas and at dusk. Dressing in light colored, long sleeves and pants tucked into socks will help too.