Safety has ever been the priority of all new parents when it comes to their children‘s playtime, perhaps now more than ever. Especially for toddlers, who still don’t know any better, making sure that they’re both having fun while staying safe can be a challenge. But fun and safety don’t always have to be mutually exclusive.
You can still make playtime fun for your kid while making sure that they don’t come into harm’s way. Here are some ways you can make playtime safer and more enjoyable for you and your child:
First, do something about your electrical sockets
Electrical sockets are always a parent’s main concern when their child grows old enough to be crawling or walking around. Sockets can be easily reached by a child’s hands and your curious toddler might just poke their finger or something else inside and get the shock of their lives. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this.
You can have an electrician install a safety switch, which can open and close an electrical circuit if it’s faulty. Or you can put safety covers over your sockets that your child will be unable to remove.
Be aware of the utensils or tools you use
Hands-on activities such as gardening can be fun and educational, but be careful of the tools you’re using. As much as possible, stick to ones that are made of plastic rather than metal, or are just blunt enough to not be harmful. Normal gardening tools like large shears, rakes, and possibly trowels can be mishandled by a child and could hurt them. Find safer options, or buy them a gardening kit that’s made specifically for kids.
Similarly, playing restaurant or house could call for the use of cutlery and plates. Don’t give your child metal spoons, forks, and especially knives to play with or use. If they can feed themselves, stick with plastic utensils or toys. Don’t give them the real stuff just yet.
Keep a close eye on them when doing arts and crafts
While doing arts and crafts can be a good activity to engage your child and develop new skills, you have to be careful of the kind of materials you’re using. You can find many kid-friendly art supplies in any school or office supply store.
If you’re painting something, make sure that the paint you’re using is non-toxic or is safe for children to use. Liquid watercolors, finger paint, and good old crayons are all very safe for children to use. Find something that you can wash off as well, like washable markers, in case they get their clothes or the walls dirty with their scribbling. Be careful when handling sharp objects like scissors and sharpened pencils and be careful when you’re handling stuff like glitter and glue.
And most importantly, watch what your kid puts in their mouth. Toddlers, especially, just love putting whatever they can get their hands on in their mouths. Make sure that all the stuff you buy is non-toxic and keep a close eye on them while they’re drawing or painting. Clean their hands thoroughly when they’re done or before they eat anything and be aware of any potential choking hazards.
Child-proof the inside of your home
This could mean anything from installing safety guards on stairs and balconies to putting corner guards on the edges of your furniture. The one thing you have to look out for when child-proofing your house is preventing any falls and accidents during and even after playtime. If possible, restrict your child’s movements to a specific area of your house, such as the living room, their bedroom, or a playroom. Don’t let them near the kitchen or the garage if any business is going on there, such as cooking or car maintenance. Help them get up and downstairs and lock any windows that they can reach.
Make sure that any furniture like cabinets, chairs, or end tables can’t get easily knocked over by your child. You can apply adhesive at the bottom of the furniture to keep them from tipping over, or at the very least, make sure that there’s nothing on top of them that’s breakable or harmful, like vases or heavy ornamental objects. Make sure that there aren’t any sharp corners for your child to get hurt on too, especially in places where they run around often.
Checking your house’s flooring could also prevent any accidents. Make sure that it’s all even to prevent any tripping and furniture from getting toppled. If your floor is carpeted, make sure that it’s soft and not abrasive on your toddler’s delicate skin, and be mindful of carpet burns too.
Above all, adult supervision is a must
If there’s one main takeaway that you need to absorb above everything else, it’s the importance of adult supervision. If your child is still very young and is only just starting to explore the world around them, you can’t take your eyes off of them for even just a second. Making sure that they don’t do, touch or eat anything that they shouldn’t all comes down to being there to prevent it. Whether it’s during playtime, nap time, or mealtime, adult supervision is a constant need for children at a certain age and maybe even past that.
If you can’t watch your child at any given time, have a trusted friend or family member do it, or leave them in the care of professionals. Plenty of accidents can be easily prevented with the right amount of adult supervision.