Nursery Safety: Childproofing Tips for Toddlers

5 Common Nursery Accidents and How to Prevent Them

When it comes to getting hurt, your average toddler is something of an expert. If it can happen, it probably will. Got a toddling disaster zone on your hands? Childproofing is key. Learn how to prevent these five common nursery accidents with these important nursery safety tips.

  • 01 of 05

    The Jail Break

    Toddler boy (18-24 months) getting out of crib, elevated view
    Steven Puetzer/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

    Your not-so-little one is up and on the move, and as far as he’s concerned those pesky crib rails are all that’s standing between him and freedom. Before you know he’s even capable, it’s up and ouch!

    Don’t feel bad. A bumped noggin and a few teary wails are something of a right of passage. Still, while you may not be able to predict the exact moment your little escape artist will try to take flight, you can take steps to make a bedtime breakout less likely.

    Once your baby can sit up unsupported, it’s time to beef up security. Lower the crib mattress, and make sure the crib is free of any toys or extraneous bedding that could give your child a leg up. If you catch your mini monkey trying to climb out of the crib, make a prompt transition to a big-kid bed.

  • 02 of 05

    The Changing Table Tumble

    For some parents, diaper changes are a breeze. For others, it’s a battle. If your little wiggle monster is regularly engaging in barrel rolls and other changing-table gymnastics, it may be time to consider moving his act to the floor before gravity does it for him. Even if your baby seems to appreciate a little patootie pampering, be on guard. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye, especially if you haven’t taken the proper precautions.

    If you use a changing mat, be sure to fix that mat to the surface of the changing table. (Most padded mats come with the necessary hardware.) Always use the safety strap, and leave one hand on your baby at all times. Keep your changing table well stocked, taking care to ensure everything you will need is at an arm’s reach before you start. That way, you’ll never be tempted to leave your little one unattended.

  • 03 of 05

    The Shocker

    Electrical shocks and burns happen more often than you might imagine. Of course, you’ve already covered all of your electrical sockets, so you’re little one is safe, right? Not necessarily.

    Childproofing your sockets is a must, but cord control is just as important. Unsecured electrical cords not only pose a strangulation hazard, but can also lead to some nasty shocks. A good tug is often all it takes to detach an a/c adapter from something like a baby monitor. Once the cord is free, it can easily make its way to your child’s mouth - a shocking experience to say the least.

    To prevent accidents, make sure that all electrical cords remain secure and out of reach. Hide them behind furniture and use zip ties to secure them in place.

  • 04 of 05

    Deadly Decor

    Every year, the bewildered parents of almost 15,000 kids find themselves rushing to the ER after discovering their little one trapped beneath a fallen piece of furniture. According to a study investigating the problem, these types of accidents typically occur when children attempt to climb furniture, usually in pursuit of a toy or some other desired item. The resulting trauma can range from concussions and broken bones to life-threatening crush injuries.

    To ensure your child’s safety, always anchor dressers, bookshelves and other tall furniture to the wall. If your furniture does not come with the appropriate hardware, use small metal brackets, which can be found in the hardware section of your local DIY store. You can also prevent your toddler from climbing open dresser drawers by securing them with childproof locks.

    Another way to prevent accidents is to ensure that all wall décor is secure. Pictures and other heavy wall hangings can fall and injure your child if improperly installed. When hanging shelves and other wall decorations, be sure that all hardware is either fixed directly to a wall stud or secured with the appropriate dry wall anchors. Consider replacing heavy items with lightweight canvas art or vinyl wall decals, and never hang heavy decorative items over your baby’s crib.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Common Killers

    Toddlers rack up a decent amount of unsupervised time in the nursery, making a safe nursery environment absolutely essential.

    Before leaving your sleeping toddler alone in the nursery, ensure his or her room is free of potential choking/strangulation hazards and other life-threatening risks. Don’t purchase curtains, bedding, or decorations that feature large beads, buttons and other such embellishments. These items may become loose and could be pulled off and swallowed by a curious toddler.

    Nursery windows deserve special attention. If you choose to install blinds, cut off the pull cords or pick up and install a safety device designed to control cord access. Finally, be sure to install window guards or stops to prevent falls. A window screen will not keep your child from falling!

    Wondering what else you can do to keep your little one safe and sound? You’ll find plenty of important safety tips on our comprehensive Nursery Safety Checklist.