Three Critical Safety Tips to Keep in Mind as Your Baby Becomes a Toddler

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Your baby is getting ready to walk. It's a vastly exciting time, but along with those first steps comes a host of new dangers and risks. Before your baby makes the transition to toddlerhood with walking, make sure you are prepared with these essential safety tips:

1. Schedule a car seat fitting.

As your child gets older and as he or she gets new skills and develops better balance, his or her car seat needs to change, and unfortunately, if you don't have your child in the right type of car seat, it can seriously increase his or her chance of getting injured in a car accident.

Depending on their exact age and weight, children who are just about ready to start walking may need either a rear or forward facing car seat, but they definitely need a 5 or 6-point harness. To ensure you get the right option, talk with a car seat fitter who can help you decide which direction, which size and what other features are critical for the safety of your child.

2. Hide the poisons and add child safety features to your home.

Now, that your baby can walk, he or she can easily toddle over to the cabinets where you keep your cleaning supplies, alcohol and other toxins. Move everything to high cabinets your child cannot reach, or install child safety locks on your cabinets.

In addition to locking up toxins, make sure that the rest of your home is safe. Roll up cords for blinds, cover electrical outlets, hide lamp and electronic cords, and remember to place gates on all stairways to prevent falls. Additionally, secure your internal exits. You can place child locks on doorknobs or chain locks that the child cannot reach.

3. Reassess your garden entryways.

Finally, in case your child decided to take a journey on his or her own, you need to reassess your garden entryways. Toddlers are fast, curious and crafty.

In the past, you may have been able to leave your baby sitting outside on a blanket for a few moments while you ran in to check something on the cooker or answer the phone, but now that your toddler is mobile, even a few seconds alone can result in trouble.

Make sure that your yard is secure. Look for gate latches your child can open and broken bits of fence he or she can crawl under, and mitigate those issues to make your yard secure.

These steps can help to keep your child safe as they continue to grow and explore the world around them.