One- and two-year-olds are into everything.  They can climb onto and fall off of anything.  They can pull chairs around to get on to things you didn't think they could.  The cookies are no longer safe on the counter, or even on top of the refrigerator.  They will make stairs out of drawers.  They will pull a chest of drawers over on themselves.  They will investigate the stove, at the wrong time.  They will go to the front door and make sure you are watching them open it, especially if you tell them not to.  Your kitchen knives draw them like a magnet.  They will turn on the hot water (only) in the tub, and then climb in.  They will unroll the whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet, then flush. Twice.  They will find your medicine.  They will try to eat everything, including the contents of the cat litter box. This age is incredibly curious, but not too verbal.  That will come, but they know no fear, and only an attentive parent can keep them out of serious trouble. 

Use these measures to protect your toddler:

  • Put high latches on doors.
  • Secure heavy things to the walls.
  • Make sure pot handles don't face outward.
  • Set the thermostat on the hot water heater to 120 or less.
  • Lock away and store high all medicines.
  • Know the poison control number (800) 222-1222.
  • Put away knives and sharp objects.
  • Choose your safety equipment carefully. Child gates and latches should be securely installed.  Children can work a compression gate from a door frame with enough effort.
  • If you have a pool in the back yard, a locked fence, and your constant knowledge of where your child is, is all that is protecting you all from a very tragic event.  Keep your antennae up.
  • Refresh your CPR skills.

This page was authored by Dr. James C. Montgomery MD FAAP.