Toddlers at 9-18 months
By Ben Waterworth
So you've survived the first 9 months of your child's life and now it's time to deal with the next phase: the toddler phase. The toddler phase is a very exciting time for your child as it will continue to develop and grow at a much more rapid rate than ever before!

As always though there are some common concerns in regards to your child's safety and they are as follows:

  • The top half of you child's body soon takes over and essentially makes it easier for your child to fall over and be more clumsy
  • Choking starts to become a major issues, on smaller foods and items in their mouth as your child becomes more inquisitive with food
  • Falling out of beds or high chairs as they grow older and roll over more frequently
  • Getting burnt more often from items such as the bathroom tap
  • Reaching up to grab items from benches and ovens such as hot saucepans or fry pans
  • Other burns from touch stoves or fireplaces
  • Finding poisonous items and placing them in their mouth
  • Running behind cars as they reverse out of a driveway
  • Cuts from sharp objects such as knives
  • Door injuries to their fingers

All of these dangers can be prevented by keeping a watchful eye on your child. Remember as they continue to get older they are becoming more curious about certain things so danger is usually only around the corner if you don't watch them.

Here are some tips for a few everyday activities you will take part in with your child:

  • Never make the temperature of the bath hotter than 50 degrees. If you are unsure get a thermometer
  • As you would with a baby, run hot water first then cold then hot. Test this temperature before ever placing a child in the water
  • Watch your child when it is in the bath, even if you think they will be right things can turn south very very quickly


  • Make sure the high chair your toddler is in is a 5-point harness chair to prevent your toddler from falling out
  • Make all food cooked and then grate or mash it to prevent choking
  • Supervise your child during it's eating so if any accidents happen you can step in straight away
  • If you are holding hot drink put it down before picking your child up


  • Look for low fire danger clothing and only dress your toddler in clothes that have the label on it
  • Raise all sides on the cot and don't put in any objects that may assist your toddler climbing out of the bed. You can make the mattress lower too to make it even harder for them

Playing at home

  • If outside with your child try and avoid going outside between 11am and 3pm as this is when the sun is at its strongest. If you have too, always ensure the best skin care and sun prevention Put a shade cloth over areas they will be playing in outside
  • If your toddler has play equipment only use items that are age appropriate and supervise their use. Install these pieces of equipment away from other potential hazards such as concrete paths and garden edgings
  • If you think you have poisonous plants in your backyard, remove them
  • Make sure all pesticides and other harmful garden products are locked away
  • f you have a pool, make sure it's properly fenced and safe for children to play around without the risk of them falling in. Make sure things such as recycle bins and wading pools are also empty of water
  • If your child is playing near a driveway supervise them near cars
  • Don't let your child play unsupervised with your dog or cat, no matter how well trained they are

Going Out

  • Use a car restraint that meets Australian standards and make sure it is restrained correctly in transit
  • Don't ever leave your child alone in your car, even if it's for a few minutes
  • Take your child out of the car on the side of the footpath, not the traffic side
  • Always look out for hazards when at other people's houses
  • Watch for fingers getting trapped in doors and prams
  • Watch your child doesn't take items out of your handbag that may be a danger

Once you follow these rules then you should remain safe with your child. There are some 10 basic steps though to always remember:

  1. Take CPR so that you are prepared should the worst happen with your child
  2. Check your pool fence meets council standards for child safety
  3. Make some rules for your child when it comes to swim time
  4. Make sure the child seat restraint in your car is a correct fit for your toddler
  5. Fence an area in the backyard to let your child play in
  6. Make your cupboards lockable so your child can't open them
  7. Don't ever let your children be around animals during their feeding time
  8. Buy toys that are age suitable only
  9. Put preventative finger jam devices on all doors
  10. Put in guards around hot objects such as ovens and heaters as well as stairs