Playtime is fun and rewarding, helping your kids explore their world and exercise their imaginations. However, it’s important to keep playtime safe by avoiding hidden dangers and by taking a few extra safety precautions. Keep playtime safe with these simple strategies.
Never leave a child unattended
This is the most important safety rule for playtime: Young children should never be left to play unsupervised. It only takes a second for an accident to happen. Always keep a close eye on your children during playtime. Bonus: By supervising playtime closely, you’re getting quality time with your kiddo, especially if you get involved in the play.
Set up safe storage
Toys left strewn around the room are a tripping and falling hazard, especially for little ones who aren’t yet entirely stable on their feet. Make sure all your child’s toys, games and art supplies have an appropriate place to be stored when they’re not in use. Your toddler can learn how to put away his or her own toys, too. Use cleaning up one activity as a transition to the next. Your child will quickly learn that he or she can’t change activities without cleaning up first.
Watch edges, corners and exits
These childproofing hot spots need to be maintained, especially in a play area. Use baby gates to close off any exits so that you can control when your child goes in and out of the room. If you have furniture in the room, use corner protectors along any sharp edges. Kids can become very excited in play and can easily lose their balance when rushing around a play area. Make sure you baby proof the playroom as carefully as any other area in the house. Another area to watch? The floor. Soft flooring, such as a plush rug or interlocking foam mats, protects kids if they fall and also provides a comfy area to sit and play.
Inspect toys regularly
Periodically examine your kids’ toys. Look for toys with broken or missing parts. Throw away any toys that have chipped or missing pieces. Little shards can be choking hazards or dangerous to small feet that may step on a lost or broken piece. Any toys that are broken or are missing key components should be thrown away or, if possible, repaired. Check the bottom of the toy box for any tiny pieces that could be a choking hazard. Finally, store any toys that aren’t age appropriate.
Watch: Getting your toddler to pick up their toys