Choking accidents pose a genuine threat for small children; in fact, the
New York State Department of Health says choking is the fourth leading cause of death among children under 5. When
you have a single toddler in the home, “choke-proofing” can
be as easy as buying only age-appropriate toys and keeping smaller objects
locked up and out of reach. However, how do you keep the home safe when
you have multiple children, including some who are old enough to play
with smaller toys that aren’t toddler-friendly? What happens if
your older child’s friends come over to play and leave small toy
parts lying around? We offer the following suggestions to help you manage
these safety concerns:
Assign “toddler friendly” rooms. Make it a fast rule in your home that no small parts may travel into these
rooms. One easy way to implement this policy is to contain smaller toys
within the older child’s bedroom and keep his door closed. Another
is to utilize “baby gates” to keep toddlers separated from
older children while they are playing.
Purchase child-resistant containers for smaller toys. In situations where a toddler may share space with older ones, make sure
all smaller toys are kept in containers only the older child may open—and
reinforce that all small toys are put away when the child is finished
playing with them.
Make sure all visitors know the rules. You might feel like a nag in so doing, but better to feel like a nag now
than face a life-endangering situation later.
Check the home daily. Children almost inevitably forget and leave toys out, so at least once
a day, conduct a home check, looking at floors, corners, under furniture
and cushions for signs of small parts. Involve your older children in
the process to help reinforce the importance of staying safe.
Of course, choking isn’t the only safety threat in the home. Be sure
to check out our post on
safety tips for poison prevention, as well.
If a choking accident harms your child where negligence may be involved, our
D.C. injury attorneys can help. Call us today for a free consultation.