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Infants and Toddlers

Reinforcing infant and toddler safety ensures quality care

Keeping infants and toddlers safe is no easy task, because it requires vigilant supervision of young children, ongoing monitoring of the facility’s safety, collaboration among colleagues, and careful observation and individualized attention to an early child’s cognitive, psychosocial, and motor development.

Child safety is more than learning CPR and first aid. Infants and toddlers are curious and eager to explore the world around them, which means that they can surprise an educator with a potentially dangerous action at any time. It takes a keen eye and meticulous attention to ensure that they are safe when sleeping in their cribs or attempting to crawl or walk; as well as, monitoring what foods are safe for each of them to eat. An early childhood educator also can help improve young children’s safety at all early childhood education settings (family child care, center-based, preschool, and home visitor) by paying attention to and sharing the following tips with families.


Safety during Play time

Maintaining a safe environment while infants and toddlers play or engage in other activities helps them to learn how to navigate their surroundings in ways that minimize risks of being hurt by objects or other children.

Here are some things to consider when infants and toddlers play:

  • There are no animals nearby that pose danger to children.
  • The play area is free of holes and other physical hazards.
  • All play equipment is free of sharp edges, rust, rot, cracks, peeling paint, and protruding nails and bolts.
  • The environment is smoke-free.
  • Children do not wear rattles, pacifiers, or teething toys on strings or laces around their necks.
  • Children in strollers are fastened in with safety straps.
  • A well-stocked first aid kit is stored in a locked cabinet out of children’s reach.
  • The space is configured so that babies will not be knocked down by older children.
  • The arrangement of furniture, toys, and other objects allows mobile infants and toddlers to easily move to activity areas.
  • Children are monitored by sight and sound at all times.
  • Toy pieces and removable parts are larger than 1¼ inches in diameter.

In short, with good training, planning, and staffing, and careful attention to the young children in your care, you will play a vital role in promoting infant and toddler safety.

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Additional Resources for Infant and Toddler Development
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Helping toddlers cope with big emotions
DIY Activity for social-emotional growth
Jumpstart Activities for Infants
Resource Books
10 Components of Infant and Toddler Care
Highscope resources for infant and toddler