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Toddler & Preschool Safety

Injury Prevention Program

Safe Toddlers – from Naptime to Playtime

Understanding child safety and keeping an eye on active kids can give you added peace of mind around the clock. Learn about how you can protect your own and other preschool children, whether they’re happily exploring at home, going for a ride in the car or playing.

Preventing Accidental Poisoning

Poison control: 1-800-222-1222 or dial 911

Children under 5 years of age are at the highest risk of accidental poisonings. Toddlers like to explore most everything, so a watchful eye and taking precautionary steps are essential to keep little ones safe.

These simple measures help reduce the risk of preventable injury or death to your toddlers or visiting children:  

  • Store medications in a locked box or cabinet – Lock up prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin, cold medicine, Tylenol and other meds. Store them in places where children can’t easily reach. 
  • Don’t leave vitamins or medications out – Vitamins, supplements or medications should never be left unattended. Keep them locked and out of a child’s reach.
  • Keep things in their original containers – Be sure the cap is secured after each use. Don’t let children play with the containers, even if they have childproof caps or are empty. Never use food containers, such as cups or beverage bottles, to store household cleaners, chemicals or similar products. 
  • Toss expired meds – Don’t keep expired medications around the house. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or police department about appropriate safe disposal practices. Remove labels and personally identifiable information before disposal. 
  • Child Proof Locks – Lock up sharp knives, workshop tools, chemicals, detergents, paint, cleaners and other potential hazards. Use childproof locks on cabinet doors or keep things in a locked toolbox, pantry or file cabinet. 
  • Keep cleaning items out of reach – Be aware of detergents, cleaners and other household supplies that are typically kept under a kitchen or bathroom sink.  Keep them out of a child’s reach and re-evaluate every few weeks to make sure no items make their way back into a child’s reach and eye level.

In case of emergency, get medical help right away:
Poison control: 1-800-222-1222 or dial 911

Secure Other Household Hazards

Firearms are a danger to children.  If you have firearms at home be sure to practice safe storage at home.

  • Store firearms in a locked safe or lockbox – Firearms should be locked in a certified safe or box designed for this purpose. 
  • Store ammunition separately – Keep it in a separate safe or lockbox that is certified for firearm security.

Keeping Preschoolers Safe In or Around Cars 

When properly installed, car seats can reduce deaths by up to 71%. You can learn more in our Road Safety section about child passenger safety – including the best car seats and safety devices for your children, and other ways to keep toddlers and kids of all ages safe when you’re on the roll.

Free Car Seat Training  

Register for our hands-on class at Phoenix Children’s to learn about car seats and installation. This class is for expectant parents and parents of infants and children up to 8 years old. Childcare isn’t provided. If you’re expecting, plan ahead so your newborn has a safe ride home. Call 602-933-3350 to schedule a session.

When Kids Need More Than a Standard Car Seat or Booster 

Young children who have spinal disorders or other conditions requiring oversized or cumbersome casts or other special medical devices may require adaptive restraints. These can range from comfortable safety-restraint vests to large medical seats and car beds. 

Your child’s doctor can make recommendations and you can ask us about Phoenix Children’s transportation recommendations.

How to Prevent Heatstroke and Other Car Safety Risks

Childhood heatstroke can happen quickly in Arizona’s heat, but also in cooler temperatures. For example, even if it’s 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside, temps can quickly climb to 110 degrees inside the car.

A child’s internal body temperature rises more rapidly than adults. Heatstroke can begin when core body temperature reaches 104 degrees. To prevent heatstroke:

  • Never leave a child alone in a car — even if windows are open or the air-conditioning is on. 
  • Check your car inside and out – front and back – before locking the door. Children have suffered heatstroke after climbing into unlocked, unattended vehicles. This can also prevent accidental rollover injuries while backing up the car.
  • Ask childcare providers to call you anytime your child doesn’t arrive when expected. 
  • If you see a child alone in a locked car call 911 and get them out right away. 

Learn more about safety for children and families.

Water Safety

If you have a pool or are visiting someone who does, keep in mind that drownings can occur even when you’re not around the pool. Accidents can happen when a child wanders off while a parent thinks they’re being watched by another adult.

Stay alert during fun times by the pool, but also be sure you have extra layers of security to protect kids at all hours when adults may be momentarily busy or distracted. Make sure everyone knows the rules, including keeping the gate locked and having a responsible adult to provide vigilant supervision.

Learn more about water safety for children.

Related Resources – Toddler & Preschool Safety

Learn and share important child transportation safety. Related resources include:

Our Partners for Family Home Safety

Countless individuals, groups and organizations contribute to our work at Phoenix Children’s. Meet just a few of the partners who help us to keep children safe:


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