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NYS Parent Guide

12-24 Months: Growth and Development

You and Your Wonderful One-Year-Old

Protecting Your Child

Protecting Your Child

When you keep your toddler safe, you show him you will do what is needed to protect him. This builds his trust in you, in himself and in the world around him.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Childproof. Again. Now that your toddler is moving more, crawling, walking and climbing, take another look. Install window guards. Cover outlets. Put childproof locks on cabinets, drawers and toilets. Be sure bookshelves, dressers, and TV’s are secure so he can’t pull them down onto himself. Now, he can get into places he never could before: your purse, drawers and tool boxes! He is interested in stairs but doesn’t yet understand the danger of a fall. So, use a secure gate at the top and bottom.
  • Be aware of your toddler around animals—your pets or animals on the street. While he just wants to touch and play, an animal may feel nervous or threatened. So pay attention to make sure he is safe.
  • Begin to teach him about danger even though it will take him a long time to “get it.” Explain, “The stove is hot. It is not safe to touch. You can bang on these pots, instead.” A safe home means less “no’s” and more smiles.
  • Keep his vaccines up to date. Talk with your child’s doctor about why, when and what to look for. Share any questions or concerns! Remember to keep a record of all vaccines that your baby has received.
  • Keep those germs away…as best you can! Begin to teach hand washing: before eating, after using the bathroom or a diaper change, playing with other children and being outside. As you wash his hands, you are teaching him how to do it himself.
  • Take good care of those beautiful teeth. Let him practice brushing his teeth after you do—twice a day. He will need lots of help because he cannot move his wrists well enough to do it yet. Let him “try” and then you “try.” Limit juices and sweet treats if still using a bottle, and don’t let him have lots of juice in the bottle.
  • Stay by the tub every second of bath time. Talk, sing, splash, see what sinks and what floats together. If you forgot something, take him with you to get it. Or ask someone to bring it to you. It only takes a second for a child to slip under the water and drown.
  • Use a safe car seat. Always use a rear-facing infant car seat that is properly installed in the middle back seat of your car. There are a number of places where you can have a car seat installed for you and checked for you, including the local police department in many towns/cities.

Useful Resources:

Immunizing your Child

Find up-to-date information on what vaccination your toddler needs

Finding a Dentist

Visit the NYS Dental Association website for a searchable data base of dentists. Choose either general practitioner or pediatric.

Child Safety Tips

For information on how to keep your toddler safe and healthy, visit:

additional resources My E-Journal

Did you know

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that infants see the dentist for their first dental exam within 6 months of getting his/her first tooth or by their first birthday. After the initial dental visit, regular visits, based on the child’s oral health needs, are recommended.