Safety Tips: Visiting Your Friend's Home With Your Toddler
As Vickie Iovine, author of "The Girlfriend's Guide to Toddlers," once said, keeping a toddler out of trouble is like trying to put a leash on a bumblebee. Never is this truer than when you go visiting friends, especially childless ones. All the things you never noticed before you had a walking child -- like the bleach and other poisonous cleaning products in easy reach under the cabinet sink at your parents' house -- become potential dangers.
Basic Safety Tips
Different parents handle this situation differently, depending on the temperament of the child and the anxiety level of the parent. However, there are some basic safety tips that you can follow while visiting friends to avoid a disaster:
- Keep an eye on your toddler at all times. If you're going to a party where you'll want to socialize with other adults and cannot be vigilant, bring along a babysitter or relative to watch your toddler or agree with your spouse beforehand that you will each take turns running after the baby. Cheryl Mendelson, author of "Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House," points out that the best way to keep a child safe in any home is through conscientious adult supervision.
- Keep doors between rooms closed so your toddler cannot wander away unsupervised.
- Make sure bathroom doors are closed and cannot be opened by inquisitive hands.
- Do a quick check in the kitchen for cabinets containing cleaning supplies. Rubber bands (carry some in your diaper bag) can be looped around cabinet door handles to create a temporary but effective lock. (Of course, you'll want to tell your friends you're doing this, else there might be a grown-up accident.)
- Bring your own portable booster seat to facilitate mealtime at a friends.