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Food Safety for Your Toddler

Childproofing

Try never to drink hot coffee around your toddler and keep your cup well out of her reach if you do. A single spilled cup of coffee can give your one-year-old third-degree burns over 80 percent of her body.

Some child safety rules apply to food as well. It's probably a good idea to stock child safe foods on lower shelves and in lower cabinets. Move dangerous foods (popcorn, nuts, hard candy, certain spices) to top shelves. Also, don't put cherries, plums, or other pitted fruits out in a fruit bowl that your child can reach by herself.

When your one-year-old eats in her highchair, always use safety straps. But because she may have little patience for sitting in a highchair now that she's a toddler, you may want to begin exploring alternatives. A child-size table and chairs will allow your child to sit (at least for a minute) and eat without risk of serious injury.

Some toddlers eat best when allowed to wander about a little while eating rather than being forced to eat only in their chairs. They're just too eager to get up and about again to focus on eating. If you decide to allow your child to eat while wandering about the kitchen, just make sure she doesn't eat on the run. A useful rule for eating away from the table is: Walk, don't run. We all remember how our own parents used to warn us about running with a popsicle or a lollipop in our mouths. Mama was right. In fact, it's not a good idea to let your toddler run with any kind of food in her mouth. Finally, whenever and wherever your toddler eats, stay near her in case she starts to choke.

More on: Preschool

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler and Toddler, Too © 1997 by Keith M. Boyd, M.D., and Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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