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Safety for Your Toddler in the Community


toddler girl playing outside blowing bubbles


Your toddler needs fresh air and space to run and play, have fun, get dirty and make noise.

Many of these places can be found in your community, providing another chance for you to teach some basic safety. 

Teach By Example

Your toddler learns by watching and copying you and other caregivers. Explain while you're doing things to teach your toddler safe behaviour. For example, say, "We're carefully looking both ways first - see the car?" "We won’t run out here because there may be a car coming - let’s look for a crosswalk." "What do we all do when we get in car? Buckle up." Be very clear in your communication. Say, "Look up the driveway when you ride," or "You must wear your helmet when you’re on your bike," instead of "Be careful on the tricycle."

Keep Instructions Simple

Give your child instructions and explain why they must be followed, but keep it simple.  Your toddler will learn more quickly if you use the same words and ideas over and over. Also, your actions should be the same as your instructions - make sure you always use a crosswalk to cross the street, even if it means walking half a block farther.

Show Your Toddler

Help your toddler understand a safety zone. For example, walk around the yard together and set boundaries: "You can play anywhere in front of the big tree, but you can’t go past it." Remember, your toddler does not yet have the ability to make good decisions and may forget what was learned yesterday. Remind your toddler often.

Also, help your toddler get to know your neighbourhood. Identify neighbours' houses and landmarks, and point out police officers and block parents, explaining that these are people who can help.

Resources & Links:

HealthLink BC: Your Toddler: Safe Ways to Explore
HealthLink BC: Your Toddler:Health and Safety, Birth to 2 Years

Last Updated: August 8, 2013