Health and Safety 12-24 Months


Car Safety

  •  It is best to keep your child’s car safety seat rear-facing until he/she reaches the seat’s weight or height limit for rear-facing use. Do not switch your child to a forward-facing car safety seat until he/she is 2 year old and weighs at least 20 pounds. Most children can ride rear-facing for much longer than 12 months.
  •  When you do switch the car safety seat to the forward-facing position follow the owner’s manual to make the needed changes correctly.
  • When backing out of the garage or driving in the driveway, have another adult hold your child a safe distance away so he/she is not run over.

Child Care

  • Only leave your toddler with a mature adult.
  • Make sure caregivers follow the same ideas and routines for feeding and discipline.
  • Make sure the places your child stays are safe.

 Healthy Teeth

  • Brush your child’s teeth twice each day. Use a soft toothbrush with a pea sized amount of fluoridated tooth-paste that they can swallow.
  • If using a bottle, offer only water.


  • Give 3 meals and 2-3 snacks spaced evenly over the day to avoid tantrums.
  • Only give water in the bottle and try to switch over totally to a cup.

Preventing Burns 

  • Keep your child away from pot handles, small appliances, fireplaces and space heaters.


  • Avoid the use of TV, videos, and computers.

Other ways to Keep Your Baby Healthy and Safe

  • Lock away knives and scissors.
  • Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Be aware that fear of strangers and clinginess is normal and peaks at this age.
  • Set limits and use discipline to teach and protect your child, not punish.
  •  Move furniture away from the windows.
  • Watch your child closely when he/she is on the stairs.
  • Try to distract your child or use time outs rather than yell, hit or spank.
  • Read to your child often.
  • Maintain a calm bedtime ritual.

Many of these suggestions come from the American Academy of Pediatrics 
Bright Futures Recommendations.

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