Here are 10 safety precautions to look for when you visit a program for toddlers:

1. There are no more than 12 toddlers in a group, with 1 adult for no more than 6 toddlers (preferably fewer). This allows for an intimate atmosphere and the high level of supervision that toddlers require.

2. The staffing schedule allows each toddler to develop a close relationship with a primary teacher. Toddlers stay in the same group for many months (and from year to year, if possible) to ensure close relationships.

3. Electrical outlets have safety caps and wires are secured out of children’s reach.

4. Teachers directly supervise toddlers by sight and sound, even when they are sleeping.

5. Adults follow health and safety procedures, including proper hand washing methods and universal precautions. Each area has clearly written procedures for waste disposal.

6. A well-stocked first-aid kit is readily available to teachers.

7. Some of the floor is covered with nonslip carpet; furniture is sturdy and low so children can pull themselves up without hurting themselves.

8. Objects children might trip over have been removed.

9. Children use nontoxic toys without breakable parts or any parts that can be easily swallowed; washable toys are sanitized daily.

10. Fire extinguishers hang within reach; in family child care homes they are located on every floor and near the kitchen stove.

11. Smoke detectors are located outside all sleeping areas and at the top of any stairway.

12. Evacuation plans and up-to-date safety plans are posted and readily accessible.

13. Toddlers play in enclosed outdoor play areas separate from those of older children; equipment is designed for safe use by toddlers.

14. Adult equipment areas (cupboards, shelves, garages, tool sheds, balconies, and the like) are secured and off-limits to children.