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Scaling New Heights

Megan Oberdieck of Phoenix is like a lot of other 15-month-olds: She's curious, she's mobile, and she's often halfway up the stairs before her mom, Kim, can blink.

The urge to climb is common in toddlers  -- and the fear they'll come crashing down is normal for moms. While you have to keep an eye on your child, there are other ways to deal with it too:

Observe the world through your toddler's eyes. Bookshelves and coffee tables aren't just functional areas of your home anymore  -- they're new challenges. It's time for more advanced childproofing. For example, if your tot starts climbing the TV stand, secure it to the wall. And install gates at the top and bottom of stairways if you haven't already.

Give her controlled opportunities to scale new heights. Try setting out a sturdy box she can climb in and out of or stacking sofa pillows in the living room. Climb up the stairs together, or spend an afternoon at an indoor playscape.

When you do catch her climbing out of bounds, safety should be your first concern. Try not to flip out: Just get her out of harm's way. Then it's time to issue a firm "No! That's not safe."

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