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Toddlers and Trash

Many children this age throw out things that they shouldn't, or dumpster-dive for stinky treasure. Why? "Toddlers are curious, and garbage has so many colors, smells, and textures," says Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D., founder of the Better Parenting Institute in Melbourne, FL.

To keep your kid out of the can:

Childproof it. Use the garbage disposal whenever possible and avoid throwing sharp, breakable, or very small items in the trash.

Fake him out. Give him his own little wastebasket filled with paper scraps, plastic containers-even nonperishable snacks, like small boxes of cereal, if he likes to play with food.

Hide it. If all else fails, move your garbage can to a toddler-free zone or keep it locked in a kitchen cabinet until he loses interest.

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