Hide-and-Seek & Other Dangerous Toddler Games


hide and seekThis past week, 4-year-old Bryce McCraken of Missouri went missing while playing hide-and-seek. More than 250 people searched for 12 hours, before he was finally found around 11 p.m. about an hour from his home. He thankfully was unharmed, but there's an important lesson to be learned from this story: Hide-and-seek is dangerous for toddlers.

The whole premise of the game is just asking for trouble: Go and hide somewhere creative and don't come out even when I call your name. Do you have any idea how creative toddlers can get?

In Auckland, the game got even more seriously dangerous. A prisoner there has recently admitted to multiple sex acts on children while playing the game of hide-and-seek. While the incidents happened years ago, it still highlights the potential for problems with such a secretive game

Hide-and-seek isn't alone, there are plenty of other games ripe with dangers for toddlers:

London Bridges

Take the key and lock her up, lock her up. Planting the idea in a toddler's head of locking anyone up is asking for trouble.

Red Rover, Red Rover

You really want to encourage your toddler busting through things -- especially people? Beware the mall if you do.

Musical Chairs

Stitches waiting to happen.


I thought golf camp would be so cute for my 4-year-old. The first day he required stitches when another child's putter went way above putt level.


Oh, it's fun to watch them try and hit those colorful candy-containing devices ... until they hit someone else. A good rule to live by with toddlers: No sticks.

What games do you think are most dangerous for toddlers?

Image via ianmunroe/Flickr

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lovin... lovinangels

Well, they can get hurt doing almost anything. My daughter jumped for a hug on Christmas Eve and we wound up in the ER with stitches in her chin. We haven't sworn off hugging, despite it resulting in stitichesHowever, I don't like hide and go seek and I prefer my kids be in my sights, because they WILL wander off.

meatb... meatball77

Walking is also dangerous.  You can trip and fall and hit your head and DIE!  People die from walking every year!!

jpfsmom jpfsmom

Helicopter parents on parade!! Seriously folks...this is a bit over the top...many children have played these games and lived to tell with very little or no injury. The hide n seek game is a bit traumatic I'll give you that but in a controlled environment I'm sure things will be fine..

nonmember avatar Shandeigh

Seriously? I guess I better put the little guy in a bubble with GPS now.

Shanin22 Shanin22

Hide and Seek in a secured place (like within your house) can be fun and completely safe. Also important to teach the kid "olly olly oxen free" or whatever term you use to let them know the game is over and to come out of hiding. As for the others... are you serious? Why don't we just wrap the kids up in bubble wrap and make them sit quietly in the corner (don't forget to pad the corner, lol). All those games are a fun part of childhood. Kids get hurt just walking along the sidewalk (my son busted his head open on the cement). Are we really going to try and protect them from "dangerous" games like musical chairs? lol

allie... alliesmom112

Baseball is a dangerous game in this yard. Swinging bats throwing balls. Dh ended up with a Black eye last weekend.

DD is still going be allowed to play all these games we are just careful and make sure to teach her all the rules. As far as hide and seek it is one of dd's favorite games but she is the worlds worst hider. She can't stop herself from giggling and screeching.

JustL... JustLikeMyMom62

This is ridiculous!  They can get hurt doing anything.  Run out and buy the jumbo roll of bubble wrap and tying them to your waist with a lease -- they will never get hurt that way!

But seriously, the trick is to say "hide anywhere in the house" or in the backyard, or not past that tree.  And I dont know about most parents, but I watch my toddler "hide" so I know he never gets to far away. 

PonyC... PonyChaser

Taking a nap!!! Do you know how many toddlers fall out of bed??? NEVER, EVER, EVER ALLOW YOUR TODDLERS TO NAP!!!

mommy... mommythree0508

Everything is dangerous at some point or another.

mommy... mommythree0508

Of course I am the one who only just now is allowing my kindergartener to ride the bus after she begged and begged to.

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