Keeping Kids Safe over the Holidays…

Keeping Kids Safe over the Holidays…

  • Posted on Dec 20, 2016

With the holiday season in full swing, shopping, decorating, parties and family gatherings can take center stage making this one of the busiest times of the year for families. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also one of the busiest times of the year for emergency departments and urgent care centers.

Follow these tips for keeping your kids safe during the holiday season:

1. Parking Lot Precautions – Shopping malls and parking lots are full of distracted shoppers and drivers. Keep an eye on the kids at all times while shopping and don’t let them run ahead of you once you get outside. Hold your child’s hand until they are safely in the car and be extra cautious when backing out of parking spots.

2. Hazardous Holly and Mistletoe – Popular holiday greens used for decorating like holly and mistletoe are poisonous if ingested. Symptoms of plant poisoning include diarrhea, a rash and vomiting. Keep kids safe by decorating with artificial holiday greens found at craft stores.

3. Control the Spread of Germs – Practice healthy habits by encouraging kids to wash their hands frequently. Discourage “double dipping” at large family gatherings by preparing a separate plate of snacks for each child.

4. Eat Healthy – Minimize tummy aches that can quickly put a damper on holiday cheer by providing healthy snacks like fruit, vegetable and cheese platters, along side the holiday treats.

5. Put a Damper on Fire Danger – Keep lit candles, wires and extension cords well out of reach. Check for frayed wires on light strands and never use indoor extension cords for outdoor lights.

6. Who’s Watching the Kids? – During large gatherings, put someone in charge of watching the kids or volunteer to take turns. Many accidents happen when kids are unsupervised because everyone thinks someone else is watching them.

7. Manage Kitchen Chaos – The kitchen is a hub of activity during the holiday season. Keep sharp knives and hot baking pans out of kids’ reach. Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove so kids can’t accidentally grab them or run into them.

8. Give Age Appropriate Toys – Before letting your child play with a new toy, make sure that it’s age appropriate and that your child knows how to use it properly. If a toy or small part is small enough to fit into the mouths of toddlers, it is a choking hazard.

9. Alleviate Kid Stress – A disruption in their regular routine is the main reason kids suffer from holiday stress. Help them cope by sticking to a routine as much as possible and making sure they get plenty of rest. Start a holiday tradition they can look forward to every year like decorating a gingerbread house.

10. Enjoy Safe Travels – Other homes you visit during the holidays might not be childproof. Watch out for danger spots like fragile ornaments, dangerous toys and household items that should be kept out of reach.

Sarah Caudle, PA-C

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