Protecting Your Children during the Holidays

The holiday season has arrived and for most of us it is the most enjoyable time of the year, especially for children.  It also is one of the busiest times of the year for emergency room doctors.  Here are some dangers and safety tips so you and your family can enjoy the holidays.

Poisoning – Many plants used as decorations during the holidays can be poisonous to children if consumed.  You should always keep these out of reach of your children.  If poisoned immediately call your doctor or the National Poison center.  Alcohol and food poisoning are other potential holiday dangers.  Make sure to remove all used cups as soon as you can because small amounts of alcohol can be extremely harmful for a child.  Practice food safety by continually washing your hands, utensils, and anything else that comes in contact with raw meats and eggs.

Choking and Swallowing – There are many potential choking and swallowing hazards for children during the holidays. If it is small enough to fit in the mouth of a baby or toddler then it is too small to play with!

Fires – Make sure that your tree is always secured and kept away from any heat sources. Always unplug all of your lights before going to bed.  Make sure all candles are extinguished and keep them away from windowsills and mantles.  Do not overload electrical circuits with lights or decorations.  If you have a fireplace a safe practice is to hire a chimney professional to make sure it is clean and safe to use.  Having a family emergency plan and checking all smoke detectors before putting up decorations are a few ways to practice safety.

Accidents – During the holidays there are many chances for someone to get burnt from cooking. You should always keep pot handles turned away from the front of the stove, and be sure that the oven door is always shut.  Make sure that you keep glass and breakable ornaments up higher on trees, or do not put them on at all until they are older.  If one breaks clean it up immediately.

Be aware that car accidents increase during the holidays.  Always make sure that your children are buckled up and secure before driving.  Never drive after drinking alcohol, and be extra careful at night where there is a higher chance of someone being impaired on the road.

 Happy Holidays and stay safe!

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