The holidays are great, but parents should take precautions so their children can enjoy a healthy and happy season:
- Parking precautions. Shopping malls and parking lots are full of distracted shoppers and drivers. Keep an eye on your 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.
- Give age appropriate toys. When shopping for toys, make sure they are age appropriate and that your child knows how to use them properly. If a toy has parts small enough to fit into a toddler’s mouth, it is a choking hazard.
- Keep harmful plants out of reach. Popular holiday greens used for decorating such as holly and mistletoe are poisonous if ingested. Keep kids safe by decorating with artificial holiday greens.
- Stop the spread of germs. Practice healthy habits by encouraging kids to wash their hands frequently.
- Eat healthy. Minimize tummy aches that can quickly put a damper on holiday cheer by providing nutritious snacks such as fruit, vegetable and cheese platters.
- Put a damper on fire dangers. 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.
- Keep an eye on the kids during events. 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.
- Control 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.
- Enjoy safe travels. Other homes you visit during the holidays might not be childproof. Watch out for dangerous items such as ornaments, unsafe toys and medications that should be kept out of the reach of children.