The holidays are in full swing! To ensure you and your kids have a pleasant – and safe – holiday season, check out these helpful tips.
• Wash hands before, during and after food preparation.
• Keep common baking ingredients such as vanilla and almond extract out of children’s reach.
• Use soap, water and disposable paper towels to clean surfaces that have touched raw meat, fish or poultry.
Trimming the Tree
• If your family picks out a real tree, make sure you check the tree’s freshness. Keep it away from fireplaces or other heating sources.
• Turn off the tree lights before leaving the tree in an unattended room.
• Do not leave burning candles unattended, and never place them near anything that might easily catch fire.
• Keep small ornaments, tinsel, small figurines and other decorations out of reach.
• Avoid ornaments that look like food or candy.
Make a List Check It Twice
• Select age-appropriate toys.
• For small children, avoid those with small, removable parts that may not be appropriate for younger children.
• Stay away from toys with strings, straps or cords. These may pose a strangulation hazard to small children.
• If it’s a new bicycle, tricycle, scooter, skateboard or skates that are on your child’s list, make sure you also purchase the proper safety gear, including helmets.
• You can get the most up-to-date info about any toys that may be recalled for safety hazards by visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at www.cpsc.gov.
Visiting Over the Holidays
• Clean up immediately after a holiday party. A toddler could choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
• Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways or hot radiators.
• Keep a list with all of the important phone numbers you or a baby-sitter are likely to need in case of an emergency.
• The night before you leave, avoid alcohol or any medication that might impair your driving.
• If you are traveling a long distance, plan to have rest stops. Young children can get anxious in the car. A few stops along the way can allow them to release some anxious energy, while providing respite to the driver!
• Allow extra time for delays and traffic, so you are not tempted to speed.
• Pack plenty of snacks for you and your passengers.
• Bring car-friendly activities for your kids such as small games, puzzles, coloring books and small computer games.
• Traveling, visiting family members, shopping, etc., can all increase your child’s stress levels. Trying to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.
Happy Holidays from the CHOC Children’s family to yours!