‘Tis the season to be jolly, and the health and well being of children top my wish list. The injury prevention experts in CHOC’s Community Education Department tell me that the holiday season can be a dangerous time for kids. Routines are interrupted, new hazards are introduced into the home, and parents are often distracted by the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Here are a few helpful tips that I want to pass along to all moms, dads and caregivers to help keep the ‘jingle’ in the holiday season:
- When baking your yummy goodies, be sure to keep ingredients, like vanilla and almond extract, out of children’s reach. It’s also a good idea to keep those round hard foods and candies out of kids’ reach.
- Keep a close eye on kids in the kitchen.
- Make sure alcoholic beverages are out of reach of your little ones.
- Avoid putting fragile ornaments, especially those with small detachable parts or metal hooks, on the lower branches of the Christmas tree and don’t use ornaments that look like food or candy.
- Watch for holly and mistletoe berries that may have fallen into your child’s path; they are very poisonous. Poinsettias are not poisonous but can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal distress if digested.
- Keep guests’ purses away from curious little ones.
- Supervise children around the fireplace and those festive candles.
Hope you and your loves ones enjoy a magical – and safe holiday!
Can a proud bear boast for a moment? CHOC Children’s just earned another national accolade! The pediatric intensive care unit on our Orange campus became the first in the nation to be recognized with the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. This honor represents extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families. You see why I am so proud?
The kind people at the Ralphs Fund and the Food 4 Less Fund, the philanthropic arms of Ralphs and Food 4 Less, recently donated $25,000 in support of The CHOC Children’s Cancer Institute Adolescent and Young Adult Program. This program gives our teen and adoloscent cancer patients access to the latest clinical protocols and psychosocial services tailored to meet their unique needs. This is not the first gift from the Ralphs and Food 4 Less Funds. Since 1996, they’ve donated more than $213,000. What an awesome demonstration of corporate philanthropy!
I have always counted firefighters among my list of heroes – along with CHOC doctors and nurses, of course. Today, firefighters from the City of Orange were big heroes to our patients for escorting Santa to our campus – despite the rain. Patients gathered in the playrooms to see the big guy in the red suit riding on a firetruck, with sirens blaring, behind the hospital. Santa, along with the firefighters, came into the hospital to spread a little holiday cheer. Our young patients could not take their eyes off of our special guest. (See the photo if you don’t believe me.)
Out of respect for Mr. Claus, I stayed low key – I didn’t want to take the attention away from him.
I have always admired UC Irvine’s mascot, Peter the Anteater, but now we’re practically family! For anyone who has not heard, CHOC, UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine have formed a strategic affiliation to better serve children and families. The affiliation will create a pediatrics center that integrates high-quality, comprehensive patient care; leading-edge research and excellent teaching programs. With this affiliation, CHOC and UC Irvine are transforming the way pediatric care is delivered in Orange County, enhancing and combining premier services to increase access to the best treatment for our community’s children. How cool is that? Peter and I are very proud!