Dr. Loretta Cody
Keeping Your Child Safe During the Holidays
The holiday season is upon us! Excitement is in the air, but it’s also a time to be extra vigilant about your child’s safety.
Here are some safety tips to make this your best season ever!
Always read the label on any toy you receive or purchase. Check the size of the pieces of all toys and games. Most toys will note the age range appropriate for use on the package. If you have young children at home (crawling babies and toddlers), be very cautious of what you have in the house. Many children, especially those younger than three, put everything in their mouths. Small toy pieces can be swallowed or cause a child to choke. If a toy comes with a battery or a magnet and a younger child swallows any of these items, it can be extremely dangerous. Button batteries, in particular, besides being a choking hazard, can erode a child’s esophagus, which can be life-threatening.
Some of our favorite holiday plants can be dangerous if ingested. Berries from the holly plant, in particular, may look appetizing to young children but contain theobromine, which is poisonous. So please keep plants well out of reach or hold off buying and displaying holly plants if you have younger children living in or visiting your home.
Candles, in general, can pose a fire risk, so remember to keep them out of reach of children and placed in an area where they are unlikely to be accidentally knocked over. Further, if you have scented candles, avoid burning them around younger children. Some scented candles may contain chemicals that can irritate children's lungs, especially if they have allergies or asthma.
Make sure the tree is stable and cannot be easily pulled or knocked over. If you have a real tree, keep it watered and unplug the lights when you are not in the room. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant.
Shiny, colorful ornaments can also wreak havoc on a crawling baby or toddler wanting to explore a glistening tree, especially if these ornaments are breakable or sharp. Avoid putting decorations within reach of younger children.
Remember to keep festive drinks that contain alcohol out of children’s reach. (And don’t leave half-empty glasses around either.) Alcohol consumed by a young child can make them sick and be quite dangerous, even poisonous.
This is a wonderful time of year, filled with family get-togethers and special memories in the making. Give yourself and your family some peace of mind by following these holiday safety tips.
A happy and healthy season to all!