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Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are an exciting time of year for children. To help ensure they have a safe holiday season, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

TREES: Before placing your tree in a stand, cut a few inches off of the trunk to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

LIGHTS: Turn off lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.

DECORATIONS: In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, and keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.

TOYS: Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children. Children under age three can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1¼ inches in diameter and 2¼ inches long.

FOOD: Be sure to keep hot liquids and foods away from the edges of counter and tables, where they can be easily knocked over by a young child’s exploring hands. Avoid table runners or tablecloths that hang over the edge of a table that encourage young hands to pull on them. Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.

FIREPLACES: Always use a fireplace with caution, and avoid use of all “airway irritants” around children. Airway irritants include scented candles, potpourri, wood-burning stoves/fireplaces, and cigarette smoke. Also, please make sure the fireplace is safety proofed if there are small children in the home.

HAPPY VISITING: Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots. Put the number for poison control in your cell phone for immediate availability. Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, 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 away from home and reduce stress. Wash your hands frequently and make sure your children do the same. Good hand-washing is the number one defense against the spreading of germs.

HAVE FUN! The holiday season is a time to enjoy your children and the magic they bring to your life. Tell them just how special they are. Our staff wishes you and your family a happy and HEALTHY holiday season!

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