The holidays are a special time for everyone, but are especially exciting for children. Between holiday decorations, sweets and special meals, the anticipation of seeing family members, and receiving presents, your children will be easily excitable through the rest of the year. That’s why it’s important to go over safety measures with them before holiday plans are in motion. Below are a few tips to consider for your children’s safety and for your peace of mind this season.
- Indoor Decoration. When decorating your home for the holidays, be mindful of the age of your children and make sure that your decor is age appropriate. If your children are young, for example, it’s best to pass on decorations that are easily breakable or decorations with small pieces that could be choking hazards. If you do want such decorations up for sentimental reasons, take care to place them out of reach of your children. Similarly, remember that poinsettias, mistletoe, and other holiday decorations can be poisonous if ingested and situate them in locations where your children will not encounter them.
- Lighting and Fire Safety. Candles and lights are a festive part of the holidays, but if you have small children, there are a few extra precautions that will keep both your children and your home safe. Position your Christmas tree away from heat sources, in case of accidental falls. Check for fraying wires and functional bulbs before hanging lights on your tree or around your home. And always place lights and candles where they are out of reach of small children to avoid fire hazards.
- Age-Appropriate Toys. Gifts are one of the best parts of the holiday season for children, but be aware of the kinds of items your children are receiving. Consider how old your children are when purchasing presents for the holiday and when possible, coordinate with relatives and friends who might be giving your children gifts to be sure they are age-appropriate. Small parts can turn into potential choking hazards for small children. You should also remove any wrapping remnants, strings, or tags before giving toys to a child.
- Outdoor Accidents. With holiday travel, more people are on the road this time of year - and often times are traveling in unfamiliar destinations. Even if it’s an area the driver is familiar with, there can be more distractions and dangerous road conditions around the holidays. If your children are still in car seats, be sure they are buckled properly. If you live in an area that winter weather tends to hit hard, be sure your children are dressed appropriately for the weather and have the appropriate supervision for outdoor activities.
Following age-appropriate safety guidelines, as well as any individualized care plans for children with certain illnesses, can ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday. If you have concerns about your child and their safety during the holidays, Capital Area Pediatrics is here to help you. We are able and ready to address any of your questions or concerns about holiday safety. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will be happy to assist you!