The holiday season is here, and it is the time many families come together to create special memories with their loved ones. Whether you are staying home for the holidays or are dashing through the snow to visit family, here are some helpful tips to keep your little ones safe and healthy this season.
1. Keep toys for older kids with small parts away from the little ones.
- Small toy parts present a big choking hazard to children. It is best to buy toys that fit in the suggested age range for your child as described on the manufacturer’s toy box or website. If you have multiple age ranges in your home, test toys with small parts to see if they should be kept away from little ones by putting the toy parts inside a toilet paper roll. If the items fit into the roll, they should be kept away from small children as they are a choking hazard.
2. Keep lit candles at least 12 inches away from things that can burn.
- Candles are fire and should be treated as such. Keep candles at least 12 inches from flammable objects such as decorations, wrapping or trees to avoid accidental fires and burns.
3. Don't overload indoor or outdoor electrical outlets.
- Each home is different in how much their electrical outlets can handle having plugged in at one time. To know if you are overloading your electrical outlets, see if they are warm to the touch or if sparking occurs when you plug something in. If this is the case, unplug the items and reassess where they could go in your home to alleviate the pressure on the outlet.
4. Keep kids away from the oven while you bake or cook.
- Having kids help in the kitchen is a wonderful way for them to learn. However, having them assist you while using the oven for baking or cooking can be dangerous for children. Designating a “Kids-Free Zone” at least 3 feet away from the oven or stovetop will help prevent injury.
5. Be extra cautious when traveling at night on holidays.
- More cars are on the road during the holidays, so it is important to stay focused and alert, especially when traveling at night. Pay extra attention to the road and allow for extra time to get to your destination safely. Children should also be in car seats or booster seats or in a seat belt if 4’9” or taller.
Get more helpful tips on safety during the holidays and all year round by checking out the Safety and Injury Prevention playlist on Valley Children’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB442A32E88AA691E
About the Author
Kristina Pasma, BSN, RN, CPSI, is a trauma nurse liaison at Valley Children's Healthcare. She is also the Safe Kids Central California Coalition Coordinator and is passionate about educating children and their families about injury prevention at home and in the community.