SPONSORED CONTENT: NEWS YOU CAN USE
Twinkling lights, shiny ornaments and a giant Christmas tree are beautiful holiday decorations, but at a relative’s house, you as a parent may see decorations a little differently. You see dangerously low-hanging wires, fragile shards of glass and a tree-sized tipping hazard.
You’ve taken the time to child-proof your home, making sure every potential harm is sealed and covered to protect your little one, but what about the relative with whom you’re spending the holidays? Is their home ready for your baby or toddler? How do you ask them to turn their winter wonderland into a safe haven for your children?
"I always tell the parents not to be shy when it comes to the health and safety of their children," said Just Kids Pediatric Chief Medical Officer Angela K. Yaffe, M.D. "I also tell them to blame it on me, their pediatrician. When I provide parents with the facts about potential hazards and how to avoid them, this empowers them to pass it on to the appropriate caretakers, family and friends."
Dr. Yaffe offers patient’s parents anticipatory guidance, which is the information that pediatric providers discuss with parents and children during visits that pertains to the child's safety and health. She said there is an increased risk of safety hazards for children during the holidays. Relatives’ homes could have unlocked cabinets, unattended purses with things inside that children could ingest, accessible and poisonous cleaning or laundry products, stairways or hot radiators.
"This is important for all parents to think about because it deals with the safety and well being of our children," Yaffe continued. "There is so much that unfortunately happens to the children we see that could have been easily prevented by the parents taking a few moments to educate themselves on safety and prevention for their child. The holidays bring an increased pace to our schedules. They also bring a new list of potential hazards for children that parents should be aware of in order to take appropriate measures to keep their children safe and healthy during this special time of year."
Dr. Yaffe suggests to keep in mind these safety concerns for your children, especially around the holidays:
- Toy safety: Make sure toys are age appropriate and don't pose a choking hazard with loose parts.
- Wrapping paper: Particularly dangerous if ingested.
- Food safety: Pay particular attention to popcorn which is popular around the holidays but is a choking hazard for young ones. Also, always fully cook meats and poultry.
- Children roaming around the house with food: Choking can occur without parents noticing.
- Mental health: Extra naps for little ones are recommended and try to stick to a regular schedule.
- Heavy furniture: Use furniture straps to prevent furniture from falling if children start climbing where they shouldn't.
- Travel safety: Always use car seats and understand how to ue them properly; travel only in good driving conditions; never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs; children in car seats should wear thin layers (not a thick coat or snowsuit) with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed.
These tips ensure that one of the most wonderful times of the year doesn’t turn into one of the most dangerous for your baby. Click here for more on child holiday safety.
Just Kids Pediatrics is a specialized pediatric primary care and urgent care practice staffed by highly trained pediatricians and child specific providers.
Angi Bruss is a Telly award-winning video host/anchor/reporter/voice talent/producer/editor in Oklahoma City. She has 10 years of broadcast experience, is currently a public relations consultant and is a wife and a mother to two beautiful girls.