Preventing Holiday Hazards for Kids

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Children light up with joy and wonder over the holiday season. It’s a time to enjoy favorite traditions and make new memories. Lights, decorations and tempting treats make it easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of this fun time of year. Before heading full-swing into the holidays, spend a few minutes reviewing the ground rules to keep your holidays injury-free and full of whole health.

Stay Safe Around Flames

Cooler winter nights are the perfect time to enjoy a cozy fire. Remind children to stay away from fires, outdoor fire pits and lit candles. Never leave a fire or candles unattended and keep them out of small hands’ touch.

Enjoy Holiday Decorations, Safely

Favorite holiday decorations often have traditions and stories attached. They also tend to pose choking hazards. Remind children that certain decorations are only for looking, not playing. Involve them by setting up an area with safe, kid-friendly toys and decorations that they can play with and arrange.

Child-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Putting up the Christmas tree is a great way to spend time with family, reminisce about past holidays, and plan for this year’s celebration. Keep everyone safe by child-proofing your tree based on your children’s age and activity level:

  • Check the floor for hooks or tree needles that children may step on or put in their mouth
  • Place breakable ornaments near the top of the tree
  • Secure the tree to the wall if you have curious toddlers at home
  • Use plain water in tree stands for live trees

Celebrate Safely

If your family will be having a small get-together this year, of course that will be a fun way to celebrate the holidays and connect with loved ones, but in order to keep everyone safe, including your youngest guests, remember a few simple tips:

  • Designate a child-safe area, such as a playroom, and be sure an adult is always with small children
  • Keep foods that pose a choking risk out of kids’ reach
  • Move heavy, breakable decorations should be out of reach of curious toddlers
  • Pick up leftover drinks and food not intended for children, and keep them out of reach of small, curious hands
  • Use gates to block stairs, pools or areas where young children shouldn’t be left unattended

Beware of Batteries

Button-shaped batteries power many holiday decorations and toys. These small batteries can seriously burn a child’s esophagus if swallowed. To keep children safe:

  • Consider removing batteries from toys and decorations
  • Regularly check toys and decorations to make sure compartment is closed and batteries are still there
  • Secure battery compartments with tape
  • Store button batteries well out of reach of children
  • Talk to children about the dangers of button batteries

Stay Safe Outside of Your Home

If you see an unsafe situation, such as at a restaurant or family member’s home, don’t hesitate to speak up. Chances are your host hasn’t noticed the danger and will be happy to keep everyone healthy during the festivities. It’s also important to talk to your children before leaving the house so they know the ground rules to stay safe. This includes making sure everyone has their face mask, hand sanitizer, and remembers to social distance if you are going to be around others who aren’t in your household.

Keep Your Holidays Full of Magic

The holidays are an important time of year. You can keep your family safe by discussing rules and expectations for the holiday season, and how things may look a little different this year during a pandemic. Your child’s pediatrician can also help make a plan to keep children safe and return children to health and wellness if they do become sick or injured.

To make your holiday safety plan with one of our expert pediatricians, or make your emergency plan if an accident, illness or injury occurs during the holidays by knowing your closest pediatric ER. Find locations near you.

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