Health Care Holidays

Holiday Safety Checklist for Parents

Father and son decorating a Christmas tree.

Choose the health content that’s right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox.

The magic of the holidays brings family and friends together in a spirit of celebration. However, with all the dazzling lights, decorations, special foods and brand-new toys, we cannot forget there is always the potential for danger.

Follow our tips on holiday safety so you and your family can enjoy the holidays to the fullest.

Decoration Safety

Decorating for the holidays is fun for the whole family, and it’s great to enjoy the results of your decorative flair throughout the season. Here are some safety tips to consider when selecting age-appropriate décor.

Place fragile ornaments and decorations out of children’s reach or wait until children are older before using them. Small, shiny ornaments and tinsel attract the eyes and hands of young children and can be choking hazards. Anything small enough to fit into the mouth of an infant or toddler poses a choking risk.

Strings of lights, like many appliance cords, may contain lead. Ensure that lights are displayed beyond the reach of children.

Whenever possible, avoid using real candles as part of your decorations. Ensure that any lit candles around your home are kept away from flammable items and can’t be tipped over. Don’t leave burning candles unattended.

Unplug all holiday lights and extinguish all candles before going to bed. Plugging extension cords into surge protectors should be avoided as it’s a fire hazard.

Keep poisonous and potentially harmful holiday plants, such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettias, away from kids and pets.

New Toy Safety

The joy of seeing your child’s surprise as they open their new presents is priceless. After opening gifts, collect all bows, ribbons, wrapping paper, bags and tape and stow them safely away to avoid choking hazards. Provide young children with age-appropriate gifts. Avoid toys that plug into outlets, as well as balloons and toys with strings or other small parts.

Make sure batteries are out of your kids’ reach. If you suspect your child has swallowed a battery, it is imperative to seek immediate medical treatment.

When unwrapping and putting together new gifts, keep knives, box cutters and scissors out of children’s hands and reach.

Food and Cooking Safety

Holiday foods make special treats for everyone, and children enjoy helping in the kitchen. Keep a close eye on little ones while baking or cooking to prevent burns. Always ensure that pot handles are turned away from the front of the stove so they can’t be pulled off. Keep the oven door closed or children at a safe distance when the door is open.

Food poisoning is a danger, especially for small children. Thoroughly wash hands, utensils and surfaces that come into contact with raw meat and eggs, and ensure all food and baked items are properly cooked before giving them to children.

Some popular holiday party items like popcorn, nuts and hard candies can be choking hazards. Keep them out of reach of children.

Travel Safety

To make the most of your holiday travel experience, remember the following ideas for your kids’ well-being. Then, be sure to have a good time!

Keep an emergency travel card containing identification and contact information in your children’s pocket, such as your hotel and emergency contact phone numbers. These can even be pinned inside your child’s jacket. ID bracelets are excellent for your little ones who may not yet know their phone number and home address. If any of your children have a medical condition, make sure they wear their medical ID bracelet.

Talk to your kids ahead of time regarding a safety plan if you become separated. Let them know who is safe to talk to for help, like a security officer or a person at a cash register.

Be sure to pack all necessary medicines. If you do forget them, call your physician so they can send a prescription to a pharmacy near you.

Have a Holiday Health Plan

We want you to have peace of mind when preparing for this season's festivities. Contact the Member Experience Center at Call855-747-7476, and we’ll connect you to a primary care physician.

Recent Blogs

Happy Family Camping together
Why Your Kids’ New Year’s Resolutions Should Be Part of Your Own
man checks his insulin
Living With Diabetes: Tips to Keep Yourself Healthy
Prostate Cancer Screening: What, When, Why and How?
A couple sitting together on the couch.
How a Simple Mammogram Can Save Your Life
Staying Safe From the Flu This Season
View More Articles