The holiday season can be a joyous time for kids and adults. It’s also a time when entertaining and festivities can distract from child safety. Here are tips to keep in mind when celebrating with family and friends to keep it safe for everyone.
When hosting or attending a holiday get together:
Keep guests’ purses, coats and suitcases out of reach
Visitors may carry medications, cigarettes or cigars, perfume or aftershave that kids could easily get into. When guests arrive, have a safe place to store their items out of reach.
Actively supervise kids
Sometimes, when many adults are in the house, it’s easy to think someone else is watching the kids. Designate adults to take turns supervising.
Consider the age of your guests
If you have little ones visiting, safety-proof things like your tree, ornaments, holiday plants, stairs, outlets and other things that can be dangerous for small children.
Never leave lit candles unattended
Candles are festive, but for safety’s sake, consider using flameless tealights and candles instead.
Handle food safely
When preparing meals, clean your hands with warm, soapy water 20 seconds before and after food handling. Also, wash surfaces in contact with food in hot, soapy water after preparation.
Clean up the leftovers
Don’t leave out food or half-filled glasses to clean up the next day when there are children around. Children of all ages can wake up early and ingest leftover foods and alcoholic drinks.
When exchanging holiday gifts
Know the child’s age and maturity level when purchasing a toy or game. Read the instructions and warning labels.
Invest in the gift of safety. If you’re giving a bike, scooter, wheeled vehicle or winter sports equipment like skates, sleds or skis, don’t forget a helmet.
Keep track of batteries. Lithium button batteries are now found in electronic devices, remote controls and musical greeting cards, and are very dangerous to small children and pets if swallowed.
The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy program has a holiday safety flyer for parents to download and review. For more family safety information about how to stay safe in the home, outdoors and on the go, visit KohlsSafeandHealthy.com.
– Jessica St. Onge, community health project coordinator, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Kohl’s Cares share the mission of keeping kids in our community safe, healthy and injury free. The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy program provides a trusted educational resource for safety in the home, outdoors and on the go. The more families know about safety and injury prevention, the healthier they can be.