Safety Tips to Ensure a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season for Your Baby or Toddler

by , 11/21/13

Safe Holiday Season, safe holiday, fire safety, christmas tree safety, thanksgiving safety, toddler safety, baby safety, choking hazard, safe holiday food, safe holiday fun, holiday poisons, baby safety at christmas, cooking safety

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Little Ones Don’t Belong in the Kitchen

Watch your attention span carefully during the holiday season. Clearly, you’re going to be busy and sometimes a new walker or toddler will wander where they shouldn’t, even if you turn away for seconds. Preparing holiday meals can be a baby safety nightmare. Your family and friends are running around a hot kitchen quickly, everyone is grabbing large pots of boiling liquid, the oven door opens and closes continually, hot dishes get set out to cool, and often sharp utensils are left within easy reach on the counter. Due to all this festive, yet dangerous meal prep, your baby or toddler shouldn’t be in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Have a non-cooking adult watch over the kiddos, put a gate up at the kitchen door, or place your child in a fun, safe but enclosed baby play yard.

Safe Holiday Season, safe holiday, fire safety, christmas tree safety, thanksgiving safety, toddler safety, baby safety, choking hazard, safe holiday food, safe holiday fun, holiday poisons, baby safety at christmas, cooking safety

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Look Out for Holiday Poisons

Oddly, most parents panic about holiday plants, such as the Poinsettia. In reality, Poinsettias are the least of your holiday worries. A study at Ohio State University found that if a 50 pound child ate a whopping 500 Poinsetta leaves, they might get a slight tummy ache and that’s about it. Still, they do pose a slight risk. If a child handles the leaves of a poinsettia then rubs her eyes or skin, irritation and redness may occur. That said, it’s best to keep Poinsettias and other holiday plants and flowers up and out of reach. The most worrisome poisons during the holidays, according to The Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC), are as follows:

Alcohol: Of course you know not to hand your toddler a beer, but during the holidays plenty of adults leave drinks laying around, which is maybe why DPIC says there’s a large increase in poison center calls about children and alcohol poisoning during this season. If you’re celebrating with alcohol make sure it’s all  up and out of reach.

Essential Oils and Flavors: During the holidays lots of people use oil of wintergreen, menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, and other essential oils and flavorings in foods and homemade gifts, and these can be toxic for young children if ingested AND they’re likely to be ingested as many of these oils and flavors smell like yummy candy.

Dry Ice: DPIC says that dry ice, a common holiday accessory, can cause tissue damage, and burns to the mouth can occur from ingestion. Keep dry ice away from kids and if your little one gets his hands on some, flush his skin with warm water or give him lukewarm water to drink if he eats some.

Remember, no matter what, if your child touches or ingests a poison or you suspect he has, always call poison control for advice.

Safe Holiday Season, safe holiday, fire safety, christmas tree safety, thanksgiving safety, toddler safety, baby safety, choking hazard, safe holiday food, safe holiday fun, holiday poisons, baby safety at christmas, cooking safety

Photo by Shutterstock

Be Fire Safe

During the holidays fires become more common and this puts your little ones at risk. To avoid fire dangers during the busy holiday season, do the following:

Skip the candles: Candles look super appealing to little ones. They’re colorful, bright, and best of all shining! Kids love to grab at candles, so if you do light up, place candles up high and out of reach or use flame-free fake candle lights. If you must have the real deal, choose wide candles as opposed to slim tapers which are easier to knock over.

Watch the tree: According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees, both real and artificial, “Were the first items ignited in an estimated 300 reported home structure fires per year since 2000.” To prevent your tree from going up in smoke, keep it well watered, never place your tree near a fireplace or other heat source, and look over your holiday lights annually for cracked bulbs, frayed wires and loose connections.

Go flame resistant: If you decide to buy an artificial tree, choose a flame resistant one or avoid decorating it with lights.

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