Holiday safety for kids

Feel Good, Health and Fitness, Topics, What You Should Know

The holidays are a magical time, especially when seen through the eyes of children. But it’s also a time for accidents and injuries. 

“While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is vital for parents to be aware of the potential hazards,” said Dr. Sonali Vashi, a pediatrician with McLaren Port Huron. “Unfortunately, accidents and injuries are common this time of year and by watching out for some potential holiday hazards, you and your family can enjoy a happy, healthy season.”

Decorations
•  Decorate your tree with kids in mind. Be sure the tree is secured to the wall and secure breakable ornaments toward the top of the tree.
•  Christmas trees can become a potential fire hazard. If you have a real tree, don’t let it dry out by making sure the tree stand is always filled with water.  
•  Do not leave children alone in a room with lighted candles, matches, lighters or any other sources of flame.
•  Keep decorations out of the reach of children and secured to the wall. Any object small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube can become a potential choking hazard.
•  Mistletoe, holly berries and poinsettias are toxic when ingested. If you decorate with them, be sure to keep them out of reach.

Toys
•  Make sure your children’s toys are age-appropriate and check there aren’t any small parts that can pose a choking risk to young children.
•  Keep batteries away from young kids.
•  Don’t forget a helmet for new bikes or other toys.

Outdoors
•  Dress your child properly for the weather, making sure that their hands, feet and heads are covered.
•  Supervise children and make sure they wear the correct safety gear for sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and other outdoor activities.

Travel
•  Remember to buckle up every ride, every time, whether it’s the long trip to visit family or a short trip to the corner store.
•  Check your car seat before holiday travel. Use booster seats for older children and keep children under the age of 13 in the back seat. 
•  Shopping center parking lots are busier during the holidays. Watch out for distracted pedestrians and drivers who may not be paying attention to you, especially when backing out of parking spaces.

Also, take a minute to save these numbers in your phone:
•  Poison Help Number: 1-800-222-1222. Specialists at poison control centers can help if your child has gotten into household products or medicine. They provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
•  National Battery Ingestion Hotline: 1-800-498-8666. If you think your child has swallowed a button battery, call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline for expert advice.

Dr. Sonali Vashi is a pediatrician practicing at McLaren Port Huron Marysville Family Medicine. She is accepting new patients. Click here for more information or to schedule an appointment.