6 Simple Tips to Keep Young Children Safe During the Holidays

28.11.2017
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The holiday season is here and that means lots of preparation and busyness in our homes. For families with young children, it can feel almost magical to experience holiday traditions, festivities, and decorations through the eyes of a child.

As we take part in the celebration and wonder that comes with this time of year, we need to be extra mindful of creating homes and traditions that are safe for young children.

Here are 6 simple ways to keep the little ones in your care safe during the holidays:

 

1. Kids eat weird things.

Whenever possible, remove temptations that could be dangerous for young children. Berries and leaves on certain holiday plants can be poisonous. Plastic gumdrops look edible. Metal ornament hooks and tiny decorations are  choking hazards.

A safe home far outweighs a perfectly decorated home!

 

2. Keep breakable and flammable items out of reach.

Teaching young children not to touch certain things is part of our responsibility as parents and caregivers. But we can’t watch every move they make every second of every day, especially during the hectic time of the holidays.

While ceramic figurines, glass ornaments, and holiday candles set the stage for a holiday home, they also invite curious little hands and unnecessary risk.

Choose to go without certain decorations when children are very young. Or choose to keep them up high and out of reach.

Also consider childproofing your electrical outlets and receptacles so that little fingers don’t get shocked.

 

3. Too many treats = cranky kids and sick visits.

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Between extended family members who want to indulge their little ones, and all the holiday festivities at day care, preschool, and church – it’s easy for young children to get overloaded with too much sugar.

They don’t know how to moderate so it’s our job to do it for them.

Too much sugar makes kids extra cranky after the “sugar high” wears off. And too much sugar weakens our immune system cells that attack bacteria. The wintry season already puts all of us at greater risk for flu, colds, and stomach bugs.

Making sure our young kids don’t overdo it with sugar is one way to keep them healthier and happier during the holidays.

 

4. Give the gift of safe, age-appropriate toys.

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Giving is such a fun part of the holiday season! With little ones, it’s important to find age-appropriate toys that will bring joy to the young children in our lives without presenting choking or injury hazards.

This list from BabyCenter provides toy suggestions from birth to 3 years of age.

 

5. Safe shopping and traveling.

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Parking lots and streets are busier this time of year. Drivers are more distracted and there’s an increase in driving under the influence. If you’re shopping or running errands with young children, hold on extra tightly to little hands!

With an increase in travel, it’s also a good time to make sure that car seats are installed correctly. See these tips from Safe Kids to make sure your kids’ seats are keeping them as safe as possible.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent. 

If you’d like to be sure your seat is installed for optimum safety, click here for a list of local inspection stations and contact information. Appointments are free!

 

6. Less is more.

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This applies across the board when it comes to young children and the holidays. The more cords, plants, candles, breakables, treats, errands, events, and presents — the greater the risk of injury, illness, accidents, and overwhelm. {And the greater your frustration level as a parent or caregiver.}

You don’t want to worry your way through the holidays. You want to enjoy them!

Young children are easily overwhelmed by too much of any good thing. When in doubt, always choose the simple route.

Remember, children are only young for a short season of life. Their safety and your sanity are worth the extra effort and mindfulness of creating a safe home and holiday experience!

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What are some of your favorite holiday safety tips for young children? You can share them in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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By Marian Vischer, Communications Coordinator

 

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