Safety should always come first. This is especially important to remember during the hectic holidays. Many risks exist in unfamiliar environments, especially if not every houses is familiar with hosting children for the holidays. When visiting friends and family, take a few extra precautions to be sure your children will be safe and healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a few tips to consider in order to ensure safety for a happy holiday season:
- Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, or hot radiators.
- Keep a list with important phone numbers you or a baby sitter are likely to need in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. Laminating the list will prevent it from being torn or damaged by accidental spills.
- Always make sure your child rides in an appropriate car safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt.
- In cold weather, children in car safety seats should wear thin layers with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed, not a thick coat or snowsuit.
- Adults should buckle up, too, including those riding in the back seat.
- Drivers should never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, and other holiday events can all increase your child’s stress levels.
- Try to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, to help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.