The holidays are a time for traveling, food, family and fun. But with all the busyness of the season, I can sometimes forget the little ones in my life. There are so many things I take for granted when I am in the comfort of my own home that can become dangerous in someone else’s. I always keep these 6 ideas in my mind as I head out with my young ones this season.
1) Shop wisely. I always keep the age of the child in mind when I am shopping for gifts. I like to review the safety standards and skill requirements for toys and games. I also think of some of the other children in the house that might have access to the same items.
2) Keep young children out of the kitchen. Did you know that 1 in 10 holiday accidents happen in the kitchen? I try to have Uncle Joe keep an eye on the kids in the living room while the others are preparing the dinner in the kitchen. Games and movies usually keep the kids occupied…and Uncle Joe too.
3) Keep medicines packed away. There are too many pills that can be mistaken for candy to children. They don’t read warning labels or fine print. They just eat whatever looks good to the eye. My friend keeps their liquor cabinet locked as well, making me feel at ease in their home.
4) Beware of choking hazards. This can encompass so many things: peanuts, popcorn, candy in dishes, ornaments, toys and games. The list goes on and on. I take these items and see if they will fit through a toilet paper roll. If they do, they are too small to be in the hands of little ones.
5) Keep in mind fire hazards. This can also be a long list of items to keep in mind. I like to make sure that all lights and candles are put out at night before bed or anytime we are leaving the house. I make sure that my outlets and circuits are not overloaded with too many cords. I also make sure that cigarettes and lighters are kept up on top of the fridge or somewhere hidden like locked in the liquor cabinet.
6) Keep guns locked up. This should be self-explanatory, but it can also include bb and pellet guns. Whenever there is more than one child that I have to keep an eye on, I want to make sure that all guns and weapons are not within reach. Weapons are only for one-on-one parent/child times and locations.
After establishing a few reminders to my friends and family, I feel much safer about the holidays with my children and others.