Holiday Safety for Children

November 30, 2021

Not only is it the season to be merry, but also the season to avoid holiday related injuries. Although children are known to be accident prone year round, the holidays are a time when accident rates tend to increase. Although holiday mishaps may be fun to laugh about in movies, such as Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation, they do not bring joy in reality. That is why it is important to guard you and your loved ones from common holiday related injuries, by practicing holiday safety for children.

Tips for Ensuring Holiday Safety for Children

1. Practice Safe Decorating: Lights, Santa, wreaths, whatever your decoration of choice is this season be sure to practice holiday safety for children while decorating. It is estimated that approximately 5,800 people are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorating, with more than half of these falls occurring from ladders or roofs. Do not leave ladders or step stools unattended or within reach of children. Furthermore, do not allow young children to help with the hanging of the outdoor lights or other risky tasks.

Additionally, make sure extension cords are tucked away or taped down to avoid tripping or injury. It is estimated that 4,000 injuries occur annually from accidents involving extension cords. 50% of these injuries involve injury from tripping over cords, such as fractures and sprains. Keeping cords out of the way is extremely important for young children or babies who may put cords in their mouth or get tangled.

holiday safety for children2. Practice Fire Safety: Unfortunately there is a spike in the number of fires around the holiday season. In order to best protect your loved ones from a fire, below are a few useful tips:

  • Make sure your extension cords are in good working order and out of reach of children.
  • Make sure you have smoke detectors installed and that they work properly.
  • When cooking, stay in the kitchen and do not leave items unattended on the stove.
  • Blow out candles and turn off any space heaters when not in use.

3. Avoid Toxins: Although festive plants, such as live poinsettias, look great on the mantle, they can pose a threat especially to children. Below are a few holiday decor items to be aware of, especially if you have young children or pets who will put anything in their mouths.

  • Poinsettias: Poinsettias are known to cause a rash around the mouth or an upset stomach if ingested. The sap can also irritate skin.
  • Mistletoe: If eaten, mistletoe is toxic and can cause serious health conditions such as blurred vision, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood pressure changes, and even death.
  • Holly Berries: As few as two holly berries, if eaten, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and drowsiness in children.

4. Practice Safe Travel: The final step in ensuring holiday safety for children is by practicing safe travel.Traffic can be atrocious this time of year. To avoid holiday accidents, take your car in to be serviced prior to holiday travel. Also, check the forecast before you head out to make sure the skies stay clear. More accidents occur in snow and rain. If you are traveling long distances, schedule in rest breaks and have a backup driver ready to take the wheel when you get tired.

Make sure your children are secured properly in their child safety seats and that the children are within the weight limits for the seat and the seat is being used properly. Please refer to your car seat manual for proper installation and use before travel and ensure the child safety seat is not expired. Car seat safety is an important factor of safe holiday travel.

Holly Springs Pediatrics is Here When You Need Us

If a holiday accident does occur, Holly Springs Pediatrics is here to help. Please contact our office 24 hours a day to speak to a nurse or the doctor on call. To schedule an appointment, please contact our office during normal business hours or submit a request online. From our family to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!