At Home or On the Road, Holiday Safety Tips for Kids

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Provided by the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue

The holidays are a fun time of year with the anticipation of getting gifts, seeing family and being out of school. It is also an important time of year to be mindful of your children’s safety. Holiday decorations, traveling, and visiting new locations that may not be childproofed can put your children in danger. Below are some simple precautions that can help to make sure that your children have a fun and safe holiday.

Childproofing

Most parents understand the importance of childproofing their homes. In addition to the risks of holiday decorations, younger children can get into trouble if they visit a home during the holidays (or any time of year) that isn’t childproofed. In addition to not having safety locks on cabinets, gates on stairs, covers on electrical outlets, etc., they may also have prescription medications that aren’t in a child-resistant container. Things to be especially watchful for, and which you may want to ask about, include:

  • Do they have a pool? Does it have a fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate?
  • Are there guns in the house? Are they stored unloaded in a locked box with the bullets locked separately?
  • Are there small objects, such as hard candy or nuts in candy dishes, where younger children can get them?
  • Are there gates on the stairs?
  • Are medications, poisons and household cleaners out of reach?
  • Do they have a pet that may harm the children?
  • If your child has food allergies, will they be serving that food?

Toy Safety

  • Select safe toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child.
  • Check toys regularly for small parts, breakage and potential hazards, including chipped or peeling paint. Damaged or dangerous toys should be repaired or thrown away.
  • Teach older children to keep their toys away from younger children.
  • When buying a bicycle, scooter, skates, or other sporting goods, also buy a helmet and appropriate safety pads.

For more information on children and holiday safety, visit http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/safetyfirstaid/a/holiday_ safety.htm.

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