Making the Holidays Safeenparents the holidays fun and healthy by learning how to protect your kids from these common trees, hanukkah, chanukah, kwanzaa, poisoning, poinsettias, mistletoe, poisonous plants, holly bushes, jerusalem cherry plants, light bulbs, ornaments, decorations, string of lights, choking, swallowed, ate, icicles, tinsel, small toys, gift wrap, bows, plastic bags, fires, candles, menorahs, new years, new year's eve, alcohol, drinking, accidents, eggnog, sledding, ice skating, caroling, electrical safety, cooking holiday meals, pine needles, angel hair, holiday party, parties03/22/200001/10/202001/10/2020Steven Dowshen, MD12/14/2014e3211c0b-cda2-4db9-a08d-e070e725aa7d<p>Family gatherings, special traditions, delicious treats &mdash; the holiday season&nbsp;may be the most wonderful time of the year, especially for kids. Unfortunately, for emergency room doctors it's also one of the busiest.</p> <p>Learn how to protect your little ones from some common holiday dangers, so you and your family can enjoy a season that's happy and healthy.</p> <h3>Poisoning</h3> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, Jerusalem cherry plants, and other plants are commonly used as decorations during the holidays. Like many plants, these are considered potentially poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of kids. Symptoms of plant poisoning can include rashes, nausea, <a href="">vomiting</a>, and <a href="">diarrhea</a>. If you suspect that your child has eaten any part of a plant, immediately call your doctor or the National Poison Center: <strong>(800) 222-1222</strong>.</li> <li>"Bubble lights" containing methylene chloride can be poisonous if a child drinks the fluid from more than one light (even if labeled nontoxic). Snow sprays may be harmful if the aerosol propellants are used improperly.</li> <li><a href="">Alcohol</a> poisoning is a common risk for children during the holiday season. Many parents host holiday parties where alcohol is served. Take care to remove <strong>all</strong> empty and partially empty cups as soon as possible. Because kids imitate adults, many may drink the beverages they see adults drinking. Children become "drunk" much more quickly than adults, so even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous.</li> <li>Food poisoning is another potential holiday hazard. Practice <a href="">food safety</a> by washing hands, utensils, dishes, and anything else that comes in contact with raw meat, including poultry and fish, and raw eggs before and after use. Don't contaminate a serving dish with raw meat. Store leftovers properly and heat them thoroughly before serving.</li> </ul> <h3>Choking and Swallowing</h3> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Tree ornaments, light bulbs, icicles, tinsel, and small toys are potential <a href="">choking</a> hazards for small children because they may block the airway. The general rule of thumb is that if it's small enough to fit in the mouths of babies and toddlers, it's too small to play with.</li> <li>Common holiday foods such as peanuts or popcorn are potential choking hazards and should not be given to children under age 4.</li> <li>The needles of holiday trees can cause painful cuts in the mouth and throat of a child who swallows them.</li> <li>Angel hair (made from finely spun glass) and ornament hangers may cause cuts, skin irritation, or <a href="">eye damage</a> if touched or swallowed by children.</li> </ul> <h3>Fire</h3> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Keep your tree secured in a sturdy stand so that it doesn't tip over (or isn't knocked over by kids or pets) and keep it away from all heat sources, such as electrical outlets, radiators, and portable space heaters. If you buy an artificial tree, be sure it's labeled "fire-retardant." Unplug all lights, both indoor and outdoor, and extinguish all candles every night before you go to bed.</li> <li>Avoid using real candles on a tree because if the needles are dry, they can easily catch fire. Never leave the room with taper candles or menorah candles burning &mdash; it only takes a minute for a spark from a candle to burst into flames. Keep lit candles away from windowsills and mantles and use only flame-retardant decorations when decking your halls.</li> <li>Circuits that are overloaded with lights, decorations, and accessories can start a fire. Don't overload indoor or outdoor electrical outlets.</li> <li>Have your fireplace inspected before you light your first fire of the season. A chimney professional can clean your fireplace and ensure that it is safe to use. You can protect your family by using a sturdy fireplace screen when burning fires. Never burn paper or pine boughs, since those materials can float out of the chimney and ignite a nearby home or your own roof.</li> <li>Practice <a href="">fire safety</a>, have a family emergency plan in the event of a fire, and check smoke detectors before you put up your holiday decorations. These steps will ensure that your family can celebrate many holiday seasons to come.</li> </ul> <h3>Accidents</h3> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>A lot of cooking goes on during the holiday season, so there are many opportunities for burns and scaldings. Keep pot handles turned away from the front of the stove and always keep the oven door closed. To prevent accidents, watch your kids while you bake or cook. Kitchen appliances should be clean to prevent potential fires.</li> <li>Keep breakable ornaments out of young kids' reach &mdash; or keep them off the tree until your children are older. If one does break, clean up the pieces quickly.</li> <li><a href="">Car accidents and injuries</a> to children increase during the holiday season. Prevent a holiday ER visit by making sure that kids are buckled up securely during car rides and don't drive&nbsp;after drinking alcohol. And be extra cautious&nbsp;when traveling at night on holidays such as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, when there is a higher incidence of impaired driving.</li> <li><a href="">Sledding</a> accidents can be very serious. Young kids should be supervised and should avoid dangerous sledding areas, such as rocky areas, steep hills, and crowded sledding hills.</li> </ul>
5 Ways to Stay Healthy for the HolidaysStay well and have a good time over the holidays - even if everyone else is falling apart. Our 5 tips will help boost your body's defenses.
Childproofing and Preventing Household AccidentsYou might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 and under.
ChokingChoking is an emergency - so it's important to recognize the signs of choking and know what to do if happens.
Choosing Safe ToysToys are a fun and important part of any child's development. And there's plenty you can do to make sure all toys are safe.
Choosing Safe Toys for School-Age KidsIs your 10-year-old crying for a pellet gun? How about that used scooter? For help figuring out what toys are safe and appropriate for older kids, read these tips.
Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers and PreschoolersHow can you tell if a small toy poses a choking risk? What types of unsafe toys should you avoid for your baby, toddler, or preschooler? Find out here.
Cold, Ice, and Snow SafetyIn ice and snow, accidents can happen easily. Find out how to keep your family safe - and fit - while the weather is chilly.
Fireworks SafetyFireworks are cool to watch, but it's best to let the professionals set them off. Find out more in this article for kids.
Frostbite and FrostnipYou can help prevent frostbite in cold weather by dressing kids in layers, making sure they come indoors at regular intervals, and watching for frostnip, frostbite's early warning signal.
Household Safety: Preventing Burns, Shocks, and FiresBurns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns - especially scalds from hot water and liquids - are some of the most common childhood accidents. Here's how to protect kids from burns.
How to Be Safe in Ice and SnowWinter is a fun time of year. But while you're out having fun, you have to know how to be safe. Check out our article for kids to learn how to stay safe in snow and cold weather.
Safety Tips: HockeyAs fun as it is, ice hockey carries a very real risk of injury. To find out how to stay as safe as possible, follow these tips.
Safety Tips: SkiingThere's a lot to love about skiing, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes.
Safety Tips: SleddingSledding is a lot of fun, but can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep yourself safe while sledding, follow these safety tips.
What You Need to Know in an EmergencyIn an emergency, it's hard to think clearly about your kids' health information. Here's what important medical information you should have handy, just in case.
Winter Sports: Sledding, Skiing, Snowboarding, SkatingYou'll have more fun if you stay safe in the cold and snow. Find out how in this article for kids.
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-generalPediatricsSafety at Home