holiday safety tips

Holiday Safety Tips: Keep your kids safe with these simple steps

Karen Buckenheimer, executive director of MORE HEALTH, Inc. shares easy holiday safety tips for a healthy and safe holiday season!

Holiday parties, family gatherings and spending time with grandparents are exciting activities during the holidays. But this hectic schedule can cause us to let down our guard about home safety. Accidental poisonings can happen in a split second, so check out our holiday safety tips to make sure your family has a safe and healthy holiday season.   

Holiday Safety Tips – Medication Poisoning: 

Most accidental medicine poisonings happen in the home because medications are not always properly stored. Temporarily multi-generational households can mean easy access to pills found inside purses, easy-to-open containers and within reach of children. It can take just one pill to cause permanent or life-threatening damage in a small child. Heart pills, muscle rubs, aspirin and Oil of Wintergreen, anti-depressants, blood pressure patches, eye drops, nasal sprays and prescription pain medications can be very poisonous to a child.   

Prevention: 

  • Store medications in a safe place and out of sight and reach of children 
  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage 
  • Ask guests to keep coats, purses and bags up and away and out of sight in your home 
  • Close child-resistant caps on bottles each and every time they are open 
  • If you utilize an e-cigarette, keep the liquid refills locked away.  

Signs your child may have ingested a medication: 

If your child ingests a pill or medication of any kind, don’t wait, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Your child may appear fine at first, but deadly consequences can happen quickly. If your child is displaying seizures, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, unusual sleepiness, agitation, coma, low blood pressure or heart rate, call for help immediately..  

Holiday Safety Tips – Poisonous Plants and Household Supplies 

  • Mistletoe, holly, Jerusalem cherry and Bittersweet are poisonous holiday plants that should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Pick up fallen dried holly berries and shake Christmas trees prior to bringing in the house to check for hiding spiders.  
  • Holiday Decorations including “bubble lights” that contain methylene chloride can be poisonous if a child drinks the fluid.  
  • Cleaning supplies and “pods” should always be kept away from a child’s reach. Children often think the pods are a type of candy. Poisonous “look-alikes” can often mislead children.  
  • Button batteries are attractive to kids and can get lodged in their esophagus when swallowed. Check new toys for button batteries and keep out of a child’s reach.  

Holiday Safety Tips – Alcohol Poisoning 

Holiday parties often feature alcohol. Make sure to pick up empty and partially empty cups as soon as possible so your child doesn’t drink out of them. Kids love to imitate you, and they may want to try the special drink. Even a small amount of alcohol can be dangerous. 

Holiday Safety Tips – Food Poisoning 

Wash hands, utensils and dishes promptly when in contact with raw foods including meats, poultry, fish and raw eggs. Cook foods to a safe temperature, refrigerate foods promptly, defrost foods safely, and when in doubt, throw the leftovers out.  

We suggest that you program the Poison Control Center phone number (800-222-1222) into your phone. Wishing you and your family a healthy and safe holiday season.  

Need some holiday gift ideas?  Check out The Gift of Experience in Tampa Bay: A Holiday Gift List Must or our Holiday Gift Guide: A Little Something for Everyone on Your List!

 

About the Author

By Karen Buckenheimer, RN, BSN, Executive Director of MORE Health, Inc.

By Karen Buckenheimer, RN, BSN, Executive Director of MORE Health, Inc.

Karen Buckenheimer is the executive director of MORE HEALTH, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that trains instructors to deliver interactive, exciting health education lessons to students, at no charge to school districts, through funding from local businesses, foundations, and state and federal grants.

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