Holiday Safety Tips For Children

While Shopping

  • Teach your child to always ask before going off to look at something or with someone, even a friendly “elf,” and before accepting any unrequested “gift” from a stranger
  • Tell your child to go to a properly identified store clerk and remain with him/her until security or parent/caregiver arrives
    • Point out specific appropriate clerks when you enter store
    • Practice with your child what he/she should say to the clerk
  • Make frequent trips to car to stash packages so your hands stay free to hold child
  • Take time to relax with your child for a few moments, look at or do something he/she is interested in – he’ll be more likely to stay with you when some attention has been paid to his interests
  • Respect your child’s natural reluctance to cuddle Santa – we tell children during the rest of the year to not talk to strangers, but then expect them to crawl into the lap of someone they don’t know and confide in him
  • Be very careful around stairs, escalators, elevators – serious injuries can and do occur, especially when groups of people are moving quickly

At Home

  • Keep packages, wrapping, decorations, especially breakable ones or ones with small pieces, out of reach of small children
  • Check throughout home daily to be sure that, in the rush of the day, no potentially dangerous items have been left out unintentionally
  • Never leave children and candles unattended
  • Watch for and move out or reach the poisonous plants of the season – mistletoe, holly, English ivy, amaryllis, Christmas cherry, eucalyptus Carolinas Poison Center: 1-800-848-6946
  • With the increased number of guests, especially older relatives possibly taking medications and not used to having small children around, be watchful that medications, which can look like candy or a tasty drink to children, are not left lying within reach and that curious hands are not exploring purses, suitcases, etc.
  • Keep an eye on alcoholic drinks when socializing in the presence of children and be sure to pour out any remaining in glasses/cans/bottles immediately
  • Keep cords for lights, etc. out of reach of children and replace any frayed electrical cords or plugs; do not run them under floor coverings in traffic areas of the house
  • Secure the tree so that it cannot be accidentally pulled over
  • Place only unbreakable, large ornaments and decorations on the lower branches, if young children will be in the house
  • Keep tree watered and fresh and unplug all lights (indoor and outdoor) when you leave the house or go to sleep

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