The American Academy of Pediatrics is reminding parents and caregivers to clean up immediately after each holiday rush.
Officials explain this is a critical piece to keeping children safe throughout the holiday season, especially in households where small children are.
- Clean up immediately after a holiday party. A toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
- Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, or hot radiators.
- Keep a list with all of the important phone numbers you or a babysitter are likely to need in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. Laminating the list will prevent it from being torn or damaged by accidental spills.
- Always make sure your child rides in an appropriate car safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt. In cold weather, children in car safety seats should wear thin layers with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed, not a thick coat or snowsuit. See www.healthychildren.org/carseatguide for more information.
- Adults should buckle up too, and drivers should never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child’s stress levels. Trying to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.