Tips for Safe and Healthy Holidays

November 22nd, 2011 by

The holidays can be a magical time for you and your family.  Parties, gifts, and food can be fun, but they can also create a great deal of stress.  Keeping your kids safe and healthy during the holidays will allow you to focus on all the joy and wonder this season has to offer. 

Food Allergies
Avoiding allergens on a daily basis can be challenging, but navigating your way through holiday treats and dinner parties may be downright stressful.  It is not worth ruining the holiday for your child by giving them a treat that can potentially make them feel sick.   A few tips for surviving holiday parties with food allergies include:

  • Phone ahead: Call your host or hostess ahead of time to find out what is on the menu and to let them know of any dietary restrictions
  • Bring a dish:  Offer to bring a hearty side dish to the party.  This way, if no other allergen free foods are available,  you will have enough to eat
  • Keep snacks handy:  Always bring a few  allergy friendly snacks with you just in case 

Childproofing

The holidays bring a whole new realm of potential hazards.   While your own home may be adequately childproofed, the homes of friends and relatives may not be.  If you have an infant or toddler, you may need to bring your own playpen or safety gates.  The most important way to keep your child safe when at someone else’s home is to keep a close eye on your child at all times.  For your own home, here are a few safety tips for your holiday decorations: 

  • If you are putting up a tree, keep decorations high enough to be out of reach to infants and toddlers.  You can also put a child gate up around the tree or even set it up in a playpen to avoid any risk
  • Keep all other holiday decorations out of reach to ensure your child cannot pull a decoration down from a high surface and onto themselves
  • If you have an infant or toddler, you may want to scale back on your decorating this year to keep it simple.  You can always save the elaborate decor for next year
  • Make sure decorations are flame resistant and never leave candles unattended

Choosing Toys
The best part of the holidays for kids is undoubtedly the toys, but parents now more than ever are searching for toys that are both fun and safe.  Review safe toy shopping guides to ensure the toy has undergone proper safety checks and does not contain harmful chemicals.   Toy safety tips include:

  • Choose toys that are appropriate for your infant or child’s age
    • Read labels:  use age recommendations for toys as a guide
    • For infants, toddlers, and all children who still try to put things in their mouths, avoid toys with small parts or sharp edges
    • Keep your eye out for sturdy construction, such as secured noses, eyes, accessories, and other small parts
    • For all children under age 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points or heating elements
    • Discard plastic wrappings on toys immediately after opening to avoid suffocation
    • If your child is getting a toy he can ride such as a bike, scooter, or, skateboard; don’t forget the helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads

Following a few simple tips can ensure your family will have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!Tip

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