The holidays are a busy time of year. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the distractions, but health experts warn you to not lose focus of what your children are doing. We talk to a child life specialist at Avera McKennan about the dangers lurking within your child's reach if your aren't looking.
- If you are hosting the festivities and your guests have young children, invest in some safety devices. Put latches on the doors under the sink where cleaning supplies are stored, put plug protectors in outlets and use door knob covers.
-If you are visiting Grandma, remember she may have medication sitting out. Do a "once over" before the kids run wild.
-Some plants you find this time of year can also be dangerous if ingested. Holly, Ivy, and Jerusalem Cherry plants should all be kept out of the reach of children. They are all poisonous. The little white berries on fresh mistletoe are also toxic. Most often the florist replaces them with plastic ones, but you should check just to make sure.
Doniese Wilcox is an Avera McKennan Child Life Specialist. She suggests, "If the family is celebrating in a hotel be extra extra vigilant around the pool and hot tub. When we have lots of people around, we assume everyone is watching when really no one is. We suggest you assign someone as the water watcher in 1/2 hour shifts."
If you have young children and are going to be staying at a friend's house, pack a night light. That way if your children get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom they can see where they're going.
Doniese says, "If you are hosting a party, clean up right after it's done. Don't leave if for tomorrow. Throw the cigarette butts away, clean the glasses and put them away. That way if the kids get up early it's not a hazard."
Unfortunately, as great as the season is, the Holidays are also full of hazards for our children. Be careful so it doesn't turn into tragedy.