By: Aileen Imai and Danny Luna, Injury Prevention Coordinators, Injury Prevention Program, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
The holiday season is an exciting time, especially for kids. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the busiest times of the year for emergency departments. There are steps families can take to protect their little ones from some common holiday dangers.
Choose the Right Toys for the Right Ages
Choking on toys or ingesting something they shouldn’t brings a lot of kids to the hospital during the holidays.
When choosing a gift for a child, it’s important to know that it’s appropriate for the child’s age, has a secure battery hatch if batteries are required, and contains no small or moving parts that could be swallowed accidentally.
Even if the toy is safe for an older child, a toddler can swallow a part that’s been left lying about. Older siblings should be taught that potentially dangerous items be kept out of reach of their younger siblings.
Decorate Safely with Kids in Mind
Brightly colored decorations and live Christmas trees are big parts of holiday celebrations, but even they pose potential dangers to children.
Christmas trees cause many fires each year, so it’s important that they are purchased fresh and that they are watered every day. In addition, parents should use lights designed for the proper outdoor and indoor use. Surge protectors and lighting cords should be unplugged completely at the end of the day, not just switched off.
Have a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday Season
To guarantee children’s safety, parents must recognize the potential risks and ward off disasters. Wise prevention will help assure that everyone in the family enjoys a happy and healthy holiday season.
Experts in Injury Prevention
The Injury Prevention Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach cares about keeping kids safe – not just during the holidays, but all year long. The program focuses on providing safety education to children and families in our community to prevent injury and hospitalization. For more information on toy safety and other safety education topics, visit MillerChildrens.org/InjuryPrevention.
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