Holiday Season Safety Tips From Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach

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By: Danny Luna, injury prevention coordinator, Family Safety Coalition at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach

Once Thanksgiving is over, everyone is excited to see the holiday lights go up around the neighborhood. But with all the shopping, dining and parties – everyone is busy during this time. Unfortunately, this includes the emergency department. Learn to protect your family from common dangers with these safety tips from Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, so you can enjoy a holiday season that’s healthy and happy.

  • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. (Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.)
  • Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he/she has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.
  • To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don’t give young children (under 10) a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
  • Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child or can cause a fire if near a flame.
  • Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.
  • Common holiday foods such as peanuts or popcorn are potential choking hazards and should not be given to children under 4 years old.
  • The needles of holiday trees can cause painful cuts in the mouth and throat of a child who swallows them.
  • Tree ornaments, light bulbs, icicles, tinsel and small toys are potential choking hazards for small children because they may block their airway. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s small enough to fit in the mouths of babies and toddlers, it’s too small to play with.
  • Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, Jerusalem cherry plants and other plants are commonly used as decorations during the holidays. Like many plants, these are considered poisonous and should be kept out of reach.
  • If you have any questions, contact your pediatrician or the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222.

Following these tips can help your family have a safe holiday. Visit MillerChildren’ for more safety tips for the entire family.

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