Give kids a safe, stress-free holiday

December 21, 2016

(HealthDay)—With all the parties, outings and family gatherings during the holidays, it's easy for kids to get overwhelmed or lost in the shuffle, a leading group of pediatricians says.

Amid the hustle and bustle, parents and caregivers should be mindful of children's safety, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises.

While staying in other people's homes, for instance, be aware of potential dangers for little kids, such as decorations that are sharp or breakable. Also watch out for unlocked cabinets, stairways or hot radiators, the doctors' group explains.

Parents and caregivers should also be aware of other risky situations during the holidays. The doctors recommends the following safety tips:

  • Don't wait until the next morning to clean up after a holiday party—even if it's late. Young children could wake up early and choke on leftovers. They could also find alcohol or tobacco.
  • Be prepared for emergencies. Keep a list of the important phone numbers you or a babysitter might need. This includes police and fire departments, your child's pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. It's a good idea to laminate this list to protect it from damage.
  • When traveling by car, children must always be buckled into an appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt. If it's very cold, kids should wear thin layers in the car, not a thick coat or snowsuit that might make buckling difficult. You can use a blanket to keep them warm. Adults should set a good example and wear a seatbelt as well. They should also never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Children can get stressed or anxious when shopping or traveling to visit family or friends. Try to maintain your child's routine as much as possible, sticking to their normal sleep and nap schedules. This can help children enjoy the holidays, too.

Explore further: Expert offers tips on coping with divorce during the holidays

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more holiday health and safety tips.

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