Tip of the Week

The holiday season is upon us, and as you prepare to enjoy all the wonderful things associated with this time of year, don’t forget to keep child safety top of mind so the entire family has a jolly holiday. Experts at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals recommend these six safety and nutrition tips:

• Prepare for potential holiday hazards. With the excitement the holiday season brings, close supervision of children shouldn’t be overlooked. Experts at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommend keeping loose button batteries often found in children’s toys and singing greeting cards out of reach, as they are dangerous when swallowed. Keep holiday guests’ medication out of reach of young children and remember grandma’s purse can be a dangerous place if a pill minder or medications are left inside. Though often not poisonous, winter plants and berries - including dried arrangements - present a choking hazard. The Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia warns that decorations and ornaments also pose a choking hazard and can cause injury if broken or chewed.

• Simplify the stress. The holidays can be a joyful but stressful time. Establish limits that will prevent financial burdens on your family. Schedule some daily quiet time for yourself to help decrease blood pressure and improve blood circulation. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, prioritize what’s most important and keep things simple. Lean on the support of friends and family if feelings of stress or depression become overwhelming.

• Beware of string lighting. Medical staff at Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Center remind you to avoid placing strings of lights near beds, cribs or on the interior of bedrooms as these can pose strangulation hazards if they become dislodged. To avoid injuries, check the bulbs periodically to make sure that none are broken.

• Limit over-eating at holiday parties. It’s a fun time of year full of socializing, holiday goodness and lots of food. To avoid over-eating at holiday dinners, start with bowls of nuts or raw vegetables with dip. You’ll feel better if you fill up on healthy options. Chewing slowly allows your brain to register when you are full. Whenever possible, make the healthier food choice, but give yourself permission to enjoy seasonal foods in moderation.

• Prepare and thaw holiday favorites correctly. Food safety is imperative when making your holiday specialties. Thaw and prepare food according to packaging instructions. For more information, call the Food Safety Hotline: (800) 535-4555 or visit FDA.gov for holiday food safety advice.

• Prepare before you head to grandma’s. When readying for car trips to visit relatives, make sure that windshield deicers and antifreeze are being used according to directions. When securing kids in a car seat, remove heavy snowsuits or extra-bulky coats. Instead, keep a blanket nearby to tuck them in with after they’re properly secured in the car seat harness.

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