By: Bonnie Fachler (Child Proofing Pro) Home Safe Home Childproofing, LLC
The Childproofing Pro Says…
Welcome to the Child Proofing Pro Blog series for Allied Physicians Group. Each month an important subject related to child safety will be featured. This month the highlight will be on keeping the holiday season jolly with a few important reminders. Please feel free to reach out with suggestions on home safety subjects you would like to know more about or with any feedback on this article. Contact me at Bonnie@childproofingpro.com.
5 Ways to Keep Your Child Safer This Month
- Holiday celebrations call for tossing your Mommy jeans aside and putting on that LBD (little black dress) that’s been hiding in the back of your closet. But first, please toss all the dry cleaning plastic in the outdoor garbage. In fact, check all your closets and get rid of that plastic now! This plastic holds a potential suffocation risk for your child and it yellows your clothes too!
- Out with the old, in with the new. Before the gift-giving begins, go through your children’s’ toy chests and bins and do a thorough cleanout. Dispose of all toys with missing parts or in disrepair. Yes, even the one-eyed Teddy bear must go! It’s just a matter of time before the other eye falls off posing a choking hazard for your little one.
- If you have more than one child, sort toys in bins by age.
- Be a savvy consumer when purchasing new toys- make sure they are not made overseas (China) where lead paint is still used to color metal and plastic pieces.
- Remember, most toys wind up in your child’s mouth, so look at package labels carefully for age recommendations and follow them for children under 3 years old.
- Be extra cautious about buying online- click here and read this article for more information
The long and short is that many toys and children’s’ products made outside of the U.S. do not go through safety testing and may be falsely labeled.
- Lastly, not sure if that toy is too small for your toddler? Do the toilet paper roll test.
Put the piece through an empty TP roll. If it goes through easily, it’s too small for them to play with as it presents a choking hazard.
- Deck the halls, but NOT with Holly, Holly berries, Mistletoe, or yew bushes. Poinsettias have gotten a bad rap, but are actually NOT fatal if swallowed. The above are some common holiday plants if ingested that will cause serious illness. Have the Poison Control phone number:
1-800-222-1222 on hand if you suspect your child has swallowed these OR has accidentally ingested alcohol, button batteries, magnets, or medication.
- Baby, its cold outside…put up hearth gates around the fireplace. Change your batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Open a window to let some fresh air inside your home. Use candles with caution. If lighting a menorah or other festive candles, keep flames away from window treatments and toddler’s curious hands. Better yet, go for battery-operated candles for safety’s sake. When cooking, turn pot handles inward on the stovetop and use back burners.
- Finally, to keep it all merry and bright if you have a Christmas tree, please be careful about decorative ornaments that may be small or have sharp edges. Natural trees must be kept in water so buy a good solid base to avoid tipping. Remember these pointers:
- Don’t decorate the tree top-heavy
- Make sure all wires and lights are plugged into power strips, carefully concealed from toddlers who may be crawling on the floor.
- Artificial trees should be flame retardant
- If possible, temporarily gate or barricade the tree for ultimate safety.
Common sense and close supervision are imperative for parents, especially at holiday time. Be extra careful if visiting other homes where they might not be childproofed.
Wishing you all a happy and safe holiday season!