Healthy Living

Holiday Safety Tips: What Parents Should Know

Dec. 21, 2023

The holiday season is here, and it can be quite hectic for families, especially those with little ones. From decorating the tree, to lighting the menorah or the Kinara, to belting out festive tunes, this time of year is packed with joyous activities and precious moments with loved ones.

But let's not forget, for parents with young children, it also means shopping and gift giving. Our team of professionals has some valuable advice on how to keep your little ones safe and make the most of the holiday season.

Holiday Safety and Decorating Tips

  • Keep stockings (and heavy stocking holders) out of the reach of your little one’s grasp.
  • Place fragile or small ornaments near the top of the tree, where curious toddler hands can’t reach.
  • Ensure kids steer clear of open flames, like candles or fireplaces. Pro Tip: Substituting LED lights for candles is always a good kid-safe option.
  • Keep poinsettias and mistletoe away from children (although the may be beautiful they are also poisonous).
  • If you are hosting a holiday gathering for both adults and children, use different style cups for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and discard any unattended cups so they are not accidentally consumed.

Holiday Shopping – Gifts to Avoid

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently warned parents of young children about the potential dangers of the purchase and use of magnetic ball sets and water beads among young children, causing the risk of choking and serious injury or death if ingested.

“The danger in the purchase and use of these toys is when more than one is swallowed," said Anne Brayer, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics and director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids.

“Ingestion of these toys can ultimately cause an intestinal blockage that requires surgery to correct; the water beads can swell in the stomach or intestines and cause a blockage, while the magnets can attract each other, also causing a potentially dangerous blockage.”

These types of toys are marketed to children and are made available in a variety of in bright colors, which can easily be mistaken for candy, and if swallowed by children could damage their digestive system. Safer alternatives include larger magnetic toys and water toys that are too big to ingest.