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Holiday checklist

I attempted to be creative today and put together my “safety” rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – but realized that finding rhyming words for medications and decorations wasn’t really working. My time is probably better spent making sure that parents have one final safety checklist as the holidays are upon us!

So your tree is up, cooking and baking has started, you’re planning your travels…make sure to do an extra double check on safety. Here are my five big items I’m watching for this holiday season with a toddler in the house:

  • Decorations – Make sure your decorations are age appropriate for the children in your home (or visiting your home).  Ensure that ornaments and other decorations are either child-safe (soft, no small pieces) or not placed less than two feet from the bottom of the tree. Also watch of dangling objects that little ones could pull off a tables, mantles or buffets.
  • Fire Safety – We have a new fire place this winter and like many we will probably be using it to heat or create that special homey feeling.  Whether or not you have a fireplace, ensure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. With all of the cooking and baking, candles and other items (that you may want to think about before using if you have children in the house) ensure that you are prepared.
  • Poisons and medications – We are going to have grandparents visiting this holiday season.  Ensure anyone who has medications is storing them property (not in a purse or on a nightstand) but high up so that little kids cannot find them.  Also be careful of poisons that may be in your home such as cooking extracts, poisonous plants and alcohol. Little kids cannot tell the difference.
  • Cooking and baking – I love hosting the family get together because I like to cook, however, Mary knows that the kitchen is not the place for her when I’m cooking for eight! Create a safe space in your kitchen where kids are not allowed. If possible, have someone else watch your children if you are cooking and never have a child in your hands as you prepare the feast!
  • Outdoor fun – I’m hoping that we get at least a little snow this year but I’m prepared for Mary with a good, waterproof snowsuit.  If you are going to be outside make sure that children are warmly dressed.  Also ensure that they are frequently coming back inside to warm out and switch out wet clothing.

Happy Holidays to everyone! Taking a couple extra safety checks around your home can reduce stress and help you focus on the most important things we have this holiday season – our children and families!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.