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’Tis the Season for Safety
The holidays are full of joy and excitement, especially for children. But every year around 50,000 children go to emergency rooms from two days before Christmas to two days after Christmas. This winter, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help keep your kids out of the ER.
Although more children younger than 5 years old were seen in the ER with injuries around Christmas, all age groups are at risk. The good news is that nearly all children are treated and released from the hospital on the same day. Still, prevention can help keep your holidays running smoothly and safely:
• If you have young children, don’t use any ornaments that are sharp or breakable, have small removable parts, or look like candy or food.
Winter Weather Woes
For many kids, winter means sledding, ice-skating, building snowmen, and having snowball fights. As temperatures fall, keep these tips in mind for outdoor play.
• Keep kids warm and dry by dressing them in several thin layers. Don’t forget insulated boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
Although the holidays and winter weather can create risky situations for kids, more injuries are actually caused by everyday activities.
So, while you keep an eye out for holiday hazards and winter woes, don’t forget about the usual suspects. For instance, don’t let your kids run on hardwood floors in stocking feet and don’t leave plastic bags where children can reach them.
Stop in to your local Rite Aid and pick up some basic first aid supplies to have on hand during the holidays.
“ABC of Burns. Introduction.” S. Hettiaratchy and P. Dziewulski. British Medical Journal. Vol. 328, no. 7452, pp. 1366-68. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC420296/.
Child Safety: Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby. American Academy of Family Physicians. familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/home-safety/child-safety-keeping-your-home-safe-for-your-baby.html.
Choking Prevention. American Academy of Pediatrics. www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Choking-Prevention.aspx.
The Dangers of Electric Toys. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/122487/287.pdf
2012 Holiday Safety Tips. American Academy of Pediatrics. www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Holiday-Safety-Tips.aspx
“A Randomized, Clinical Trial of a Home Safety Intervention Based in an Emergency Department Setting.” J.C. Posner et al. Pediatrics. Vol. 113, no. 6, pp. 1603-08. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15173480.
“Selecting Appropriate Toys for Children: The Pediatrician’s Role.” D. Glassy et al. Pediatrics. Vol. 111, no. 4, pp. 911-13. pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/4/911.full.
Strings and Straps on Toys Can Strangle Young Children. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/122499/5100.pdf.
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