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Tips for Safe Holiday Visits & Travel

Tips for Safe Holiday Visits & Travel

December 4, 2012

By Carly Harrill, Strategic Partnerships Director

Over the next few weeks, families everywhere will be embarking on trips far and wide to celebrate the holidays with loved ones.

As parents, we mainly focus on childproofing our homes when we decorate the tree and hang the mistletoe, but what about our holiday destinations? Between buying gifts, holiday parties and schlepping the family from Point A to B, turning grandma’s home into an anti-hazard zone can easily slip the mind.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re prepping family for your visit:

Tip #1: Hang tree decorations high

Make sure that all ornaments, lights and tree decorations are hung high on the tree, away from your child’s reach to help prevent choking hazards or possible electrocution. Consider putting a baby safety gate around the tree to keep them from chewing on the tree or Christmas lights.

Tip #2: Make sure the tree is stable 
Check to make sure the tree is stable and secure in its base. With presents under the tree, naturally, kids will spend some time here. If possible, use a bungee cord or twine to secure it to a nearby wall or doorway.

Tip #3: Bring along childproofing items 
From outlet covers to table corner guards, you can never be too safe. Did you know that more children die from accidents in the home each year than from all other childhood illnesses combined? Use a cord winder to protect children from dangling mini blind cords, and secure cabinet locks for bathrooms and kitchens. Outlet covers also come in handy, as kids get exploratory in unfamiliar places.

Tip #4: Keep wrapping paper, plastic garbage bags and packing peanuts out of baby’s reach 
Keep them out of your baby’s reach or throw them out after unwrapping gifts to eliminate easy access to choking and suffocating hazards.

Tip #5: Share food “wish lists” or allergies 
Avoid artificial food dyes, preservatives and sweeteners by sending a preferred food shopping list to your family or host with healthy snacks and beverages. Better yet, wait to do the shopping until you get there! Also remember to communicate food allergies or concerns with plenty of advance notice.

Tip #6: Think of potential burning hazards 
During this time of year, there’s nothing quite like sitting around a fire or turning the heat up for some extra warmth. Consider putting baby gates or barriers around the fireplace to create a comfortable “safe” zone—fire embers can easily escape and become burn hazards. Also, if your host has radiators in the home, make sure they have covers and keep plug-in heating units out of children’s reach.

When heavy holiday cooking is in effect, put baby safety gates in the kitchen so little ones don’t find their way to hot ovens and under the stove.

Tip #7: Avoid the holiday air fresheners and artificially scented candles 
There’s a gift idea! Purchase aromatic room sprays that are essential oil based and phthalate free, and purchase soy-based candles with wooden wicks to give as gifts to your host! They will be thankful for your thoughtful gift and you can encourage them to swap out — especially with your kids in the house.

What are your safe & healthy holiday travel tips? Share with our community!

 

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