Safety First This Holiday Season
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
If you eat this plant it won’t be jolly
Yes, it’s holiday season once again, and what better time to remind everyone of some simple things you can do to keep you and your children safe and sound!
If you have a tree, secure it well to keep it from tipping. If it is a live tree, make sure it’s fresh, green, and that the needles are hard to pull off. Keep it well-watered and away from floor heaters, fireplaces, or other heat sources. If it is artificial, make sure it is fire resistant.
Keep no more than three strands of lights linked together on an extension cord and never use electric lights on a metal tree. Don’t forget to inspect those light strings each year for frayed cords, broken sockets or loose connections.
Keep the small bulbs and ornaments high up in the tree so smaller children don’t try to eat them and choke.
If there are children in the home, avoid candles, or at least keep them out of reach of small children. Turn off all lights and blow out all candles when you sleep or leave the house to avoid a potential fire hazard, and of course make sure your smoke detector is working.
Most holiday plants are safe, but mistletoe and holly berries eaten in excess can be dangerous. If your child does snack on a holiday plant, you can always call the Northern New England Poison Control Center at 1-800 222-1222.
If you are hosting a party in your home, don't forget to clean up the night of the party so your child doesn't discover alcohol or small snack foods that can be choking hazards the morning after.
So remember: (to the tune of Dreydl Song)
I hope that with this safety knowledge
You will not flip your lids
This is pediatrician Dr. Lewis First
Hoping you'll be first with Kids!
Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. You can also catch "First with Kids" weekly on WOKO 98.9FM and WPTZ Channel 5, or visit the First with Kids video archives at http://www.FletcherAllen.org/firstwithkids