Newborn Care Holiday Safety
By the American Academy of
holidays are an exciting time of year for you and your newborn. To help
ensure you have a safe holiday season with your newborn and family, here
are the following Holiday Safety Tips from the American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP) Web site.
When purchasing an
artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant."
When purchasing a live tree, check for
freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from
branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break.
The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped
on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
When setting up a tree at home, place it
away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree
out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
Cut a few inches off the trunk of your
tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water
absorption and will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming
a fire hazard.
Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms
can dry live trees out rapidly.
Check all tree
lights-even if you've just purchased them-before hanging them on
your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed
wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
Never use electric lights on a metallic
tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty
lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
Before using lights outdoors, check
labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold
lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not
nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
Plug all outdoor electric decorations
into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid
Turn off all lights when you go to bed
or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals.
Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use
non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked
In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations
that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts
out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling
small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt
a young child to eat them.
Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun
glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung
irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and
fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose suffocation
and choking hazards to a small child or can cause a fire if near flame.
Select toys to suit
the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child.
Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
Before buying a toy or allowing your
child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the
To prevent both burns and electrical
shocks, don't give young children (under age ten) a toy that must be
plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are
Children under age three can choke on
small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations
specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts
less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
Children can have serious stomach and
intestinal problems - including death -- after swallowing button
batteries and magnets. Keep them away from young children and call
your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.
Children under age 8 can choke or
suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Remove strings and
ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
Watch for pull toys with strings that
are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation
hazard for babies.
Parents should store toys in a
designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep
older kids' toys away from young children.
Bacteria are often
present in raw foods. Fully cook meats and poultry, and thoroughly
wash raw vegetables and fruits.
Be sure to keep hot liquids and foods
away from the edges of counters and tables, where they can be easily
knocked over by a young child's exploring hands.
Wash your hands frequently, and make
sure your children do the same.
Never put a spoon used to taste food
back into food without washing it.
Always keep raw foods and cooked foods
separately, and use separate utensils when preparing them.
Always thaw meat in the refrigerator,
never on the countertop.
Foods that require refrigeration should
never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
Clean up immediately
after a holiday party. A toddler could rise early and choke on
leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
Remember that the homes you visit may
not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots.
Keep a list with all of the important
phone numbers you or a baby-sitter are likely to need in case of an
emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician
and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. Laminating the
list will prevent it from being torn or damaged by accidental
Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping,
etc., can all increase your child's stress levels. Trying to stick
to your child's usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing
of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce
Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other
decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
Use care with "fire salts," which produce
colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that
can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten.
Keep them away from children.
Do not burn gift wrap paper in the
fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn
Copyright 2010 - American Academy of Pediatrics. I hope you found this safety information
helpful to protect your family and newborn!
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