Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Safety at Grandma and Grandpa's House

If Grandma and Grandpa do not usually have young children in the home, it is likely that their home isn't childproofed. In addition to not having safety locks on cabinets, gates on stairs, or covers on electrical outlets, they may also have prescription medications that aren't in a child resistant container.

Things to be especially watchful for, and which you may want to be mindful of when visiting during the holidays, include:

• If there is a pool, does it have a fence? Can the child get to the area where the pool is located?

• Are there guns in the house? Are they stored unloaded or locked in a box with bullets locked separately?

• Are medications, poisons and household cleaners out of reach? What needs to be removed, locked up or put out of reach?

• If they have a pet, do you need to take special precautions to keep children safe?

• Are there gates on the stairs? Do you need to bring a portable gate?

• How can you remove small objects, such as nuts or candy dishes so young children cannot reach them?

• Can you remove breakable objects or put them out of reach of the children?

• Are there holiday decorations, such as lights, trees, plants, artificial snow or candles that could be potentially harmful to children? What can you do to make the environment safer for your child?

• Remember that holidays can be stressful for some children. Traveling, visiting family, a disruption of the regular routine, excessive noise and getting presents can increase your child’s stress levels. Try to maintain your child’s usually routines such as sleep and nap schedules and meal times. Remember to spend plenty of one-on-one time with your children so you both can enjoy the holidays. Take along indoor and outdoor games, activities and their favorite snacks for them.

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