Keeping families safe through the winter celebrations

While the winter celebration season can be one of the most joyous, special times of the year for families – it’s also one of the busiest.

These tips from CHOC’s community educators can help ensure your family stays safe while partaking in all the fun and festive experiences the season has to offer.

Gather safely

Keep in mind the ongoing pandemic this winter when planning gatherings.

Whether celebrating indoors or outdoors, try limiting your gathering to a small group of vaccinated people. If all family members, except small children, are vaccinated, you can feel comfortable removing your masks.

Still, be sure to take precautions like washing hands frequently and staying in well-ventilated spaces.

Decorate with safety in mind

Real trees can become a fire hazard if not watered regularly. If your family prefers an artificial tree, look for one that is flame retardant.

Keep ornaments that have hooks or are breakable at the top of the tree.

When hanging lights, use a ladder properly and safely. Check for exposed or frayed wires and loose connections. Do not let small children climb on a ladder. Turn off decorative lights before leaving home or going to sleep.

Keep candles, menorahs or kinaras on firm, sturdy surfaces and away from flammable materials.

Keep matches and lit objects away from small children.

Remember some seasonal plants – like mistletoe and holly berries – are poisonous. In a poison emergency, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Shop for safe toys

Purchase toys that are age-appropriate, and check for small pieces, button batteries or other choking hazards.

Never leave children unattended with small dreidels, coins or foil candy wrapping. These can be a choking hazard.

If giving a bicycle, scooter or other gift with wheels, include a properly fitting helmet.

Practice safe food prep

Ensure that fire alarms and smoke detectors are in good working order.

Be sure to wash your hands before, during and after preparing food, and take care to wash knives and cutting boards if alternating between meats and other food.

Keep children out of the kitchen, especially the cooking area. If children are in the kitchen, cook on back burners, turn the pot/pan handles inward, and always teach kids to stay away from the stove and oven.

Ensure alcoholic beverages are out of reach for children and not left unattended. Even a few small sips from a curious child can be very dangerous.

Travel safely

Remember children older than 2 must have their own airplane seat and wear masks.

Be mindful of distracted drivers navigating the seasonal rush.

Buckle up every time and ensure car seats are properly installed.

Never text or use a cell phone while driving.

Finally, once you arrive, remember that another home may not be child-proofed. Keep an eye on cabinets, unattended purses and stairways.

For more safety tips from CHOC experts

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