By Arielle Lankford
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Tis the season … for a friendly reminder about safety. With traditions, celebrations and new toys being shared, it’s important for families to be aware of potential dangers.
Decorating the Tree
Decorate your tree with kids in mind. Start by securing the tree in its base. Kids are curious and may want to play with the ornaments, move breakable one or those with have metal hooks toward the top of the tree. Clean up broken ornaments immediately. Water the tree regularly so needles won’t dry out, which is a potential fire hazard. Check the lights for exposed wires, loose connections or broken sockets.
In the Kitchen
The busy kitchen is a place to be especially watchful for youngsters. When preparing celebratory meals, watch for knives and hot stovetops. Keep an eye out for mobile children near hot burners. If you use towels as pot holders, make sure they are turned around to where they can’t be reached. Hot cocoa may be too hot for young mouths, so let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
When looking for gifts, consider your child’s age when choosing a toy or game. Make sure to read all instructions and warning labels. For babies, make sure toys are toddler approved and don’t have toxic chemicals that will end up in their mouths. Check to make sure there are no small parts or other choking hazards. Watch for batteries, especially tiny ones, in electronic toys – have the phone number for poison control within easy reach. For older kids, don’t forget a helmet for riding gifts such as bikes, skateboards and scooters. Watch for product recalls.
Most of all, it’s important to remember that the best gifts aren’t always the ones you buy. Enjoy time with your family.
Arielle Lankford is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with Mission Pediatrics – Franklin, now located at the new Mission Women’s & Children’s Center – Franklin, a service of Angel Medical Center, at 56 Medical Park Drive, Franklin.