While food is the primary cause of childhood choking, holiday decorations and other seasonal hazards can also be dangerous. If an item fits in a tube that’s one and three-quarters inches wide, a child can choke on it. As you decorate, unwrap presents and eat during holiday celebrations, take six precautions that keep your young guests safe.
- Hang ornaments, lights and tinsel out of reach. Shiny and inviting, these tree decorations should be kept on the upper half of the tree or placed on wreaths that are out of a toddler or young child’s reach.
- Remove fake berries from the table centerpieces. Kids are usually hungry, and fake berries look just like the real thing. So for safety, remove fake berries and any other artificial table centerpiece component that resembles something edible.
- Pick up small items like spare change, buttons and jewelry. Especially if you’re not used to having youngsters around, you may store these choking hazards in jars throughout the house or lying loose on counters. For safety, move them to a high shelf where little hands can’t reach.
- Give toy batteries to parents after the celebration instead of wrapping them with the gift. You don’t want kids to suck on or accidentally swallow batteries that are supposed to power their new toys.
- Toss wrapping paper, tape and ribbon as soon as the presents are opened. Have a trashcan handy, and use it to dispose of these choking hazards after each gift is opened.
- Store food out of reach. While you prep the meal, keep an eye on the serving area and table. Little ones may grab food, whether it’s bite-sized or full sized, and stuff it into their mouths. To be safe, prep a few kid-safe snacks in advance for hungry kids to enjoy between meals.
Create a choke-free holiday when you implement these six precautions. With them, everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.