Tips to Keep Your Children Safe Over the Holidays

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

The holidays are a time for family get togethers, traditions, and treats. A lot of strange things will be introduced to your young ones for the first time. Unfortunately, children and new things sometimes add up to hospital visits. The following are some tips on what to be on the lookout for so your children and you can have a happy and safe christmas or holiday season.

Poisoning Potential  

  • Plants – Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, Jerusalem cherry plants, and other plants used as holiday decorations are potentially poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of children. If you see your child getting a rash, becoming nauseous, vomiting, and having diarrhea and you think they may have eaten part of a plant and immediately call the office (859) 525-8181 or the National Poison Center at (800) 222-1222.
  • Bubble Lights – Many “Bubble lights” contain methylene chloride the liquid inside can be poisonous if a child drinks it.
  • Snow Spray – Snow sprays become harmful if the aerosol propellants are used incorrectly and sprayed in the mouth, ears, nose, eyes or other opening in a child’s body.
  • Alcohol Poisoning – Make sure to empty partially empty cups that have been abandoned so children don’t drink them an become drunk or poisoned. Kids are so small it doesn’t take much. 
  • Food Poisoning – Make sure to wash your hands, utensils, dishes, and anything else that comes in contact with raw meat, including poultry and fish, and raw eggs before and after use. Make sure not to contaminate a serving dish with raw meat.  Make sure to store leftovers properly and then heat them thoroughly before reserving.

Choking and Swallowing

  • Decorations – Tree ornaments, light bulbs, icicles, tinsel, and small toys are all potential choking hazards for small kids because they can block their airways. If it’s small enough to fit in a baby’s mouth then it’s too small to play with. Angel hair is finely spun glass and could cause cuts, skin irritation, or eye damage. 
  • Common Foods – Peanuts and popcorn are potential choking hazards and shouldn’t be given to children under 4 years of age.
  • Christmas Trees – Tree needles can cause cuts in the mouth and throat if you swallow them.

Fire Precautions

  • Christmas Trees – Make sure to keep your tree secured in a good stand so it doesn’t tip over. Keep it out of falling distance of all heat sources including electrical outlets, radiators, and portable heaters. If you use an artificial tree buy one that is “fire-retardant.” Unplug all lights, both indoor and outdoor before you go to bed. Don’t use candles on trees. 
  • Candles – Extinguish all candles every night before you go to bed and keep them out of the reach of children. Make sure to keep lit candles away from windowsills and mantels and use only flame-retardant decorations.
  • Electricity – Be careful not to overload your circuits during the holidays with too many lights, decorations, and accessories because it can start a fire.
  • Fireplaces – Always have your fireplace inspected before each season’s first fire. Use a fireplace screen and don’t burn paper or pine boughs or anything else that can float out of the fireplace and start a fire on your roof or on a neighbor’s house or yard. 
  • Practice Fire Safety – Does you family have an emergency plan in the event of a fire? Are you smoke detectors working?


  • Cooking – Prevent burns and scaldings by keeping pot handles turned away from the front of the stove and always keep the oven door closed. Always watch your kids while you bake or cook. Make sure all kitchen appliances are clean so they don’t start fires.
  • Breakable Ornaments – Make sure to keep breakable ornaments out of young children’s reach. If an ornament breaks then clean it up quickly.
  • Traffic Accidents – Car accidents and injuries to children increase during the holiday season so make sure kids are buckled up securely during car rides and don’t drink and drive.
  • Sledding – Make sure to watch young kids as they ride their sleds. Don’t let kids sled in dangerous sledding areas that have rocks, steep hills, or excessive crowds of other sleders.

Here’s to hoping you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Stay healthy and safe and we’ll see you soon!

Contact Us (859-525-8181) if you have any questions!

Pediatrics of About Pediatrics of Florence

We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
>> More About Pediatrics of Florence