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From pools to batteries, Top 5 tips to protect kids during the holidays

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Family sharing Thanksgiving meal

The lights, the gifts, the relatives, the joy!

The holidays can be a thrilling time for kids – and a crazy busy time for their parents. While it’s fun to break from everyday routines and visit with friends and family, holiday distractions can be risky for little ones.

We know parents have a full plate during the holiday season. This list of Top 5 Safety Hacks may make your lives just a little easier — and your children just a little safer.

STASH AWAY THE PILLS

Nearly half of accidental child poisonings involve a grandparent’s pills, according to survey by Safe Kids Worldwide, a leading child safety group. Grandparents tend to leave pillboxes in spots easily accessible to children.

And when grandparents visit, a child can reach into a purse and pull out the pills. Make sure all medications are out of children’s sight and reach.  

OLD TELEVISIONS, NEW PROBLEMS

TVs are always popular gifts. But once a new television arrives, there’s the question of what to do with the old one. Too often, that older, heavier television is moved to another area of the home and placed on an unsuitable surface, such as the top of a dresser, where a child easily could tip it over, says Kelly Powell, former program director of Safe Kids Palm Beach County. 

If you find yourself moving an old TV to make room for a new one, make sure to place the old one on a low, stable piece of furniture. And it’s a good idea to use anchors or wall straps to secure the TV.

BEWARE OF BUTTON BATTERIES

Button batteries — batteries smaller than a quarter — power everything from flameless candles to singing greeting cards.

As use of these convenient little batteries have increased, so have the number of cases in which children swallow them. Every year, more than 2,800 children are treated in emergency rooms nationwide after ingesting button batteries, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Devices that use button batteries should be kept out of children’s reach and sight. To prevent a child from getting at a button battery, stick tape over the battery door so the child can’t open the device.

USE YOUR HEAD, WEAR A HELMET

Who doesn’t love a new bike – or skateboard, scooter or hoverboard – for the holidays? But new wheels need to be accompanied with a properly fitted helmet. A child should be able to see the bottom of the helmet’s rim, with the straps forming a V under the ears when buckled. The straps should be a little tight.

Palm Beach County families can use Children’s Services Council’s free app, SafeMap, to find locations of the nearest trained helmet fitters. Click here to download it for iOS or click here for Android to find locations of the nearest trained helmet fitters. This way, you can be confident your child’s helmet fits properly.

POOL PROTECTION

One of the benefits of South Florida living is hosting holiday parties outdoors. So be sure that if you’re gathered at a home with a pool, it has working barriers surrounding it. That means a fence around the pool at least 4 feet tall with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Doors equipped with alarms and childproof locks are also a must.

If the party is outside, make sure there is a responsible adult — a water watcher — closely keeping an eye on the pool.

SOURCES:

• Kelly Powell, former program director, Safe Kids Palm Beach County
Safe Kids Worldwide

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