A trip over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go is a fun place to be especially during the holiday season, but there are some hidden hazards which might put children at risk. Our friends from E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire & Safety offer these tips to keep your children safe and secure.
- Secure medications out of the reach of young children. Medicines and vitamins help families feel well, but to young children they can look like candy. Secure medication including pills and liquids that are in the bathroom, by the kitchen sink, in a purse or in the bedroom before your grandchildren arrive. If you suspect a child has ingested a medicine or vitamin, call the Regional Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, call 911 or your local pediatrician immediately. Don’t let your grandchildren become a statistic.
- Secure your pets. Kids and pets are natural companions. However, each year nearly 400,000 kids need medical attention for dog bites and nearly eighty percent of canine bites are from animals that grandchildren knew well. You should reintroduce your dog or cat to the grandkids who haven’t visited in a while. Secure pets from infant and young children’s rooms unless there is adult supervision. Also, be mindful of how the child interacts with your pet so they learn to always be gentle.
- Cover empty outlets. Kids are fascinated by electrical outlets. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 2,000 children are hospitalized each year in the U.S. due to electric shock, with injuries ranging from minor burns to death. Keys and coins are the top two favorite items for children to stick into electrical outlets. Place outlet plugs in unused wall outlets to avoid electrocution. These can be purchased from your local hardware or big-box store in the electrical section. If your home was built in 2008 or later, you might already have tamper-resistant receptacles or “TRRs”. These outlets look like regular outlets, except they appear to have a backing, which are actually spring-loaded shutters that close off openings to the contacts. The shutters only open when they are both compressed simultaneously by a competent adult plugging something in.
- Create a 3-foot kid free zone around hot things. Children enjoy helping out in the kitchen. However it is important to remember that hot surfaces, liquids or steam can cause a painful burn. Create a 3-foot kid free zone away from any hot surfaces such as the stove or oven, foods or liquids. Remember to use care when removing food from the microwave to prevent a scald burn. Cool a burn with water for 15-20 minutes.
By following these simple yet important tips, your child’s trip to grandma’s house will create fun-filled memories that will last a lifetime!