A NATIONAL, CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO PREVENTING INJURIES AND SAVING LIVES.
Planning a “Perfectly Safe” Holiday Party
Planning a “Perfectly Safe” Holiday Party
No matter what holiday your family celebrates this winter, it is important to keep injury prevention at the forefront when planning special activities.
Parachute’s Horizon is her to help. Horizon provides a host of evidence-based information you can trust, curated carefully and organized to meet your needs. The tips below can be found online at Parachute’s Horizon, along with more resources on preventing injury. Visit horizon.parachutecanada.org for information to keep you and your family injury free year round!
Being proactive can go a long way towards keeping your family and friends safe while entertaining. Here are some tips for planning your holiday party and things to consider if you live in a child-free home:
Hung by the Chimney with Care
Holiday decorations can be a beautiful addition to any home or entertaining space, but toddlers and young children are curious and active, it’s natural for them to want to explore the Christmas tree and decorations by touching, grabbing, and trying to put ornaments in their mouth!
Keep the tree out of reach. Consider a smaller table top tree or place a safety gate around the tree. Avoid breakable ornaments made of glass or those with small parts.
Keep holiday plants out of reach: mistletoe and holly are poisonous and cause stomach upset.
Place candles in sturdy holders that won’t tip, and place away from curtains or tablecloths. Keep them out of reach of children, and don’t leave them unattended.
Install safety gates around the gas fireplace or at doorways to the room that has the fireplace. Ensure items that are hanging from the mantel are secured properly.
Before guests arrive, make sure to check under your furniture and between couch cushions for choking hazards, such as coins, marbles, watch batteries, buttons, or pen caps.
Visions of Sugar Plums
Entertaining with young children in the house can be fun and a little stressful! Make things easier:
At the start of get-togethers, talk about who is going to watch the children. Take turns, so everyone gets time to relax. Otherwise family or friends may assume that someone else is watching the young ones.
Don’t put bowls of nuts and candies where young children can access them. Hard candies, nuts, popcorn, hot dogs, and raw carrots are all choking hazards for children under three. Keep these food items out of reach.
Keep purses and bags out of toddlers’ reach. They may hold dangerous items, such as medicines or a lighter.
The season of giving is an exciting time for children and adults alike – keep it that way with some safe gift giving tips:
Size, surface and strings: The three Ss should always be considered when buying toys or products for children. Size should be large enough to prevent choking and swallowing; surfaces should be smooth, fire retardant and that stuffing cannot come out; strings should be firmly attached to the product and not be long enough to pose strangulation or choking risk.
Check out size: Toys can pose a hazard to children given their size – if it is small enough to fit in a child’s mouth, the child can choke on it. Check and see if toys (and their pieces) fit through a cardboard toilet paper roll- if so, it is small enough to be a choking hazard for young children.
Age and stage: Always follow the recommended ages on toy labels, as well as evaluating your child’s developmental stage, to ensure it is appropriate. Buying a gift for someone else’s child? Ask the parent before purchasing.
Batteries: If the toy requires batteries, make sure they are locked in the toy in a child proof way. Batteries are a choking hazard, but can also be swallowed as well as cause burns.
Magnets: Toys with magnets should be monitored to ensure they are firmly secured, as well as large enough to prevent swallowing – ingestion can cause serious injury.
Winter can be the season where busy social schedules collide with some of the worst winter driving conditions. To ensure that your family is safe on the road, follow some of these tips:
Plan ahead to ensure you have a safe ride home: making sure that you have a plan to travel home safely from holiday parties, ensuring that you are not intoxicated behind the wheel.
If you are hosting a party, check out your area’s local designated driver programs, or taxi services and have that information handy.
Maintain your ride: Book your vehicle maintenance and ensure that your tires are appropriate for the driving conditions. Make sure to get this done before the snow starts to fly so that you can concentrate on everything else you need to do this holiday season!
Know your skill level: Does the thought of driving in the winter cause you to hibernate? Familiarize yourself with the skills and tips to keep you safe on the road.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has a resource to prepare drivers for winter roads, you can find it on Horizon.
From our Parachute family to yours, we hope that you have a wonderful, and safe, holiday season!