Keeping Children Safe over the Holidays
Not many sights warm our hearts more than the joy of children as they venture outside on a perfect snowy day or open gifts by the Christmas tree. Holidays are a time for fun and family, but safety needs to be a part of the celebration too.
Childhood injury statistics point to the reason why safety is so important both during the holidays and throughout the rest of the year. According to Safe Kids Canada, injuries are the number one cause of death and disability among Canadian children. Unfortunately many people still assume that childhood injuries are just a normal part of growing up. This is a dangerous assumption. In fact, 90% of all injuries are predictable and preventable. As a society, we need to change this assumption and our resulting behaviour, in order to prevent childhood injuries.
During the holidays, children may be at an increased risk for injury. Activities associated with celebrations, such as gift giving, decorating, travelling and parties, can place children at greater risk. In order to keep the holidays as safe as possible, keep the following tips in mind:
· For children receiving new toys, caregivers should adhere to the age level indicators, warnings, safety messages and assembly instructions for the toys. Children should be taught to play with toys safely.
· It is best to use common sense when decorating for the holidays. For example, Christmas trees should be kept away from sources of heat and ornaments should not been breakable.
· When travelling, use appropriate car seats for children. Be extra cautious when traffic is heavy, the weather is poor, and when there is the possibility of alcohol use by other drivers.
· It is important when attending or hosting parties to have someone responsible for young children. This may involve having a babysitter, designating someone at your own party or making other arrangements for your children.
Remember, the best way to prevent childhood injuries during the holidays, or anytime of year, is to always supervise young children. For more information about holiday safety or childhood injury, contact Public Health at 1-800-263-3456 or visit our web site at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca.
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We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health