Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Parents should play it SAFE over the holidays"

Four more days until Christmas.....We have one more tip to go along with all your holiday plans. Thanks to Dr. Jopling for sharing this article.

James Schmidt, an emergency room physician at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, sees plenty of avoidable accidents at this time of year — and all year round.

"Each year," he says, "parents are warned of holiday hazards, including toxic mistletoe and dangerous toys. Unfortunately most of the holiday hazard stories miss the larger point regarding children's safety. Most of the household injuries that occur during the holiday are the exact same types of injuries that occur commonly throughout the year -— poisonings, chokings, falls and burns."

In fact, he adds, the single most dangerous item during the holidays may be grandma's purse, where her medications may be left in places accessible to children. They may even be set out for her to remember to take them, he adds. While the potential toxicity of some Christmas plants always gets attention during the holidays, according to Schmidt emergency room doctors see far more children who have ingested their grandparents' blood pressure pills than children who have eaten mistletoe.

There is however, one common seasonal injury — that's when a child pulls over a Christmas tree. Trees should be securely fastened to the wall and toddlers should not be permitted close enough to a tree to tug on it, cautions Schmidt.

Other dangers to watch for include easy access to alcohol at holiday gatherings. "During a large party, guests may leave half-imbibed cups around the house. Small children may wander the house sampling the drinks. Children often show up at ERs showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning," he says.

Schmidt further warns about the potential for mishaps in visits to homes that haven't been "child-proofed." "Parents need to be vigilant and inspect homes for unblocked stairways and other hazards non-parents may have missed," he says.

Altogether, Schmidt urges families not only to decorate safely, give age-appropriate toys, and secure their Christmas trees and candles this holiday season, but he also wants to remind parents to stay vigilant for common household dangers that cause the most injuries — and to consider how travel and visitors may impact their children.

**more info http://www.dailypress.com/topic/health/hospitals-clinics/childrens-hospital-of-the-kings-daughters-PLCUL000134.topic

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