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Keeping Kids Safe from Holiday Hazards

The happy chaos of the holidays can be exhausting, exhilarating – and distracting, especially when children are running around. So, it's important not to let the hustle and bustle leave child safety overlooked.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2017 6:57 AM

The happy chaos of the holidays can be exhausting, exhilarating – and distracting, especially when children are running around.

So, it's important not to let the hustle and bustle leave child safety overlooked.

According to Purva Grover, M.D., an emergency department physician at Cleveland Clinic Children's, safety starts when decorating the tree.

"The ornaments, they're beautiful, but we want to think about the little ones around and we want to think about what the things are that they can grab on," said Dr. Grover.

Small children may break fragile, glass ornaments and cut themselves, so it's best to place anything breakable at the top of the tree. The same goes for ornaments that contain small items that a child could swallow.

Toys underneath the tree should get a safety check as well.

"It's very important to read the labels to make sure that it's age appropriate - and not just age appropriate for the child you are giving the gift for - but also for siblings around," said Dr. Grover.

Dr. Grover warns to be wary of sharp edges, small pieces, magnets, button batteries – and the material a toy is wrapped in. Ribbons, strings and bags should be thrown away once a toy is unwrapped.

"The plastic wrappings and all the wrapping paper you get are a huge suffocation risk for little kids around," said Dr. Grover.

Hard candies are also a danger to young curious children, according to Dr. Grover. She said small, colorful sweets are choking hazards and should be kept up where little hands can't reach them.

The oven can also pose a tipping danger to small children if they tug or climb on the door. Dr. Grover said an anti-tip bracket can easily prevent tipping accidents.

Even when safety mechanisms are in place, she said it's always a good idea to safeguard the stove while it's in use.

"Always try to make sure that the pan and the handle is turned away," said Dr. Grover. "Then at least the danger of the pan handle and the contents falling on them is lower."

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