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  • Writer's pictureDr. Crystal Sparling

12 Safety Tips for the Holidays

If you missed our Facebook series of safety tips, then don’t you worry! We have compiled all of our tips to keep your family safe during the winter months ahead. Be sure to follow us to get more advice!

Tip #1:

In determining toy safety, the characteristics of the toy should be considered as well as how the toy might be used or abused, and the amount of supervision or help needed for safe play. Avoid toys with button batteries or high-powered magnets. allows anyone to report toy safety concerns.

Tip #2:

Bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, can compress in a crash and leave the straps too loose to restrain your child, leading to increased risk of injury. Ideally, dress your baby in thinner layers and wrap a coat or blanket around your baby over the buckled harness straps if needed.​See Winter Car Seat Safety Tips from the AAP.

Tip #3:

Holiday foods offer a great opportunity to introduce new foods to your baby with bright flavors and interesting textures. Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and shredded turkey are all great options for your little one to try! Supervised, of course.

Tip #4:

​The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report, Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era, offers guidance that can help you navigate the shopping aisles. The best toys are those that match your child's developmental skills and abilities and encourage the development of new skills.

Tip #5:

Choose healthy drinks! It is important to know that the majority of your baby's nutrition comes from breast milk or formula for their first year - even after they have started solid foods. Offer water instead of sugary drinks (even 100% juice) which add unnecessary calories to your children's diet and are harmful to their teeth.

Tip #6: Need a doctor approved toy for your last-minute shopping?

"This magic cube was a favorite at my house for many years! Babies and toddlers love toys with lights, sounds, and buttons! Preschoolers like to 'compose' with instruments. This is the best. And, unlike other musical toys, I never wanted to make this one 'disappear.' "

-- Dr. Sparling

Tip #7:

Be aware of the potential for toys to promote race or gender-based stereotypes. Just as toys have changed over time, so have our expectations of "what girls do" and "what boys do." All children need the opportunity to explore different gender roles and different styles of play. Offer children's books or puzzles showing men and women in non-stereotypical and diverse gender roles (like stay-at-home dads, working moms, male nurses, and female police officers). Have a wide range of toys for your child to choose from―including baby dolls, toy vehicles, action figures, and blocks.

Tip #8:

When using a babysitter, be sure to give them contact information to your nearest emergency room and share your fire escape plan. Remind them not to smoke inside or near your kids and of course to never leave them alone.

Tip #9:

Have you practiced your home's fire safety plan this year? Practice, practice, practice! We suggest that you cover these five principles in your yearly fire safety training with your family: Install at least one smoke detector, have an escape plan, draw a floor plan, agree on a meeting place and know how to call the fire department. For a more detailed plan, check out The American Academy of Pediatrics article.

Tip #10:

There are many things that can cause a child to wake up during the night. Most of these happen when children are overtired or under stress. Keeping your child on a regular sleep schedule may help prevent many of these problems. If your child's sleep problems persist or get worse, contact us to discuss the best solution for your child.

Tip #11:

Dr. Yates chose Magna-Tiles for her toy recommendation!

“My kids spend hours creating and building some pretty impressive stuff with these tiles. I love them because it is time away from screens and STEM principles are being used while they flex their creative muscles.” - Dr. Yates

Tip #12:

If the air in the nursery is extremely dry, your pediatrician may recommend using a cool mist humidifier. This also may help clear your child's stuffy nose when she has a cold. If you do use a humidifier, clean it frequently as directed in the package instructions and empty it when not in use. Otherwise, bacteria and molds may grow in the still water. Steam vaporizers are not recommended because of the danger of scalding.

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