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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Keep Your Holidays Festive and Safe

The start of the fall season signals a busy time for families, from the kick off of fall sports to the start of the holidays. Following these safety tips will make sure you and your little ones enjoy all the festivities the season has to offer. Few times of year can be as magical as the holidays for children. Parents can take simple precautions to avoid injury and ensure a safe, memorable holiday season for their children.

Food Safety

Many holiday family traditions are centered around special foods. If your child wants to help in the kitchen, remember the following tips:

  • Wash hands before, during and after food preparation.
  • Keep common baking ingredients such as vanilla and almond extract out of their reach.
  • Use soap, water and a disposable paper towel to clean surfaces that have touched raw meat, fish or poultry.

Trimming the Tree

If your family picks out a real tree, make sure you check the tree's freshness-it should be green and not dry. Keep it away from fireplaces or other heating sources.

When decorating trees, also keep the following tips in mind:

  • Turn off the tree lights before leaving the tree in an unattended room.
  • Keep burning candles out of your children's reach. Do not leave burning candles unattended, and never place them near anything that might easily catch fire.
  • Keep small ornaments, tinsel, small figurines and other decorations out of reach. Also avoid ornaments that look like food or candy.

Few times of year can be as magical as the holidays for children. Parents can take simple precautions to avoid injury and ensure a safe, memorable holiday season for their children.

Make a List Check It Twice

Make sure you know what you're buying. It's important to select age-appropriate toys. For small children, avoid those with small, removable parts that may not be appropriate for younger children.

Also, stay away from toys with strings, straps or cords. These may pose a strangulation hazard to small children.

If it's a new bicycle, tricycle, scooter, skateboard or skates that are on your child's list, don't forget the trimmings. Make sure you also purchase the proper safety gear, including helmets and any other appropriate protective equipment.

Stay on top of Toy Recalls
You can get the most up-to-date info about any toys that may be recalled for safety hazards by contacting the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 800-638-2772 or online at www.cpsc.gov.
Think outside the box when it comes to gifts.
Keep in mind the child's abilities and developmental stage. For example, give older kids gifts that encourage them to explore their environment. Consider binoculars, a microscope or telescope, or a camera.

Get Teens Moving with Fun, Active Gifts

Physical activity can better a teen's mind and body. But getting them to be active can a challenge. The right gift can encourage them to get moving. Here are a few gift ideas to help get your teens to be more active:

  • Private lessons. Introduce a new activity, such as tennis or cross-country skiing, with a gift certificate for a one-on-one lesson.
  • Athletic wear. Outfit your teen with a new swimsuit or pair of athletic shoes. Or get a gift certificate for an outdoor store so that they can choose what they like.
  • Sports equipment. Give equipment such as a bike, tennis racket or basketball.
  • Active video games. Games such as Wii Sports for the Nintendo Wii and EyeToy: Kinetic for PlayStation2 get players moving.
  • Gift certificates. Give your teen gift certificates to a local bowling alley, ice skating arena or yoga studio.

A Safety Lesson for Your Baby-Sitter

Holiday parties. Shopping. Even just an hour away to de-stress. All are reasons you may need a babysitter this season. Prepare your baby-sitter with these tips:

  • Leave emergency phone numbers by the phone. Also, write down your cell phone number, as well as the contact information of a nearby neighbor.
  • Show the baby-sitter where your first-aid kit is located.
  • Discuss how to handle common emergencies.
  • If you are going to be gone for the evening, include your child's schedule, including dinner and bedtimes.


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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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